Consultation has played a key role in the development of the Speakers’ Corner initiative. Here is what some of those who contributed have said about the project.


About the UK Programme…

Centre for Policy Studies“We are delighted to support the Speakers Corner Trust. As a think-tank, we believe it is hugely important to encourage people to exchange and explore ideas in an open, rational, and intelligent way. Free debate is a critical means to engaging people in the political process, and promoting a healthy and vibrant democracy.”Ruth Lea, Director

community-development-found Community Development Foundation “I think this is a smashing idea…I do agree that the SC concept is one which could help make politics ‘fun’ again in a serious sort of way… and encourage participation and engagement.” Tom Levitt MP, Chair

ippr Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) “The Speaker’s Corner initiative, aimed at promoting face to face public debate is both timely and important and deserves every success.”Ben Rogers, Associate Director, Democracy

involve-logo Involve“Involve supports the ideas of Speaker’s Corner and feels that the organisation with its emphasis on creating new spaces for civic debate and deliberation makes a valuable contribution to the participation sector in the UK”Edward Andersson, Projects Manager

lga-logo Local Government Association“Developing new platforms for debate and providing new opportunities for involving people in the life of their communities are immensely important objectives. Local government has a key role to play in rebuilding active citizenship and much to gain from it. That’s why I’m delighted to support the Speakers’ Corner Trust in the timely and very significant work it is doing.”Matthew Warburton, Head of Strategy

nalc-logo National Association of Local Councils (NALC)“The Speakers’ Corner Project …is of great interest to those of us involved and interested in democratic participation…NALC is happy to endorse and be involved with the Speakers’ Corner Project and has great affinity to the goals to which it aspires.”Michael Green, Head of Policy & Parliamentary Affairs

nlgn-logo New Local Government Network“Reinvigorating neighbourhood interaction and the civic space is essential for community empowerment and devolution, which is why at the New Local Government Network we look forward to seeing Speakers’ Corners emerging wherever possible. Local politics should be about an exchange of views – and information – between residents and those they elect to represent them, and where better to hold people to account and air opinions than at a Speakers’ Corner.”Chris Leslie, Director

rsa-logo Royal Society of Arts (RSA)“I think Speakers’ Corner is an excellent idea. I am glad to lend the support of the RSA and I really hope local RSA groups can get behind making it happen in towns and cities across the UK.”Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive

smf-logo Social Market Foundation“The Speaker’s Corner Project provides an important contribution in its encouragement of free speech, open debate and political engagement – activities that are too often taken for granted and neglected in the UK today. The Social Market Foundation is happy to endorse the project and its goals at home and abroad and wish it every success.”Dr Simon Griffiths, Senior Research Fellow

About the International Programme…

Amnesty International“I would like to congratulate you for this brilliant idea. I consider it as a powerful pioneering initiative and a highly important project in securing a permanent platform of free speech all around the world. “Umit Ozturk, Chairman, Amnesty International Journalists Network

Foreign Policy Centre“It looks really impressive and I would be keen for FPC to work with you on this.”Stephen Twigg, Director

John Smith Memorial Trust“The Speakers Corner Project is not just about finding a public space for discussion and free expression. Its aims go well beyond this. It seeks a commitment to the principle of open debate, and hopes to encourage more active public engagement in the process of government. Strong governments have nothing to fear, and much to gain, from opposition and different viewpoints. This project addresses an important and too often forgotten principle of and test of democracy: freedom of criticism and persuasion.”Emma MacLennan, Director

policy-network Policy NetworkPolicy Networkstrongly supports the concept of Speakers’ Corners in enhancing civil rights and the development of democracy across the world. Successful societies depend on forums that can foster tolerance, mutual respect and a capacity for agreement on major challenges for the future. The Speakers’ Corner Trust will make an important contribution to that end.”Patrick Diamond, Director

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