Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2015 & beyond: back to the future

Looking back over 2014 & ahead to the New Year it's hard not to see a plethora of challenges for the public sector.  Political commentators & pundits seem to be in general agreement that if there's one thing for certain regarding the forthcoming General Election, it's that nobody knows what to expect. Labour or Conservative, alliances with UKIP or the LibDems or the Greens or the Nationalists, the possibilities are complex & confusing.  Factor in the competing & confused policy pronouncements on public spending, the NHS & devolution (see previous posts) amongst other things & the future(s) become even more difficult to comprehend.
Despite this landscape, however, I am approaching 2015 in an unusually optimistic manner. This is unusual for reasons that go beyond the fairly common "meh" feelings towards the forced jamboree of New Year's Eve & the resolutions that go unfulfilled. I think the optimism stems from a feeling of possibility & creativity that is apparent across sectors, organisations & generations in recent months. The Scottish referendum may have been a catalyst for this (regardless of your views on the result, it was a victory for democracy & debate), alongside the developing perception of the revolutionary possibilities for the future. "Digital" is a shorthand catch-all for the possibilities for technological change, but the potential is obvious. Some impacts will be negative & the understanding needed to adapt to change will grow even further. But the potential for innovation, creativity & (re)design of business, public services & lifestyles is enormous. 
This optimism, it is fair to say, is not my natural default setting. The first General Election I was eligible to vote was in 1997, the year of New Labour's landslide victory & subsequent euphoria leading to widespread disillusionment. Any kind of Pollyannaism in politics or public policy raises eyebrows, including mine. But for now at least I see the options open to voters in May as a huge opportunity to influence & inform how we build the futures ahead, together. 

If you want to be part of how we do this please get in touch. 

Wishing you a happy & prosperous New Year.

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