Duncan O'Leary

Research Director

020 7367 4200

Duncan O’Leary is Research Director of Demos.

Duncan is a Research Director at Demos. He is responsible, with the Chief Executive, for the strategic direction of Demos and line management of the Demos research programme.

Duncan is a former advisor to David Lammy MP, for whom he helped draft and edit Out of the Ashes: Britain after the riots. He worked for Demos previously, from 2005 to 2008, before taking a role in the Strategic Policy Team at the Home Office. He has written widely, including for The GuardianThe Daily TelegraphThe Spectator and Prospect.


The Leadership Imperative
Duncan O'Leary, Hannah Lownsbrough
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The Leadership Imperative explores the role of leadership in the emerging reforms of local children's services. It suggests that for the integration of services to work, leaders must focus upon changing the prevailing cultures of organisations, rather than altering the structure of services and hoping that working practices will naturally follow.

Working Progress
Duncan O'Leary
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This report proposes a series of recommendations for schools, universities, government and other organisations aimed at reconnecting employers and young people in the name of productive and fulfilling work.

Re-imagining Government
Duncan O'Leary
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This report argues that the time is right to go beyond restoring the capacity of New Zealand’s public sector. The next step is a full-scale renewal of its purpose, systems and ways of working.

Confronting the Skills Paradox
Duncan O'Leary, Kate Oakley, Grahame Broadbelt
Publication Date

This provocation paper analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the emerging consensus – given expression by Lord Leitch in his review – around education and skills policy for the future. It argues that important elements of this consensus need to be challenged if the UK is to fulfil the laudable ambitions outlined in the Leitch Review and succeed in harnessing the talents of the whole population.

Recruitment 2020
Duncan O'Leary, Niamh Gallagher
Publication Date
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Intermediaries have become hugely important to us. They mediate many of our personal and professional relationships, providing us with new opportunities, guiding and shaping our choices. Advisers, experts and brokers tell us where to shop, who to do business with – and who to hire.

A Common Language
Duncan O'Leary
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A Common Language underlines why English matters and sets out how policy can encourage and support learning.

The Politics of Public Behaviour
Duncan O'Leary
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The personal has become political. Increasingly, governments find themselves drawn into questions about how children are parented, how household waste is disposed of, how people travel, how much they save for later in life, and how much they eat, drink, smoke and exercise.

The Skills Paradox
Kate Oakley, Duncan O'Leary
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This report examines Britain's skills gap and argues that a damaging paradox - those with the least skills are the least likely to train - is a social as well as an economic issue.

Everyone's Business
Duncan O'Leary, Max Wind-Cowie
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A survey of almost 1,000 aspiring entrepreneurs reveals their attitudes and evaluates how government can better help their businesses.

Poverty in Perspective
Claudia Wood, Jo Salter, Ally Paget, Matt Barnes, Gareth Morrell, Duncan O'Leary
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Publication Type

This report introduces a new model for measuring poverty that could transform local services.

Something for Something
Duncan O'Leary
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This paper explores a new idea to reintroduce a contributory principle into the welfare system.

Generation Strains
Duncan O'Leary, Bobby Duffy, Suzanne Hall, Sarah Pope
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This report explores the underlying reasons why support for welfare is in decline and whether views are shifting from one generation to the next.

Ties that bind
Duncan O'Leary, Jo Salter
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Ties that Bind explores what this looks like in practice for the 24,000 families in Scotland facing multiple disadvantages, including low income, inadequate housing, worklessness and ill-health.

Unlocking the Potential
Duncan O'Leary, Les Mayhew
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Publication Type

The report recommends various ways of achieving a more complete agenda for social care funding, based on a more accurate understanding of human behaviour.

Going it Alone
Duncan O'Leary
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This report examines the dramatic rise in self-employment and what it means for public policy.

The Commission on Apprenticeships
Duncan O'Leary, Ian Wybron
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This is the final report of the Commission on Apprenticeships, which draws on evidence gathered by the Demos secretariat over the course of 12 months.


New directions for public services

Duncan O'Leary

We are examining emerging approaches to public service delivery from across the globe to understand what a new wave of reform might look like in New Zealand, and to examine how unions can take a proactive role in helping their members adapt and thrive in the future.


Professional Authority

Duncan O'Leary

A project with IDeA looking at how efforts to re-orient services around the needs of users are disrupting professional boundaries, roles and status.


Recruitment 2020

Duncan O'Leary, Grahame Broadbelt

A project with the Guardian and the The Recruitment and Employment Confederation


Future Innovators

Duncan O'Leary, Hannah Green

A project with NESTA, exploring the extent to which the perceptions of and attitudes of school-age pupils towards work and innovation differ from or complement the working world they are likely to experience.


