Profile

  • Joined Demsoc in 2015, and has built up practical experience and understanding of how, and why, to give citizens greater involvement in our democracy.
  • Has contributed to a wide range of research projects including a study of open government in the EU and the current Public Square action research programme with local councils and communities across the UK.
  • Social Science graduate, with a Master’s in Social and Ethical Philosophy.
  • Has helped facilitate discussions on a range of topics and different settings
  • Previous experience as an academic research assistant, volunteering and working for a political party at a local level, and as a policy intern for Citizens Advice.

3 things I enjoy or am good at

  •   I love looking at how everyday interactions shape our world, and how really simple changes can make such a big difference – like giving someone the confidence to find their voice.
  •   I also really enjoy thinking about the bigger picture of how our democracy fits together. I’m passionate about how we cut through the conceptual jargon and make this stuff more understandable. I’m a firm believer in the importance of ethics and think it’s incredible how rarely this subject gets properly discussed.
  •   I’m always keen to ask naïve questions, or to question things – probably to a fault!

Something I’m proud of

  •   I used to be really active in a political party, which made me feel proud. Politics can be really unappealing to take part in. There is so much rubbish that gets in the way of people just sitting down together and thinking about how to make things better. But politics only going to improve if people who don’t like how it is are willing to get their hands dirty and make a change. Recently I’ve been less involved; it’s probably time I heeded my own advice more.

3 things I’m not so good at

  •   Sticking my neck out. Left to my own devices I’d naturally think about why something wouldn’t work, or how something could be re-drafted, rather than being brave enough to give it a go and put it out there. Luckily, I work with lots of people who are good at challenging that.
  •   I’m not the world’s most organised person. I’m getting better, but if you think I’ve missed something, I’m always grateful for a nudge.
  •   I’m naturally quite shy, which usually means that in a big group I won’t say anything, and in a small one I’ll say too much! Hopefully this at least makes me a more empathetic facilitator.

What I’m working on now

  •   The main thing I’m working on is Public Square, a programme of action and research with mySociety, where we are working with councils and communities across the country to explore, and test out, how they can involve people better in decision-making.