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David Boyle, author of â€˜Funny Moneyâ€™ (Jan 1999) is a writer and journalist specializing in economics, cities, business and the environment.
He has been pioneering the idea of parallel currencies, introducing over 20 time banks to the UK (using time as a kind of money,) after the publication of his last book, â€˜Funny Moneyâ€™ : In Search of Alternative Cash. He has written about the future of money all over the world and is the author of the Financial Times management report Virtual Currencies (FT 1999) and the recent pamphlet Why London Needs its own Currency (New Economics Foundation, 2000).
As a Senior Associate at the New Economics Foundation, he has been at the forefront of new thinking in economics, volunteering and the environment â€“ and has been advising the government on the future of volunteering.
He is former editor of New Economics, Town & Country Planning magazine, Liberal Democrat News and a range of other magazines, and his book on the future of cities (Building Futures) was published by WH Allen in 1989. He is also a member of the national policy committee of the Liberal Democrats, and used to write speeches for opinion formers such as Paddy Ashdown and Anita Roddick.
Featured in this book are such established English cultural behemoths as the Beatles, Big Ben and the Last Night of the Proms alongside less celebrated quirks such as meat pies and the working man's haven, the allotment. Here we celebrate the bell-ringers and Morris dancers, bowler hats ('the symbol of respectable Englishness') and cardigans ('symbol of staid middle-class solidarity'). We examine the brutality of Punch and Judy and our historic love of fairies, once so much a part of the English psyche that they were described as 'the British religion'.
The word 'tickbox' emerged recently as a cynical angle on official or corporate incompetence. They had 'ticked the box' - people said - but failed to act. It is increasingly used to describe this gap between official spin and reality. Yet, says David Boyle in this powerful expose of tickbox culture, that is just the tip of a vast tickbox iceberg. The only people who remain blind to this gap are those rich or powerful enough to run the world, and behind Tickbox lies an insidious philosophy of automation and the misuse of data that weighs heavily on every one of us. It makes our public services less effective - and makes them soar in costs - it lies behind so many stark injustices and disasters, from Grenfell Tower to the deportation of the Windrush generation. Yet the system carries on, and grows in power and strengths - vacuuming up the resources of the NHS pursuing pointless targets or badgering us to reveal how much we had enjoyed our visit to their bank counter - because those who run the world remain committed to it. It is time we escaped the tentacles of Tickbox. Boyle suggests a series of ways out - starting with recognising the danger and calling it out for what it is - a massive failure, corroding our lives and our ability, as human beings, to act on the world.
Not long ago, economic theories were generally based on a narrow set of principles. Then the continuing boom-bust cycle combined with the failure of the best economic minds to ensure that prosperity spreads down through the economy has left a series of very obvious question marks, and the orthodoxy has been challenged from inside and outside the profession. It now seems clear that human beings and the planet have to be brought into the analysis. The first chapter goes right back to the debate about the purposes for which money was originally invented. The Big Ideas chapter builds up a picture of the key ideas that have driven economic theories. Economics and People derives insights into the way that money and economics works from the way that people actually behave. Economics and the Planet covers some of the economic insights that have come from those whose expertise has been biological or environmental.
Since money was invented, there has been a debate about better ways of creating it and better rules to govern how it works - until the last generation, when it began to seem that the money system had been handed down by God and remained unchanged ever since. But the last few years have seen an increasingly powerful resurgence of interest in changing the system fundamentally, and bringing the monetary trends that affect all our lives under our control. Few realize that the debate has roots and a tradition, covering mainstream economists like Keynes and Hayek, statesmen like Lincoln, entrepreneurs like Ford and Soros, as well as the imaginative mavericks behind local currencies and e-money. This volume collects together some of their most influential writings to provide a handbook on a vital train of ideas, and a guide to a debate on changing money that is becoming increasingly important.
Universal change is often the result of an individual's lightbulb moment - an invention that triggers a ripple effect across countries, continents, or even out into space. Great Inventions in 30 Seconds looks at fifty of these groundbreaking innovations - great ideas that really did change the world. It covers a wide range, from early days (the wheel) through materials (the invention of steel, for example, or plastic) to communications (the alphabet, the printing press, the Worldwide Web) and the conveniences of (relatively) modern daily life (refrigeration, indoor plumbing, central heating). It's a sharp reminder that almost every aspect of life in the second decade of the 21st century is the result of someone's bright idea, - and one that they acted on to turn it into a viable invention. Along the way you'll learn all about the personalities behind the inventions: revealing and intriguing in equal measure.
Dotty finds herself in Browntown and saves the world with the help of a cow, a salmon and a small dog - a modern version of the Oz tale.
A Brexit thriller where Adrian Matison, junior Treasury mandarin, follows the clues left by his friend, murdered on the Pilgrim's Way and discovers a forgotten government agency, founded in Henry VIII's time, is behind the efforts to leave Europe.
The phenomenon whereby the organisations we deal with, public and private, are shrinking their customer facing functions, making them hard to contact, communicate with or empathise with.