Today, it’s a Red Letter Day, as the Labour Party forms our new Government.

The Young Foundation looks forward to working with both newly-elected and returning MPs, and with the new Government, to unlock the power of participation – working across sectors, silos and communities to create healthier, sustainable places. We need a government that works collaboratively to create the conditions for a productive, caring and just society.

Connections in our communities

In Sir Keir Starmer’s first speech as our Prime Minister, he shared the need to ‘rebuild the infrastructure of opportunity’.

This speaks to the heart of our national challenge. It starts in our neighbourhoods, rebuilding social and civic spaces and connections in our communities – which are proven to impact crime, attainment, employment, health, belonging and cohesion.

It involves giving local freedoms and flexibilities to experiment and innovate, working differently to meet people’s needs, improve health and focus on prevention, not endless fire-fighting.

It requires long-term thinking – because our most serious challenges are in plain sight. They are entirely predictable and pose significant, even existential, societal challenges. But as we know quite a lot about the problems we face, and have no problem imagining what a good society looks like, the challenge is how to get there.

Innovation and practice

That can’t always be worked out on paper. It requires rough, open experimentation and innovation, rooted in real life experience, which forces us to think and organise differently. That innovation, in turn, must influence the roles of our public and civic institutions. It must also influence how we account for the value of public investment in a strong society.

There is, today, huge opportunity to mobilise organisations and communities who are committed to driving useful research and social innovation in support of a decade of national renewal. And we’re ready for it.

Find out how we’re driving the power of participation here

Civil Society Community needs & priorities Local government & public services Systems change Posted on: 5 July 2024 Authors: Helen Goulden OBE,


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