richardRichard Docwra

All articles by richard

 

Podcast ep #10 – How to make a happier world (Part 2) – with Prof Richard Layard

Out today in the latest episode of my podcast ‘Making the world better’, it’s the second part of my conversation with Professor Richard Layard, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the LSE. If you’ve not listened to the first part about his work on the subject of happiness and mental health, check it out after you’ve
Continue reading...  

Podcast ep #9 – How to make a happier world – with Richard Layard

I’m very excited about the new episode of my podcast that’s out today. In it I talk to Lord Richard Layard, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the LSE. Richard is an economist who spent much of his life working on how to reduce unemployment and inequality. In more recent years though he has become one
Continue reading...  

Podcast Ep 8 – How eating insects could save the world

My conversation in episode 8 of my podcast ‘Making the world better’ – out now – is with Dr Tilly Collins. Tilly is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College, London. She runs research projects in a range of environmental areas, but in this episode we talk about her work
Continue reading...  

Podcast Ep 7 – How to seek Remain – with Mike Buckley

My guest in the latest episode is Mike Buckley. Mike is a political campaigner who has been seeking social and political change for many years, most recently as head of the ‘Labour for a public vote’ campaign. I got to know Mike after my social change consultancy Praxis had prepared a report in 2019 to
Continue reading...  

Podcast Ep 6 – How to improve old age – with Prof Tom Kirkwood

In the new episode of my podcast (out today), I talk to Professor Tom Kirkwood, a biologist who for several decades has been a leading figure in the study of aging – how and why we age. He has published several books, including Time of Our Lives: The Science of Human Aging and The End
Continue reading...  

Podcast Ep 5 – How to raise funds and campaign – with Tim Walker

In the new episode of my podcast ‘Making the world better’ – out today – I speak to Tim Walker. Tim is a direct response copy writer and campaigner. Tim’s been a colleague and friend of mine for many years, and is the founder of the fundraising agency TWCAT, now On agency, and is a
Continue reading...  

Podcast Ep 4 – How to make politics better – with Neal Lawson

A new episode of my podcast is out today – and my conversation in this one is with Neal Lawson. I’ve been looking forward to sharing this one with you, as it’s important and fascinating! Neal is a political commentator and a director of the centre-left pressure group Compass. He was an adviser to Gordon
Continue reading...  

Podcast Ep 3 – How self affirmation can change our behaviour

I’m very pleased to launch episode 3 of my podcast series today – and it’s one I’ve been looking forward to sharing with people, as it’s such an interesting topic. My conversation in this podcast is with Professor Peter Harris, who is a professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex. His academic research investigates
Continue reading...  

New podcast – Making the world better

I’m very excited to announce that my new #podcast ‘Making the world better’ is now live! In the podcast, I talk to people who are making the world better – not just those tackling big issues at a global scale but also those working at a local level or in less obvious areas too. I
Continue reading...  

New podcast launching 20th Jan 2020!

I’m very excited to announce that my new #podcast ‘Making the world better’ will be launching on 20th January 2020! In the podcast, I talk to people who are making the world better – not just those tackling big issues at a global scale but also those working at a local level or in less
Continue reading...  

Beyond words

I’ve recently become tired of hearing people’s words – both those of others and my own. This evening I went for a walk on the hills of the South Downs as the sun set, and it reminded me of the joy of being without words. Just standing silently and letting the sights and sounds of
Continue reading...  

Carbon disarmament – a new solution to climate change?

Decades on from my first involvement in the fight against climate change, we have still not found a way to get the change we need on this issue, and the urgency of the crisis is becoming greater every day. I was recently at a talk at the Hay literature festival by a leading environmentalist who
Continue reading...  

How British politics is changing – for the better

Many of us with pro-environmental and liberal values have been feeling battered and under threat over the last three or four years as we’ve watched the rise of right-wing populism in our own country, in the US and around Europe. The evidence suggests however that this is not the whole picture – and in fact,
Continue reading...  

The event that changed my world

I’ve been thinking recently about my emotional reaction to a particular event in human history. I’ve felt it chipping away at me in recent years as I’ve continued to research it, and realised recently that it has had a profound effect on the way I see the world. I’d like to share it here –
Continue reading...  

Seeing through the fog

We’re living in a time when it’s increasingly difficult to tell fact from fiction, discern a real news story from a PR puff piece, understand what a politician is really trying to say, escape from the influence of advertising or work out how to manage our kids’ lives online. We’re surrounded by hot air, interest
Continue reading...  

New book – The Life Trap

Today at Life Squared we are launching an important new publication – our first book, in fact. It’s called ‘The Life Trap – and how to escape it’, and is available as a free download or audiobook,here. Using the latest insights from psychology and neuroscience, the book argues that human beings are not as rational
Continue reading...  

