Citizens: Why the Key to Fixing Everything is All of Us
Citizens opens up a new way of understanding ourselves and shows us what we must do to survive and thrive – as individuals, as organisations, as nations, even as a species.
Jon Alexander’s consultancy, the New Citizenship Project, has helped revitalise some of Britain’s biggest organisations such as the Co-op, The Guardian and the National Trust. Here, with the New York Times bestselling writer Ariane Conrad, he shows how human history has moved from the Subject Story of kings and empires to the current Consumer Story. Now, he argues compellingly, it is time to enter the Citizen Story.
Because when our institutions treat people as citizens rather than consumers, everything changes. Unleashing the power of everyone equips us to face the challenges of economic insecurity, climate crisis, public health threats, and polarisation.
Citizens is an upbeat handbook, full of insights, clear examples to follow, and inspiring case studies, from the slums of Kenya to the backstreets of Birmingham. It is the perfect pick-me-up for leaders, founders, elected officials – and citizens everywhere.
With a foreword by Brian Eno.
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“In the decade or so since meeting Jon, I’ve never been more convinced he has one of the few big ideas that’s easily applied, fundamentally needed and genuinely offers a chance of change. Get on board for his new work, now. I am.”
Sam Conniff, author, Be More Pirate
“The shift from consumer to citizen is a truly big idea. If you’re in a position of strategic influence, I strongly recommend you engage with this and consciously explore what it might mean for your organisation.”
Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE, Former Director General, National Trust, and Trustee, BBC
“Citizens is a powerful and intriguing contribution to the search for a genuinely sustainable future. I am particularly interested in how the Citizen Story might help businesses to engage more fully with their employees and customers to accelerate sustainability and might also help businesses to become more transparent and accountable.”
David Grayson, Emeritus Professor of Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield University School of Management and co-author of The Sustainable Business Handbook’
“Society is like an out of control house party – eating, drinking and consuming everything. Jon is the organiser of the campfire gathering behind the party. It’s calm and welcoming and you won’t want to leave. In Citizens, Jon and Ariane show how to leave the burning house of the Consumer Story and join the campfire that is the Citizen Story.”
Stephen Greene, CEO of RockCorps and founding Chair of National Citizen Service (UK)