Model Westminster

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Model Westminster

London, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Model Westminster is a new educational simulation of British Parliament, which will be delivered to students throughout London. For two days of the year, pupils will maintain and manage their own constituency. From budgeting, to lobbying participants will have to address tough policy challenges.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if, everyone one in the world truly understood Politics, what would democracy look like?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Young people in the UK feel a strong level of distrust towards politicians and policy makers, this is caused by a lack of understanding about political processes. This tarnishes the value of democracy as a lack of understanding leads to a lack of interest. This is damaging as young people are unaware at how much politics has an effect on their everyday lives. Similarly, with the UK considering Votes at 16, we aim to provide a political education

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Model Westminster aims to tackle the common misconceptions of Politicians and policy-makers by the younger demographic. The educational event will serve a means to bridge the gap between the two entities and create dialogue where both parties can appreciate the other and share a mutual understanding of their society. This will be possible as the event will showcase exactly how politics works, with all the compromises it involves, in theory we believe this will show young people how difficult politics is and how decisions are made, therefore increasing their trust in politicians and policy makers. Similarly an understanding of political processes in one's own area may introduce young people into politics from a more informed perspective.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

I shall use myself as an example. At the age of 16, I held a strong distrust towards politicians and politics. I believed that the majority of politicians worked for self-interest and did not care about the views or concerns of my demographic. Unfortunately, my opinion was misplaced. I had no idea how politics worked. I wanted to changed the way politics worked and how voices were heard. To do this, I knew I would have to enter the realm of politics myself, by the age of 18, I took an interest in local, regional and national politics. I decided to study Government and Policy at the LSE. I realised how important it was to my life and how difficult politics was. I learnt how politicians worked and I made an effort to get involved.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We believe that young people are interested in politics but feel betrayed by recent political decisions. This can be changed by showing them exactly how politics operates. Similarly, we feel that young people should be informed and educated about all issues relating to politics and not just the issues that affect their generation. Furthermore, with the recent announcement of 'Votes at 16' if Labour win the 2015 General Election, we feel a realistic political education is paramount for the future of young people's understanding of the world around them. In our pilot we aim to educate 120 young people and students, from here they will have a accurate idea of Politics and the concerns of their own local areas. We believe they will be able to look at politics in a completely new way and understand the frequent changes in society. In the future we aim to reach thousands of participants.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

For our pilot event we have totalled a cost of £4217.67 this includes overhead costs to market and brand Model Westminster and the two-day event cost. To finance this, we would require a financial sponsor. However, we would charge participants for the event, ranging from £10.00-£15.00. If the event services 120 young people we would be able to cover around 60% of our event costs. For Year 2 with 200-300 participants we hope to be sustainable.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In the UK we have a fw organisations that allow young people to represent other young people within Parliament.

Founding Story

My Aha! Moment. - I founded Model Westminster in my first year of University, studying Government and Politics. When speaking to peers and friends about my choice of degree, I often received a confused reaction, followed by 'Why Politics? That's a horrible career choice.' This disheartened me immensely, as my younger peers could not see the benefits of pursuing this area of work. From there I realised most people I knew held negative views towards politicians and politics. I wanted to change this. I was determined to change this. From there I realised the best way to enhance involvement and understanding of British Politics would be through sharing knowledge and education. It had to be done in a realistic way.