Influence – a problem that goes beyond obesity

An article has appeared today in The Guardian which talks about the many ways in which our everyday environments have been built to encourage us to consume fatty, sugary, junk food, and that we need to see some policy interventions from the government to change aspects of our daily environment in order to address the
Continue reading...  

How to stop the rise of manipulation

Communication is power. In the modern world, one of the most effective tools used by the powerful to build and exercise their power is communication. More specifically, it’s the ability to understand how human beings think and behave and then use this knowledge to influence people – both individually and in massive numbers. This power
Continue reading...  

The Life Trap – coming soon

I’ve just completed a booklet for Life Squared that has turned into a book!  It’s a piece of work that I’ve been putting off for years as I knew it would be large and complex, but I’m delighted to have finished it as I think it’s a critical issue, yet one that hasn’t been exposed
Continue reading...  

Be a light in the darkness in 2018

We live in difficult political times. Rarely does a week pass without Donald Trump’s administration ignorantly destroying yet another important piece of hope for the world – whether in foriegn policy or its attitude towards climate change. Under such circumstances, it’s easy to feel a sense of complete despair and powerlessness. With this powerless can
Continue reading...  

New guide to life!

What is the meaning of life? How should we live? What happens when we die? This weekend Humanists UK has published a new guide I’ve written for them on these and some of the other big questions of life. You can download it (for free) here. Over the last two thousand years we’ve been led
Continue reading...  

New video – the problem with consumerism

So here’s the new video we produced for Life Squared to support their popular guide on ‘The Problem with Consumerism‘.  Check it out!
Continue reading...  

New stuff coming soon…

It’s been a while since I posted on this blog, and that’s mainly because I’ve had my head down working on a load of different projects, as well as in running my agency ChangeStar. The good news is that these projects – including a video on ‘The problem with consumerism’, a new Life Squared guide
Continue reading...  

Conservative voter? Here’s why you should vote smart in the General Election

Remember how shocked you felt waking up to the result of the Brexit referendum? Or how devastated you felt upon hearing that Trump had become President of the United States? Well, if you don’t want to wake up with this feeling on June 9th 2017, you can do something about it. Politics has taken a
Continue reading...  

Green Party voter? Here’s why you should vote smart in the General Election

Remember how shocked you felt waking up to the result of the last General Election? Or how devastated you felt upon hearing that Trump had become President of the United States? Well, if you don’t want to wake up with this feeling on June 9th 2017, you can do something about it. Politics has taken
Continue reading...  

Labour voter? Here’s why you should vote smart in the General Election

Remember how shocked you felt waking up to the result of the last General Election? Or how devastated you felt upon hearing that Trump had become President of the United States? Well, if you don’t want to wake up with this feeling on June 9th 2017, you can do something about it. Politics has taken
Continue reading...  

Liberal Democrat voter? Here’s why you should vote smart in the General Election

Remember how shocked you felt waking up to the result of the last General Election? Or how devastated you felt upon hearing that Trump had become President of the United States? Well, if you don’t want to wake up with this feeling on June 9th 2017, you can do something about it. Politics has taken
Continue reading...  

Why we should keep working for a Progressive Alliance

Yesterday, some new media reports emerged that questioned just how much impact a Progressive Alliance between Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Greens could really have on reducing the Tory majority in the forthcoming General Election. We’ve seen a lot of stories like this before, and there are a wide range of reasons why polls at
Continue reading...  

A progressive alliance in Lewes – and beyond

Last night I attended the Progressive Alliance event in Lewes, my home town. It was not just well attended – it was packed. There was standing room only, at a hastily-assembled event that had only been publicised for a few days. The evening had everything – from the ejection of a rather over-refreshed gentleman by
Continue reading...  

A vision for a better Britain

In my post yesterday I explored how we might build a strong, attractive view of a progressive future – one that a large number of people might want to get behind. As promised, below is a first go at how to present the vision and what to include in it. No doubt it needs more
Continue reading...  

What a new progressive movement should look like

The world is in a chaotic state right now. Right wing populist parties are on the rise in western democracies as citizens vent their anger at a political process and economic system that has left them feeling powerless and without decent lives, jobs or self respect. People are willing to turn to almost any option
Continue reading...  

How to wake up happy on June 9th

Remember how shocked you felt waking up to the result of the last General Election? Or how devastated you felt upon hearing that Trump had become President of the United States? Well, if you don’t want to wake up with this feeling on June 9th 2017, you can do something about it. Politics has taken
Continue reading...  

Don’t mention the E-word

It’s been baffling and annoying this morning to see so much news coverage of the non-story that the National Trust and Cadbury have dropped the word ‘Easter’ from their annual Easter Egg Hunt event. First, it’s hard to work out who planted this story in the media as a bit of speculative PR.  The most
Continue reading...  

