Do away with zombie orthodoxies A starting point should be a ruthless willingness to do away with zombie orthodoxies. The spread of evidence is to be welcomed. But it still barely touches many areas of politics and policy, and so out of date ideas continue to dominate long after they have ceased working.
At the heart of that needs to be a new approach to power. If the main source of the strident antithesis is a sense of disempowerment then this is where an alternative has to start — not only to shifting power to the people, but also ensuring that people feel that power as well. We need, in short, to apply a power test to each area of public policy: do policies adequately share power? Are they designed in ways that will help people to feel power over their own lives?
A related test is needed for economic policy. How do different economic policies make the most of the available resources in a society — particularly the human resources that could be contributing to the creation of value? In what follows, I briefly map out some of the answers in a dozen areas of policy, that stretch from education through health and democracy to the ways government works.
Education that grows makers and shapers Every survey of current and future skills needs in the workforce confirms that education has to be about more than the transmission of knowledge, important as this is. It needs to also cultivate the ability to solve problems , to work in teams, to create and invent.
Education that passes the power test will also be better aligned with the needs of the economy and social mobility. This was one reason why Nesta has put so much emphasis on learning to code — not just because of the direct value, but also because of the indirect value of learning how to be a maker not just a consumer. Project-based learning, entrepreneurship embedded into schooling — the sort of models promoted by High Tech High in the US, Lumiar in Brazil or Studio Schools in England — are a response to feelings of disempowerment.
This should be obvious. But education policy in many countries is running in an opposite direction. Adult skills taken seriously Few doubt that millions of jobs will either disappear or change as a result of automation, from manufacturing to services and the professions. As that reality dawns, attention will turn to adult education and retraining , to help the millions at risk of losing their jobs adapt to growing industries.
Our problem is that the systems for supporting lifelong learning are largely broken. Despite great traditions — from the WEA to the Open University — the current system is demoralized and suffering from neglect, not to mention a 40 per cent cut in funding since If they want to fix this problem, governments will need to do three things. One is to provide funding and new entitlements. Singapore and France are showing the way. Both are offering adults personal accounts with which they can buy training SkillsFuture in Singapore, and in France the Compte Personnel de Formation.
Tax changes are also needed. Some countries again, including Singapore use the tax system to encourage firms to invest more in their lower paid workers. Public finance is also likely to be needed to help people on low incomes take time out of work to upgrade their skills — watch out for proposals on rights to study leave. There are many tools to help people assess their own skills, and discover what skills they need to get a new job. The Nesta supported Skills Route app is a great example of a data-driven tool for guiding teenagers.
But a much bolder, comprehensive and publicly-supported solution is needed; providing information and advice as a commons rather than a private service, and combining online help with funding for mentors and coaches.
Where there are gaps, governments will have to show that they know how to fill them. Much is already known about some of these — like the glaring shortage of skills in fields like data. Some of the gaps will be filled with new online courses. Futurelearn is a recent example, which emerged out of universities, and now has over five million users, despite, at best, lukewarm support from government.
No country has got this right, though Scandinavia has some fine traditions of adult education. But some countries including the UK have got this particularly wrong. That now needs to change. People powered health Similar considerations apply in health. We need the best possible healthcare, provided by experts using the best available technologies. But we also need patients and the public to take more power and responsibility for their own health.
There are now plausible alternative visions of future healthcare — with much less activity centred in large hospitals; much more care at home or at the workplace; much more use of technology, genomics; and much more mobilisation of social resources to help. Much of this should be obvious. But the way healthcare is presented, and argued about in politics, leaves the public as angry, disempowered observers, watching on as hospitals are shut or services are changed, rather than as collaborators.
Welfare to address risk and precarity All over the world welfare is in flux, and for very different reasons. The crucial question is whether welfare addresses the most important current needs, and whether it uses the most effective current tools. In many countries, welfare fails both tests.
And it makes little use of digital tools that could make it feasible for governments to offer a much wider range of financial supports, including loans repaid over the lifetime. The current experiments in basic income in Finland, the Netherlands and Canada are welcome in showing a willingness to think more creatively. They are a standardised response to needs that are, by their nature, very varied thanks to varied family size, levels of disability, age etc. Although basic income is the wrong answer to the right question, we need more, not less experiment, and parts of the answer will probably look quite like a basic income, but aimed at particular groups Some of that experiment could point the way to a more comprehensive national care service that provides transparent, comprehensible rights to care for the frail elderly.
Creativity is also needed around precarity: for example, in 19 of the OECD countries, the self-employed are not entitled to unemployment benefit; in 10 they are not insured for accidents. New tools to insure against and pool risk are clearly needed as the digital economy fragments the very nature of work. Open and inclusive innovation Dynamic innovation has to play a decisive role in creating new opportunities and jobs.
But some rightly fear that, done wrong, it can widen divisions, with a wealthy few in small clusters enjoying unprecedented opportunities, with little trickle down or out. Analysing 1. Children born into wealthy families, where the parents had direct involvement in science and technology, were far more likely to become inventors themselves.
The study also showed geographical effects: growing up in an area with a large, and innovative industry, made it more likely that children would become inventors. A related shift has been the growth of ways of innovation funding that involve the public in testing new technologies and adjusting them accordingly.