The Politics of Public Behaviour

Duncan O'Leary

This project is a chance to explore the tensions in the current debate between fostering a 'nanny state' and finding a response to some of the most pressing social issues of our time.


A Common Language

Duncan O'Leary, Jonathan Birdwell, Andrew Rhodes, Yvette Jacob, Rebekka Rumpel

This project, running in parallel to wider Demos work on adult learning, will begin with first principles – why ESOL matters – and work through to a logical conclusion of how best it can be delivered in practice, within a coherent policy framework.


Network Citizens

Duncan O'Leary, Peter Bradwell, Richard Reeves

This project will explore how social networks will transform the workplace, with implications for how people experience work and businesses increase their bottom line.


A wider lens

Duncan O'Leary, Jo Salter

Through this project, Demos hopes to paint a detailed and evidence-based picture of the lives of families who are struggling with the cumulative effect of multiple disadvantage in Scotland today.


Generation strains

Duncan O'Leary, Jo Salter

This project will analyse the generational shift in attitudes towards the welfare state and its far-reaching implications.


Going it alone

Duncan O'Leary, Duncan O'Leary, Ian Wybron, Chris Waller, Duncan O'Leary, Lucy James, Josh Smith

This project discusses the social, economic and political implications of a growth in the number of freelance jobs in the UK.


Going it alone

Duncan O'Leary, Duncan O'Leary, Ian Wybron, Chris Waller, Duncan O'Leary, Lucy James, Josh Smith

This project discusses the social, economic and political implications of a growth in the number of freelance jobs in the UK.


Good jobs

Duncan O'Leary

This project explores how jobs can become more rewarding in all senses, from improved productivity and pay, to enhanced job satisfaction and opportunities for progression.


Community Chest

Duncan O'Leary, Ally Paget

This project will explore the evidence base on the different models of local banking in the UK.


Going it alone

Duncan O'Leary, Duncan O'Leary, Ian Wybron, Chris Waller, Duncan O'Leary, Lucy James, Josh Smith

This project discusses the social, economic and political implications of a growth in the number of freelance jobs in the UK.


The Commission on Apprenticeships

Duncan O'Leary, Ian Wybron, Alice Meaning

Demos is hosting a new cross-party Commission on apprenticeships in the construction sector.


CBI: Further education failing us

CBI take on skills - claims the FE sector is underperforming due to an uncompetitive market

    Aug 25

    Fit for Purpose

    Research Director, Duncan O'Leary, comments on Ian Duncan Smith's speech on sickness benefits reform.

    Aug 11

    Contours of a new Conservatism

    Demos' Research Director, Duncan O'Leary, maps the emergence of two distinct strands of philosophy emerging in Conservative politics.

    Jul 8

    Demos Responds to the Summer Budget

    Demos responds to the Chancellor's Budget, delivered on 8 July 2015.

    Jul 8

    The Terms of Trade

    Demos' Research Director, Duncan O'Leary, unpicks the paternalism and protectionism dominating debate about Sunday trading hours.

    Jul 2

    The dilemmas of decentralisation

    Duncan O'Leary explains how the Government's decision to hand over the funds underpinning the Independent Living Fund to local authorities reveals the challenges and opportunities of devolution.

    Jun 11

    Squaring the Circle

    There are no good elections to lose – but some are better than others to win, writes Demos' Research Director, Duncan O'Leary. 

    May 12

    The Tory To-Do List

    Our Research Director, Duncan O'Leary, sizes up Cameron's new Government - and the big tasks ahead.

    Apr 23

    Power Failure

    The best response to the idea that some companies have too much power is not to centralise power in the hands of Government, writes Research Director Duncan O'Leary.

    Apr 22

    On the Table

    Food poverty is a blight on wealthy Britain, says Research Director Duncan O'Leary, proposing an innovative new model for tackling chronic dependence on foodbanks.

    Apr 14

    Cameron Takes Tories Back to the Future

    Our Research Director, Duncan O'Leary, weighs in on the Conservative Party's 2015 Election Manifesto.

    Apr 13

    Not Quite New, Not Quite Blue

    Our Research Director, Duncan O'Leary reflects on Labour's 2015 Election Manifesto.

    Mar 25

    Method in the madness

    Duncan O’Leary sees an ulterior motive in David Cameron’s apparent gaffe.

    Mar 16

    What's going on

    Politics needs to be more, not less, concerned with people's everyday lives, argues Duncan O'Leary.

    Feb 18

    News values

    Oborne's resignation raises questions about markets, institutions and conservatism, writes Duncan O'Leary.

    Feb 4

    The flaw in 'vote X, get Y' politics

    Blackmailing voters does neither party any favours and only turns people off politics, says Duncan O'Leary.

