On basic income as a means to an end

How can we change the welfare system to help people solve their individual challenges? We’ve been exploring how a basic income could change the way welfare works. We wanted to see how a basic income could be designed in way that helps create a community that supports people.  This needed us to hear people’s voices […]

On systems leadership

“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don’t want your hope, I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic, I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act, I want you to act as if you […]

On coalescing tipping points

“Some people, some companies, some decision-makers in particular have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. And I think many of you here today belong to that group of people”.⁠1  Greta Thunburg Such were the words spoken before the World Economic Forum in January by a […]

On innovation in health and social care (part 2)

If public services are going to meet the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous demands of the 21st Century they need to be redefined and redesigned with resilience at their heart.  Seeking change by only invoking the big levers of institutions – policy, economic, legal, and so forth – will only get us so far, opening […]

On innovation in health and social care (part 1)

Innovation and the public sector are often seen to be in opposition, yet the caricature of a creaking bureaucracy is largely false. In the face of increasing demand, rising citizen expectations, decreasing budgets and accelerating technological change, the public sector continues to innovate. New, improved or reconfigured policy, products, ways of working and processes are […]

On Norfolk in 2040

Imagine a world in which autonomous vehicles have breathed new life into rural communities. Citizens will be reconnected and reintegrated into their communities, with all the benefit for health and happiness that entails’. How might we bring this about to meet the needs of a predominantly rural county in 2040? This and other such questions […]

On public services addressing our modern ills

One of the core functions of our publicly-funded services is to provide a critical backstop for issues that are beyond the ability of our families and communities to support us. At their best, whether provided by public, voluntary or private sectors, these services help maintain and deepen our social fabric, providing essential support for people and communities when they need it […]

On learning from social entrepreneurs

Does the skillset and mindset of the social entrepreneur apply to those trying to work entrepreneurially within the public sector? Can we, in other words, learn from social entrepreneurs who move fast and fix things? There are various conceptions of the entrepreneur, from the more traditional innovator emerging in the private sector, to those working […]

On the civil society strategy

The government’s civil society strategy, published recently, includes a focus on collaborative commissioning and a recognition that “the system actively, albeit accidentally restricts diversity of the market by putting in significant barriers that exclude smaller providers”. We recently explored how to bring the diversity of smaller providers and the wider social sector to the task […]

On best practice engagement and participation

I thought it might be of value to share the key points arising from a recent literature review into what makes effective citizen participation, engagement and co-production. In this short piece I summarise core principles behind good engagement; the barriers to and enablers of good participation; as well as factors that make a difference to […]

On engagement methods

There is no single new model of the community-institution relationship. Instead, there are a variety of forms of public engagement that can be used depending on the unique combination of context, challenges, issues and assets in question. This broad ‘family’ of service design, partnership and public engagement approaches, can be understood as a spectrum – […]

On 70 years of the NHS

The NHS is 70 years old this month. With a long-term funding settlement now in place, in a short series of blogs from the RSA’s Public Services & Communities team, we are highlighting different approaches that NHS policy makers and senior leaders should consider in making the NHS fit for its 80th birthday. It was […]