About Involve

Introduction

Involve is a think tank and charity specialising in public participation. Our mission is to inspire, innovate and embed effective citizen engagement, so that members of the public are able to take and influence the decisions that affect their lives.

We are a different kind of think tank.  Rather than selling new ideas and moving on, we work in partnership – with government, other organisations and citizens – to do deeply transformative work.

Involve are neutral, honest brokers in complex areas of policy and practice.  We are non-partisan with no party-political affiliation.

Registered Charity No – 1130568
Registered Company No – 05669443

Our mission & vision

Our vision is a stronger, more inclusive democracy through opening up decision-making with citizens. 

Our mission is to inspire, innovate and embed effective citizen engagement.

We are currently facing a range of complex challenges which require citizens and governments to work together to build a shared vision of a sustainable future.  In Britain, Europe and beyond, there are increasingly calls for citizens to have a more effective means of engaging with those in power, as well as a growing number of technological tools that may enable them to do so.  It is easy to say that the public should be better connected with decision making; Involve works to ensure this is done in ways that are genuinely meaningful.

Experience and research has shown that when done well, public participation can help to:

  • Identify solutions to complex problems
  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending and services
  • Promote social cohesion and social justice, and overcome conflict
  • Build the confidence and agency of individuals and communities
  • Improve well-being and reduce social problems

What we do

Involve supports organisations, politicians and public officials to transform the way they engage with citizens. We can provide you and your organisation with:

Research – We can carry out cutting edge research on what works and what doesn’t in participation.

Design and facilitation – We can work with you to develop a constructive conversation with citizens and stakeholders.

Advice and mentoring – We can give you guidance and advice on developing participation opportunities.

Training – We can provide bespoke training so that you can confidently engage with citizens and stakeholders.

Evaluation – We can work with you to rigorously evaluate public participation processes and to create a culture of self-evaluation and learning within your organisation.

Through this work we seek to radically shift the relationship between citizens and their governments to make better use of the creativity, energy, resources, skills and knowledge of all.

Our values

Our work is underpinned by strong values and an overarching commitment to respecting those we work with.

Cooperation
We work in partnership with decision-makers, citizens and other organisations, respecting the contributions of different groups and building innovative solutions to collective problems.

Equality
Everyone in society has an equal right to be listened to and participate in decisions that affect their lives. No one should be held back by societal divisions or prejudice.

Inclusion
Those in power have a special responsibility to bring in voices from the margins whose contributions are often overlooked.  It’s crucial to address power imbalances so that people are not just able to participate, but comfortable doing so.

Openness
We undertake to be as transparent and accountable as possible with our partners, the citizens that we work with and society at large.

Purpose
Participation shouldn’t be done for the sake of it; there should always be a clear purpose. The time, money, and commitment invested by both institutions and citizens should be treated with respect.

Reflection
We are always learning, trying to improve and stepping back to look at our work in terms of the bigger picture.

Self-awareness
Public participation is good for democracy and good for policy making, but it isn’t the solution to every problem. Our contribution is part of the journey towards a more inclusive and sustainable world, which involves many different people and approaches.

Sustainability
We value the interconnectedness of a strong democracy and a stable environment: they strengthen one another and so in pursuing a deeper democracy we strive to limit our impact on the environment.