    Jan 16

    What's in a label?

    If liberals support devolution of power, asks Duncan O'Leary, then why the support for the EU?

    May 1

    A return to ‘relationship banking’?

    Duncan O'Leary introduces a new project building an evidence base on local banking.

    Mar 24

    Pensions puzzle

    Duncan O'Leary untangles George Osborne's pensions announcement and examines the case for and against.

    Feb 7

    People power

    Duncan O'Leary provides some advice for Ed Miliband ahead of a major speech on public service reform.

    Jan 17

    Government as 'shop steward'

    Duncan O'Leary continues his series profiling the options for economic reform by Government, looking at jobs and low pay.

    Jan 10

    Government as 'consumer champion'

    Duncan O'Leary kicks off a series profiling the different options for economic reform by Government, starting with the 'consumer champion'.

    Dec 9

    What are our MPs worth?

    Duncan O'Leary with an alternative approach to MPs' pay.

    Nov 29

    Boris's cornflake question

    The Mayor of London's speech reveals the limits of the idea of 'social mobility', says Duncan O'Leary.

    Sep 18

    Is Nick Clegg right?

    Don't assume Clegg is simply moving his party Right. He's actually a classic Liberal, writes Duncan O'Leary.

    Aug 8

    In the market

    Can markets ever fully be morally neutral, asks Duncan O'Leary.

    Jul 16

    Making markets moral

    Duncan O'Leary dissects the arguments for moralising capitalism ahead of Jesse Norman's Demos lecture.

    Jun 11

    Making markets work

    Chris Grayling's legal aid reforms fail to grasp the benefits of markets, writes Duncan O'Leary.

    Jun 4

    How Labour can offer something for something on welfare

    Duncan O'Leary puts forward a two-tier system of benefits to restore the contributory principle.

    Feb 14

    Giving ‘One Nation’ some definition

    Duncan O’Leary on Ed Miliband's intention to re-introduce the 10p tax band.

    Feb 6

    Football: the people's game?

    Duncan O'Leary on how football ownership could be at the vanguard of 'good business'.

    Jan 22

    The business of business is... doing good?

    Duncan O’Leary argues that businesses increasingly realise they should be worried about more than the bottom line.

    Jan 8

    Benefits uprating: the elephant in the room

    Duncan O'Leary argues that both main parties are fighting the battle not the war over the Benefits Uprating Bill.

    Nov 21

    What makes a good city?

    Duncan O'Leary on a new measure of wellbeing in our cities - and the potential impact on policy.

    Oct 3

    Blue Ed

    Duncan O'Leary provides a five-point reaction to Ed Miliband's speech to Labour party conference.

    Sep 6

    What does ‘predistribution’ mean?

    Duncan O'Leary on Ed Miliband's latest neologism and what it means in practice.

    Aug 6

    The historian who cried wolf

    Duncan O'Leary says David Starkey's comments are not conducive to a rounded debate on the riots.

    May 21

    Talking about my generation

    Duncan O'Leary on the generation gap in attitudes to welfare.

    Apr 12

    Hope in Haidt

    Duncan O'Leary reviews the Demos event 'what can liberals learn from conservatives about human nature?'

    Mar 16

    Protecting the union

    Deputy Director, Duncan O'Leary, says that trade unions could be the missing link in Big Society thinking.

    Jul 10


    I just got in the lift up to our office, only to read a notice saying ‘This lift does...

    Jul 7

    Fueling debate

    George Osborne’s idea of a 'fuel duty stabiliser' is an interesting one...

    May 9

    The Politics of Public Behaviour

    Demos published a new pamphlet yesterday: The Politics of Public Behaviour. It looks at...

    May 7

    Political Science

    A couple of thoughts struck me this morning as I listened to the debate on the today programme...

    Apr 24

    Think again

    Lots of talk of U-turns in the news today. Yesterday’s news on the 10p tax rate, Jim...

    Apr 14

    You know something they don't know

    I’m enjoying the new Politicshome – it’s found a niche in providing cross...

    Apr 8

    Exchanging ideas

    I’ve just seen this article by John Craig – of the newly formed third sector...

    Mar 31

    Life and art

    WARNING: If you have not seen the ending of the West Wing and intend to do so, do NOT continue...

    Mar 11

    Equality of what?

    John Hutton’s speech to Progress today is causing a stir. (Here’s Polly Toynbee...

    Mar 10

    What interviews should be like

    If you have five minutes to spare have a listen to John Humphrey's interview this morning...

    Feb 8

    Who are you?

    Mitt Romney has pulled out of the race to be the Republican nominee, leaving the field clear...

