Demsoc is a membership organisation. Anyone can join. This page tells you a bit more about how it’s run.
Demsoc’s work is overseen by a Board of Governors, who have responsibility for setting the direction of the organisation, approving work programmes and preserving the independence and values of the organisation.
The Governors are elected or appointed under the terms of our Articles. They serve three-year terms. The current Governors are:
Liz Owen is Head of Customer Insight at the Department for Energy and Climate Change and Policy Fellow of the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge. Her work creates, uses and interprets evidence on customer behaviour, attitudes and values.
Prior to joining DECC, Liz worked as a research consultant, initially helping international blue chip companies to understand their brand image and inform new product development, moving on to focus on policy research for public sector clients including Defra, DECC, Energy Saving Trust, Carbon Trust and the Sustainable Development Commission. She has a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Brasenose College, Oxford.
President of the Society since 9 December 2013.
First elected as Governor 18 November 2011. Current term until 31 August 2015.
Catherine is chief executive of social technology firm Public-i, and a specialist in social media and eDemocracy with a background in technology delivery. She has worked with online communities and social networking tools for over 10 years.
Initially developing learning applications at the London Business School, she was founder director of Etribes.com – an online community consultancy which specialised in working with third sector organisations such as Christian Aid, YMCA and YHA. She is undertaking a PhD at the University of Sussex, and her research interest is the social impact of Web 2.0 tools in a democratic context
Anthony runs Demsoc from day to day. He studied Classics at university, and as part of his course learned about the theory and reality of Athenian participatory democracy. He has spent over a decade working on his two main interests – tech and politics – and thinking about how emerging social and network technologies can improve government and political participation. In 2006, he was one of the founding members of Demsoc, along with Andy Martin, Andrew Hardie, Helen Cammack and Ben Rowland.
His working life has been spent in central and local government. At various times he has been speechwriter at the Department of Health; secretary to the Cabinet Committees on health, food and agriculture; a member of the national Sure Start team, and project leader in the Treasury’s internal think tank, the Productivity and Structural Reform Team. He joined Brighton & Hove City Council as Head of Policy in 2006, where he was responsible for strategy, community relations, and sustainability. After nine months on the authority’s board as Acting Director of Strategy & Governance, he left to work for Demsoc in February 2010.
Chair of the Management Committee since 11 February 2014.
Founding Governor 19 April 2006. Current term until 31 August 2016. Follow him on Twitter.
Demsoc’s day-to-day work is undertaken by a small staff team, led by Anthony Zacharzewski as Director.
Susie Latta manages Demsoc’s projects and is our Head of Events. In a wide ranging career she has managed many complex projects in the private, public and charitable sectors, both in the UK and overseas. She began her career as a manager with J Sainsbury plc before going on to do public relations for new store openings. She was director of a British children’s charity in Russia and has spent a number of years living in the Arabian Gulf and North Africa where she worked as a journalist and editor; a business adviser and for the British Council.
More recently she has worked as project manager and leadership development consultant for clients included the UK Fire and Rescue Services and HM Prison Service; and as a policy officer for Kent Police Authority, where her work included public engagement. She organised the annual Summit of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) in 2011 and 2012 and an international policing conference for the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) in 2013.
For Demsoc her projects include CityCamp, NHS Citizen and Lewes Democratic Conversations.
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Charlotte is Head of Communications at the Democratic Society and has overall oversight on Policy.
Matilda is Chief Policy Officer and Europe Lead at the Democratic Society. Matilda’s career has included working at the Democratic Society as Community Engagement Lead and later as a Policy Officer, spells interning in the House of Commons and in political communications, working as a researcher on public policy and as Communications Executive on major public policy issue consultation.
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Alistair is Community Engagement Lead and Scotland Lead at the Democratic Society. Having recently completed a Masters in International Communications at the University of Leeds his interests lie in the impact of the Internet on democratic engagement and relationships between politicians and citizens. His thesis was titled Nick Clegg on Facebook: an Empirical Study of a Politician’s use of Web 2.0 and its Possible Impact on Democracy. He has also acted as research assistant to Prof Stephen Coleman working on projects relating to political communication.
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Harris is the Policy and Europe Departmental Assistant at the Democratic Society. His work includes providing research, reporting, administrative support and assisting in the general smooth running of the Democratic Society’s projects in our Brighton HQ.
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