Q: What is the VOICE Assembly?

A: It’s a group of 40 people from Hyson Green, chosen by lottery, to give input on art and culture in the area. Their recommendations will help shape NAE’s future plans around it’s strategy and vision for Hyson Green.

Q: Is this your only Citizen-Led initiative:

A: No. We have also introduced a variety of initiatives for smaller citizen-led groups and panels to shape and focus the design of some of our key opportunities as well as decide on the outcomes of our core commissions.

Q: What is the difference in focus between these smaller groups and the VOICE Assembly:

A: These smaller groups are designed to design and shape the programmes while the VOICE Assembly will be focusing on articulating their wider aspirations for creative and cultural regeneration of the neighborhood while sharing recommendations that will form NAE’s strategy and vision for its work in Hyson Green.

Q: When does the VOICE Assembly meet?

A: The first meetings are on May 23rd, 24th, and 25th. Participants will learn about NAE, and about the programmes it delivers in Hyson Green while exploring how, together, we can shape the future of art and culture in Hyson Green.

Q: What happens after the first meetings in May?

A: Members will be invited to participate in three follow-up meetings to delve deeper into how we can enhance Hyson Green’s cultural landscape, drawing on insights from national experts. These sessions will focus on further learning, deliberation, and finalising recommendations to NAE. They will be facilitated by an independent facilitator and the recommendations will be made public.

Q: Do I need special knowledge to join?

A: No, you don’t need any prior knowledge. We’ll provide all the information you need.

Q: How is the Assembly inclusive?

A: We ensure the event is accessible to everyone, cover expenses like transport, provide lunch, and offer additional support if needed. Each participant receives £100 per day.

Q: Who can join the VOICE Assembly?

A: Anyone over 18 living in Hyson Green, except for government officials, political party employees, council employees, NAE employees and their immediate family members and NAE Board members and their immediate family members. We want a group that reflects our community’s diversity.

Q: How are members chosen?

A: A total of 12000 invitations will be sent to citizens in Hyson Green and its surrounding areas. Out of the people who register their interest, 40 will be selected through a lottery process, aiming for a group that represents the whole community.

Q: What happens after the meetings?

A: The aspirations, ideas and recommendations from the Assembly will be shared publicly and will shape NAE’s work in the Neighbourhood and its future strategy and vision for Hyson Green.

Q: What’s unique about NAE’s approach?

A: NAE’s approach is unique through its pioneering integration of the VOICE Assembly within its Three Pillars Leadership Model. Unlike traditional citizen panels that provide sporadic feedback, our model embeds the Assembly directly into our core leadership and strategic processes. This ensures a continuous, dynamic engagement with international norms of citizen assemblies, shaping NAE’s strategic direction and vision for Hyson Green. Our model represents a commitment to democratic engagement, continuous stakeholder dialogue, and a strategic impact far beyond conventional advisory roles. Though in its early stages, we expect it to grow and mature as we develop our thinking, experience and expertise.

Q: How does the Three Pillar Leadership model work?

A: The Three Pillar Leadership model works in a way where the Board of Trustees ensures that the organisation keeps to its mission, that the executive and wider team deliver excellence and provides expertise and that the citizen assembly ensures continuous relevance to NAE’s core community of interest. This model combines input from the three pillars, ensuring mission, excellence and relevance are the driving force of NAE.

Q: What’s next?

A: We’ll use the Assembly’s insights to refine our approach and inspire others to adopt similar models, fostering a dialogue on democratic leadership in culture.

Q: What happens to me after the end of my involvement?

A: The recommendations will be made public and we will update you on how these have fed and shaped our strategy and vision for the work we deliver in Hyson Green. The next iteration of the VOICE Assembly will also be able to oversee our progress in terms of delivery. After the end of the first iteration, members, depending on opportunity and availability, may receive invitations to participate in some of our smaller citizen-led groups and panels to shape and focus the design of some of our key opportunities as well as decide on the outcomes of our core commissions. Any opportunity will be offered to all members of the assembly and a random selection process will be put in place to choose participants according to spaces available.

Q: How are you making the VOICE assembly a permanent part of your leadership structure?

A: The VOICE Assembly operates on a cyclical basis, with each assembly serving a term of no more than 24 months before recruiting a new cohort of citizens through a randomised selection process. This ensures continuous evolution and strengthens our connection with the community. To maintain continuity, up to 20% of the outgoing assembly have the option, if they wish, to join the first series of meetings of the new cohort, facilitating knowledge transfer during this transition. This approach underlines our commitment to an ongoing, dynamic dialogue with Hyson Green, driving the future of art and culture in a citizen-led manner that’s both meaningful and adaptable.

Q: How can I be kept updated with your progress?

A: Check our website, join our social media or sign up for our newsletter.


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