    Feb 4

    Listen up

    Just a quick post to let everyone know that the recordings from the launch of the Demos...

    Jan 28

    Comment is free, but some are less abusive than others

    Good to see that the Guardian is getting a little more web 2.0 with its comment moderation...

    Jan 17

    Groundblog day

    I don’t know why I keep blogging about school choice, but I can’t help it. Today...

    Jan 14

    Battle of the 'isms

    This was the most interesting thing I read over the weekend. It’s a piece looking...

    Jan 8

    The meaning of modernisation

    The Times’ Comment Central is one of my favourite blogs and I enjoy Daniel Finkelstein...

    Jan 3

    2008: the year of decisions

    I know everyone's supposed to be fed up at this time of year but I'm not. I reckon...

    Nov 27

    Reclaiming evidence

    Last week I argued that both the government and the opposition are struggling to reconcile...

    Nov 19

    Evidence vs Information

    Here’s a question. Who knows best about how to teach children to read: teachers and...

    Nov 13

    'Power to the people' - but how..?

    I wonder if David Cameron has prompted an interesting debate this morning – not about...

    Nov 8

    What equals what?

    My hopes for a bit more progressive action in the blogosphere may have been answered. Liberal...

    Oct 30

    Warning: the type of information that you provide to people may matter

    This strikes me as a great idea: 'Drinkers worried about liver damage can test...

    Oct 22

    Bad behaviour

    Anyone interested in the debate on public behaviour – and the role of government in...

    Oct 19

    News + comment round-up

    A few links below that you might be interested in from this week: The Times’ Comment...

    Oct 10

    Political round-up

    If you’re still wondering what to make of the political events of the last few weeks...

    Oct 10

    Facing the music

    There’s another interesting record industry story around today – Radiohead are...

    Oct 8

    Death tax or life tax?

    One of the more interesting Political developments of the last week – the non-election...

    Sep 18

    The only thing we have to fear...

    Just a quick post to flag up an article i have up on the Guardian's Comment-is-Free...

    Sep 17

    The Politics of Public Behaviour seminars, October 8th and 22nd

    Just a quick post to let people know that we’re holding two more seminars on The Politics...

    Sep 10

    That's not Right

    Anthony Browne, the new Director of Policy Exchange, has an article in the Spectator this...

    Sep 3

    School of Everything

    The one question I always struggle to answer is ‘what to people do when they leave...

    Aug 29

    Watching history

    I was in parliament square for the unveiling of the Mandela statue today. I went there thinking...

    Aug 14

    The failure of market failure

    John Kay has an good article in Prospect this month, presumably based on his book The Truth...

    Aug 13

    They're all the same etc etc

    This is pretty good - tells you where all the candidates stand in the US presidential running...

    Aug 6

    Reforming public service reform

    There is a bit of a debate bubbling under about public services at the moment, which will...

    Aug 6

    Mill: timeless or timed out?

    Roy Hattersley has a provocative peice in the Guardian today, in which he argues that J...

    Aug 2

    Home and Away

    I'd forgotten how slow news is in August. If you're struggling for something to...

    Jul 31

    Daily reading - advice wanted

    Here’s a question: can anyone recommend me a good left-wing blog or two to add to...

    Jul 19

    I don't believe it

    This to me is incredible. As in literally. I don’t believe how seriously it is being...

    Jul 16

    Ken vs Boris

    Boris Johnson is standing as a Conservative candidate for London Mayor. This should be fascinating...

    Jul 16

    The album formerly sold by...

    I was bemused watching the news yesterday. Apparently Prince has ‘insulted’...

    Jun 27

    The Politics of Public Behaviour seminars, 10th July and 19th July

    Just a quick post to flag up two roundtable seminars that we are running on The Politics...

    Jun 25

    Systems tinkering

    Another tension i’ve been mulling over recently is the difficulties that all political...

    Jun 25

    Schools of thought

    The Sutton Trust has (rightly) caused a bit of a stir today with its work highlighting Britain...

    Jun 11

    What works?

    Here's a good idea, i think. Harriet Harman says that: "Once a bill has gone through...

    Jun 5

    Testing times

    Here's a thought. The government wants to raise the school leaving age. And lots of...

    May 25

    Informing or influencing?

    Really interesting post from Danny Finkelstein, over on the Times' Comment Central blog...

    May 25

    Choice words

    I’ve been watching the debate about schooling/grammar schools/academies/choice with...

    May 21

    Hopeful Belfast

    I had the pleasure of going to Belfast last week for Thursday and Friday. What a great place...

    May 10

    Blair resigns

    His resignation speech in full: And now, the end is here And so I face the final curtain...

    May 3

    Cheesed off

    Another damaging poll report for the government today:Apparently 52 per cent of senior figures...

