Friday, April 11, 2008

matthew taylor

Went to a fascinating talk at St Stephen’s, Bristol with Gareth, Alan, Gerry+Moira last night on “The Future is up to us” (the first of a series of talks in the Work+Spirit 2008/9 programme). The speaker was Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, and the former Chief Advisor on Political Strategy to the Prime Minister and Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research. This recent quote from him gives a flavour:
“The big idea is about how we live our lives in a sustainable way, not just sustainable in terms of the environment, but sustainable in terms of our own sense of well-being and the things that we care about, our families and communities. The big paradox of modern society is that we are more and more affluent, but we do not seem contented or at ease in our modern world. Politicians have not found a way of talking about that. Sooner or later some people or groups will find a way of talking about it and that will be the new terrain of politics."
He talked about what he called the “Social Aspiration Gap” and highlighted three key areas: our relationship to politics (between government, communities+individuals); our own personal impact on the world (learning throughout life/self-sufficiency but with government back-up etc); and the change in the way we relate to other citizens (technology-shrinking world/competing with scarce resources etc).
Much too much to include in this blog, but I understand that a transcript and podcast of the talk will be available on here in due course.
Really fascinating and challenging stuff!
PS: Matthew Taylor’s blog makes interesting reading too.

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