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Our Story

Citizen Network is a global cooperative working for equality and justice around the world.

We started Citizen Network because the world needs to celebrate human diversity and stand up for human equality. We need to work together and behave like citizens, rejecting division and creating more inclusive communities that will welcome people with all their differences.

The idea of Citizen Network first began to be explored by the Centre for Welfare Reform in 2015 in Sheffield, England. At the Claiming Full Citizenship: Self Determination, Personalization and Individualized Funding 2015 International Conference in Vancouver, Canada which was hosted by what is now the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship these conversations turned into a commitment to create an active network to support learning and and cooperative action on equal citizenship.

Planning for Citizen Network continued in partnership with people and organisations in Finland and Australia then on 17th November 2016, Citizen Network was officially launched at the Manawanui International Conference in Auckland, New Zealand.

In our first phase we encouraged people and individuals to join the network for free and we worked with organisations around the world to support people to take on coordination roles in order to advance Citizen Network's work.

Early support came from:Synerga | Avivo | Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship | CCS Disability Action | Centre for Welfare Reform | Choice Support | Community Connections | DD Network | Federation of Disability Resource Centers | ILS | Imagine Better | Inclusion North | In Control Scotland | Life Unlimited | Manavodaya | Manawanui InCharge | My Place | Puzzle | Quip | Ripple Trust | VID University | Western Australia Individualised Services (WAIS)

In 2019 at Citizen Network's first CitizenFest, in Glasgow, Scotland leaders of the movement agreed that the next stage for Citizen Network required an official organisational form. After discussions with experts in the cooperative movement it was agreed to establish Citizen Network as a non-profit global cooperative, registered in Helsinki, Finland.

Citizen Network was officially registered as a coop on 26th October 2020. We are now in the next stage of our development and will be opening up formal membership to individuals and groups in the months ahead, while also strengthening our activities to support citizen action at every level.