    Apr 27

    You're Hired!

    Yesterday Niamh and I launched Demos’s latest pamphlet, Recruitment 2020: How Recruitment...

    Apr 3

    Polls Apart

    It’s a matter of weeks now before a new Prime Minister takes office and the clear...

    Feb 27

    Soft paternalism

    Aside from all the pessimism in Prospect this month there is also a really interesting article...

    Feb 26

    Who you gonna call?

    Neighbourhood Fix-it, apparently. It’s a new website from the evil geniuses at MySociety...

    Feb 23

    And finally..

    What a shame that Martha Kearney is leaving newsnight. She is off to present the World at...

    Feb 12

    American dream?

    So Barack Obama is standing for President. If you're wondering what all the fuss is...

    Feb 2

    We don't need no thought control...

    Iain Dale writes an interesting post on his blog to today, criticising Alan Johnson and...

    Jan 31

    In the house

    Is it me, or is it becoming compulsory to offer some kind of metaphor to do with a house...

    Jan 16

    Big Bother

    Ok i admit it. I watch Big Brother. And i’m worried. In the space of two weeks a whole...

    Jan 8

    Demos skills event with Bill Rammell, 30th January

    Just a quick post to let you know that we are holding an event with Bill Rammell on January...

    Jan 3

    In demand

    I am just writing a provocation paper for a Demos event with Bill Ramell on January 30th...

    Dec 18

    Another day, another word...

    Ever heard of a webinar? Nope me neither, until i was asked to take part in one the other...

    Dec 1

    I know what you did last summer

    As useful as Google is, I think it might have some interesting effects on the recruitment...

    Nov 28

    What's in a word?

    Every so often you see a new word and you feel duty-bound to post it on the blog. So here...

    Nov 28


    The Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, wants learning outside the classroom to be at the...

    Oct 30

    Stern talking

    Couple of quick thoughts on the response to the Stern report on climate change today: ...

    Oct 12

    Professional matters

    Reading the special Every Child Matters pull-out in Society Guardian yesterday one quote...

    Sep 29

    Friday rant: democracy on the cheap

    If there’s one thing that annoys me, it is when the same people who defend the first...

    Sep 20

    You heard it here first

    A while back I wrote a fairly unformed blog post about the relationship between professionalism...

    Aug 18

    Quote of the week

    "An honest and good point, well made" - Labour MP Harry Cohen on John Prescott...

    Aug 16

    Built to last - but how do you build it?

    I've been having a read of the Conservatives' revised Built to Last document, that...

    Aug 14

    Sufficing - or not

    There are lots of different ways to make money in the same market – high value added...

    Aug 7

    Who are you?

    Having watched five episodes of the West Wing this weekend (i'm a late starter) i feel...

    Aug 4

    In the bag

    This is a smart idea of from Tesco - people will be able to earn loyalty points for every...

    Aug 2

    Local professionalism

    I’ve been doing a bit of reading for a new project that we are starting with the IDeA...

    Jul 31

    The last word

    So Tom Bentley finished as Demos Director on Friday – completing seven years at the...

    Jul 26

    Fit for purpose

    Oh dear. Tony Blair has made a speech saying that people need to adapt their lifestyles...

    Jul 25

    Get involved!

    Welcome to the project blog for this project. During the project we will be posting some...

    Jul 25

    From strategy to reality

    In The Leadership Imperative, published by Demos last year, Hannah Lownsbrough and I argued...

    Jul 25

    Get involved!

    Welcome to the project blog for this project. During the project i will be posting some...

    Jul 21

    Where to, guv?

    Writing in the Guardian today Polly Toynbee argues that “If John Major was in office...

    Jul 20

    Hot air?

    It didn’t make the front pages (as far as I know) but I think David Miliband’...

    Jul 11


    I’ve just come across what looks like a brilliant recycling scheme in the US. It’...

    Jun 13

    How to reconnect young people and organisations

    Have a read of the pamphlet here, or have a glance over the presentation that Sarah and...

    Jun 5

    Top of the Hoffs

    Sociologist Zygmunt Bauman says that 'We have never been so free and so unable to change...

    Jun 5

    The Origin of Wealth

    I'm going to do something silly here and recommend a book before i've even read...

    May 22

    Jamie, Tony and David

    Tony Blair caused a stir a couple of weeks back by signing a petition (do prime ministers...

    May 19

    Rise of the Pro-Ams

    Demos associates Charlie Leadbeater and Paul Miller have just started working on a book...

    May 19

    Collective action lives on

    Crisis, what crisis? In a perfect storm of identity politics and collective action a new...

    May 19

    Why we get the politicians we deserve

    For me, the answer (as always) seems to lie in Ronald Heifetz's analysis of leadership...

