Is Our Country going in the right direction?

Do we make the best decisions?

Is Democracy broken?

The way we allow politicians to make important decisions is being questioned from all sides. Our kit looks at issues like how to give citizens more influence, and how to stop short term thinking; and then moves on to consider some of the many possible improvements that are bubbling up. The format suits groups from 4 to about 40 people.


The NHS in crisis, unaffordable housing, the selling of Tata for £1: signs of a crisis in the way Britain is run? Britain’s a wealthy country but many people feel they don’t share in it, that the odds are stacked against ordinary people. The aim of this event is to see whether we can reach some measure of agreement about how well the country is run, and what can be done to improve matters.  Instead of the traditional for and against debate, that often leaves everyone angry and frustrated, Talk Shop puts the emphasis on understanding each other’s opinions and finding common ground.  A tall order in two hours but we promise you won’t be bored.

Holding an Event

Talk Shop provides facilitators – or will train yours – and a set of information cards. Appealingly written and designed, the cards set out some key issues for discussion and in each case include suggestions for reforms of the system.  This kit is designed for you to run a stimulating discussion in a small group of 4-6 people (or multiples of 4-6 up to 36) in a couple of hours. The venue can be your front room, or for larger groups, maybe a room in a library or community centre.

If you decide to run an event, your job is to find a venue and participants and take the lead in promoting it.

Here’s what the card set looks like (click on it to expand):

In return for providing this kit for free, we ask that you spend about 20 minutes after the event giving us feedback on how the event went, and telling us the key points you agreed here.

We will help you put on events like this, and support you whilst you are organising and promoting them. You can ask us via our Tell Us What You Need page.

You can download a shortened kit with full instructions here. Don’t be alarmed about strange displays in Google Docs. Once downloaded into Word it will look fine.

The Benefits

You, your friends and neighbours will gain much from joining in this discussion. Most people find that active involvement in events like this increases their understanding of the issues. Evaluation of the more than 40 previous Talk Shop events shows that overwhelmingly participants enjoy taking part and feel safe doing so.