Areeq Chowdhury | Chief Executive | @AreeqChowdhury
Areeq was born and brought up in Manchester and studied Economics and Political Science at the University of Birmingham where he began researching the relationship between the internet and political participation. After graduating in 2013, he moved to London and has worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the London Assembly, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and KPMG.
At the age of 21, he founded WebRoots Democracy which has been leading the campaign for online voting and has been working with politicians, charities, thinktanks, and technology companies on researching the benefits and challenges of a digital democracy.
Rachel Fielden | Researcher | @rachfielden
Rachel Fielden is a Researcher at WebRoots Democracy. She has just completed a degree in International Relations at SOAS, University of London.
Born in South London, but raised overseas, Rachel became interested in politics and democracy at a young age. She witnessed first-hand the benefits of democratisation and the extent to which voting methods largely influenced political engagement, such as the e-voting system in Switzerland and the online voter database in Indonesia. In addition, Rachel observed how the current British voting system leaves out expatriates from politics back home.
Rachel hopes to apply her experiences thus far to WebRoots Democracy in order to make a positive impact on the functioning of democracy in the UK.
Joe Carton | Public Affairs | @joeycarton
Joe Carton focuses on public affairs at WebRoots Democracy. Alongside this, he works as an Account Executive for Newington Communications, a public affairs and corporate communications consultancy.
Joe is from London and studied History and Politics at Durham University where he took a particular interest in 20th century British and American politics. Since graduating, Joe has founded Tomorrow’s Influencers which is a networking platform that seeks to connect the future leaders of politics, media, and communications. Joe is a keen runner and competes in middle to long distance events.
A strong supporter of digital democracy, Joe is involved with WebRoots because he believes that the modernisation of our democracy is vital for voter engagement and the credibility of British politics.
Oliver Sidorczuk | Advocacy | @OliverSidorczuk
Oliver Sidorczuk focuses on advocacy at WebRoots Democracy. He is studying for an MSc in Democracy and Comparative Politics at University College London, and works on dismantling poverty, democratic reform, and social enterprise in Parliament.
Oliver is from Liverpool, and now lives in Hackney. He studied Law at the London School of Economics, and has campaigned for migrants’ and asylum seekers’ rights in a law firm and in Parliament. Most recently, he worked at Bite The Ballot as its Advocacy Coordinator, championing the cause for electoral reform, political education and digital democracy innovation.
As an advocate for online voting, Oliver believes in the need for WebRoots Democracy in helping reinvigorate the relationships between citizens and decision-makers in the 21st century.
Rachel Blair | Research Assistant | @RachelABlair_
Rachel is a Research Assistant for WebRoots Democracy. She has recently completed an undergraduate degree in Politics from SOAS, University of London.
Born and raised in a diverse community in South London, she is passionate about the opportunity digitalising democracy presents for outreach to low-participation groups. Rachel is interested in pursuing further research into the psychology of political behaviour, particularly in reference to digital spaces and online activism.
Rachel joined WebRoots as she is keen to see the modernising of democracy increase representation of all groups in society and is excited about the potential digital democracy holds for effecting real change.
Laura Deslandes | Research Assistant | @LGDeslandes1
Laura is a Research Assistant at WebRoots Democracy. She is currently studying for a Masters in Public Policy at King’s College London.
Originally from Manchester, Laura first became interested in the relationship between technology and politics while studying Geography at Cambridge University, and has conducted research on the role of social media in the Arab Spring and augmented reality’s potential to reshape urban experiences.
Laura is passionate about developing a more inclusive and engaging democratic process and convinced that technology, and in particular online voting, will be key to achieving this.
Fahmida Rahman | Research Assistant | @fahmidarahman
Fahmida Rahman works as a Researcher at the Resolution Foundation. She previously worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office.
She has a Masters in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS, University of London, and studied Philosophy at the University of Birmingham.
Fahmida takes a particular interest in the rights of marginalised groups and voices in society.
Khadija Said | Research Assistant | @khadljasays
Khadija Said is a Research Assistant at WebRoots Democracy. She is currently studying towards a degree in Digital Culture from King’s College London.
Khadija is particularly interested in the intersection between politics and digital technologies and how this intersection can enhance democracies not only in the UK, but worldwide. Khadija has worked in broadcasting media both on screen and behind the scenes, researching ways of engaging disenfranchised youth in the UK.
As an active political and human rights campaigner, Khadija is keen to research and campaign for a digital democracy that will work towards establishing an inclusive, representative and accessible political process in the UK.
Georgia Wild | Research Assistant
Georgia Wild is a Research Assistant at WebRoots Democracy. She works for a market research agency that specialises in online research techniques, where she practices both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Georgia is from Watford and studied Politics at the University of Leicester where she took a particular interest in human rights and development.
She is involved with WebRoots Democracy because she believes that digital innovations should be utilised to enhance our democracy and drive political engagement.
Tess Woolfenden | Research Assistant | @tess_woolfenden
Tess Woolfenden is a Research Assistant at WebRoots Democracy. She is originally from Oxford, but is now based in South London and is completing an MSc in Development Studies at SOAS, University of London.
Prior to this, Tess studied Social Anthropology at the University of Kent, and has since undertaken various different roles related to development, most recently at Oxford Policy Management.
Recognising that the ability and desire to vote is not currently realised by everyone in the UK, Tess is a strong supporter of digital democracy as a way of increasing access to the democratic process.
Maya Fryer | Events Assistant
Maya Fryer is an Events Assistant at WebRoots Democracy. She is currently studying Politics at SOAS, University of London.
Maya was born and brought up in Wales and prior to getting involved with WebRoots Democracy, she was involved in the Fair Tax Town campaign aiming to get businesses to pay a fair share of corporation tax.
She believes the UK electoral system is in need of modernising and is a strong supporter of implementing an online voting system. As well as this, she thinks that politics should be a compulsory subject taught at schools.
Ben Pearson | Events Assistant
Ben Pearson is an Events Assistant at WebRoots Democracy. He is currently studying for a Masters in Political Communications at Goldsmiths University.
Ben is from Oxford and studied Criminology and Politics at Leeds University. Since then, he has led a number of projects aimed at helping underprivileged young people to access education. He has also worked for Hacked Off, an organisation which campaigns against press abuse and the unaccountable power held by Britain’s media moguls.
Concerned by the lack of political education in schools, but encouraged by the recent levels of political engagement amongst young people, he joined WebRoots Democracy to help the organisation extend the democratic process to those previously ignored by the establishment.