The team

Bob Bollen


Email Bob

Coming from the world of project management, I’ve come to realise that our political system is broken; and the best way to change it is to rebuild democracy from the grassroots up. TALKSHOP rings all my bells!

I’m a trained coach and mentor, and now volunteer as a community mediator. My contribution is mainly in helping to organise the way we do things so that we can grow. I’m also learning to facilitate.


Stuart Speeden


Email Stuart

In a democracy politics should be about people understanding and producing the ideas that shape our world. TALKSHOP can help take us down that path so let’s make it happen.

I’ve worked as a policy analyst, an educator, researcher and writer mostly for equality and social justice. That’s what this is about too.


Perry Walker


Email Perry

I’ve spent much of the last 20 years developing tools that allow people to ‘do democracy’. I’m very proud of Crowd Wise, which is the method at the heart of TALKSHOP . I’m thrilled that it is being used to discuss such important issues.

A little about me. I am a Fellow of both the New Economics Foundation and of Involve. I live in Hereford.


Martin Yarnit


Email Martin

A naive democrat, I see TALKSHOP helping to create an active and informed citizenry, and making politics a joyful and creative activity. And it’s cheap.


Our partners

We aim to hold most of our events in conjunction with partner organisations. This allows us to reach more people than we could do ourselves. We prepare the issue briefs and other useful material. We train the facilitators or do this ourselves. The partners work with us to chose and customise the topics, then they advertise, organise and host the events.

Currently we are working with

  • RSA – West Midlands
  • Diocese of Worcester
  • Workers’ Educational Association – Liverpool, Sheffield and Edinburgh
  • Unlock Democracy – Leeds, Birmingham

We’re keen to work with other organisations to reach other demographic groups, so please get in touch through our contact us page if you’d like to explore this further.


How we’re funded

The team works on a voluntary basis, and we ask our hosts and partners to cover expenses where possible. We also charge a modest fee for running facilitator training events. Unite (the Union) has made a grant to help develop our work.