A group of us working on Common Cause in Scotland developed the Communities with a Common Cause Action Learning Programme to pilot an approach to putting Common Cause into practice that could be replicated more widely. The programme had excellent feedback from participants and was recognised with a UNESCO Outstanding Flagship Project Award. The judging panel were particularly impressed by the innovative nature of the project and its contribution to pushing forward the field of Education for Sustainable Development.
How it worked
Sixteen people participated in the programme, drawn from government agencies, NGOs and community groups engaging communities with the environment. Participants were recruited in pairs from each of the eight organisations and were selected for the influence they could bring to bear on their own organisation and their sector. The programme ran from September 2013 to February 2014 with one workshop per month introducing a range of concepts, tools and approaches that can be used to create a values-based approach.
Participants undertook activities between each workshop to put learning into practice and prepare for the next workshop, and were supported by a mentor.
The programme was evaluated using a range of methods including in depth semi-structured interviews with participants.
Discussions at the Common Cause ALP in Scotland
GuestAction Learning Programme in Scotland recognised with UNESCO award
“Alienation is one of the most frequently encountered concepts in social science. Indeed, the amorphous, global concept of alienation has been used as a catchword to explain nearly every kind of aberrant behavior from drug abuse to political demonstrations.” (Mackey & Ahlgren, 1977).
And Jimmy Reid expressed it better than anyone else. So well, in fact, that it is very tempting to simply copy out his 1972 speech, updating a few passages here and there with contemporary examples. I’ll spare you that (you can read it in full here), but to paraphrase his opening sentence: alienation is the precise word to describe the major social and environmental problems we face, and it is (probably) more widespread and pervasive than ever before.
But who talks about alienation now? It’s a concept that has gone out of fashion, seen as antiquated or irrelevant when explaining social problems. It has been largely rejected by academics, possibly because it’s a word that carries implicit moral and political force. Basically, “there seems to be much evidence for a fading romance with alienation in the social sciences.” (Heinz, 1991).
This is a romance that needs to be rekindled, because alienation is as relevant today as it’s ever been. We can understand everything from the riots, to Scottish independence, to the rise of UKIP, through its lens.
‘Alienation’ 30 years on from Jimmy Reid – by Bec Sanderson
Occasionally the desire for verisimilitude leads the artist in extreme directions: because the Irish maid in the “Amber” project was diagnosed with hysterical blindness, Häussler blindfolded herself to create some of the objects in the installation.
Joe BrewerTelling Stories in 3 Dimensions: Art Today
Fame was like a drug. But what was even more like a drug were the drugs. I can’t go to juvie. They use guys like me as currency. Uh, no, they’re saying “Boo-urns, Boo-urns.” A woman is a lot like a refrigerator. Six feet tall, 300 pounds…it makes ice.
Finding a needle in a haystack isn’t hard when every straw is computerized. You’re a killer. I catch killers. Somehow, I doubt that. You have a good heart, Dexter. Under normal circumstances, I’d take that as a compliment.
Reflections on the scale of impact of the new behavioural sciences on public policy-making
This is a guest post from Professor Mark Whitehead of Aberystwyth University.
With all of the contemporary debate and discussion about nudge-type policies it can be difficult to assess the scale of the impacts that the ‘new’ behavioural sciences (including behavioural economics, behavioural psychology and even neuroscience) are actually having on public policy. At one level, there is a tendency to dismiss nudge-inspired initiatives as being relatively marginal within the broader universe of politics and public policy-making. But such dismissive perspectives are rarely based on careful analyses of actually exiting policies. There are, of course, many different ways in which you can begin to assess the scale of the impacts of any policy regime. Scales of impact can relate to the relative number of policies that have been shaped by new insights; or the actual affects that related policies have on people’s everyday lives. Scales of impact can also relate to the geographical prevalence of the policies under consideration. In a recent report entitled Nudging all Over the World: Assessing the Global Impact of the Behavioural Sciences on Public Policy we outline the scale of the geographical spread of nudge-type policies.
The global spread of nudge-type policies (states shaded blue have engaged in the central orchestration of nudge-types policies; those shaded red show evidence of some form of nudge-type policy being applied in their territory)
GuestNudging all over the world: behaviour change & public policy
Flavored spirits have been stealing market share for years, growing 10 times faster than total spirits, as beer sales continue to decline. The result: a distinctly new category of alcoholic beverage that gives the non-beer or spirit drinker a wide range of flavored alcoholic beverages that appeal to a variety of tastes.
Jon AlexanderIt’s Not Wine, It’s Not Beer, It’s Lambda
Calling all teachers, researchers and campaigners with an interest in values and food!
In September we kicked off Food Values: a nine month action research project with Organic Centre Wales. The goal of this project is to explore what food education based on values looks like, and we’ll do this through a series of research seminars and public food events around Wales that run until June 2015.
The first research seminar was a big success, bringing academics and practitioners to Aberystwyth University to discuss food values and good education practice. We talked about how the values framework helped us understand what worked well in the past, and why. A good food event is participative, fun and creative (everyone has something to say about food!); it makes the social relationships visible by revealing the real people and places involved in getting the food to our tables, and it situates food issues, for example around security and sovereignty, firmly in the context of wider social change.
Taken by Christian, aka net_efekt, 2008, licensed under Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
I care deeply for nature. Bad news. Andy Griffith turned us down. He didn’t like his trailer. First place chick is hot, but has an attitude, doesn’t date magicians. Whoa, this guy’s straight? Oh, you’re gonna be in a coma, all right. Father Christmas. Santa Claus. Or as I’ve always known him: Jeff.
Lambdium is one of the most magnetic substances around, so it’s about time it was put to good use. The Lambda S is a small chunk of the stuff, which you can stick pretty much anywhere, and use to mount your phone, or even a tablet. Right now, it has 16% off.