About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

This event took place on 31 March 2022. The recording is available to watch below.

It’s a familiar story: we face a multitude of complex and increasingly catastrophic crises, and at the time we need it most, democracy is failing to bring the pace and scale of change required. In conversation with Claudia Chwalisz and Jon Alexander, we explored how the answer to many of these crises lies in all of us.

Jon Alexander is the co-founder of the New Citizenship Project and author of Citizens, his new book which describes the power of switching from an individualistic ‘consumer narrative’ that dominates our daily lives today, to a ‘citizen narrative’ that centres on collective empowerment. Claudia Chwalisz leads the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s work on Innovative Citizen Participation. Alongside leading research on citizen participation, Claudia has helped to design some of the more established examples of citizen assemblies and institutionalised people power.

The emerging ‘citizen narrative’, alongside innovative methods that bring people together to reach consensus and act, is changing the way we respond to challenges. We dived into how this transformative move towards collective intelligence and citizen-led action is addressing real-world problems, such as climate change.

Why you should watch

This event is essential listening for anyone interested in amplifying citizen voices and collective action to respond to challenges we face today, from climate change to inequality. Whether you’re a participation practitioner, policy designer, in local or national government, or just interested in learning more about how to make the most of collective intelligence for solving problems.

The opinions expressed in this event recording are those of the speakers. For more information, view our full statement on external contributors.