Lightning talks 2016

Notwestminster lightning talksWe asked some of our Notwestminster 2016 participants to give a very short Lightning talk on the day. These quick-fire talks are aimed at getting us all thinking about the context for our work together. 

You can watch videos of all the talks and have a look at the slide presentations here.

We also organise Notwestminster PechaKucha evenings of rapid talks. Fancy being a speaker? Join our network to be the first to hear about opportunities to get involved.

In Defence of Councillors

Colin CorpusColin Copus

Director of the Local Governance Research Unit
Department of Politics & Public Policy, De Montfort University

Colin Copus is a Professor of Local Politics. His academic interests are central-local relationships and the constitutional status of local government, localism, local party politics, local political leadership and the changing role of the councillor. Colin has worked closely with policy-makers and practitioners in central and local government and he was an advisor to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee. He is working with the Communities and Local Government Committee on the role of the councillor. He has also served as a councillor on a London Borough council, a county and a district council and three parish councils.

Colin’s latest book is: “In Defence of Councillors”, published by Manchester University Press.

Watch Colin’s talk and find out more

Political Education, Powerful Not Pointless

ChloeChloe Brown
Youth Councillor
Kirklees Youth Council

Chloe Brown has been an active member of Kirklees Youth Council for over a year. She has taken a lead role in many projects and has worked in partnership with agencies including Locala, Kirklees Safeguarding Children Board and Kirklees Council.

Kirklees Youth Council


Watch Chloe’s talk and find out more

Elections in 2016: What we’re doing and how you can help

Sym RoeSym Roe
Democracy Club

Sym is a developer and has worked in the open / government space for years. He runs Democracy Club, partly by writing code and partly by working with others to build a community of organisations who want to work together.

Democracy Club



Watch Sym’s talk and find out more

Going with the Grain: Why democracy needs to fit with modern life

Temi OgunyeTemi Ogunye

Policy Researcher
Citizens Advice

Temi has recently worked on the “Going with the Grain” report from Citizens Advice, researching the barriers to democratic engagement. The report argues that to build stronger communities, change people’s attitudes towards politics, and improve participation, we need to improve the democratic services and processes that people interact with everyday. Temi says: “our democratic deficit is unlikely to be solved if we continue to think of democracy simply in terms of what goes on in Westminster… our focus should be on improving people’s experiences of democracy everyday.”

Watch Temi’s talk and find out more

Bring back committees, all is forgiven?

Angela EllamDr Angela Ellam
Doctoral Researcher in Local Government

Angela has considerable experience of local government. She worked for Kirklees Council for 12 years before becoming a management consultant. As a consultant she has worked with numerous councils, providing support and advice to senior managers. Angela was a councillor for Kirklees Council, where she chaired a Scrutiny Panel, and was a member of the Local Public Service Board, a Director of an arms-length housing company and a governor for a primary school and Further Education College. Drawing on her experience she co-wrote a book on local government from a councillor’s perspective. And has recently completed a doctoral thesis on political power in local government.

Watch Angela’s talk and find out more

The 5 stars of open local democracy

Nick BoothNick Booth

Nick Booth has been working as @podnosh with local and national government, charities and community groups for a decade – helping them use social and digital media to strengthen democracy and create civic good.  He started the social media surgery movement @socmediasurgery  and has developed a simple tool for capturing what difference public and third sector service make: 

Social Media Surgery
Impact Assessment App

Before Podnosh, Nick was a BBC political reporter and documentary maker.

Watch Nick’s talk and find out more

Read more about Nick’s talk and workshop on his blog

Factchecking: what, why, how and when will it get awesome?

Mevan BabakerMevan Babakar
Communications Officer
Full Fact

Mevan manages Full Fact’s communications, individual fundraising, and volunteering. She ran Full Fact’s first ever crowdfunding campaign to factcheck the 2015 general election, raising over £33,000, and has persuaded over 120 people to donate over 4,000 hours of time.

Mevan joined Full Fact in 2014 after working at Cancer Research. She was also a founding member of Bite the Ballot where she launched Britain’s first ever National Voter Registration Day. She graduated with a Masters in Bioengineering from the University of Sheffield.

Watch Mevan’s talk and find out more

Notwestminster 2016