This Resources section presents a selection of papers and presentations written by Public Purpose as well as some interesting resources from other people and organisations.
This is a big report from the US National Intelligence Council reviewing the megatrends and “game changers” that set the geopolitical framework for the big choices facing the world.
“The world of 2030 will be radically transformed from our world today. By 2030, no country—whether the US, China, or any other large country—will be a hegemonic power. The empowerment of individuals and diffusion of power among states and from states to informal networks will have a dramatic impact, largely reversing the historic rise of the West since 1750, restoring Asia’s weight in the global economy, and ushering in a new era of “democratization” at the international and domestic level.
In addition to individual empowerment and the diffusion of state power, we believe that two other megatrends will shape our world out to 2030: demographic patterns, especially rapid aging; and growing resource demands which, in the cases of food and water, might lead to scarcities. These trends, which are virtually certain, exist today, but during the next 15-20 years they will gain much greater momentum. Underpinning the megatrends are tectonic shifts—critical changes to key features of our global environment that will affect how the world “works”
This report from 1975 sets out a tough analysis of, and predictions for, the future of democracy in Europe, the US and Japan. Its insights and propositions are timely and apt at a time when similar discussions about the future of democracy are rising.
“The report that follows is not a pessimistic document. Its authors believe that, in a fundamental sense, the democratic systems are viable. They believe, furthermore, that democracies can work provided their publics truly understand the nature of the democratic system, and particularly if they are sensitive to the subtle interrelationships between liberty and responsibility. Their discussion of the “crisis of democracy” is designed to make democracy stronger as it grows and becomes more democratic.”
An unnerving essay about the way in which “surveillance capital” works and the impacts it has on individuals and businesses. The essay grew into a compelling and controversial book
“…Google is ground zero for a wholly new subspecies of capitalism in which profits derive from the unilateral surveillance and modification of human behavior. This is a new surveillance capitalism that is unimaginable outside the inscrutable high velocity circuits of Google’s digital universe, whose signature feature is the Internet and its successors. While the world is riveted by the showdown between Apple and the FBI, the real truth is that the surveillance capabilities being developed by surveillance capitalists are the envy of every state security agency. What are the secrets of this new capitalism, how
do they produce such staggering wealth, and how can we protect ourselves from its invasive power?”
Attachments: Surveillance capitalism Shuboff March 2016
One of the best, most passionate and clear-headed expositions of what social innovation could and should be as a movement for deep change in practice and institutions.
“The shared impulse of all versions and understandings of social innovation is the effort to design initiatives in a particular part of society – an organisation, a practice or an area of activity –that signal a promising path of wider social change even as they meet a pressing need….
Humanity, however, seethes, churns and searches, everywhere generating a multitude of small -scale experiments from which larger changes might begin. The world chafes, restless, under the dictatorship of no alternatives. Let this restless world find an unexpected ally in the social innovation movement.”
Nesta, with Palgrave, published this recent collection of essays from a range of thinkers and practitioners about the practice and impact of social innovation.
“The definition that I have found more useful describes the field as concerned with innovations that are social
in both their ends and their means (Young Foundation, 2012). While this leaves some fuzzy edges, it captures the dual interest of the field in, on the one hand, finding better ways to meet human needs and, on the other, its interest in strengthening bonds of commitment and solidarity. It is a definition which also deliberately internalises the unavoidable tensions that are always present in any kind of social change, since all societies argue about what counts as social good or social value” (From Geoff Mulgan’s foreword)
Chris Vanstone is the Centre for Social Innovation’s head of design and a former commercial designer. This is a short piece pulling together some threads of his cross-boundary experience and insight into 8 factors that influence the conduct and impact of social innovation practice – rigour, process, methodology, ambition, teams, people, business models and obsession