Cieo (pronounced Kee-oh!) is a new think tank for a new political era.
Voters around the world are rejecting mainstream parties or forcing change from within, challenging the legitimacy of long-standing institutions such as the EU, and demanding a greater say in the running of their countries. This new political landscape calls for fresh ideas to replace stale orthodoxies.
At present, a close relationship between politicians, journalists, civil servants, think tanks and lobbyists ensures only a narrow range of views inform the selection and framing of social problems. Rather than attempting to understand the concerns of the electorate there is, at times, a readiness to blame voters for being irredeemably ignorant, racist and xenophobic, or simply too old, white and male. This despair at the populace can lead to attempts at overturning democratic mandates or even to questioning the wisdom of universal suffrage.
A global social and political elite can seem to have more in common with each other than with citizens of their country. This disjuncture can take the form of a clash of values with personal lifestyle choices, such as how best to raise children, what to eat, whether or not to smoke or even how to dress, becoming the subject of political concern. This can leave people feeling patronized, as if they are unable to conduct their everyday lives without official advice, approval or monitoring. Meanwhile, discussions about the economy, immigration, the environment, the health service, housing and national security have come to be seen as solely the remit of experts.
Cieo has no formal alignment with any political party; it aims to expand the terrain of debate though promoting new ideas and new voices. Cieo stands for five distinct values: democracy, liberty, prosperity, humanity and tolerance. These values underpin a commitment to take seriously the views of people who live and work outside of Westminster or Washington. They also underpin a distinctive and far-reaching critical and theoretical perspective. As a result, Cieo goes beyond simply reflecting public opinion and seeks to change the political conversation entirely.
Cieo conducts original social research as well as producing critical commentaries on existing policies and practices. This work is published in the form of reports, articles and press releases. All reports are available through Cieo’s website which will also contain links to blogs, articles and press coverage. Cieo considers publicly disseminating findings so as to prompt wide ranging discussion to be as important as the production of the research itself. To this end, Cieo hosts occasional public lectures and debates.
Cieo’s work is focused around its five core values: democracy, liberty, prosperity, humanity and tolerance. Each value represents a distinct theme of work. Exemplar issues to be covered by each theme include: * Democracy: What are the motivations and concerns of non-voters? * Liberty: School vs Home - who decides what is best for children? * Prosperity: What impact do sin taxes have on spending habits? * Humanity: What does it mean to be a citizen of a nation? *Tolerance: Can we tolerate religious freedom?
In order to get Cieo off the ground we need to raise £10,000 immediately. This is to cover start up costs involved with registering as a not for profit business, designing a logo, designing and building a website and the administration involved in applying for initial grants.