Empowering Engagement, Enriching Insights:
My Journey at the Liberal Democrat’s Party Conference 2023

Muhammad Qasim is an experienced researcher and advocate with a background in academia and social impact. He has interned at renowned institutions such as GINGKO and the Institute of Policy Studies, where he contributed to research, events, and advocacy efforts. Holding a Master’s degree in Peace, Conflict and Development from the University of Bradford, he earned distinction for his dissertation on the Politics of Populism in South Asia. 

He is a member of the Charted Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). He is also serving as Short-Term Observer (STO) with Democracy Volunteers, observing local elections in the UK and now preparing to go to the Netherlands as an international observer to cover the general elections in the Netherlands.

In September 2023, at the scenic city of Bournemouth, I embarked on a journey that would leave an indelible mark on my understanding of politics, policy, and public service. The Liberal Democrat Party Conference 2023 was not just an event but a transformative experience, where I had the privilege of engaging with key figures, gaining invaluable insights, and participating in thought-provoking fringe events.

Diving into the Political Spectrum:

The conference commenced with a burst of energy and anticipation, setting the stage for an extraordinary journey. The diversity of participants, each bringing their unique perspectives and experiences, underscored the inclusivity of the event. It was a dynamic beginning, where I felt the commitment and diligence required for a career in politics.

Illuminating Insights from Honourable MPs:

One of the pivotal moments of the conference was the roundtable sessions organised by Patchwork Foundation, where I had the privilege of engaging with seasoned politicians, like Munira Wilson MP, and Wera Hobhouse MP and Liberal Democrat London mayoral candidate Rob Blackie. Their insights into challenges facing our education system and their roles in Parliament painted a vivid picture of the intricacies of policy and governance. The importance of open dialogue and building strong partnerships came to the forefront of our discussions.

Participation in Fringe Events:

In addition to the main conference, I had the unique opportunity to participate in a series of thought-provoking fringe events. These included discussions on Europeanism in the Lib Dem DNA, exploring Britain’s place in the world with law and liberalism, addressing the challenges posed by Brexit, a reception with The HALO Trust, and a consultation on the General Election Manifesto organised by the Federal Policy Committee. These fringe events provided a deeper understanding of key policy issues and allowed for more in-depth discussions with fellow participants.

Exploring the Exhibition:

One of the highlights of the conference was the opportunity to visit the exhibition of the Liberal Democrats’ Party Conference. Here, I had the chance to interact and engage with various organisations, gaining insights into their work and initiatives. It was a valuable experience that expanded my knowledge and network.

The Leader’s Speech:

One of the conference’s highlights was the Leader’s Speech, where the party’s leader addressed attendees and laid out the vision and priorities of the Liberal Democrats by focusing on economy, climate change, wind energy, transport, fixing the relationship with Europe, education, physical and mental health, rescuing the NHS, building new houses, and political reforms by proportional electoral system. It was an inspiring moment that reinforced the party’s commitment to positive change and provided a rallying point for all attendees.

Reflections and Growth:

The conference was not just a place for absorbing information but also for actively participating in discussions. It was an opportunity to share my perspectives and engage with like-minded individuals who were equally passionate about making a positive impact. The value of resilience, collaborative working, and the need for evidence-based policymaking were recurring themes.

As the conference progressed, we delved into discussions about the future of policymaking. The potential for technology and AI to revolutionise the education sector was an eye-opener. It underscored the need to embrace new technologies and view them as opportunities rather than hindrances.

Honouring the Unsung Heroes:

Behind the scenes, the Patchwork Foundation’s dedicated team, led by Juliet Pegg, worked tirelessly to ensure the conference’s seamless execution. Their commitment and passion for political engagement were truly commendable. The conference would not have been the same without their tireless efforts.


The Liberal Democrat’s Party Conference 2023 was a remarkable journey filled with insights, connections, and personal growth. It was a reminder of the significance of networking, staying humble, and taking people along on the path to positive change. The conference rekindled my commitment to shaping the future of our nation through active political engagement and evidence-based policymaking.

As I left the conference, I carried with me a wealth of knowledge, a network of like-minded individuals, and the memories of engaging fringe events and exploring the exhibition. The experience left me inspired and motivated to explore the potential of technology in policymaking, and I am eager to collaborate with my fellows in Patchwork Foundation to create a future that is rooted in meaningful partnerships and evidence-based decision-making.

Muhammad Qasim, Patchwork Foundation Liberal Democrat Party Conference Programme delegate, 2023