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Politics for People, Not Parties: How to Empower People in Communities

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Ian Taylor

In partnership with ANTIPARTY

The current social contract we have in the UK sees a lot of people powerless in their own communities, powerless to bring about meaningful change on a local level and a national level.

Party politics creates the illusion of democracy, the illusion of representation, and the illusion of accountability.

A true democracy is one in which the people of communities can truly take part in the theory of change, that is currently reserved for those in positions of power or those with the capacity and desire for change.

The systematic changemakers of the UK, should be the people of the UK.

This event will discuss a number of ways people can be and have been empowered in communities, and we’ll hear from some wonderful people about practical solutions to this crisis of disempowerment. Some of the systematic changemakers working on a brighter, fairer and more inclusive society, emboldened by a strong and truly representative politics outside the tainting realm of party politics.


​Fiona Barrows is an Independent Town Councillor in Frome, Somerset, and one of the co-founders of People Powered Politicians - a movement of politicians at all levels of government who are building a new kind of politics. One that is not defined by left or right but by our commitment to people power and political change.


​Jon Alexander is the author of "CITIZENS" the bestselling book looking to redefine what it means to be a citizen versus being a consumer. Lately, he has been working with the Apolitical Foundation to release "Circular Power Politics - A Politician's Guide to Five Opportunities to Lead With and For the People". This isn't the first time Jon has been to Festival of Debate, either - some of you may remember last year he hosted the well-attended conversation with Brian Eno!

Part of our 2024 festival strand


How can we reimagine our citizenship and our democracy?