One of the things that has influenced We Are Readers most over the last few months has been the thinking of the New Citizenship Project. They are interested in how we can shift the way we think about ourselves and our role in society: from that of consumer, to that of active citizen. This is what we are aiming to do in the world of reading, writing and literature. To move readers from seeing ourselves and being seen as the receivers of art, to active participants in it, and from consumers of what the trade provides, to discerning citizens using reading as a springboard to building a better world.

Earlier this week, New Citizenship Project launched their #Citizenshift report. This morning I received the following email from them. I was tempted to run out this morning and buy a copy of Public Library and Other Stories by Ali Smith this morning. But I won’t. I’ll wait. Because maybe some things are more important than saving a little bit of money. Our book trade is already eating itself with discounts, I don’t need to be a part of it.

You can the reflections of Jon Alexander, Director of New Citizenship Project, on the true significance of Black Friday 2015 in the Huffington Post here. And below is the email they sent today. It’s worth a read.



You could be forgiven for thinking that today represents another milestone in the continuing dominance of Consumerism.

We think you’d be wrong.  We think actually Black Friday 2015 will come to be seen as the beginning of the end of a social mode that has gone past its sell by date.

That’s why we chose this week to launch This Is The #CitizenShift: A Guide To Understanding and Embracing the Emerging Era of the Citizen.  On Monday night, we were joined by over 100 people from across all sectors and backgrounds: senior executives at major corporations like Shell, KPMG and Mars; public sector influencers from the Institute of Government and inside the Civil Service; start-up CEOs; and charity and social enterprise directors.  And the conversation flowed


We believe today is a vital day to draw attention to the story that’s not being told – a story of hope and meaning.  If you agree, please do share the report and the article as widely as possible.