    May 10

    If Mark Moore made libraries'

    As with so many of the innovative projects that we've visited this week it seems to...

    May 1

    Back in the pavlova paradise

    The PHOs in particular seem to be doing some really interesting work by linking GPs, communities...

    Apr 24

    About Us [part II]

    Sorry for the second posting in a week about Demos, but i couldn't let my favourite...

    Apr 21

    Thought for the day

    No Friday rant as yet, so a thought for the day instead:Before you criticise someone, walk...

    Apr 12

    Demos in wikipedia

    ...ok you've clicked this you might fancy editing the discription of us...

    Apr 10

    Case studies of new professionalism

    You may have noticed that we have a bit on an interest in professionalism at Demos at the...

    Apr 6

    This time its personal

    Just a quick entry to point towards a couple of interesting things going on over at the...

    Apr 3

    Trust me, i'm a doctor

    The announcement from a group of 900 doctors that the government should look at moving away...

    Mar 24

    Civil Partnership

    - Using the Children and Young People's Plan to agree a where national priorities...

    Mar 23


    Yes, the rumours are true - the comments section is working again. There's no registration...

    Mar 23

    Life-work balance

    Update: thanks to everyone who has emailed in on this (keep them coming!) - i'll post...

    Mar 20

    In praise of inefficiency

    - There is a school of thought that Surestart is actually becoming less effective as it...

    Mar 16

    learning on the job

    - Perhaps the biggest lesson, which we hadn't picked up before we got here is the genuine...

    Mar 14

    Deadly serious

    Amongst the wealth of useful things that we've been learning about New Zealand over...

    Mar 10

    New Zealand's Business as usual

    Firstly, it's very noticeable that the New Zealand political scene is quite differentt...

    Mar 6

    What kind of 'power to the people'?

    Of course it may mean all of the above - and more - but i do think that the terminology...

    Mar 1


    I see that Topshop is launching an ethical clothing range today (or an experiment with one...

    Feb 24

    You're fired

    The general response seems to be that there are some funny people around nowadays. But does...

    Feb 16

    Invisible politics

    Perhaps James Tooley, who thinks that education was fine before the state got involved with...

    Feb 14

    It's good to talk

    Talking to the public about science can be a controversial matter. Really controversial...

    Feb 9

    Commenting on the Greenhouse

    You've never had it so bad. Sorry if you've been trying to comment on the greenhouse...

    Feb 9

    Drinking humble pie

    The Guardian carries a story today on the fall of serious/violent crime since the liberalisation...

    Feb 8

    Taking the debate upmarket

    The temptation is to be either support or oppose greater freedoms for schools, but the danger...

    Jan 26


    Interesting news - McDonald's is introducing a pilot scheme which will allow two members...

    Jan 20


    Contintuing the theme of the take-up new ideas/technology, I meant to write a post the other...

    Jan 20

    What's all the skype about...?

    You may have noticed that we're getting excited about Skype at the moment at Demos...

    Jan 19

    Getting it wrong

    Digby Jones (who is Chair of HTI for this year) was typically strong on this � arguing...

    Jan 4

    Political incorrectness gone mad

    Amongst his list of criticisms of the 'PC Brigade' he writes, 'Giving employment...

    Jan 3

    total public services

    And wasn't one of the great football teams was the Dutch team which famously played...

    Dec 21

    It's all about me

    Great picture over on Councillor Andrew Brown's blog...

    Dec 21

    War of the Wards

    There will be the inevitable cries for government to �do something�, which...

    Dec 20

    He's right you know

    I've come accross a bizarre set of statistics over on the Guardian Newsblog - apparently...

    Dec 19

    What qualifies you for work?

    The answer's not as obvious as you'd think, apparently. A couple of stats from today...

    Dec 19

    Are you being served?

    All of which reminds me of a speech I saw Alan Johnson make on regulation about a month...

    Dec 15

    Enterprisingly numerate and literate problem-solving citizenship studies...

    The interesting thing about it seems to be that there is no predetermined answer that the...

    Dec 13

    You decide...

    This will be interesting if it happens.People who are not members of the Conservative Party...

    Dec 7

    The Leadership Imperative

    Our report on leadership in children's serives is out today (download it here). After...

    Dec 6

    The votes are in...

    There have been weeks of deliberation. Of point scoring. Of drama. Of tears. Of trials...

    Dec 5

    It's all academic

    So i've been doing some reading for our project on Organisational litercy. Having been...

    Nov 30

    'Organisational Literacy' project

    - We'll be looking beyond literacy and numeracy (though of course not dismissing them...

    Oct 27

    The Politics of Community

    I've just had a read of David Miliband's speech this week on 'The Politics of...

