On My Radar

This month I’ve been playing with Richard Lum’s VERGE framework ahead of our futures session on 24 May.  Instead of a traditional categorisation of trends into Social, Economic, Political, Legal, Environmental (or thereabouts) he developed a set of 6 that intend to deepen our awareness of what’s occurring around us.  Covers how we connect, how we relate, consume, define ourselves, create goods and services, and in what ways we destroy what we have.  It gets us away from our comfortable boundaries of our sector or professions, where we would traditionally use our expertise, and look more widely.


So three things on my radar, with my focus on the ‘Future of Wellbeing’ at work, in the caring economy, and in communities of place:


  1. How we Destroy


Why Civil Wars are lasting longer (behind a paywall I know, but you can access for free for a month)


In-depth report on data on wars.  How the conflation of globalisation/foreign state involvement (trade and crime), climate change, and more recently bellicose ‘superpowers’ is part of the trends towards longer and more complex civil wars.  Deeply polarising.  Complexity of mediation and peace-making when wars come on many fronts, with many different and opposing actors involved. 


One mega trend that may be on the rise?  How does this show up in our local communities?  Movements of people for example?


  1. How we define ourselves and how we relate to each other


2023 Edelman Trust Barometer


Latest in a series of surveys into trust (ethics and competence in positive change) in institutions (Govt, NGOs, Business, Media).  Spread of 28 countries.  c 31k people surveyed. 


We know trust is so important for how we ‘get things done’.  We can see changes in how we work and communicate affecting this.  So I’m interested in data that looks at how this is changing.


This report is suggesting there’s a global trend of decreasing trust in government and media, and increasing trust in business.  Holds true here in the UK, with other country exceptions. What we don’t know is where this is going and why. Is the switch to business intentional or just what’s left.  Are our own employers becoming more trustworthy?  What do our expectations of business look like?   Is this more than the conversations about business being more concerned with stakeholders not just shareholders? 


  1. How we connect, how we consume


Staff Ownership of Veg Box Company


Neat little piece looking ahead to this company become fully staff owned.  “the group now delivers 65,000 boxes a week compared with 50,000 when it made the first move to employee ownership, while sales have risen by more than 50% in that time”


Physical retailing, the way we traditionally think about communities of place, and how we connect, may be dying a death.  I wonder what will come from more online retail companies being employee owned?