On the need for mainstream investment in our communities

Supporting our communities: time to move from false-competition to needs-based investment The winners of the new Community Renewal Fund, the precursor to the post-Brexit Shared Prosperity Fund, were recently announced. What does this tell us about the Government’s approach to investing in our communities and the desire for ‘levelling up’ across the UK, and what […]

On reinventing the wheel

“If you wait around long enough, the old ideas come around again presented as new ones, largely because the current civil servants weren’t around when this was tried last time”, I remember my former Director of Public Health lamenting, “after a while you realise that everything goes in cycles”. I used to look at him […]

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 improving health outcomes

The RSA’s Inclusive Growth Commission, reporting in 2018, recognised the role that poor health can play in contributing to the key challenges of unequal economic growth and poor productivity. Data analysis and visual mapping conducted by the Commission highlighted the association between poor health, economic inactivity and exclusion from labour markets; illness amongst the working […]

On levelling up (part 2)

This blog is an initial response to the recent publication ‘Levelling up our communities: a new social covenant’ by Danny Kruger MP. Let me start by saying that, on the surface, anything that raises the debate around the importance of community is a good thing. On this measure, the recent report by Danny Kruger MP […]

On culture as an emergent property of a complex system

Do we really need to align our organisation around values, beliefs and purpose? This is a core question I am sitting with. It occurs to me that if everyone aligns around these you have surely just destroyed diversity and ensured homogeneity. Your internal systems won’t change or evolve because you’re moving towards a static situation. […]

On pandemic foresight

These are tumultuous times, as I am now closing out my second month of working form home in a Covid19-driven lockdown. Times during which the pandemic has already upended our individual and collective anticipation for what a good life holds in store and one in which global warming continues to cast a darkening shadow over […]

On levelling up (part 1)

There is so much talk, pre- and post-local election, of Levelling Up. The idea that this is the solution to the challenges of those areas ‘left behind’ by the growth seen by London and the South East over the last few decades leaves me cold. This is less about areas ‘left behind’ than it is […]

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 […]