Archive | March, 2014

Adapt or Mitigate or Rethink? Creating an environment for fresh thinking

31 Mar

On the day when a report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has prompted headline writers to debate Adaptation versus Mitigation we highlight an altogether different approach – one that demands that we rethink the way economies work.

In ‘A few words about a Circular Economy‘ we consider the challenges of communicating fresh ideas in an environment where words like ‘green’ are no longer helpful.   New digitally-enabled capabilities are hastening the end of mechanistic ‘linear’ economics but expertise in understanding Whole Systems’ and ‘Ordered Complexity’ is only just emerging.

Our editorial gives just a glimpse of the potential for fresh thinking being pioneered by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and comments on how we must also rethink our choice of words to describe the journey.

A New Dynamic - coverThe footnotes include a link to ‘Booms and Boomerangs’ – our January review of ‘A New Dynamic’ (the set text for MBA students at the Bradford University School of Management) and other material from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.




Cutting Red Tape – lengthways?

8 Mar

hi=-tech buildingOur editorial – ‘Unbalanced Economies‘ – considers the dilemma of would be devolutionists as they grope for government policies that might ease the woeful inequalities of local economies across the UK.

There’s no lack of awareness of the growing gap between the growth of London and the UK’s other major cities.  It’s not just about jobs.  The impacts are evident in health, education, culture, innovation, and umpteen aspects of society –  and there’s no denying the dependence of local economies on centralised purse strings with stringent controls on spending anywhere that seems electorally risky.  Nor would the Whitehall wizards deny the export potential for technologies that claim to make cities smarter – though they shrink away from encouraging innovative aspirations in the underlying digital infrastructure investment.

But solutions are not to be found in more top-down initiatives.  If pushed the Whitehall policy police might perhaps concede that fostering maybe two provincial city hubs might be sustainable but such half-hearted measures fall way short of the natural aspirations bubbling up in places large and small across the country.

Enter the RSA’s City Growth Commission.   No debate better captures the red tape that ties central policy development in knots and exposes how the digital economy is delightfully disruptive.  Cutting the red tape lengthways is simply not good enough.

Full story here