Commonly Asked Questions

And answers.

Who are we?

Humanity Project is a network of people from across the country coming together in love and care. We’re a creative and people-powered dynamo for change through people’s and citizens’ assemblies, committed to crafting these new tools and developing fresh perspectives needed for an inclusive 21st century democracy.

Who’s involved?

Humanity Project was started by some of the people behind the most successful social movements of recent decades, but its momentum and direction comes from you – thousands are already taking part in this national conversation and helping this new assembly culture flourish. Humanity Project works with groups on the ground, such as The Cost of Living Alliance, Trust the People, Cornwall Climate Action, Flatpack Democracy, Faculty for a Future, and more.

What is a Pop?

A Pop is short for ‘popular assembly’. An assembly is a way for people to come together and share, deliberate on and make decisions about what matters to them. This can be locally or nationally, or even globally, and is organised so that everyone can be heard, we all listen, and no matter your beliefs or where you come from, everyone has a seat at the table. A people’s assembly is a gathering of anyone who wants to attend, whereas in a citizen’s assembly the attendees are chosen through a ‘democratic lottery’. This is a bit like jury service, but is representative of the wider population in terms of gender, race, class, geography and other demographics. It’s a snapshot of society, where the randomness of the lottery selection dissolves the corruption that often happens when people seek out power.

Who are you funded by?

There are a lot of people who believe our politics is broken and has to change – some of these individuals have given us money to help begin this project. We have also applied to a number of foundations and other grant-making bodies who want to support the work of building a new democracy. We also haven’t spent much! Many of our volunteers are working for us either free or to cover their living expenses.

Why do you need donations?

We don’t make money from any of our activities, and running this project does cost, so we welcome any donations small or large, to help us do the work. We will be launching a Humanity Project membership too in the future, so you can join and have your say in our direction.

What is my donation being spent on?

We financially support the Pops (Pop Assemblies) in local areas, with funding for venue hire, food, resources and access needs. We are mostly run by volunteers, but we aim to cover living expenses of those volunteers who need it. We also have the usual outgoings of any organisation, such as website and mailing list costs, and travel expenses so our volunteers can visit Pops around the country to support and guide local teams.

Is it political?

We have faith in people. We know that when ordinary people come together, we can make better decisions than politicians. So Humanity Project’s goal is to develop and provide the tools to help us all build our own future and new democracy. In that sense, we are political because we want a better politics – a politics that serves people. The only reason politics should exist is to help us, its citizens, live well on this planet.

Is it local or national?

Both, and very much shaped by what happens locally everywhere across the country. We believe a wave of assemblies across the country will build momentum for this new culture of self-built democracy, not waiting for either Westminster or the parish council to tell us what to do, but doing it ourselves. We also believe that bringing this wave of local action together in a public chorus through national people’s and citizens’ assemblies is a crucial part of doing things differently. People everywhere want to be heard – they deserve to be heard – and our plan for national assemblies is a critical step in building this 21st century politics.

Has this worked before?

There has been a huge increase of enthusiasm for assemblies across the world – and some have worked better than others. In Ireland, for example, its established citizens’ assemblies on various issues have seen positive change on issues ranging from climate change to population ageing. Whereas only 5% of the population had been interested in taking part, that figure has now risen to 25%. No one has yet connected local and national assemblies, nor rebuilt politics from the bottom-up to the extent that is needed – but this is the work we have to do if we are going to see our families, communities and flourish in this 21st century.