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Towards a better public conversation | New Public Thinking

Accents of the Mind (Despatch #5)

  |  May 13, 2012

In another piece from our book of reflections on the events of 2011, Despatches from the Invisible Revolution, Pat Kane reflects on the political uses of neuroscience, not least in the electoral triumph of the Scottish National Party – as well as the contrasting atmospheres of his two home cities, Glasgow and London. Neuro-psycho-evo-year So [...]

Despatch #4: Creative and Collaborative

  |  April 19, 2012

In the age of the Big Society, politicians seem to be in love with the idea of people getting together and doing things for themselves. But the reality of grassroots collaborative activity poses a deep challenge to the role and identity of our political representatives. Continuing the theme of Dougald’s post on new forms of [...]

Despatch #3: In the future, everyone will be powerful for 15 minutes!

  |  April 12, 2012

From The Observer’s hunt for Britain’s New Radicals to’s search for Social Innovation Rockstars, it seems there’s a push to make celebrities out of individuals involved in social change. But in the latest piece from our book, Despatches from the Invisible Revolution, Dougald Hine argues that this is at odds with the actual sources [...]

Despatch #2: Egypt’s Quest for Dignity

  |  March 21, 2012

Our new book, Despatches from the Invisible Revolution, is a collection of reflections on the events of 2011. In the second post taken from it, Anna Björkman remembers her hopes and fears for the friends she had left behind in Alexandria, as she listens to the news of the Egyptian revolution. You can order the [...]

Despatch #1: On becoming a conservative

  |  February 23, 2012

This month, we’re publishing the first New Public Thinking book. Despatches from the Invisible Revolution (available to buy now through PediaPress) is a collection of reflections on the events of 2011. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing each of the pieces in the book as a post on this site, so that the [...]

Launching our first book: ‘Despatches from the Invisible Revolution’

  |  February 21, 2012

(Order your copy of Despatches from the Invisible Revolution now from PediaPress.) In the Industrial Revolution, you could point at a steam engine and ask: ‘What on earth is that?’ What defines the Invisible Revolution is that there’s nothing to point at, no totemic object that conveys the power and the strangeness of the forces [...]

Call for submissions: Reflections on 2011

  |  November 29, 2011

Update: please visit our Review of 2011 page for more information on how to contribute. We are looking for contributions to our first New Public Thinking book, a moment of reflection at the end of a year of networked disruption. More from Keith Kahn-Harris and Dougald Hine… 2011 has been an extraordinary year. It was [...]

The End of the Career: A Long View

  |  September 27, 2011

Abstract I argue that we may be witnessing not the stopping and stalling of some careers but the more far-reaching conclusion that the very idea of a career may be coming to an end. In what follows, I tease out the social implications of the end of the career and then provide some prima facie evidence in support of this speculative thesis [...]

On Ecosystems, Adam Curtis and Positions of Power

  |  September 19, 2011

Ecosystems and biological metaphors are everywhere these days. People have been thinking and theorising in these terms for decades. Kevin Kelly’s Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines… is nearly twenty years old. However, the mentions of learning ecosystems, knowledge ecosystems, business ecology for start-ups, and so on, seem to have been proliferating recently. [...]

Don’t leave us this way

  |  September 6, 2011

Red Wedge was an alliance of working class punks and aspirational, Face-reading suburbanites with a social conscience. From 1987, music and comedy tours helped to get Neil Kinnock elected Labour Prime Minister, almost. Labour-aligned celebrities failed to resist the rise of New Labour. The temptation is to consign Red Wedge to history along with memories [...]