On fault-lines and foundations

In the first lockdown the RSA coined the phrase ‘building bridges to the future’ to describe how learning, adaptation and innovation during the crisis might shape and prefigure a better future. Over the last ten months we have tested these ideas with a wide range of partners turning categories and propositions into concrete examples and […]

On riding the corona-coaster

Can you remember when the first lockdown was finally lifted? It’s easy to be so focused on the present and worried about the future that we forget about the times we have passed through, the distance travelled. This is, in part, why I published a framework in the summer to support people to track those […]

On local government in Covid19

Despite a decade of financial emasculation, Local Government has stepped up in the wake of Covid19. Those of us who have ever worked in local government never doubted it would, despite resourcing and capacity already being stretched thin. Not only does local government tend to attract people who want to support others and help make […]

On countering our anti-risk instinct

Why does the status quo prevail despite our best efforts at change? We are faced with a huge amount of content. Incoming streams of news, data, demands are sprayed at us from all angles. Things move so fast we often don’t have time to even note what’s changed before the next thing. These are tough […]

On making sense of crisis

How do we make sense of how the crisis is changing the world as we are living through it? Lots of conversations are taking place around how we track, learn from and make sense of the crisis, our response to it, and how we build bridges to a post-pandemic future. Thinking through the measures that […]

On public and private sector innovation

Financial innovation in the public sector might come as a surprise. We normally don’t think of the public sector as an innovative place. If there is a cliché that comes to mind, it’s probably a creaking bureaucracy, struggling to keep up with the modern world. The reality is different. The RSA recently partnered with the global […]

On civic models of basic income

How can new models of Basic Income provide not only a safety net for those who need it but also a springboard to a better life? Talk about the concept of universal basic income (UBI) and the various models that are emerging in different parts of the world is becoming increasingly mainstream. The pressures of […]

On accelerating social innovation

In order to transform public services and improve population health outcomes, we need to accelerate the social innovation process in communities – co-creating solutions from the ‘bottom up’ to tackle complex societal challenges. There are wider economic and societal benefits to be realised from embracing the efforts of community organisers and social entrepreneurs. The challenge […]

On alternatives to ‘top-down’ change

With politics deadlocked and technology changing fast, the public sector needs innovation. But the traditional approach of driving change in the public sector – from the top-down – feels slow and inflexible for today’s networked world. What does it take for innovation to work in the public sector, where problems and interventions are usually person-centered […]

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 the rise in foodbank use

Today, Human Rights Watch vividly illustrate the rise of foodbank use in the UK. In their first work on the right to food in a “rich democracy”, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report Nothing Left in the Cupboards says: “The right to food is a fundamental human right contained in several international treaties to which […]