Our sights are set high. We want to see Talk Shop used in communities all across the UK. We want to see it used for national issues – with ideas from any participant visible to all the others (a glimpse of the future!). And, we want to see it used for local issues too. We’ve set ourselves a two-part approach of working through nationwide networks, and through one-off local centres. Nationwide networks We’re looking to […]

We are planning a new series of events across the UK in which participants get to grips with tricky issues in a thoughtful and friendly atmosphere, and we are looking for partners to run them with. We will provide facilitators and (in discussion with you) a set of briefing materials. You provide a group – ideally 25-45 people to take part and a venue with plenty of room to move around. We have some ideas […]

Hi everyone I’m writing a book democracy at the moment. The concept of legitimacy is the element I’m finding it hardest to get to grips with, so I thought I’d set out my dilemma and see if others can help me out. Imagine that there’s some important national decision to be taken. It could be taken in at least three ways (or in some or all in combination): Parliament could decide. That would give most […]

The academics refer to this sort of talk as ‘deliberation’, where people give reasoned arguments for their point of view that other people accept or try to refute with counter-arguments. But that’s not how it works in real life. An American pollster called Daniel Yankelovich described what actually happens very well in a book called ‘Coming to Public Judgement’. People need to work through issues, he says, in three ways: intellectual, where people clarify their […]

30 people got together in a crowded hall in Liverpool to consider Growing Inequality in Britain and How to Turn the Tide Against It. Hosted by the Workers’ Educational Association and Toxteth TV, it was one of a series of Talk Shop events in Toxteth leading up to the 2015 General Election. After getting to grips with some of the facts around the situation, the facilitators offered five solutions including imposing a maximum salary alongside […]