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Entrepreneurs launch new platform to revolutionise public engagement

Cathy Owens and Nerys Evans launch Trafod to facilitate “better conversations”.

Credit: Matthew Horwood

Award-winning entrepreneurs Cathy Owens and Nerys Evans have launched Trafod, a comprehensive platform designed to improve organisations’ public consultations, campaigns or events – both offline and online.

Trafod enables organisations of all sizes to benefit from an affordable one-stop-shop product that integrates digital technology with political insight and intelligence.

The duo – who co-founded award-winning political consultancy Deryn – devised the idea for Trafod during the pandemic when many organisations struggled to transition to virtual meetings and events.

Co-founder of Trafod Nerys Evans explained:

“Overnight, organisations had to use digital tools to hold meetings and events, and many struggled to make the format work simply because they weren’t prepared. Digital tools can be incredibly powerful, but ensuring effective conversations means taking a different approach and rethinking how events and consultations are designed and delivered.

“We thought there had to be a better way, and that’s how the idea for Trafod came about. We have developed this new system underpinned by the policy insight and expertise our Deryn team is renowned for.

“Trafod is a comprehensive digital-first engagement service with specialist Welsh policy expertise. We work with clients to help design and deliver better conversations, bringing virtual meetings to life with expert facilitation and digital collaboration tools.

“We believe passionately that better conversations lead to better decision-making, improved engagement and lasting change. We understand team dynamics, public policy and consultation techniques, so we are ideally placed to help manage engagement with internal teams, stakeholders and local communities.

“Early Trafod clients have included housing developers and regeneration projects, and the feedback has been fantastic. We are now in talks with Local Authorities and health boards and are confident that our service meets a growing market need.”

One Welsh business using Trafod to guide its consultation work is Carmarthenshire-based construction firm Jones Bros (Henllan). The firm’s Managing Director, Gareth Jones, said: 

“Engaging at the right time with the right information has been vital to the success of our housing developments. The team at Trafod has supported us on several projects, ensuring that we use the right digital engagement tools, including branded microsites and online engagement events.

“The Trafod team has also provided advice and practical support on how best to engage with the local community and decision-makers. Their support in navigating the local and national policy landscape has been extremely valuable.”

Co-founder of Trafod, Cathy Owens, said:

“Deryn’s turnover has increased by 50% during the past year, and we have hired more policy and public affairs experts to serve our expanding blue-chip client base. We’ve spent three years developing and testing Trafod, and now, with the proof of our first set of clients, we are proud to launch it officially.

“The service is flexible enough for one-off events, large public consultations, and holistic engagement campaigns. We can also augment our technology offering with our bilingual consultation services.

“We’re thrilled to launch the service as an independent business. We are excited to take Trafod to market and about its potential to revolutionise public and stakeholder engagement in Wales.”