Engage Britain to merge with Demos
Statement by Miriam Levin, Engage Britain CEO
We’re announcing the exciting news that today – 1st November 2023 – Engage Britain is merging with Demos.
Demos is Britain’s leading cross-party thinktank. Engage Britain and Demos share a mission to put people at the heart of policy making. Both of our organisations are driven by a desire to show that participatory policy making is a solution to our democratic challenges, can renew people’s trust in the political process, and improve the quality of policies.
There’s more information in the press release below, about Demos, why we’re merging and what this means for our work.
Many people – including thousands of participants across Britain, and a wide range of partners – have contributed to and supported Engage Britain since we started our work in 2019.
Along with Engage Britain’s staff and trustees, I want to thank everyone who has been part of that journey as we’ve worked to show that politics can be done better by involving people in tackling the massive challenges facing our country.
From today, Demos will take on Engage Britain’s work, some of our staff and our intellectual property. This new chapter will start with a people-powered policy making programme to run ahead of the UK’s next general election.
You’ll still be able to find all our past work on this website. To keep up to date with what’s happening at Demos in the future, please visit www.demos.co.uk. You can sign up to their newsletter here.
When we join with Demos, we’re excited to continue to drive forward this work in an organisation which shares our mission. But it does, very sadly, mean we have to say goodbye to some of the Engage Britain team. We are enormously grateful for everything that they have done. I’m hugely proud of the team at Engage Britain. Their hard work and dedication have left a legacy that we will build on in the future. I want to take this opportunity to thank them as well.
Chief Executive, Engage Britain
Demos and Engage Britain to merge to drive forward people powered policy-making
We are delighted to announce that Demos, the leading cross party thinktank, and Engage Britain, a charity pioneering participatory policy-making, will be merging on 1st November 2023.
Our charities share a mission to put people at the heart of policy-making. We are both driven by a desire to show that participatory policy-making is a solution to our democratic challenges, can renew people’s trust in the political process and improve the quality of policies.
Demos was the original champion of “everyday democracy” and brings expertise in involving citizens in policy-making and successfully advocating for the adoption of people-powered policies. Engage Britain has deep knowledge in this area and has built up important learnings gained from our experiences in running end-to-end participatory policy making.
By coming together, we hope to turbo-charge our impact, making the case for involving people in the decisions that affect their lives and ensuring that their ideas and insights are listened to.
Participatory policy-making describes a range of ways to involve people in policy-making and research spanning from citizens assemblies, to community conversations to democratic tech tools, such as Pol.is.
Demos and Engage Britain are looking forward to bringing our teams and expertise together to make the greatest possible impact at a critical time when our democracy is urgently in need of renewal.
Polly Curtis, Chief Executive of Demos, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the Engage Britain team and all their experience in exemplary participatory work will become part of the Demos story. We will be launching a major public participation project in the run up to the election with an ambition to show a different way that citizens and politicians can partner together to overcome our collective challenges.”
Miriam Levin, Chief Executive of Engage Britain, who will join Demos as Director of Participatory Programming, said: “Engage Britain has made a big impact in the few years since our launch in 2019. We’ve shown that it is possible to take on a huge challenge facing our country – access to health and care – and build policy from the grassroots up that works for people.
“Given the democratic challenges of our times, now is the right time to come together with Demos to build on our shared mission, boosting our impact to make the case for involving people more in how the country works.
“I am very much looking forward to working with Polly and the exceptional team at Demos to drive participatory policymaking.”
Dame Julie Mellor, Chair of the Demos Board, said: “This joining up of two organisations will accelerate the participation agenda in the UK and provide a new platform to involve people in policy-making in order to overcome the big challenges we as a country face – but also to improve trust in our democracy.”
Adam Hawksbee, trustee of the Engage Britain Board, said: “The team at Engage Britain has executed some of the most ambitious participatory programmes the UK has ever seen, with huge dedication and humanity in everything they do. I’m delighted that they will continue this work at an established thinktank with a reputation for impactful policy-making.”
Guy and Julia Hands, founders and primary funders of Engage Britain, said: “Engage Britain was created to put people across the UK at the very heart of the policy decisions that affect them. This mission is more important today than it has ever been. The merger with Demos is an incredible opportunity to amplify Engage Britain’s work and maximise the impact of both organisations. We are grateful to those who have supported Engage Britain’s journey and are looking forward to seeing what the organisations achieve together in their next chapter.”
Demos is the leading cross-party think tank. Building on nearly 30 years of creativity, ideas and impact, Demos is working to shape a more collaborative democracy, in which power is devolved, citizens participate in policy making, and together as a nation we find answers to the challenges of our century.
About Engage Britain
Engage Britain was established to help people make politics better now. We bring people together who are affected by issues – those who have to deal with them in their daily life, and those trying to solve them – to come up with answers. We campaign to make sure that people’s great ideas and insights are listened to. And we show there is a better way to do politics.
About the merger
Demos and Engage Britain will merge on 1st November 2023. On this date the Engage Britain brand will cease to operate. Some Engage Britain staff, all intellectual property and resources will move into Demos.
Any queries please call Demos’ communications manager Felix Arbenz-Caines, on: 07979046378.