Oh dear. I have to start my second blog post with an apology. I said I wouldn’t let holiday stop me blogging but the demands of family, friends and dog, and the allure of long walks and slow drinks proved too great. Aviemore was great and my sons got in a few days snow boarding. As a small step towards reducing our carbon footprint, rather than flying our group all travelled by train.
This year has continued the trend of less snow on the slopes and my older son asked one of the small army of instructors whether they worried about the impact of global warming. “We never discuss it, it’s too depressing,” was his reply.
Back at work, yesterday was my first meeting of the RSA Council. I made a presentation outlining a strategy for the RSA which tries to bring together our ideas, our model of change and a vision for the Fellowship into a single brand and vision. The Council members were pretty positive but want to know how we are going to deliver. One council member suggested I do a version of my presentation as a webcast.
Would anyone listen I wonder?
Later on Monday I went to a Government seminar on 'co-production' of public services. This is the idea of getting public services users – patients, parents, pupils, carers etc – to take shared responsibility with providers for meeting outcomes.
Everyone (across the main political parties) seems to support the idea but the really hard question is how Government encourages public service professionals and institutions to develop innovative ways of working in partnership with citizens. This is one of the issues I hope we can explore as part of our project on 'pro-social behaviour'.
While I was away we had another successful Thursday debate – this time with Will Hutton and others debating the impact of private equity . I am really pleased by this series as it shows we can move fast and intervene in very current issues, as well as get audiences of over 100 in three days. The website will have the details of the each Thursday event as soon as they're decided.
We shouldn’t underestimate how far our societies have pulled apart. Yet there is hope for renewal, says Anthony Painter. The question is not whether we come together – but how.