We are about to embark on the decision making process for our next themed call around the broad topic of interdependence and cooperation. Applications close on 23rd November and following our Programme Committee meeting in December the projects selected will run for the first nine months or so of 2019. With this in mind, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on the projects that were part of our last themed programme carried out in 2018, which was in support of Scotland’s Futures Forum’s work on Scotland in 2030. Continue reading “Joining the Dots in 2030 – Charlie Woods”
Basic Income, under various monikers, has attracted a growing level of global attention in recent years. At times referred to as Universal Basic Income or Citizen’s Basic Income, it represents an innovative approach to many pressing issues in contemporary society. In September 2017, the Scottish Government committed £250,000 to allow four local authorities to explore the feasibility of Basic Income pilots. In theory, a Basic Income would replace many current benefits and tax allowances with an unconditional, non-withdrawable payment to each citizen. This foundational income would not be means tested, allowing all to rely on a stable, partial income.
I recently attended a conference organised by ‘What Works Wellbeing’, which looked at the emerging evidence of what promotes wellbeing and quality of life for individuals and society more generally. The conference was organised around the themes of the What Works programme – work and learning, culture and sport, communities and cross cutting methods.
The idea behind a wellbeing focus is that it goes beyond narrow measures of economic output. Scotland’s National Performance Framework illustrated below is an excellent example of just such an approach.
Individual Freedom and the Common Good
In a recent fascinating article in the New York Times Colin Woodard summarises his analysis of how politics in America today is shaped by the values of the different groups that settled the country; from the Puritan communitarian legacy of the north east ‘Yankeedom’ to the personal sovereignty of ‘Greater Appalachia’. He identifies eleven different ‘nations’ or regions in the US that cross state boundaries and which, in his view, provide a much better guide to today’s political divisions that ‘north-south’ or ‘urban-rural’. At its heart he sees a tension between advancing and protecting individual liberty and promoting the common good.
“The future is collaborative” – Jackie Kay (Scots Makar)
Focusing on the theme of Cooperation and Interdependence, our second call for proposals of 2018 seeks to explore the challenges and opportunities presented by ever increasing interconnectedness. The call is now live, and further details can be found on the SUII website here.
Throughout September we’ll be running a series of informative workshops at our member institutions.
Capitalism in the age of robots
In April this year Adair Turner (Chair of the Institute for New Economic Thinking) gave a speech entitled “Capitalism in the age of robots: work, income and wealth in the 21st century.” In it Turner argued that the rapid and unstoppable development of automation—based on robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning—will have profound implications for how we live and work over the next fifty to a hundred years.
New Programmes – 2018, Round 1
Following an impressive response to our most recent Call for Proposals, we are delighted to announce five new Knowledge Exchange programmes. These programmes include experts from across the disciplinary spectrum; from the fields of design innovation, digital art and technology, primary care research, visual literacy, trauma and memory studies, heath psychology, engineering, environment and climate change, social policy, social business, education, and sociology.