Reprinted with permission from the RSA. The RSA’s Matthew Taylor recently discussed deliberative democracy with David Runciman, professor of politics at Cambridge University. Matthew emphasised the form of deliberative democracy, a citizens’ jury or ‘ assembly, which parallels the legal jury and aims to bring together a ‘mini-public,’ representing a cross-section of the rest of us. Their conclusion on chosen issues is the one that the rest of us would have come to had we […]

By Perry Walker. Reprinted, with permission, from OpenDemocracy. Conversations across divides are very hard, but they’re essential to democracy. On the first day of October 2018 I did something I’d never done before: I went to the UK Conservative party conference in Birmingham. The theme of the event I attended was ‘Chuck Chequers’ – a reference to Prime Minister Theresa May’s controversial plan for Brexit. It was organised by the Bruges Group, which takes its […]

Reprinted with permission from the RSA. In his 2018 annual lecture, Matthew Taylor called for at least three national citizens’ assemblies to be held each year on key current challenges facing the UK. Perry Walker FRSA explores how to make that a success. Government – legislature and executive – resists change. This means that a step change in deliberative democratic approaches cannot just be bolted onto our present system. Rather, we need to understand that […]

Reprinted with permission from Rhizome. The process of polarisation can lead to one person seeing another as being without humanity and complexity, flattened into a two-dimensional caricature. One American organisation that has worked hard on ways to reverse this is  Essential Partners, which has grown out of the Public Conversations Project. This is turn started when a group of family therapists decided to use the tools of their therapy to try to improve the public […]

Martin Yarnit For years, governments have put off making a decision about the future of social care. At the same time, local authorities have been forced to cut back on their spending on this Cinderella service. Arguably, it was the unpopularity of their plan to get householders to pay for social care that setlost the Conservatives back so much at the last election. But now there is a glimmer of light. A citizens assembly , […]

We at Talk Shop need a part-time volunteer data analyst/ data visualiser to stengthen the work we’re doing in deliberative democracy. We believe that the future of democracy involves enabling ordinary citizens to take part in respectful, informed discussions that lead to real collective decisions. We offer card based kits for small groups to discuss important topics (see this), and promote larger meetings that make use of the kits too. Ongoing topics include Health & […]

A while ago we said, “We’re excited to announce our new project to get 10,000 people talking about health and social care…” Now we’ve even more excited, because the Royal Society of Arts have given us a ‘Catalyst Award’ to help us to start that conversation. The reason for initiating this project was that we felt that the paralysis on social care funding showed that politicians could not to grasp the nettle alone: citizens need […]

Here’s a post copied from Richard Priestley’s blog about a recent event we held in Hereford’s Dee Koffee Pot. Last night in Hereford we had an excellent evening discussing Citizen’s Income. Perry Walker of Talk Shop chaired the session and Dr Malcolm Torry from the Citizens Income Trust led a fascinating talk and discussion. To quote from the Citizen’s Income Trust introductory pamphlet ‘A Citizen’s Basic Income is an unconditional, automatic and nonwithdrawable payment to […]

Here’s a copy of a blogpost from about how Perry helped with the DEMOCS card method in Northern Ireland. This project aims to raise awareness of the new power of Community Planning in Antrim and Newtownabbey, Newry Mourne and Down, and Mid and East Antrim Borough Councils. Participatory Card Games  We are working with pupils from Abbey Community College to develop and design a Participatory Card Game focusing on the themes of Skills and […]