NSxNG: what the UK public want to tell their Government

We have just submitted our National Strategy for the Next Generations (NSxNG) report to senior officials within the UK Government working on the Integrated Review. This paper drew together the findings from the pilot phase (‘proof of concept’ stage) of our ongoing NSxNG programme, delivered in conjunction with our brilliant network of delivery partners. Our public participation activities have included a Citizens’ Assembly test session (led by the Democratic Society), a series of youth workshops (spearheaded by Agora), an online survey and in-depth interviews.

Our driving aim throughout this work is to give the UK’s citizens, and next generations in particular, a central role in shaping our country’s future place in the world. Five key messages to Government emerged strongly from the programme so far:  

  1. It’s time for an honest reassessment – perhaps a ‘managed, relative decline’. This emphasis on tackling head-on the issue of relative decline underlines the urgent need to work on a new national narrative that can inspire pride and hope in our future role.
  2. Make the hard choices – and reorient fast to survive. Our work revealed an appetite for honest language and clear choice-making. Whatever choice is made about the UK’s future role, our respondents underlined that the world is changing fast and the UK cannot afford decades agonising over its own role.
  3. Keep putting values at the centre – acting as a force for good and steward for a rules-based system. Whether that’s on climate change, social justice, welfare, challenging aggression, responsible innovation, mediating conflict, disrupting the spread of corruption or misinformation.
  4. Build the assets to support UK influencing, especially on innovation. The UK has significant soft power levers, including through our networks, ideas, innovation and influence.
  5. Recognise we must put our own house in order domestically. Participants stressed that our future global role would hinge on ‘domestic’ issues such as devolution, State of the Union, health, the economy, social security, social mobility, and affordable housing.

We’ll be releasing a full public version of the report in November – watch this space.

About the NSxNG programme: We and our partners in this work believe that a UK future national strategy should:

  • Represent the interests of future generations
  • Be participative, and support citizens to have a voice in national futures
  • Build a more meaningful, united and plausible national narrative
  • Draw on past, present and future insights

Our 2020 activities are just the beginning – with a full programme being planned for 2021-2.

Get involved: If you’d like to get involved in the NSxNG programme, please share your contact details via our form here. If you are interested in joining our delivery partner network of organisations, do contact sophie@soif.org.uk to discuss.