    Oct 11

    Beckham for PM

    George Weah, footballing legend, is one of 20 candidates standing for President in the Liberian...

    Oct 11

    NFER change for Children Site

    Just come across what looks a useful resource for anyone interested in Children's Services...

    Oct 7

    I've been inspecting you

    Five steps to better inspectionWe expect a lot of our leaders. In education, we expect them...

    Sep 26

    Risking it

    Yep, you guessed it. According to this bit of research, you might well be safer choosing...

    Sep 13

    The Backlash

    England won the ashes yesterday. The contest has captured the nation's imagination all...

    Sep 1

    Who are ya..?

    Despite all the cliche's about 'lame ducks', i'd say Michael Howard has...

    Aug 15

    Ten lessons on leadership...

    1. Failure is often a precondition for innovation and learning. Leaders must balance organisational...

    Aug 15

    Blood, sweat and tears...

    Like many a great sporting event, however, the occassion has been marred by controversy...

    Aug 5

    When values meet

    During the discussion, one thing which I thought came out particularly strongly was the...

    Jul 20

    Beer for geeks

    Who said Open Source couldn't be fun...?[Via the GIB]

    Jul 19

    Whose service is it anyway?

    First things first, this is already happening in a lot of pretty successful schools and...

    Jun 29

    A common band

    Something pretty inspiring happened to me yesterday - i met an 86 year-old wearing a white...

    Jun 20

    Political hot potatoes

    Here are two things i didn't know before i switched on the radio this morning:1. There...

    May 31

    Whisky drinkers, the England Rugby Team'and Children's trusts

    As it happens, Woodward makes the same point in his book. During his time in charge he revolutionized...

    May 20

    All for one

    It's Friday, we're starting a new project. And it looks a really interesting one...

    May 19

    'Ello 'ello 'ello

    Avid greenhouse readers might remember that a couple of months ago Demos held a seminar...

    May 18

    Listen carefully

    I've just been doing some reading for our Community Leadership project with the National...

    May 18

    These are not the policies you are looking for...

    George Lucas says there'll be no more Star Wars after Episode III. What with all the...

    Apr 27

    Getting the story straight

    Having done this, it came out in favour of Labour...before decrying virtually everything...

    Apr 21

    Lessons of Power

    Governments eh. Geoff Mulgan, co-author of the aforementioned Wide Open [and Demos founder...

    Apr 21

    They want to be elected

    MPs eh. You might have noticed that they work for you...well it also turns out that they...

    Apr 18

    Seriously Small

    Sometimes you wonder about the future of politics. And then you have your faith restored...

    Apr 13

    On your toes, folks

    One up for the Open Source movement - the Guardian Online reports that Wikipedia had an...

    Apr 12

    The Big Issue

    Which all makes you wonder whether there really is one. As I sat with a group of professionals...

    Apr 6

    You read it here first

    Bit slow on the uptake here, but The Times has an election blog...featuring (amongst others...

    Apr 5

    Collectively individual

    Collective action seems to be getting interesting nowadays. The Fairtrade movement seems...

    Apr 4

    Lion-sized leadership

    The bit that really interested me comes towards the end of the article when Woodward says...

    Mar 23

    Pros vs Ams?

    If you enjoyed our publication last year The Pro-Am Revolution then the discussion taking...

    Mar 21

    Wake up!

    So it's Monday. Feeling tired? I'm not. But then according to a survey reported...

    Mar 15

    Parent Power

    With an election drawing closer, there's been an ever'growing clamour over the...

    Mar 10

    Policing by the book

    Great story on BBC news this morning about a new directive in Mexico City ' the mayor...

    Mar 9

    The way it should be

    The topic up for discussion in our seminar was Personalised Learning and the presenters...

    Mar 3

    Did you hear about the...

    'survey that says word-of-mouth/personal recommendation is more important in creating...

    Mar 2

    Renewing the Beeb

    So the BBC's license fee looks set to be renewed today, with a new governance structure...

    Feb 25

    The Wage Forward..?

    It may have died down a bit recently, but one phrase that's been hard to avoid during...

    Feb 23

    One more drink and a lie-in?

    There are undoubtedly many profound ways to engage with the public realm. For now, though...

    Feb 22

    The day in pictures

    News is getting pretty visual nowadays. I've just come across a site called 10x10...

    Feb 21

    See you tomorrow

    Right, i'm off home.[via Tom Watson]

    Feb 17

    Yesterday's News

    Seeing as the paperboy in my area has taken to delivering the papers after everyone has...

    Feb 8

    Faking it

    The first was the description given by Derek Twigg, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of...

    Feb 3

    School Networks, Election Manifestos, and Sunny St Albans

    Networks of schools are something that Demos has been interested in for a while; last year...

