The way we think about and relate to the state has altered little in over a 100 year. It is a machine to be controlled, largely from London, so we can do good things to people. Almost 100 years ago the radical feminist and management theorist Mary Parker Follett published her seminal text The New State, in which she recast how we think about the state and power – developing the conception of power with, not power over. Here, Su Maddock explores the legacy of Follett’s thinking and its application to the modern cities and devolution agenda. The piece helps us think about and understand how the state and public services can be refashioned for the 21st Century.