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As has quickly become apparent, the full implications of summer’s EU referendum will be felt for many more months, and years, to come.

Whichever side of the debate you sat on, it is hard to turn a blind eye to the sheer scale of the engagement and interest in the game-changing question of UK’s place in Europe. I remember attending and being a part of the national POWER inquiry back in 2005, where we had little idea how large the impact of direct democracy initiatives such as national referendums would turn out to be. If Cameron’s legacy is to be defined by the political ramifications of the vote on 23 June, then surely he must also be remembered for having the boldness to hold and deliver it in the first place, opening up decision-making to the British people.

The results speak for themselves: 72% turned out to vote, which is more than in last year’s general election; over 30 million people voted and had their say; and the youth turnout was almost twice as high as first thought (64% of registered voters aged 18-24 went to the polls a study by the London School of Economics revealed), building on the emergence of strong youth voice witnessed in the Scottish referendum.

A good day for democracy in itself, partly, but the vote also brought to the surface a disenfranchisement with our political system among some. There is also evidence to suggest that in some areas the Leave vote was motivated by more deep-rooted anti-establishment sentiment and political distrust.

Inside the Prime Minister’s vision for a strong society that works for everyone, there are clear opportunities for ongoing democratic renewal. This can both harness the political energy that we have now seen the country is capable of, as well as address some of the more entrenched barriers to participation in our democracy.

We don’t have all the answers, but last week I was pleased to be involved in Positive Impact’s “A Culture of Opportunity” workshop with a small group of people, including community leaders, politicians and business leaders, to look at opportunities to pull down the barriers.

Four areas of activity for more focused policy action could include:

Redefining the relationship between people and their elected representatives – looking at ways to build a more human connection and empathy between people and their representatives. The tragic murder of Jo Cox put the spotlight on the full extent of an MP’s duties and responsibilities. As a local Councillor, I’ve seen first-hand the impact that local politicians can make. And yet many people are not always aware of the opportunities to engage and connect with their representatives, or they distrust politicians. How do we open up this relationship and break down barriers? Technology has a role to play here.

Enabling people to contribute and provide leadership in their communities. The Big Society may not have been the right semantics, but as a principle it is alive and well with people and community leaders across the country who find new ways of doing things to make a difference and deliver services to the benefit of society. What can the Government and the Office of Civil Society do to build on this energy and engage more people in the ‘informal’ politics of contributing to society? This isn’t always as glossy as it sounds and requires overcoming conflicts and differences of opinion and ‘tough’ grassroots local partnership. We recently helped to facilitate a ‘community contract’ in our ward between residents, the council and the police, to give local people a stake in the upkeep of their area. This involved patience, action, and compromise. Young People Foundations (which are emerging in London as an alternative to youth cuts) putting consortia of charities in the driving seat, are another example where change does not happen overnight, and where leadership and partnership requires strong local facilitation.

Engaging people who are disengaged or disenfranchised from mainstream politics. More work is needed to explore how Government and politicians can restore integrity and trust with the people they represent. The media has a role to play here, in going beyond personality and opening up the full extent of parliamentary and political business to the public. Here also technology will be important.

Harnessing the youth voice. It is time for a grown-up cross-party debate on the question of 16 and 17 year olds being able to vote, when they can choose to go to war and enter employment. Are 16 to 17 year olds ready for the vote? Is our political system ready? Perhaps not, but as a policy, it has the potential to transform the face of politics – and the classroom – as politicians would be required to be accountable to a new demographic.

We would welcome your views and ideas on these areas, why not get in touch or come along to our next drink tank or think forum?

Chris Hayes is a local Councillor in Kingston and chairs Bright Blue’s Education Think Forum. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, not necessarily those of Bright Blue.