Citizens: Why the Key to Fixing Everything is All of Us

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'An underground hit' Best Politics Books, Financial Times

'Jon has one of the few big ideas that's easily applied' – Sam Conniff, Be More Pirate

'A wonderful guide to how to be human in the 21st Century'Ece Temelkuran, How to Lose a Country: the Seven Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship


Citizens opens up a new way of understanding ourselves and shows us what we must do to survive and thrive as individuals, organisations, and nations.

Over the past decade, Jon Alexander’s consultancy, the New Citizenship Project, has helped revitalise some of Britain’s biggest organisations including the Co-op, the Guardian and the National Trust. Here, with the New York Times bestselling writer Ariane Conrad, he shows how history is about to enter age of the Citizen.

Because when our institutions treat people as creative, empowered creatures rather than consumers, everything changes.

Unleashing the power of everyone equips us to face the challenges of economic insecurity, climate crisis, public health threats, and polarisation.

Citizens is an upbeat handbook, full of insights, clear examples to follow, and inspiring case studies, from the slums of Kenya to the backstreets of Birmingham – and a foreword by Brian Eno.

It is the perfect pick-me-up for leaders, founders, elected officials – and citizens everywhere. Organise and seize the future!


'Society is like an out of control house party – eating, drinking and consuming everything. Jon is the organiser of the campfire gathering behind the party. It’s calm and welcoming and you won’t want to leave. In Citizens, Jon and Ariane show how to leave the burning house of the Consumer Story and join the campfire that is the Citizen Story.' – Stephen Greene, CEO of RockCorps and founding Chair of National Citizen Service UK

'The belief that every single one of us has both the potential and the desire to make the world better drives me every day, in everything I do. In Citizens, Jon shows how taking that belief as a starting point really could transform our world. This is a truly powerful book, in every sense of the word.' - Josh Babarinde, Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur

'Every great transformation requires a new story. A story that reveals new possibilities and points toward an optimistic alternative to the current situation. Citizens presents just such a story and if we respond to its challenge we may just manage to navigate our way out of the mess we have created for ourselves.' – Tim Brown, Chair of IDEO and author of Change By Design

'Jon is working with a set of ideas and tools that have the potential to change politics forever. In fact, they could change everything forever.' – Ian Kearns, Founder and Trustee, European Leadership Network

'Citizens is a powerful and intriguing contribution to the search for a genuinely sustainable future. I am particularly interested in how the Citizen Story might help businesses to engage more fully with their employees and customers to accelerate sustainability and might also help businesses to become more transparent and accountable.' – David Grayson, Emeritus Professor of Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield University School of Management and co-author of The Sustainable Business Handbook

'The shift from consumer to citizen is a truly big idea. If you’re in a position of strategic influence, I strongly recommend you engage with this and consciously explore what it might mean for your organisation.' – Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE, Former Director General, National Trust, and Trustee, BBC

'There is such a thing as an idea whose time has come. This is that idea.' – James Perry, Board Member, B Lab Global, and Founding Partner, Snowball Investment Management

About the Authors

JON ALEXANDER began his career with success in advertising, winning the prestigious Big Creative Idea of the Year before making a dramatic change.

Driven by a deep need to understand the impact on society of 3,000 commercial messages a day, he gathered three Masters degrees, exploring consumerism and its alternatives from every angle.

In 2014, he co-founded the New Citizenship Project to bring the resulting ideas into contact with reality. In Citizens, he is ready to share them with the world.

ARIANE CONRAD has built a career turning big ideas into books that change the world. Known as the Book Doula, she has co-written several New York Times bestsellers.

BRIAN ENO is an artist, philosopher and Citizen who has played a critical part in British culture since the early 1970s. He is a deep believer in the power of ideas and the possibility of a better world, beliefs which manifest both in his audio and visual art, and in his deep engagement with social, political and environmental issues.

Product Details

£12.99  £12.34
Canbury Press
Publish Date

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