It would be easy to think that people have stopped caring about politics and that politics has stopped caring about people. With low voter turnout at elections and politicians finding it harder and harder to engage with the electorate, politics seems to be in trouble.
But people do care about having their voices heard, especially on issues that are really important to them. Sometimes they just don’t feel able to join in the conversation.
People may feel disillusioned and uninspired by the process through which decisions are made around them. They may believe they don’t know enough or think that someone else knows better. They may even think that their voice doesn’t count and their perspective is not important.
This isn’t a new challenge. However, we know that part of the solution is to provide people with an effective democratic education where they feel informed, inspired and empowered. At its best this is an experience that goes beyond the usual limits of the classroom or town hall and engages with people in a personal way that makes politics matter.
So here at The Politics Project we specialise in providing people with outstanding democratic education, because we believe that everyone should be able to use their voice.
HARRIET ANDREWS | DIRECTOR/FOUNDER
Harriet is passionate about politics and loves finding creative ways for young people to express themselves and use their voice. She is a graduate of University of Manchester where she studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics and discovered her love of youth democratic education. She has been talking to young people about politics ever since, working at a variety of organisations both formal education and youth and community work, including UpRising, DebateMate, the Tutor Trust, NCS and Manchester Creative Studio. Harriet is a core fellow of the Political Literacy Oversight Group set up by the APPG on Democratic Engagement, a fellow of the RSA and a member of the Education Advisory Board for the Foundation for Peace.
JOHN LEAN | EVALUATION AND CPD CONSULTANT
John has worked in education for much of the past decade, and is excited about the prospect of encouraging engagement between students and the ‘real world’ outside the classroom. He studied for a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford, and an MA in South Asian Studies at the University of Manchester, before training for a PGCE in History. He has worked as a Philosophy and Politics teacher in Salford, and for a national education charity focusing on project-based learning. He’s now a PhD scholar at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he is researching the potential of play and games in transforming undergraduate participation.
HELEN GLEAVES | EVENTS COORDINATOR
Helen is a second year politics student at the University of Huddersfield. Helen discovered her love for politics and all that it encompasses when she chose it as an A-Level at the age of 16 after realising how little she knew, and for this reason has a deep interest in how to make politics more accessible. She is also a big fan of all animals, mostly cats.
ALICE MEMMINGER | NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Alice Memminger was recently the Chief Executive of UpRising, a UK wide youth leadership development organisation. Previous to that Alice worked at Sue Ryder, where she was Head of Strategic Planning and Programme Delivery. Other recent roles include Head of Planning and Performance for Parkinson's UK, Managing Director of Hammersmith and Fulham Circle and Head of Trading and Social Enterprise for Age UK Barking and Dagenham. Alice has an MBA in strategy, finance and not-for-profit management from Yale University and a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan. She is a Trustee for Age UK Islington and Reach Volunteering as well as a Director for Creative Lifestyles CIC.
OLIVER GEFFROY | NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Oliver Geffroy is a Managing Director in Compliance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London. Prior to that he has worked in Legal, Compliance and Banking roles at The Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Dresdner Kleinwort and Credit Suisse First Boston. Admitted to the bar in 1998 and specialized in corporate law, Oliver was also an attorney-at law at international law firm Linklaters. Oliver studied Law in Germany and Switzerland and holds a degree from Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen where he was also an assistant professor. Oliver is a member of the Executive Faculty of University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and of the Steering Committee of SHCOG and is a frequent speaker on regulatory matters at various Compliance industry conferences.
Education ADVISORY BOARD
Alison is Head of Government & Politics at Xaverian College. A graduate of International Relations, Alison has taught social sciences and citizenship for over 10 years to students across Greater Manchester. Alison also has a background in corporate marketing and communications having worked for a variety of FTSE 100 companies. Interested in parental engagement within education, Alison has served as a school governor and on primary and high school parents associations.
Rosie is a freelance education advisor and consultant who brings experience at both a strategic and policy level, and also programme delivery in schools. She is currently an Associate at the Innovation Unit and New Schools Specialist at the School Design Lab, and a strategic advisor for Gaia Technologies. Prior to this she was involved in setting up innovative Studio Schools across the UK. She has been an advisor to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, looking at issues around social mobility and social impact.
Phil has a background in educational improvement having been the Director of DfES Excellence in Cities programmes working with Early Years, Primary, Secondary, Further and Higher education, as well as Work Based Learning providers. He was one of the founders of the Co-operative schools movement in the UK and has worked with Central as well as local government departments, Think Tanks and Researchers to help people and communities best achieve common goals together.
Becca is currently an ESPRC funded doctoral researcher at HighWire, Lancaster University exploring activist led co-design though her rooftop research project. She has a background in creative communications; cultural and commercial brand partnerships; event and educational programming, working for the Design Museum, Regent’s University London and Culture Sponge. She is a co- founder of The Curiosity Bureau and of the campaigning group A New Leaf.