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Demos and their authors Sonia Sodha and Silvia Guglielmi can be commended on producing A stitch in time: tackling education disadvantage: interim report a-stitch-in-time-tackling-educational-disengagement). It is an excellent overview of the field, showing what has happened and why it is not working. The “third sector” solution is not new, and has been tried, but do…

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Balance of Power report: government is more centralised than ever

Busy day today so posting in haste, below is the statement we have put out on the Balance of Power report and here is a link to an interview I did on CNBC this morning.  20/05/09 Responding to the publication today of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s report on the Balance of Power, LGiU…

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Bottled water

The Governor of New York is phasing out the use of bottled water in the public sector, it’s a great initiative that paves the way for local government in the US. Similarly, local government in the UK should be talking about introducing such initiatives. Making tap water available for free not only addresses the issue…

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remember Donnygate?

I was just thinking back to the speech I made at the Future Leaders Conference on the 15th April this year, organised by Changemakers with young people in their late teens and early twenties.   I said: So what is wrong with our system of government and what can we do to address it? There are…

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Those expenses claims

Day 4 of the Daily Telegraph led news coverage of MPs expenses claims.   “It was within the rules” seems to be the only response that MPs can muster.    A friend of mine who isn’t the least bit interested in politics said to me over the weekend that the expenses claims are to be expected because MPs…

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Engaging citizens in economic recovery

At LGiU we believe that empowering local people leads to stronger democracy and more effective governance. Of course we’re not alone in this: empowerment is central to how all the major parties think about local democracy and forms a major part of the current public policy landscape. But as the economy struggles towards recovery and…

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Captain Mike Abrashoff

Just reflecting on the day I spent in Boston with Deborah Ancona, from the Sloan School at MIT, who shared ideas on leadership, innovation and improving performance in organisations.  Deborah has developed a new approach, known as X-teams that has been adopted in many of the worlds top companies.  To illustrate, she used a great story about the  US Naval…

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Boston final edition

The Boston Globe, one of America’s leading newspapers, well known for its coverage of national and international news, as well as city and state news, is on the verge of being wound up after a dispute between its owner and the workforce.  So anyday now could see the final edition, although local Senators Ted Kennedy…

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Competition conflict and collectivism

The two Harvard freshmen who gave us a tour delighted in stories of competition with other universities, conflict with the neighbouring town of Cambridge, and collective action of varying kinds, including the alumni who have made Harvard the second wealthiest private institution in the world.  The wealthiest is the Catholic Church.   These themes ran through our…

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Stealing home

Do you use the expression ‘home run’, do you sometimes just want ‘ball park’ figures or to ‘hit it out of the ball park’.    All of this means more to me now after getting the hottest ticket in America to see the Boston Red Sox play the New York Yankees.  Two of the biggest teams…

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