Just 21% of Britons we surveyed think the UK will be a better place to live in 2030 than today. In a series of four essays the RSA’s Action and Research Centre maps out how a more optimistic future might be secured.
Since 1754 the RSA has sought to unleash the human potential for enterprise and creativity. The current mission of the RSA is 21st century enlightenment; enriching society through ideas and action.
We believe the following 10 foundations are necessary to bring the Enlightenment values of freedom, universalism and humanism to 21st century society:
- Mass ownership of the assets of the new economy – and a Universal Basic Opportunity Fund to support economic security.
- A national dialogue about expanding investment in the public services of the future after a decade of cuts.
- A ten-year transformational Agriculture Plan to meet our commitments to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Pilot Universal Basic Income as a platform for real economic security and welfare.
- New devolution settlement for the UK to empower neighbourhoods, towns, cities and regions to combat inequality.
- Mission-led schools with the freedom to provide a more complete and generous education of the ‘head, hand and heart’ – a precondition for a 21st Century Enlightenment.
- Devolve power to teachers, parents, communities and pupils to support a rich education for all.
- A new social contract including Personal Training Accounts to help safeguard good work amidst widespread technological change.
- Embed deliberative democracy in the UK constitution at national and local level.
- A new data commons to ensure rights are protected and the benefits of the AI revolution are shared.
These foundations are explored in the 4 essays featured in 'Ideas for a 21st century enlightenment', also available to read online:
- Foundations for a 21st century enlightenment (Anthony Painter)
- Education for enlightenment (Julian Astle and Laura Partridge)
- Automation on our own terms (Benedict Dellot and Brhmie Balaram)
- Britain's new Giants (Ed Cox)
The decade since the financial crash has been one in which society’s divides have been revealed to be stark and destructive. In a series of essays published today we map out how a more optimistic future might be secured.