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David Clarke: Wealth Shared

In this episode we take a look at the Wealth Shared project that happened in 2023 in Liverpool, UK – in which 12 randomly-selected citizens of the L8 postcode were given the chance to decide how £100K was given away. We talk to project founder David Clarke, who provided the money and designed the approach, and also hear briefly from Anne-Marie Gilleece, one of the 12 participants who got to make the decision.


  • What was the thinking behind the project?
  • What primarily drove the design? Was it a desire to make distribution of money more effective; concerns about democratic legitimacy; or an interest in the value of the process for those participating?
  • How much latitude did the project allow participants in terms of choosing where the money went? What was the thinking behind any restrictions?
  • What was most interesting or surprising about the deliberation meetings?
  • Were there any moments of conflict? How were these handled?
  • Were there any challenges in interacting with participants as the donor?
  • How did data inform the decision making?
  • To what extent were participants’ choices informed by awareness of the political context?
  • How much of what happened was specific to the context of Liverpool?
  • How important was the strong sense of existing identity associated with the L8 postcode in giving the group cohesion? Or would the shared responsibility of giving away money be enough to bind a more disparate group around a sense of common purpose?
  • Was it a surprise that the group decided to give to organisations based locally?
  • What discussions did the group have about how the money should be given? (i.e. did they want to stipulate that it had to be used in certain ways, or were they happy to give unrestricted gifts?)
  • Was there discussion about effectiveness? What form did this take?
  • Did the grant recipients see particular value in this process?
  • Is this something that only works if driven by an individual donor who is willing to cede control? Or are there elements of the approach that could be adopted by institutional funders as well?
  • Could a similar approach could work in other places?

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