Olly Benson

Olly Benson
  • On a mission to create a world where everyone gets to play their part.
  • Great at getting the best from brilliant people.
  • Can do digital things but more interested in what we use digital for.
  • Currently trying to fix the NHS, but always interested in the next challenge...

Current work

Between September 2021 and the end of January 2024 I worked for the Public Participation Team at NHS England to improve how the NHS works with the people and communities that it serves. Highlighted work includes developing the #StartWithPeople network and associated bi-annual virtual conferences, and the Working With People and Communities MOOC on FutureLearn.

Prior to that, I worked for the Horizons team at NHS England, where I was responsible for the School for Change Agents and other projects; particularly around creating opportunities for large-scale virtual participation. I am curently working on a crowdsourcing project, Solving Together.


For four years until March 2022, I was a non-executive director of Democracy Club, a social enterprise using digital tools to promote democratic participation in the UK. I'm now keen to find other trustee/non-exec roles in social enterprises or charities.

I'm also interested in short term consultancy volunteering opportunities, particularly with small charities looking to fundamentally rethink how they deliver what they do.

Heart defect

I have a congenital heart defect, and since 2005 I have had an ICD fitted.

Recommended books

I'm often asked to recommend books, particularly about my work, so I maintain a list on Libib.