People’s Commission on life after Covid-19 launched to lead largest ever public conversation on Britain’s future

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Cross-party think tank Demos has launched a People’s Commission on Life After Covid-19, Renew Normal, to lead the largest ever public conversation on the future of the UK.
30 May, 2020

Using Demos’ pioneering technology, the project aims to involve up to one million people from all walks of life in shaping society after the coronavirus crisis.

The Commission brings together leading figures from sectors across society to steer the major project. The Commissioners appointed are:

  • Andrea Sutcliffe – Chief Executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Rt Hon Charlie Falconer – Baron Falconer of Thoroton, Shadow Attorney General and former Lord Chancellor
  • Deborah Meaden – renowned businesswoman and star of BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den
  • Professor Donna Hall CBE – former Chief Executive of Wigan Council and Chair of the New Local Government Network
  • Hetan Shah – Chief Executive of The British Academy
  • Josh Hardie – Deputy Director General, Confederation of British Industry
  • Martin Lewis OBE – founder of and personal finance expert
  • Mike Clancy – General Secretary of the Prospect trade union
  • Nick Timothy – author and former adviser to the Prime Minister
  • Rt Hon Nicky Morgan – Baroness Morgan of Cotes, former Secretary of State for Education, and for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
  • Stewart Wood, Lord Wood of Anfield – former senior adviser to the Leader of the Opposition
  • Vidhya Alakeson – Chief Executive of Power to Change, a National Lottery-funded network of community businesses


As part of the Commission, Demos has today launched an open platform for citizens to share their stories, experiences and ideas, as the first step to understanding the impact current changes are having on people’s lives across the country. Renew Normal will work with the public throughout the project, through social listening, deliberation, participation, polling, and discussion, to understand the real life implications of all these changes.

Demos will then work with Commissioners and the public to find ways to hold on to the changes we value – from increased community connection to reduced air pollution – and heal the damage that has been caused – from unemployment to loneliness.

Commenting on the new Commission, Polly Mackenzie, Chief Executive at Demos and convenor of the Commission, said:

“Britain will change dramatically after Covid-19, but it shouldn’t just be for politicians to decide what that change looks like. The whole country needs to get involved in making these choices about how we repair our country, and what we build back. The debate must be open, friendly and involve people on a massive, unprecedented scale. With a stellar set of trusted experts on our Commission, we hope to facilitate this huge conversation.

“Our first survey out today gives people across the whole country a chance to share what they have been experiencing during this life-altering time, which will help us to shape a vision for a better future.”

Martin Lewis, founder of and the Money & Mental Health Policy Institute said:

“Life has changed forever. Not just the way we work, support each other, travel, shop and spend, but also the roles people play in society. The past few months have been challenging for our country on every level, but it is time to try and find opportunity from the adversity. This is a moment to decide how we want to rebuild things, by design, not chance. A national conversation is needed, to see how lives have changed and how everyone feels about it, that’s why I’m delighted to be involved in the Demos commission, to try to work to ensure all voices are heard, and amplified, to hope for the betterment of society for all.”

The survey can be found at



Media Contact

Josh Tapper, Communications Officer, Demos

Phone: 07535748224


About Demos

Demos is Britain’s leading cross-party think-tank: an independent, educational charity, which produces original and innovative research.