What it’s for

  • Enabling ordinary people to get to grips with complex political problems
  • Encouraging grown-up conversations between voters and their representatives
  • Arriving at solutions to tricky planning problems
  • Helping users and providers to work together to improve public services like health and education.


Why it’s different

Too much political debate obscures rather than clarifies the issues. Too often it’s about smearing your opponents and polarizing the issues, pretending that there’s just one over-simple solution. Nearly always, the talking is monopolized by politicians and experts.
TALKSHOP is different. Trained facilitators ensure that everyone gets to take part and nobody gets shouted down. It’s designed to promote respect and consensus, to encourage people to listen as well as talk. Above all it’s safe and fun.

The Discussion Kit

There are three different ways you can use our kits

  • use the cards around a table at home
  • hold a larger event with a set of cards at each table – we’re happy to work with you on events like these – and you can read more here about organising one
  • hold an online event (some discussion kits only)

You can see all our current discussions at The Big Issues page, or by hovering over the Big Issues menu.

These discussions work best with 5-7 people around a table – or in an online room together. Each event will need somebody to read the instructions and study the cards in advance of the meeting; and it’s best if every table (or online room) has somebody nominated and – a bit – experienced in facilitating the discussion.