Lightning Pitch: New Citizens Project

  • Online
  • 20 February 2024

Lightning Pitch: New Citizens Project - A new approach to tenant engagement


Every few months the Disruptive Innovators Network (DIN) membership has access to exciting new innovation solutions and collaboration opportunities from a range of start-ups, early stage growth and new market entrants through our lightning pitch showcases.

Using our 'Dragons den' format of no more than 10 slides in 10 minutes and 10mins for Q&A, the presenters need to bring their 'A 'game to grab the attention of DIN members!

And for our first 'special' lightning pitch we have something a bit different.

What problem are we trying to solve?

What would it mean to not just deliver services for people but to shape services and strategies with people?

As experts in participation, we’re seeing more and more organisations creating different participation opportunities for people to get involved in achieving impact together. However, many organisations struggle to create and sustain meaningful ways for people to actually shape the direction of organisations themselves.

We believe that if the conditions are right, people can and want to shape the things that matter to them. But too often, the opportunities that are available - e.g. one-way feedback mechanisms, traditional advisory panels, formal AGMs - are not the right ones.

Through this programme, we are interested in exploring how mission-driven organisations from across health, social care and housing can create those conditions within new or existing governance structures, sustaining ways for people to shape the things that matter to them.

This programme is a way to intentionally carve out dedicated space and time to explore what ‘shaping things with people’ could look like for you and your organisation - and to explore these questions alongside other organisations holding similar challenges, to share learnings and to gain expertise, tools and inspiration from New Citizenship Project.

What will it involve?

  • We will bring together 3-6 organisations to develop their learning together around a shared challenge.
  • Each organisation will be represented by a team of 2-3 people. The process is open to people with different roles and levels of seniority, but it’s critical that all participants have the potential to explore and experiment with participatory working in their own team or area.
  • We have the process in two distinct phases. Phase 1 (in Spring) will allow you to explore what might be possible, whilst Phase 2 (in the Autumn) will see you take steps towards creating and testing a new (or improving an existing) participatory structure.
  • We are asking for initial commitment to Phase 1, with the option to proceed to Phase 2 based on your readiness to further develop and test your ideas.
  • The format of Phase 1 is as follows:
  • A pre-call and introduction session with NCP to help you identify the challenge you’d like to bring in
  • 2 x in-person full-day workshops
  • Coaching and co-mentoring sessions in between sessions to support you to continue exploring and developing their ideas in their work and projects.
  • The opportunity to contribute to a final collaborative output from the programme publishing our learnings (this might be in the form of a report, think-piece or toolkit)
  • Phase 1 of the programme will kick off towards the end of March 2024 and run for three months (exact dates TBC). The workshops will require about 3.5 days of participants’ time spread over a 3-month period, with additional time set aside for internal working.

Expected outcomes

This collaborative innovation project will help participating organisations to discover and unlock new possibilities, while also serving as a valuable opportunity for personal and professional development:

  • You will build your network of like-minded individuals from a range of organisations, and benefit from peer support and collaboration opportunities;
  • You will learn from inspiring speakers, gaining new perspectives around how co-creating with people can shape organisational priorities, strategy and direction;
  • You will develop your understanding of participatory design methodologies (including tools such as our 7 Modes of Everyday Participation and RAPID democracy);
  • You will build confidence to experiment with and test new structures and processes within your organisation in a participatory way, gaining experiences that can be applied to future projects;
  • As a pioneer in this work, you will contribute to emerging and innovative thinking in the sector (including being credited in any final outputs).


Introducing the New Citizenship Project

The New Citizenship Project is a pioneering strategy and innovation company, on a mission to support the shift in the dominant story of the individual in society from Consumer to Citizen.

We help organisations do things better (and do better things) because we think of people differently. If you think of people as Consumers, the only thing you can do is sell to them - whether that’s predefined actions to take or products to buy. If you think of people as Citizens, you have to start by asking what your organisation exists to achieve in the first place, and then how people can join in and help you do it: a far more generative and creative starting point.

We are both theorists and practitioners. Our approach is underpinned by research from fields including social psychology, animal behaviour, history and sociology, and we are established thought leaders across platforms from BBC Radio 4 to TEDx. CITIZENS: why the key to fixing everything is all of us, the book authored by our cofounder Jon Alexander, brings together many of the insights and tools we work with. It was listed as one of the Top 5 Recommended Books in McKinsey’s 2022 Summer Reading Guide, and recently reviewed as one of the Financial Times’ Best New Political Books.

Our consultancy work spans across sectors, from local authorities like Kirklees Council, to charities and membership organisations such as Parkinson’s UK and the National Autistic Society, to commercial brands like Nike, the Guardian and COOK Foods.


Free to DIN members as part of your subscription


Book your place, here