Josh Matthews

Meta: Josh is stepping down as ALDES Chair

When my predecessor gave me a 3-hour pitch to consider the ALDES Chair at our last in-person Autumn Conference - despite having sold me 20 minutes in - I had no idea just what we’d be able to kickstart over the past two years.

We’ve met with MPs, Lords, formed working groups of world-leading experts, linked up with other Lib Dem groups including Lib Dem Women, Young Liberals, LGBT+ Lib Dems, the Lib Dem Campaign for Race Equality, and many many others across STEM and beyond. We’ve also established a Discord forum where ALDES members and other liberal STEMM enthusiasts are active every day.

Going forward, ALDES needs to be a critical part of the party policymaking process - and with a new party bodies forum, we have one more route to do so - not to mention all our other links and FPC connections. ALDES can also, as it has done for these past two years, provide ad-hoc expertise to our politicians. This needs excitement and energy. I’m very excited about being back at an in-person conference soon - and revising the ALDES mixers and talks - however I just can't continue to do the Chair’s role justice given the opportunities on the horizon for the group. Since missing out on re-election to Cambridge City Council in May, my newly available time and energy has gone into a variety of sustainability research and consulting and is only heading in one direction; while that’s a huge positive - and I hope to be able to help the party in this area moving forward - I don’t feel I can give enough to ALDES.

Of course, I and everyone at ALDES recognises the challenges in taking on new commitments over the last 2 years - and above all I don’t want to see ALDES fall back from where it is now - so I am willing to stay on as an Interim Chair should no one else decide to run in this October’s AGM (date tbc).

I hope that my little pitch for what can be achieved in ALDES has swayed a few to consider standing for the Chair and all 8 exec positions!

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for more information and I’m happy to chat about all things Chair and other positions (there are 8 on the exec to choose from). It’s been incredible to be a part of a group with such a history - and will certainly be around and involved in various ways moving forward.

Looking forward to seeing you all in person soon!