The world is facing a profound set of crises, the likes of which have not been experienced for generations. Democracy was already under considerable strain before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, coupled with a growing sense of alienation, disillusionment, distrust and disengagement surrounding its polarising politics.
While we're realistic about the challenges threatening our democratic defences, we are also optimistic about how to overcome them.
Around the world, we are seeing new innovations and reforms being introduced in order to give people more direct influence and control over the decisions that affect their lives. These innovations show how democracy can be done differently, and better. With a mission to develop, support and campaign for new ways of involving people in the decisions that affect their lives, our aim is to pioneer democratic innovation in the UK.
We believe that our work in 2019/20 makes a compelling case for greater public participation and deliberative democracy. Our annual report shows how this work has helped to tackle complex issues, bring people together, build people power and revitalise our institutions.
But we know that more needs to be done to translate this positive progress into long term sustainable changes to how our democracy works. With this in mind, the report sets out our plans for the future to ensure public participation becomes business as usual for UK democracy.