At the inaugural Democracy Drinks in London last night, we were excited to announce Ed Cox as our new Chair of Trustees. Here, Ed outlines his thoughts on becoming Chair of Involve.
"I am honoured and delighted to be taking up the role of chair of Involve at such an important time. With traditional politics in crisis in the UK and abroad, building a stronger democracy is one of the most important challenges of our time.
To do so we’ve got to make sure that people are at the heart of decision-making. Involve has been at the forefront of democratic innovation for over a decade but never before has its work been so urgent. There is increasing interest in citizens’ assemblies as evidence from around the world shows that everyday people can deliver sensible answers to some of the most complex concerns when given the time and information to do so.
As a champion for citizen participation and engagement throughout my career, I believe that participatory and deliberative democracy is a powerful counterpart to representative democracy - they do not replace it – but we must work to persuade our political classes that the democratic toolkit extends way beyond the ballot box, the referendum and narrow party interest.
I look forward to working with the other trustees, with Tim and the staff team to seize this moment of great constitutional upheaval and to work with a wide range of partners to show that we can reinvent democracy. I pay tribute to my predecessor, Ed Mayo, who himself has been a champion for democratic innovation and a people-centred economy and I look forward to building upon the firm foundations he has established."