1 minute to save the world

Above: Last year's winning film, My Paper Boat

Young film-makers are being asked to take part in an international film competition by entering 1 minute films on regional climate change.  The films will be shown on the internet, at targeted political screenings and film festivals worldwide.  

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Beware the uni-directional impact generator

Francis Maude says that there has been no coherent plan by the government for efficiency savings.  He is absolutely right – the Treasury’s outlines for the spending review certainly don’t provide one. But I sincerely hope that Sir Philip Green’s boneheaded proposals for centralising public sector procurement do not take the place of one either.

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Could the Big Society Network get more than they bargained for with participatory budgeting?

As David Cameron comes under fire from left and right for failing to present a clear vision of the ‘Big Society’, and a poll suggests that a majority of voters still haven’t heard o More

Don’t forget about the banks, George

This morning our Chancellor of the Exchequer will make his conference speech. What he says will tell us much about the focus and priorities of this government. Expect much talk of cuts in public spending, clearing up Labour’s mess and how their decisive action has averted international investors from running screaming from UK government gilts (because of course the UK and Greek economies are SO similar).

That much we can expect. But watch out for what’s missing.

George Osborne acknowledged in his budget speech that the crisis started with the banks. More

Looking forward to the past: no sign of real bank reform

We’ve just had a major speech on the economy where the Chancellor ended on his vision of the country’s future. Not, it seems, a future where we live within our ecological limits. No great transition to a low-carbon economy. No recognition that it is well-being that matters, not money. No realisation that spreading wealth is as important as creating it. No acknowledgement that all being ‘in it together’ requires some concept of social justice. Instead we see a country where we all wish to 'work the extra hour' - noses back to the grindstone for perpetual capitalist growth. More

Is George Osborne cutting for a rainy day of bailouts?

In politics, when somebody tells you that "there is no alternative", it usually means that they are just desperate to stop anybody else noticing that there are several. Where the depth, speed and scale of public spending cuts is concerned, the story told by the coalition government – and dutifully, and largely uncritically, repeated by the BBC – is that we have no choice. More

74 months and counting …

Yesterday, the Royal Society, the voice in the UK for the scientific establishment, published a new general public guide to the science of climate change. It covers areas of general agreement, broad consensus where there is still some debate and aspects that are still not fully understood. The nature of scientific enquiry is such that there is no such thing as absolute certainty, merely explanations of the world that are waiting to be disproved. But, if deniers of human-driven climate change were hoping for rare succour, they will be disappointed. More

The week well-being economics went mainstream?

It is nothing new for well-being to get attention from leading establishment figures. In 2005, life peer Lord Richard Layard and former adviser to 10 Downing Street published his book Happiness which argued that ‘Happiness should become the goal of policy’. In 2006, then Leader of the Opposition David Cameron called for a ‘focus not just on GDP, but on GWB - General Well-being’. More

Democratizing Money

Two years after the collapse of Lehman brothers marked the nadir of the financial crisis, the UK Banking Commission last Friday announced a surprisingly wide-ranging remit of options to reform of the financial system.  Meanwhile, Ed Milliband, freshly crowned as leader of the opposition, got stuck straight in to the banking question in his first interview as leader on Sunday Morning, admitting New Labour had not done enough.  The signs are encouraging that the UK might just go further than the United States in reforming the banking sector. More

Why corporations need proper history

The late, great entrepreneur Anita Roddick used to describe the corporate bosses dominate our lives as “dinosaurs in pinstripes’.

She coined the phrase accepting her first business award.  There was a sharp intake of breath and suddenly there was Robert Maxwell, of all people, storming out in protest.

She developed the idea later.  The corporations were entities, with all the rights of human beings, but which could show no emotions apart from greed and fear.  They were able to make a hefty meal of their own tails. 

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