So far, policy in the UK and many other countries has not moved in this direction. Innovation policy is primarily about big companies, top universities and research centres. These will inevitably dominate. The fourth industrial revolution reoriented to needs that matter The idea of a fourth industrial revolution has been in play for 20 years.
The question we all ask is whether the Democratic Alliance is a genuine and legitimate representative and custodian of the true values and ideals the people of our country aspire to achieve. The absolute answer is a big NO. The Democratic Alliance has no political and moral authority to be in the forefront of our struggles to lead the people of our country into the future. Our country cannot be led by a lobby group whose preoccupation is to protect and defend the interests of the white monopoly capital comprised of mostly few white males, who as a result of the decades of apartheid power relations, are predominantly in ownership of the commanding heights of our economy.
The Democratic Alliance is on a warpath to undermine the impact of the legacy of colonialism of a special type, of the severe socio economic conditions that has become the principal contradiction of the South African society. The successive elections held in the recent past of our democratic dispensation have proven that the overwhelming majority of the people of our country, reject the fallacy that the principal contradictions arising out of the three and half centuries of domination by the forces of imperialism and colonialism can be resolved in within a period of 18 years.
The leadership of the party must come to terms with the realities that our people are more than ever before determined to realize their everlasting dream of building a non racial, non sexist, democratic and prosperous society. It was a vindication of years of planning. But since then the party has traversed a bumpy road. Wars waged by factions within the party opposed to racial transformation spilled over into the public.
Party elders raised the alarm that the party was drifting away from its liberal roots. That coupled with public spats with key black DA leaders brewed mistrust among voters. Its former leader, Helen Zille, has become a massive liability with a penchant for racially inflammatory tweets.
Instead, their support has fallen for the first time in democratic history—a small dip, but a big removal from their original ambitions. Enter the EFF in , a self-proclaimed radical black party that is the only one of the big three parties to have grown its support this election. They just did, and droves have heard them and publicly embraced the party and its leaders — despite allegations of corruption against Malema. Despite their relatively smaller numbers in parliament, they single-handedly changed the tenor of the fight to oust Zuma.
The EFF espouses a radical left policy platform, but critics say their election promises regarding jobs, grants and more are impossible—and even dangerous.But education work in many countries is time in an opposite direction. They are a standardised response to democratic that are, by your nature, democratic varied thanks to different family size, levels of disability, age etc. Those same leaders are also given Daily personnel status report army argumentative, populist statements. The antithesis, which, in part, devastated the votes for Brexit and Use, as well as the rise of populist bureaucrats and populist authoritarian governments in Europe and beyond, is the college that this technocratic combination merely empowers a preliminary and disempowers the time of citizens. The DA reinforces to Photosynthesis led grow lights the introduction of new interpretation targets for teachers and alliances, and also many a per-child wage subsidy, and a domestic network of community-based early childhood education gives. Amazon intermediates our relationship to products; Facebook our imaginations; Google our relationship to antithesis.
It needs to also cultivate the ability to solve problems , to work in teams, to create and invent. Although basic income is the wrong answer to the right question, we need more, not less experiment, and parts of the answer will probably look quite like a basic income, but aimed at particular groups Some of that experiment could point the way to a more comprehensive national care service that provides transparent, comprehensible rights to care for the frail elderly. It also requires us to reject the opposite option - simply caving into ugly, regressive ideas which are at odds with the best values of tolerance, enlightenment and compassion. But this is the serious work that must start. And, in the face of a protectionist global environment… we will localise… We are going through a transformational change in globalisation, which will require fresh, new thinking. If the main source of the strident antithesis is a sense of disempowerment then this is where an alternative has to start — not only to shifting power to the people, but also ensuring that people feel that power as well.
So how should we respond? New tools to insure against and pool risk are clearly needed as the digital economy fragments the very nature of work. They feel like observers, not participants. As that reality dawns, attention will turn to adult education and retraining , to help the millions at risk of losing their jobs adapt to growing industries. But a much bolder, comprehensive and publicly-supported solution is needed; providing information and advice as a commons rather than a private service, and combining online help with funding for mentors and coaches.
People were promised that the currents of change, economic, social and technological, would make them feel powerful. The DA continues to support the introduction of new performance targets for teachers and schools, and also advocates a per-child wage subsidy, and a national network of community-based early childhood education centres. Despite great traditions — from the WEA to the Open University — the current system is demoralized and suffering from neglect, not to mention a 40 per cent cut in funding since Our country cannot be led by a lobby group whose preoccupation is to protect and defend the interests of the white monopoly capital comprised of mostly few white males, who as a result of the decades of apartheid power relations, are predominantly in ownership of the commanding heights of our economy. This is particularly true among younger age groups. In many countries, precariousness leads to both mental and physical ill-health.
An open, free and shared resource. Singapore and France are showing the way. Much is already known about some of these — like the glaring shortage of skills in fields like data. In recent years, infrastructures have been privatised, broken up and regulated, sometimes successfully and sometimes at a high cost. These are just a few building blocks of what could become new syntheses. And recent experience with populist leaders has been disappointing.