CONSULTANCY

We work closely with individual organisations to design creative interventions that shift culture and practice by helping them to think of people as Citizens first and foremost.

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We worked closely with Editor-in-Chief Katharine Viner to help research and develop the purpose of The Guardian, as expressed in her landmark speech: A mission for journalism in a time of crisis.

This work has since driven several major initiatives, including: the highly successful supporter strategy, rooted in cause not transactional benefits; Guardian Media Group certifying as a B Corporation; and a series of participatory journalism projects.

Articulating Purpose

with The Guardian

Articulating Purpose
with The Guardian
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In 2018, the University of Bath Students' Union were looking to reinvent themselves, by understanding exactly what they exist for, and finding ways to live that out through a new strategy. Through research, interviews and importantly two workshops with staff, officers and students, we identified some common principles and mindset shifts that would be required for the SU to fully realise its role. Since our work at Bath, they've truly pioneered genuine citizen participation in the sector - seen most obviously in their response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Co-creating Purpose

with The SU Bath

Co-creating Purpose
with The SU Bath
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In many ways, the National Trust represents the birthplace of the New Citizenship Project. Our work with them began when Jon and Anna-Maria worked there.

 

They helped articulate "growing the nation's love of special places" as the purpose of the NT, and were involved in everything from rebranding Wardens as Rangers, to creating the popular "50 Things To Do Before You're 11 3/4" campaign. We remain close friends of the NT, working together whenever we can.

Embedding Citizenship

with The National Trust

Embedding Citizenship
with The National Trust
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We worked with Parkinson's UK to collaboratively develop a new membership proposition in line with the organisation's desire to become a movement of people affected by Parkinson's, working together to improve their lives and find a cure; rather than a professionalised charity acting on for beneficiaries.

We conducted a set of co-creation workshops with the people living with Parkinson's, their families, friends and carers and local supporters of the charity, to build a clear understanding of the movement's true potential. Bringing this together with our Three Principles framework, and other models and approaches, we defined a clear destination for what Parkinson's UK call 'Big Membership'.

Developing Membership

with Parkinson's UK

Developing Membership
with Parkinson's UK
 

 "The work that the New Citizenship Project undertook 

 with our community has been instrumental in 

 re-framing our membership proposition, recognising 

 our members as active participants in achieving our 

 overall vision - to bring forward the day when no one 

 fears Parkinson’s." 

Julie Dodd, Director of Digital Transformation and Communication
Parkinson's UK

COLLABORATIVE INNOVATION

We bring together different organisations around a shared question to explore what more authentic participation would look like in their specific sector.

These projects generally result in an output that others in the sector can work with and develop to help the ideas spread further and take hold.

Since 2015, we been working with membership organisations on a shared inquiry; to explore a future of membership focused primarily on participation in purpose, not transactions and benefits.

We published the findings from our early work in the Future of Membership report in 2016. The report brings together the process and outputs, and shares the model we have developed together to help other organisations explore a path towards participatory membership. Since then, we have been exploring what Participatory Membership means for organisations of all shapes and sizes, with over seventy organisations working with our principles of Participatory Membership.

The Future of Membership

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The Future of Membership
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In order to experiment and see whether shifting to a Citizen Mindset could offer new ways forward, the New Citizenship Project came together with the Food Ethics Council and with representatives of six pioneering organisations (COOK, Co-op, FAI Farms, National Trust, Food Standards Agency and RSPB) to explore this question: how can we create more value in the food system by shifting from a consumer to a citizen mindset?

The output of this process was the Food Citizenship report and toolkit, outlining the journey we went on and how others can do the same.

The Future of Food:

Food Citizenship

The Future of Food

As co-operatives and community businesses,

we are fundamentally participatory organisations.

It's in our DNA. Since 2017 we have been working with four leading organisations to explore what true participatory membership could look like. Following an eight-month process with The Co-op Group, Nationwide, Lincolnshire Co-op and Phone Co-op, and supported by Co-operatives UK, we designed and developed the Everyday Participation toolkit, which launched in March 2018.

 

The toolkit outlines Seven Modes of Everyday Participation, offering case studies and idea generation prompts, aiming to help organisations harness the true potential of their members.

The Future of Co-operatives:

Everyday Participation

Future of the
Co-Operative Movement
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Since 2018, we've been working with six organisations (Tredegar House, Royal Pavilion & Museums Brighton & Hove, York Minster, The National Archives, Wellcome Collection and Studley Royal), to explore what it means to think of people as participants in shaping cultural heritage (not consumers), and institutions as places for that to happen.

 

This process resulted in purposeful changes made throughout the organisations, and shifted the role of the institutions and the people they engage with. We put together Purposeful Participation: a field guide and toolkit for 'cultural intrapreneurs' as a way for more people within these types of organisations to make the shift.

The Future of Cultural Heritage

Purposeful Participation

The Future of
Cultural Heritage
 

 We help organisations do  things   better and do better things because   we think of people differently... 

 ...as participants in causes 

 not just consumers of products 

We hold regular bootcamps and training sessions to equip representatives of all types of organisation to progress their work through our ideas and tools.

Take a look at our upcoming training opportunities to see where you can get involved, and please check back soon for details of new dates.

 

You can sign up to our mailing list to be the first to know when the next opportunity is available.

 

 "It was  well-run, engaging and I enjoyed the   group aspects.  It was a great, well-thought   out   way of   developing ideas and I wish all   organisations could work like this!" 

Beth, recent workshop participant

OUR THINKING

We look at organisations and sectors through the lens of three stories: Subject, Consumer and Citizen - and ask where they started, where they are now, and what it might look like to step fully into the Citizen story.

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