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A Better Future: Mapping the Journey to Democracy 2043

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In partnership with mySociety

What if you could reshape democracy for the better — and you had 20 years to do so?

UK charity mySociety has been creating digital tools that help people to play an active part in democracy since 2003.

In this, their 20th anniversary year, they are inviting some of this country's most insightful thinkers to describe their positive vision for Democracy 2043, and what we need to put in place to make it happen. Come along and add your own ideas too!

mySociety was formed to explore the ways in which the internet could help everyone discover, discuss and participate directly in politics, and whether it could empower us to make changes in society and to the political process itself.

Over the last 20 years, their digital services have served millions people each year in the UK and around the world; they've campaigned for transparent, responsive institutions fit for the 21st century. This year, in a landscape that has changed dramatically since their conception, and with the coming decades sure to bring fast-moving changes to both technology and democracy, mySociety will be inviting us all to examine the vital question: what do we need to put in place now, to ensure a positive future for all?

Dr Kim Foale (they/she) is an activist, developer and researcher based in Manchester. They’ve spent the last 20+ years working with a wide range of grassroots campaigns, small charities, social enterprises and activist groups with a focus on queer and trans liberation, anarcho-trans-feminism, and antiracism. She is disabled, nonbinary and autistic.

Their skillset and experience has enabled them to develop a multi-methods approach to software development, community activism, and engaged research. This led them to found Geeks for Social Change in 2016, a small tech studio creating tools and processes for community liberation.

Author, artist and activist Emma Geen co-produced the world’s first Community Climate Action Plan by and for Disabled people in the world. She is a published novelist, a lecturer in creative writing, and a research assistant for the Storytelling for Climate Justice research group. As Project Coordinator at the Bristol Disability Equality Forum, she helps work towards a society where Disabled people are respected and valued, where they have independence, choice and control of their own lives, and where they are fully included in their communities and the country as a whole.

Joy is highly experienced in using Futures for system change. She was previously the Principal Futurist at Forum for the Future and has fifteen years experience of applying futures, foresight and system change methodologies across a wide range of sectors and organisations. She currently teaches futures methodologies and practice at the School of System Change and is a member of the Diaspora Futures collective. Her current focus is on deepening the field of futures practice, and pushing its edges to better meet the needs of changemakers during this present time of discontinuity.

Nesta New Radial and Ashoka Fellow Immy Kaur has spent her career following the threads of convening and building community; the role of citizens in radical systemic change; and how we can together create more democratic, distributed, open source social and civic infrastructure.

She co-founded CIVIC SQUARE, a neighbourhood lab and creative participatory platform focused on regenerative civic and social infrastructure within neighbourhoods. Immy was a founding director of Impact Hub Birmingham, which between 2015 - 2019 aimed to build a fairer, more equal and just city, through people, place, and open movements.

Louise has been with mySociety since its early days, starting as a volunteer and spending some years as a developer and project leader across its digital tools for Democracy, Climate, Transparency and Community.

With an academic background in psychology, a PhD in artificial intelligence, and over 20 years of experience in software development in a variety of environments — including startups, academia, biotechnology and Parliament — she now brings a wealth of practical experience to her role as Chief Exec at mySociety.

Part of our 2023 festival strand


How can we reimagine our citizenship and our democracy?