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About Us

What if neighbourhoods across the world could share knowledge and learn from each other to build powerful commons where they are?

It is possible to bring citizens together in commons to build power outside of dominant narratives and constructs that shackle and limit what can be achieved.

If the stories we tell ourselves and each other can make us sick then they too can heal, nourish and enable us to flourish. Let’s collect, connect and share them.

We can harness the stories of what's possible and what matters to mobilise and build out power in neighbourhoods – eclipsing the legacy of extraction from people and places and moving towards futures of healing, agency and care.

There are glimmers of this future already among us. The Neighbourhood Democracy Movement is nurturing an alternative vision by amplifying the stories of neighbourhoods, community connection and local democratic power.

What if we could demonstrate, through our stories and our relationships, that much of what we need for a just and fair future is already here?

What if we embraced the power of fun, connection and mischief to tell the stories of welcome, discovery and a just and fair transition?

Neighbourhood Democracy Movement is hosted by Citizen Network and powered by Opus.

The NDM Team

Angelina Kussy

Angelina Kussy

I support the flourishing of both the Neighbourhood Democracy Movement & UBI Lab Network, a worldwide network of citizens, researchers & activists exploring the potential of Universal Basic Income.

Originally from Warsaw, based in Barcelona, I consider myself a municipalist internationalist. I believe in local, ground-up solutions, politics of proximity, direct people’s interactions, radical & deliberative democracy and bottom-up movements.

I also believe in the local public state, in that it can secure the universality of people’s rights, and in the need to overcome the “local trap” by working in an international - or inter-municipal & trans-neighbourhood - network.

In 2017, as part of the International Committee of Barcelona en Comú – a citizen’s platform governing Barcelona from 2015 to 2023, with former anti-eviction activist Ada Colau as the first female mayor in the city – I was involved in organising the first Fearless Cities congress, bringing together more than 700 progressive mayors, councillors, citizens and activists to challenge neoliberalism and the far-right. It was a global movement of citizen platforms running in local elections, urban movements and common people being involved in politics.

As an academic, I have worked on the social care crisis, focusing on abuses in migrants' domestic work and exploring the potential of the commons to tackle the problem with care. I have been critical of the centrality of waged work in our societies, productivism and the imperative of growth at the cost of people’s quality of life and life on the planet.

I believe we should all have more time to be able to define and see ourselves more as citizens, carers, friends, neighbours and whoever we want – instead of workers or property owners.

As a part of the Neighbourhood Democracy Movement, I’m here to support any member of the network wanting to play part in this joyful effort of building together the future we deserve.

Reach me over email or on Twitter.

Simon Duffy

Simon Duffy

I am a citizen of Nether Edge in Sheffield and otherwise a generic Northerner, with a family from Manchester and having grown up in Bury, Bolton and Durham. My work is all about how to make citizenship real. I am President of the global Citizen Network Coop (registered in Finland) and Director of Citizen Network Research, based in Sheffield.

The Neighbourhood Democracy Movement is very important to me because I think that our best chance of discovering our own citizenship and finding out what democracy really means is at the hyperlocal level. When things get too big then inevitably a few people will take over. At a human scale, everyone can be involved.

Most of my working life has focused on disability and trying to find practical ways of helping people live as citizens, not trapped in institutions. I would love to see health and social care services embrace the need to be much more local. More importantly, it would be great to see people with disabilities at the heart of social change at the neighbourhood level.

I believe we are currently trapped by a weird view of the world which says the powerful know best and that progress means centralisation. But what we and the natural world need is for power and resources to be shared out and for us to work together to safeguard and protect the natural world. Neighbourhood democracy is an essential part of the revolution we need.

Sam moon intro

Sam Moon

Joining the Neighborhood Democracy Movement team to me is a beautiful opportunity to enter the lift and face a different way, press the buttons to see what emerges amongst a community who are pioneering towards how we can rewrite the rules to make better ones.

I have been involved in youth and community shenanigans for the past 25 year or so. I'm passionate about creating belonging, the power of community and my favorite biscuit is a hobnob. (Apologies if this has already created a divide amongst us. I welcome all, biscuit lovers or not.)

The questions I am most excited about now are ones that create life and amplify the story of community, by the community, rather outside actors. It is not about finding 'the answer'; it's about what is discovered by who is answering it, questions that are open to interpretation by who is speaking to the question, and for the power to be held by who is telling the story.

It's this practice of possibility-orientated inquiry, interviewing, dialogue and conversation that I will be involved in at NDM, along with others who wish to journey with us and share story. Watch this space!

Hannah gray ellis

Hannah Ellis Gray

I’m super excited to be getting more involved in the Neighbourhood Democracy Movement.

In my day job, I work alongside communities to shine a light on the capacity that we all have to support each other throughout life and right up to the end of life. I’ve found that listening to stories and hearing others talking about what they are really passionate about lights a fire in me. I guess I have the kind of personality type that can get swept away with amazing ideas. Often I find myself thinking “Wowo! I would love to do that too!”

Since I can’t do everything – especially with two little kids in tow – I instead rejoice in hearing of and celebrating other people’s success.

I recently took part in Axiom News’ Generative Journalism course and got butterflies at the thought of having some tools to bring about better connection with others, so that together we can all learn more about the ways that communities are taking action and doing amazing things.

I tried out my new skills with a friend recently and got very excited about the way she was able to reflect and pull things together as we talked. I have known this friend for ten years, have had many a deep and meaningful conversation, and yet we’ve never spoken like that before.

This makes me wonder how many amazing, joyful stories of community power are just waiting to be heard, and how can we give them a platform so we can celebrate this action? I’m sure that NDM will provide an answer to that.

Angela bigger

Angela Fell

I'm a citizen who lives in Springfield, Beech Hill and Gidlow in Wigan in the North West of England.

I'm one of the founding members of the Neighbourhood Democracy Movement. During the pandemic it felt necessary to create a place for people working in communities who are creating more natural ways of living together that might eclipse domineering narratives.

I work closely with Gill and together we formed Northern Heart and Soul CiC with a bold dream of becoming a self-renovating and self-organising neighbourhood and building on their experience of cultivating mutual aid across the community during the pandemic.

By a stroke of luck, we discovered Greater Manchester System Changers and received Lankelly Chase Foundation investment to follow the dream.