We must all fight Trump

Donald Trump’s first week in office, and particularly his decision to temporarily ban people entering the US from predominantly Muslim countries, proves something – we are all now engaged in a battle to protect civilised values, wherever we live in the world. The nauseating stench of fascism had been hanging around his campaign for some
Continue reading...  

Moral impotence and the tragedy of Aleppo

Like many people, I’ve been watching the reports of the destruction and terror in Aleppo with a sense of utter horror. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the situation is a feeling that I’m unable to do anything useful about it. And as someone who helps charities show people how to take action and make
Continue reading...  

The future of the left

In the current political climate, I’ve not been surprised to see a particular question raised more than once – namely, does a proper left wing movement/party stand a chance in Britain? I’ve seen articles saying it doesn’t, and arguing that no really left wing party has held power since the early 70s. So, is Britain
Continue reading...  

Economics for the people

One significant reason for Trump’s election victory is that Clinton represents a discredited system. Politicians that people don’t trust.  An economic system that isn’t working for people. And the two things are connected. Because politicians have lost trust through desperately trying to defend, promote and support the economic system that isn’t working. So, the only
Continue reading...  

A new vision

“Politics has failed through a lack of competing narratives (to neoliberalism). The key task now is to tell a new story of what it is to be a human in the 21st century. It must be as appealing to some who have voted for Trump and Ukip as it is to the supporters of Clinton,
Continue reading...  

The power of kindness

The world is in a chaotic state at the moment. 2016 has felt like the most negative year I’ve experienced on this planet – and partly for the toxic and negative political atmosphere that has enveloped western democracies in the last few years. It’s reached its nadir (so far at least) with the rise and
Continue reading...  

Trump – a final warning

This post is a final plea to anyone in America who is able to vote in the forthcoming presidential election to vote against Donald Trump. Do not let him get in, as this could be one of the most dangerous decisions the world has seen for decades. There are 50 days to go before the
Continue reading...  

Brexit and the need for respect

As the summer holidays come to an end, I’m sure many people will have had a similar experience to me of travelling abroad and realising how much Europe as an overall idea means to them. Travelling to Germany and Italy, I’ve been aware of how connected I feel to these countries and people, as well
Continue reading...  

Brexit – hope out of despair

One of the key dangers of Brexit (aside from not insignificant others like the damage to our economy, the impact on the lives of Europeans and the barrier this has driven between people in British society), is that it will trigger an even more pronnounced lurch to the right in this country’s politics. So, what
Continue reading...  

Why we need to be more civilised

The world feels like a depressing place at the moment.  Shootings in Orlando, the rise of Trump, refugee crises, dubious rhetoric in the Brexit debate – the list goes on. We’re about to launch a new Life Squared booklet soon called ‘How to be civilised’ which examines some of the lessons that we can draw
Continue reading...  

The great Brexit distraction

Over the last few months, our country – and increasingly, the rest of the world – has become distracted by the forthcoming referendum on whether Britain should remain in the EU. This single-minded focus has been infuriating for a number of reasons – the main one being that this whole issue is an entirely fake
Continue reading...  

On the CUSP of a better future?

Yesterday I was at the launch of a new initiative, called the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). The event was chaired (and the centre is run) by Professor Tim Jackson, one of the country’s leading thinkers on sustainable economics, and the author of one of the best (and most accessible) books on
Continue reading...  

Let’s get angry!

About a year ago I published a blog post lamenting the lack of real protest and action being taken against the (still extant) Government’s attempts to dismantle some of our most cherished and respected institutions – including the NHS, education system, welfare state and BBC. Since that post, the severity of the situation seems to
Continue reading...  

Must have it?

Acquisition anxiety – how our constant need to acquire things is hurting us Picture the scene. You’re walking through a beautiful village in the countryside. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the whole scene is idyllic. What is the first thought that enters your mind?  Is it something along the lines of
Continue reading...  

Why tax is a moral issue

There’s been a lot in the press about tax recently.  The leak of data from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca confirms my view that tax is more of a moral issue than a practical one – and that paying tax fairly is a moral duty. Let’s start by defining what tax is.  It’s about
Continue reading...  

That joke isn’t funny anymore

The possibility of Donald Trump becoming the world’s most powerful person may have seemed like a joke a year ago (at least, to anyone but him), but now the reality is dawning that it might actually happen. He looks like a shoe-in for the Republican nomination now and will certainly give Hilary Clinton a run
Continue reading...  

Right royal hypocrisy

Poor old Prince William. He obviously cares about the conservation of wildlife but his views have been shaped by his own uniquely privileged, hunting-tradition background and this makes him vulnerable to accusations of hypocrisy. His latest well-intentioned but mistaken intervention was to suggest that trophy hunting of animals could be condoned in certain circumstances: “when
Continue reading...