    Jan 26


    So the good news is that Tom Watson's blog is back up and running ' and the other...

    Jan 24

    How to prevent a word of mouth epidemic

    I came across an article in The Times over the weekend. The headline was 'And talking...

    Jan 20

    How to blog like a rockstar

    Ever wondered why your postings never get any comments? If so, click here for some advice...

    Jan 19

    What the Media Are Doing to Our Politics

    The debate certainly seems to be gathering momentum ' the Media Guardian ran lengthy...

    Jan 6


    Being a text vote it was fairly predictable that a group with a teenage following would...

    Jan 6

    Networked Learning Communities enter the blogosphere

    The Networked Learning Communities programme, which aims to facilitate the spread of good...

    Dec 16

    Sky's the limit?

    As might be expected they have gone for the Sky option, arguing that the '2 million...

    Dec 13

    Smaller government...literally

    Apparently polling has demonstrated some support for the idea, but is it really going to...

    Nov 24

    The politics of fear?

    There’s a bit of a storm brewing over Peter Hain’s comments in an interview...

    Nov 22

    From Newspapers to Viewspapers

    Peter Preston wrote an article in the Observer yesterday that’s worth a read if you...

    Nov 17

    Joining the party

    This seems to throw up a couple of issues:Firstly, that the first-past-the-post system isn...

    Nov 9

    Hold the front page

    An experiment on the Guardian newsblog starts today which might be worth keeping an eye...

    Oct 29

    Whatever it takes

    It can be difficult filling an audience for an event, even if you’re President of...

    Oct 22

    The Washington Journo

    On one level this seems a good example of the Pro-Am economy, but on another it interests...

    Oct 20

    Chocolate with a difference

    Following hot on the heels of Mecca Cola and The Islamic Bank of Britain is Ummah Foods...

    Oct 19

    The 'September 10 attitude'

    Interesting to see George Bush criticising his opponent for his ‘September 10 attitude...

    Sep 30

    Thoroughly Unreliable

    Another day of speeches in Brighton, here's a flavour..."Of course we debate. Of...

    Sep 29


    My little brother achieves fame before I do, reacting to Tony Blair's conference speech...

    Sep 27

    More Brighton blogging

    As the posts come in from Brighton, it seems that the Labour Party itself is getting in...

    Sep 24

    Lost value?

    Public value might not be that valuable, suggests James Crabtree in an article in The New...

    Sep 14

    Guest blogger no.2

    As promised, the recruitment of guest bloggers for the Party conferences continues. David...

    Sep 6

    Straw poll

    There’s a bit of an experiment taking place on Tom Watson's blog at the moment...

    Sep 1

    Like an ipod...

    The UK's first official download chart is launched today.The move is being trumpeted...

    Aug 17

    Anyone's armband

    A few words from the camp:"We'll judge each game and each week as it comes."...

    Aug 16

    Cancer Care

    The way in which medical staff provide care for cancer patients was explained to me over...

    Aug 5

    Feeling unwell? Have a holiday...

    The idea has had a mixed reception – some regarding it as fairly traditional bonus...

    Aug 2

    Big Brother meets politics (again)

    When George Orwell wrote 1984 he probably didn’t envisage Davina McCall presiding...

    Jul 26

    Blogging to the Converted?

    The issue still being debated, however, is whether these blogs actually broaden the base...

    Jul 12

    Apathy on the Beeb

    Perhaps foolishly I expected them to appear at the top of the page (where the headlines...

    Jun 28

    Roundies and Squaries

    The Guardian carries the think-tank version of the kiss-and-tell story today. Ellie Levenson...

    Jun 21

    PPPs down under

    The Evatt Foundation in Australia have just published an article that I wrote for their...

    Jun 21

    Kerry storms ahead…

    Its not something which seems likely to precipitate an immediate revision of the American...

    May 5

    Bookworms and Networks

    [via IWire]Valdis Crebs has produced a new networked representation of the purchasing pattern...

    Apr 26

    "The man" fights back

    Last month there was a brief discussion on an example of the internet 'bringing innovation...

    Apr 23

    Higher Personalisation

    Charlie Leadbeater continues his personalisation Odyssey with an article in The Times Higher...

    Apr 5

    Open Source Learning?

    Where does plagiarism stop and open source learning begin? A report from the Joint Council...

    Mar 25

    Offshore benefits?

    Just read an interesting Article in USA Today regaling the benefits of offshoring programming...

    Feb 27

    Miliband on Personalisation

    The last two days has seen Demos, OECD and the Innovation Unit (DfES) hosting an international...

    Feb 25


    Last week I watched two different programmes charting the progress of two new brands of...