What is Co-Production in 2020? Join our webinar to find out!

Join Public Square and our panel of experts for our first event on Co-Production taking place on 8th July, 1500-1630 UK time.

We’ll hear as they share how they’ve tackled issues of inclusion, empowerment and equality. We’ll explore why they believe Co-Production and greater participation may hold the answers to strengthening UK democracy whilst delivering better outcomes for all.

With growing appetite among the public to be heard and involved in decision-making, the benefits of Co-Production aren’t just felt by organisations:

In “a working model of Co-Production… people reported a sense of belonging and learning allowing them to manage their mental health and improve their quality of life. Friendships and peer support networks were created organically between students.

One student said of attending the college, ‘It’s given me hope. It’s given me options.’”

 Jessica Russell, Co-production Champion, SAVS (Southend Volunteer Service), on Southend’s experience with co-production to improve access to learning for mental health.



Across the UK, councils, civil society groups, tech experts and the public are working to improve local government. Exciting innovation and change is happening, but it’s often too fragmented to see.

This event will bring together leading figures in the field of Co-Production to share their experiences and discuss what they’ve found works well.

In the context of a global pandemic, public services are under untold pressure. Involving the public in design and decision-making processes could be one way of rebuilding trust whilst also generating practical and economical ideas for local government. At the event we’ll explore some key questions, such as:

  • How can an understanding of co-production help inform efforts to involve citizens in government?
  • Where is innovation happening? What is being learned that could help people new to participatory democracy?
  • What’s standing in the way of citizens and local government engaging more closely with each other?
  • How can the decision-making process as part of co-production be made as inclusive as possible? Which tools and technology – old or new – work well for councils, local authorities, citizens and civil society organisations?
  • What are the best ways to join up efforts, ensure lessons are shared, and work with councils to develop an open, common toolkit for civic participation?
  • Where are the gaps? What more needs to be done to connect networks and share resources across the Co-Production and participatory democracy space?


Chair: Erin McAuliffe, Acting Design Lead, Democratic Society

Erin McAuliffe is a strategic designer and former civil servant who has worked in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and now in Europe applying design to complex public policy and service challenges. Erin is currently working with the Democratic Society on deeper citizen participation to drive cities’ climate transitions, and on Demsoc’s local democracy portfolio.

Noreen Blanluet, Lead Consultant, Co-production Network for Wales

@noreenblanluet @copronetwales

Noreen is a biologist and a systems thinker by training. She co-founded and developed the Co-production Network for Wales, and is an experienced coach, facilitator, trainer and consultant. She has over a decade’s experience of helping individuals and groups navigate transformation in a person-centred and relationship-focused way. She is interested in complexity, resilience, leadership, nurturing diversity and building community, inner journeys, and kindness.

Noreen is Lead Consultant for the Co-production Network for Wales, an independent not-for-profit organisation working to transform public services through co-production and citizen involvement.

Jessica Russell, Co-production Champion, SAVS (Southend Volunteer Service)


Jessica Russell is the Co-production Champion for Southend-on-Sea. Her role is a co-produced partnership innovation between the Southend Association of Voluntary Services, A Better Start Southend and Southend Borough Council. The role’s objective is to ensure local citizens are kept at the heart of the town by promoting co-productive processes and inclusion of the whole community’s voice.

SAVS is a Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) and independent charity that works behind the scenes in Southend to help local charities and community groups achieve their full potential.

Susan Paxton, Head of Programmes, SCDC (Scottish Community Development Centre)


Susan works on a range of national programmes and undertakes a variety of small consultancy and training projects across Scotland on topics such as strategic planning, community engagement, community capacity building and community development generally. She manages the Community Health Exchange (CHEX) which supports community-led approaches to improve health and wellbeing and tackle health inequalities, and is the lead for the Scottish Co-production Network.


>> Sign-up here

This event will be held virtually via Zoom, details for which will be circulated beforehand.