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We need to de-mystify foresight skills and make them everyday writes Ben Lee. The RSA’s new report A stitch in time? offers a blueprint for improving how we think about the future and foresight. Developing our ‘futures literacy’ means incorporatinig more of what we know and don’t know...

At Shared Intelligence we are convinced the time is ripe for Total Place #2 write Phil Swann and Tony Blake. Local councils and their partners face a combination of challenges that require close collaboration and engagement with local communities and businesses: responding to coronavirus; supporting economic recovery;...

What's the local vision and what structures will get us there writes Phil Swann. The government’s much anticipated devolution and recovery white paper looks set to be delayed. According to some reports ministers’ apparent enthusiasm for the creation of more unitary councils is rapidly waning. All of...

Plans for unitary local government need to support wider public service reform – and this needs time writes Tony Blake. The government has reignited the unitary council debate but is local government reorganisation a guilty pleasure? We all know that the discussions distract from business as usual...

Council action on devolution must be as much about talking as options appraisal writes Phil Swann. Ministers look set to present councils in two tier areas with a stark choice: establish mayoral combined authorities and introduce unitary local government or in effect opt out of the possibility...

The idea of one ‘new normal’ is a dangerous blind alley writes Ben Lee. It seems increasingly likely the COVID-19 pandemic is already leaving a permanent legacy. Had the crisis lasted only a few days or weeks then perhaps a ‘return to normal’ might have been possible. However,...

Economic recovery planning must start at the local level writes Lisa McCance. COVID-19 is expected to deliver one of the greatest economic shocks of our lifetime, with unprecedented levels of unemployment, business closure and a contraction of our economy not experienced in recorded history. It does however,...

We cannot plan local routes to recovery without clear local visions and strategies writes Phil Swann. In May 2020 councils and their partners are focussed on their response to coronavirus, particularly in relation to the people, communities and businesses most severely affected. We are aware, however, that...

What we are learning right now is priceless, but are we capturing it? writes Ben Lee. Local public services have been operating at (or even beyond) the limits of their tolerance for more than 80 days, revealing strength points and weak points in ways we rarely see....

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