NEWS15 November 2023

Demos merges with Engage Britain

M&A News Public Sector UK

UK – Cross-party think tank Demos and Engage Britain, a charity focusing on participatory policymaking, have merged.

Miriam Levin

The merged organisation will operate under the Demos banner, and Miriam Levin, chief executive of Engage Britain (pictured), has joined Demos as director of participatory programming.

Demos focuses on involving citizens in policymaking and advocating for the adoption of people-led policies. Engage Britain specialises in this area, with knowledge gained from running end-to-end participatory policymaking.

By coming together, the organisations hope to boost their impact, “making the case for involving people in the decisions that affect their lives and ensuring that their ideas and insights are listened to”, they said in a statement.

Demos is planning to establish a participation programme ahead of the next UK general election.

Participatory policy-making refers to a range of ways to involve people in policy-making and research, including citizens’ assemblies and community conversations.

All of Engage Britain’s intellectual property and resources have become part of Demos, as well as some staff. Further details have not been disclosed.

Polly Curtis, chief executive of Demos, said: “We are thrilled that the Engage Britain team and all their experience in exemplary participatory work will become part of the Demos story. We will be launching a major public participation project in the run up to the election with an ambition to show a different way that citizens and politicians can partner together to overcome our collective challenges.”

Miriam Levin said: “Engage Britain has made a big impact in the few years since our launch in 2019. We’ve shown that it is possible to take on a huge challenge facing our country – access to health and care – and build policy from the grassroots up that works for people.

“Given the democratic challenges of our times, now is the right time to come together with Demos to build on our shared mission, boosting our impact to make the case for involving people more in how the country works. I am very much looking forward to working with Polly and the exceptional team at Demos to drive participatory policymaking.”