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NEWS15 October 2010

Agency launches to answer government’s Big Society call

New business UK

UK— With all the talk in British politics about the ‘Big Society’, a new research agency has launched that claims to put the concept into practice.

Baby Insights is a spin-off from ad agency Baby Creative that aims to run co-creation projects for public sector and third-sector clients who want to work with citizens to improve their communities on a local or national basis.

The agency employees a technique called ‘Enviro-Creation’ which involves members of the public in projects lasting between two and three months – longer than deliberative events and citizen juries, which tend to run only for a number of days.

Agency head Steven Lacey says the firm is looking to work with clients who want to include the public in decision making “in a far more democratic and engaging way”.

Baby Creative managing partner Laurence Saason says the Enviro-Creation technique “taps into the principles of Big Society”.

It’s a bold move, we suggest, to launch a company aimed at the public sector at a time when many firms are bracing themselves for the impact of government budget cuts – announcements on which are due next week. However Lacey says he sees “a real appetite for involving wider stakeholders in the decision-making process”.

Lacey was most recently an associate director at media research specialist Essential, but earlier in his career he worked as a planner for the likes of the Central Office of Information, the Department for Health and the Department for Schools, Children and Families.