Lecture at the Royal Society of Arts

Last week, I gave the first of this year’s RSA lectures at the Royal Society of Arts in London. Here’s the text – video to follow as soon as they’ve uploaded it…

I.

So here’s my argument in a nutshell. If we want to change the world, then what we most need isn’t evidence, data, or policy proposals. It’s stories.

No-one is more surprised about this than I am, believe me. I’m a policy wonk, not a communications expert. Over the last 20 years I’ve worked for Cabinet ministers, at the UN, as a think tank research fellow, and a consultant for everyone from Oxfam to the US National Intelligence Council.

And as anyone who’s worked with me over that period will confirm, I am a total nerd. I love evidence, data, and policy proposals. I get excited about killer facts and slam dunk pie charts. I spent years of my life wanting to be Josh Lyman from the West Wing.

Through it all, I thought that changing the world was about getting the right evidence to the right policymakers.

I don’t think that anymore.

Continue reading “Lecture at the Royal Society of Arts”