The Ashoka System Changers #2: Mike Sani
Newly elected Ashoka fellow and CEO of Bite the Ballot Mike Sani talks about his mission to build a brand new system that means all UK citizens “feel they’ve got a role to play” in society.
Polling stations are open across the UK today for one of the most tightly fought general elections in decades. Not everybody will be rushing to put a cross next to their party of choice however.
Mike Sani, founder and CEO of Bite the Ballot, is on a mission to address widespread disengagement with democracy and politics in the UK through his online movement that aims to empower young people to speak up and make their opinions and votes count.
Bite the Ballot is a party-neutral, not-for-profit community interest company (CIC) that receives support from grant-making organisations and earns money from commissioned work. For example, it is currently working with a number of local councils, which provide a budget to employ Bite the Ballot community engagement officers who work with the council's electoral team, working specifically to engage young people in the area with politics. The budget also pays for promotional material for the various campaigns the organisation runs.
It has run numerous campaigns including its 2015 National Voter Registration Day, which led to 441,500 people registering to vote. Last year, it also organised a live Q and A session on social media with each of the main political party leaders, all of whom took part except for Conservative Party leader David Cameron.
Photo credit: Keith Ivey