Categories Personal StoriesPublic SectorRecent

Cash for ideas to save UK democracy

In the fall out from the tumultuous UK general election, an organisation has launched a £100,000 fund to support new forms of everyday democracy.

The aim of the fund is that the money will help bind communities back together and find ways for people to have more influence over how public services work for them.

Ten Democracy Pioneer awards of £10,000 each will fund tests and experiments in new forms of everyday democracy. All of which see people having more say on how public institutions – from councils to schools and health services – are delivered in their communities. 

Nesta will fund Pioneers who have found new ways to increase engagement (especially from marginalised groups), focusing on challenges such as countering fake news, making institutional decision making more transparent, sharing power locally, creating forums for constructive disagreement and holding elected officials to account.

The award is Nesta’s response to the persistently low level of trust in politicians, with 44% saying that government was the most broken institution in the UK, and 59% saying the government doesn’t listen to people like them. 

Vicki Sellick, Executive Director of Innovation Programmes at Nesta, said:

One thing is clear: people are crying out for ways to express their views, passions and positions in a way that is heard and acted upon, more frequently than at the ballot box every five years.

The Democracy Pioneer Awards aim to stimulate participatory, open, and engaging conversations, where many more people feel part of building their community.

To apply, visit and submit ideas before the 31 January 2020.

Image: Paul Albertella / Flickr / Creative Commons

Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise campaigns.