We’re excited to announce that Sarah Castell has been appointed as Involve’s new CEO and Calum Green as our new Director of Advocacy and Communications, as Involve continues to adapt to the changing dynamics of post-Brexit Britain and address some of its most challenging issues.
Sarah brings 17 years of leadership in public participation and deliberation at Ipsos MORI. This includes establishing and heading the Dialogue Centre from 2009 to 2019, then establishing the company’s foresight practice, Trends and Futures. Her recent work brings people, policymakers and business together, to address wide ranging issues, including the future of the UK’s land use, data governance and arts sectors, and how best to build resilience after COVID-19.
Calum brings 10 years’ experience of leading campaigns and communications strategy. Most recently, as Chief Executive of London Community Land Trust, Calum has led the organisation’s work with its 4,000 members to campaign for and directly deliver permanently affordable, democratically determined homes across London. Before this, Calum worked as a Senior Organiser at Citizens UK, working to build the power of people across the country to participate in the decisions that affect them the most.
Sarah and Calum will join Clive Mitchell (Director of Operations), Kaela Scott (Director of Innovation and Practice) and Sarah Allan (Director of Capacity Building and Standards) to form the senior leadership team at Involve.
Together, our new senior leadership team will drive forward Involve’s mission to develop, support and campaign for new ways of involving people in the decisions that affect their lives. Addressing everything from climate change, to pandemic recovery, to the crisis in social care, they will embark on delivering our ambitious new strategy, focused on three core areas:
- Making the case – demonstrating why participation and deliberation are essential features for a healthy modern democracy, and ensuring that those in positions of power and influence understand and support their use in addressing some of the UK’s most intractable issues;
- Embedding change – building the evidence, standards, capacity and thinking needed to move institutions from one-off processes to sustained participatory and deliberative practice; and,
- Pioneering practice – encouraging widespread uptake of participatory and deliberative processes, and promoting continuous learning and innovation to improve democracy and deliver lasting solutions in key policy areas.
Sarah Castell will take over the leadership of Involve from Tim Hughes, our outgoing director, from 6th September 2021. Calum will join us from 9th August 2021.
“Sarah brings a wealth of experience not only of the democratic reform landscape but more broadly in terms of innovation in public engagement in decision-making, the role of technology and online deliberation and on a wide range of challenging social issues. Calum will bring new skills to the team, building the profile of our work and making a fresh case for democratic change. As Involve goes from strength to strength, I am really excited that our new senior team will guide the organisation into a new era for democratic reform.”
Ed Cox, chair of Involve
“I have long admired Involve, which has been a true pathfinder for deliberative democracy. I am delighted and proud to take on the role of leading this respected and influential organisation. I hope to build on Involve’s expertise and credibility, to find new ways to bring people, decision makers and others together - as we move forward into new and exciting times for democracy.”
“Whether it is the climate crisis, inequality or recovering from Covid-19, the big issues of our time will require cooperation across divides to overcome. Involve is at the forefront of ensuring we have the healthy, vibrant democracy required to tackle this challenge. I am proud to be given the opportunity to bring my campaigning and communications experience to help in that effort.”