Dr Andy WilliamsonÂ is founder of Future Digital, an Associate at Involve, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Manchester. Â He is author of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’sÂ Social Media Guidelines for Parliaments. Â He explains why he thinks politics is fundamentally broken, and what we have to do to fix it.
(Am I an activist?). I can be. I can be stroppy and awkward when I want to be. Iâ€™m donâ€™t think Iâ€™m an activist particularly, my role is perhaps more of an agitator. I have the privilege of working on both sides of the system. I think one of the problems of activists, is they becomeâ€¦activist can be a negative term because an activist can be seen as someone is simply taking one issue a little bit too seriously, and shouting a lot about it â€“ theyâ€™re probably right and have a good point, but they can be a bit of a one trick pony, and that can start to be a bit of a pain in the side, and theyâ€™re really necessary and they do a really good job, but actually thereâ€™s a need for a second lot of people who come along and work with both sides. The future isnâ€™t about us of them, itâ€™s not about citizens and politicians â€“ we talk about â€œcitizen engagementâ€, itâ€™s almost patronising. We should be talking about participation in the broadest sense, we should be looking at partnerships. The role that I have, and Iâ€™ve created a fascinating niche in a way is that I work with both sides. â€¦. So Iâ€™m more of an agitator for change across the whole system than trying to be dogmatic about the need to create this revolutionary change.