Building a deliberative imagination for 21st century challenges
The Seminars and Soundbites series, organized by UCL Institute for Global Prosperity, explored how citizens mobilized new physical and digital channels of political participation, and what could be done to create and adapt these cultural spaces so they made a positive impact on democratic life in the 21st Century.
Soundbites was a platform for professionals and entrepreneurs who were leading in their field. Speakers were innovators and inspiring actors working in new and traditional sectors, outside of academia. The Soundbite gave the audience an insight into how their organization contributed to sustainable and inclusive prosperity.
Ceri Davies, Director of the Centre for Deliberation, spoke on 'Building a deliberative imagination for 21st-century challenges' at that event.
Ceri DaviesDirector of the Centre for Deliberation National Centre for Social Research
Ceri is interested in how the public has a voice in the decisions that shape their lives – be that through democratic means, in policy development, understanding the implications of science and technology and influencing or contributing to the questions that researchers ask.
She has been working at the intersection of evidence and practice in public participation for over 15 years, through roles in community development, in social research and on not-for-profit boards. The creation and her leadership of the Centre for Delberation continues this general theme – with a focus on bringing social science rigour to an innovative range of research on public attitudes and policy making in the context of democratic innovation.
The Centre's current work tackles large scale societal issues, such as Brexit, the environment and inequalities, bringing diverse perspectives into conversation with evidence at local and national scales, to explore complex or contentious social issues that impact policy, support the articulation of social attitudes and make a difference to society. Alongside this, the Centre is a national leader in methodological developments, particularly the use of online methods - and provides fresh thinking on how deliberative research can respond to big societal questions now and in the future. This includes experimental work such as our ground-breaking online Deliberative Polls on post-Brexit policy making and participating in the Rethinking Public Dialogue programme to explore how deliberation might be scaled through creating rapid and accessible formats.
With a background in academia and civil society, Ceri previously led the University of Brighton’s Community Knowledge Exchange (2008-2018) and completed her doctorate exploring knowledge and power in participatory research on issues of social justice. She is a volunteer at Sussex Nightstop (a small charity developing community-based responses to homelessness), an associate editor of Research For All and an advisory board member of the Citizens Convention on UK Democracy.