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make mine modern

Make mine modern swap by Sarah Witherby | flickr ccbyncsa 2 licence.

new on infed

Dealing with the ‘new normal’. Creating places of sanctuary, community and hope for children and young people in schools and local organizations. We explore how educators, pedagogues and practitioners work to create the conditions for education, learning and change in the context of the COVID-19 ‘new normal’.

Richard Sennett: Class and the new capitalism, craftsmanship, cooperation and cities . Over 50 years Richard Sennett has contributed to our understanding of the experiences of class, capitalism and the life of cities – and our appreciation of Homo faber – humans as makers, users of tools and creators of common life. We explore Sennett’s life and work and reflect on his achievements.

Naomi Klein: globalization, capitalism, neoliberalism and climate change. Naomi Klein has probably done more than any other commentator, to raise public understanding of the relationships between capitalism, neoliberalism and climate change.

Marie Paneth – Branch Street, The Windemere Children, art and pedagogy. Paneth was a talented painter, art therapist and pedagogue. Her book, Branch Street (1944) is a classic exploration of community-based work with children during the Second World War – and the healing use she made of art both with The Windemere Children (2020) and in later practice was pioneering. In this piece, we explore her work – mostly in the 1940s – and continuing relevance.

Play in early childhood: The role of play in any setting

The science of child development points to three core principles that can guide what society needs to do to help children and families thrive. These include:

  1. Supporting responsive relationships
  2. Strengthening core life skills
  3. Reducing sources of stress

Play in early childhood is an effective way of supporting all three of these principles. In this video, learn more about how play can foster children’s resilience to hardship, and how the complex interactions involved when children play help build their brains.

This new video from the Center on the Developing Child is based on the idea that play can take us to imaginary worlds and challenge our minds as well as our bodies. []

A new politics of hope

Decades of increasing inequality, globalisation, technological change, unfettered markets and technocratic politics have given rise to ever more polarisation and populist sentiment. How do we gain a better, wiser politics in the context of these 21st century challenges? Can the progressive parties reconcile the concerns of the disenfranchised and angry without succumbing to xenophobia and anti-outsider sentiment? What are the new ideas and solutions that will help us? Renowned political philosopher Michael Sandel delivers an exclusive address on the future of democracy and our place within it at the RSA.

Beyond binary. The lives and choices of Generation X

According to Ipsos, millennials are old news. Gen Z are the new focus of attention, and often wild speculation. Most of them are still very young, with the oldest only just reaching their early 20s, but they are already the subject of spurious claims and myths about who they are and what they’re going to be.

This report, the latest in the Ipsos MORI Thinks series, pulls together existing and new analysis, as well as brand new research on this latest generation, to provide a better understanding of the initial signals on how they will be different to, or the same as, previous generations.

Visit Ipsos Thinks and download the report.

Knife crime

In this 'long read' from the Guardian, Garry Younge sets knife crime into its context, explores some youth work responses, and argues for changes in policy.  In particular he suggest that the most effective way to deal with “knife crime” is to treat it as a public health issue, and to tackle all the contextual elements – housing, employment, mental health, addiction, abuse, as well as crime – that make some people and communities more vulnerable to it. Read the radical lessons of a year reporting on knife crime.

Where do we go from here?

We have taken huge steps towards tackling some of the biggest threats on humanity throughout history, and in many ways our lives have never been better! So where do we go from here? Author and historian Rutger Bregman argues that in order to continue towards a better world, we need big ideas and a robust vision of the future. Revolutionary ideas, that were once dismissed as a utopian fantasy, became reality through people believing there was a better way – but what if our progress is hindered by our own dim view of human nature?

This RSA animated short - Where Do We Go From Here?is an extract from a longer talk given last year (click to watch the full thing). It is based on his book Utopia for realists - which is also well worth investigating.

Rachel Botsman on trust

This TED talk from 2016 introduces the idea of trust - and the profound changes that are taking place around it. It introduces some of the key ideas in her new book: Who Can You Trust?: How Technology Brought Us Together – and Why It Could Drive Us Apart which came out at the start of October 2017. The blurb puts things this way:

We are at the tipping point of one of the biggest social transformations in human history - with fundamental consequences for everyone. A new world order is emerging: we might have lost faith in institutions and leaders, but millions of people travel in cars with total strangers, exchange digital currencies, or find themselves trusting a bot. This is the age of "distributed trust", a paradigm shift driven by innovative technologies that are rewriting the rules of an all-too-human relationship.

You can also catch up with her in discussion with Andy Haldane, the Chief Economist at the Bank of England at the RSA. Click for more.

The first social media suicide - Rana Dasgupta

This Guardian article about a teenager in a Paris suburb who streamed her own death - and acquired a morbid kind of digital celebrity - has some important things to say about many people's experiences. Click to read. It is extracted from a longer piece 'Notes on a Suicide' published in Granta 140.

Big Capital. Who is London for?

This new book by Anna Minton examines the London housing crisis. She looks at the impact of luxury developments and the squeeze on social housing. Both local and central government policies and activities have made it worse. You can get a flavour of the book from an extract in the Guardian. Minton, A. (2017). Big Capital. Who is London for? London: Penguin.

Are digital technologies making politics impossible?

In this RSA podcast, James Williams ’ argues that digital technologies privilege our impulses over our intentions, and are gradually diminishing our ability to engage with the issues we most care about. He explores:

  •     How the ‘distractions’ produced by digital technologies are much more profound than minor ‘annoyances’
  •     How so-called ‘persuasive’ design is undermining the human will and ‘militating against the possibility of all forms of self-determination’
  •     How beginning to ‘assert and defend our freedom of attention’ is an urgent moral and political task

James Williams, a former Google employee and doctoral candidate researching design ethics at Oxford University, recently won the Nine Dots Prize - and his arguments around the pervasive effects of digital technologies are of great relevance to what we do as pedagogues, educators and workers. Access the podcast via SoundCloud.

Future proof

In this report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research, Matthew Lawrence argues that Brexit is the firing gun on a decade of disruption. As the UK negotiates its new place in the world, an accelerating wave of economic, social and technological change will reshape the country, in often quite radical ways. The report focuses on five trends: population change; growing fragility in the economic world order as globalisation evolves; the Brexit after-shock; technological transformation which could affect 75% of jobs; and instability in an age of natural systems decay.