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Hello, my name is Dan, thanks for visiting. I’ve created this page as a place to summarise my work across what is now a few different roles and organisations, and in particular to host information on my independent consultancy & writing, as I’ve started to do more of both.

Over the last decade I have worked with campaigns, coalitions, foundations and political parties in the UK and globally to develop strategies for broadening the appeal of alternative social and economic propositions, including seven years leading digital mobilisation agency Small Axe, and six years heading strategic communications consultancy Cohere Partners. 

My current main roles are Executive Director at non-profit research body the Future Narratives Lab, and Strategy Director at economic development co-operative Stir to Action (more details on both below). 

As you will see, the common themes across my work and interests are strategic communications, cultural psychology, narrative and identity – and how all of these can be applied practically to the challenge of improving politics and society.

Before all this, I grew up in in Mid Wales, and spent 10 years in Sheffield before moving down to London to study at the Institute of Social Psychology at LSE. If you’d like to discuss any of the above or a potential collaboration, you can get in touch through the form at the bottom of this page.

Current roles

Executive Director – Future Narratives Lab

Non-profit research initiative that seeks to analyse and understand deep cultural models that shape how we approach our major social challenges.

Recent projects have looked at Artificial Intelligence & Data, debates over the future of education, and barriers to collective climate action.

We also hold regular events looking at topics of interest, such as Big Tech and Far Right mythology. More information on our website: futurenarrativeslab.org

Director – Stir to Action

An economic development co-operative using the power of democratic ownership to transform economic inequality, the climate emergency and our wider society.

We work with local and regional government, community groups, funders and foundations, carrying out research, business support and economic development projects.

We also run an annual series of events, host the Centre for Democratic Business, and publish a quarterly magazine of new economic ideas: stirtoaction.com

Strategy & Messaging Consultant

I occasionally work with organisations on a one-off and retained basis, developing effective strategies and messaging to increase their political & public influence, for example:

Lead Messaging Consultant on a civil society coalition campaign run by the Finance Innovation Lab to address proposals in the government’s Financial Services & Markets bill

Mentor on the Platform Co-operative Accelerator, Unfound

Writing

The ‘polarisation’ distraction

Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley

Why polarisation, as a concept rooted in flawed Cold War psychology, is not the best way to understand the recent increase in hostility and division. How it  obscures the real root causes (and solutions) – and what could be a better approach. [Warning: A long read – 6,500 words!]

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The Problem with Storytelling

Stir Magazine

It’s a common refrain that to achieve a better world we just need to ‘tell better stories’. But the apparent simplicity of this request conceals problematic assumptions, and a dangerous simplification of our real challenges. 

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How effective a slogan is ‘Build Back Better’?

Medium

In July 2020 I wrote this article about why ‘Build Back Better’ was not going to make an effective slogan for social movements to push for genuine substantive change coming out of the pandemic. I’d call it prescient if I wasn’t so humble.

Read >

Other recent roles & projects

Contact me