A Short Letter from Alexandria

wooden shelves of books in an old library

I want to talk about the particular kind of uncertainty that neurodivergent and mentally ill folk like me experience. But because most other people don’t, let’s first take a step back and understand what it is that we in higher education do. I’ve thought about this for the more than 3 decades since I arrived in Oxford as an undergraduate, and my conclusion is very simple. The one thing you do at your core is this. You burn books.

Manifesto 1.0

Together We Can Solve Tomorrow A work in progress 1 There are many brilliant people with the potential to change the world for the better who are, right now, not enabled to do so. The result is a personal tragedy for them, a moral tragedy for those who put barriers in their path, and an … Continue reading Manifesto 1.0

Holiness. Utopia. Disgust. imagination, disability, and the mechanisms of erasure

Full text of the talk I gave for the panel: "A Future Worth Fighting For: technology, disability, and ways of being" at the Futures Thinking Conference  We are increasingly reimagining what it means to be-in-the-world. Particularly, we are accepting that we cannot live in the future as we live in the present. Indeed, if we … Continue reading Holiness. Utopia. Disgust. imagination, disability, and the mechanisms of erasure

The Monk, The Mushroom, and The MRI

This is the full text of the talk "The Monk, the Mushroom, and the MRI: how creativity could save the world", given at Meeting Minds in Oxford on 20 September. You can download the slides here. I have kept in the slide prompts so you can follow. When I give talks on the subject of … Continue reading The Monk, The Mushroom, and The MRI

We Need to Build a Better Future: Why Creativity Matters

Talk for the European Union’s Eastern Partnership Civil Society Fellows given on 11 September Download the accompanying powerpoint here If you asked people “do we need more creativity?” very few people would be likely to say no. Indeed, we know that when people are asked about creativity they want more of it. Business leaders regularly … Continue reading We Need to Build a Better Future: Why Creativity Matters

What’s a Wonderful Life? The impact of what we do not do

George had loved his working life. For 30 years he had been the chair of one of the leading research councils, providing the money that made wonderful things happen. Now he was finally hanging up his hat but he would have a contented retirement ahead of him, happy in the knowledge he had made the … Continue reading What’s a Wonderful Life? The impact of what we do not do

The Future

One of the fascinating things about being part of the Futures Thinking Network has been trying to answer what should be the simplest question of all: why am I interested in the future? I mean, of course I am – it’s the future! It’s possibility, excitement, discovery, a treasure map of life and so on and … Continue reading The Future