Category - Project

The Narrativium Project @IdeasTap @mac_birmingham

NarrativiumImageWe’re recruiting three bright young creative people to work on the Narrativium Project, the concluding part of our two-year Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project.

To that end, we’ve just posted our recruitment ad on IdeasTap. The deadline is 19th May.

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The Narrativium Project — Birmingham 2050: One Family, Three Futures

NarrativiumBirmingham2050FrontispieceAs part of the Arts Council-funded Narrativium Project, Keith and Ellie Richards have created stories and background information about a five-generation Birmingham family set in several possible futures: Birmingham 2050: One family, three futures.

They’ve cleverly taken the info from the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project, compared the state of play in our world in 2013 with possibilities in 2050, also generated sample best and worst case scenarios, then created these four entertaining stories about characters in this fictional Birmingham family.

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The Arts Council & the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios: The Narrativium Project

It was Terry Pratchett who first coined the word ‘narrativium’ as the element upon which we humans run.

We are, after all, pan narrans, the story-telling ape. It’s new “narrativium” we need to drive radical change in our response to the huge global challenges we’re facing.

PrintTo this end, the Arts Council have funded us to take everything we’ve learned from scientists and others on the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project and create “narrativium”, multi-media stories from the future.

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Elliott Review: Birmingham

ElliottReview_imagesKey people from across the food supply network in Birmingham will be participating in a workshop we’re co-hosting with the Elliott Review team on 2nd April.

As I reported when the interim Elliott Review report was published last December, we were already planning with the Review team how Birmingham could meet the challenge of widespread food crime.

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Interim report of the Elliott Review: Food crime the key message

Interim report of the Elliott Review

“My review to date has identified a worrying lack of knowledge regarding the extent to which we are dealing with criminals infiltrating the food industry. I believe criminal networks have begun to see the potential for huge profits and low risks in this area. The food industry and thus consumers are currently vulnerable,” Professor Chris Elliott says in his Preface to his interim report.

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The scientists, the scenarios, the forum: What’s coming up

The November 2013 update from The New Optimists takes in everything that’s happened since the publication of the book. . . and, even more important, sets things out for what’ll be happening next.

in the immediate future, we’re recruiting rising young scientist stars in the Midlands for a series of brief video interviews over the next few months.

Know someone, perhaps a PhD or postdoc researcher doing interesting stuff? Do encourage them to get in touch with me here.

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Jim Yong Kim: scenarios & climate change

Evan Davis interviewed Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank on Radio 4 Today.

Much of the interview was about Jim Yong Kim’s conversation with the press yesterday (transcript here) in which he made the much-reported statement what I hope the tragedy in the Philippines helps us to do is to move away from having, what I think, a silly argument about, not really the science, but about science as a whole. Ninety-five percent of climate scientists agree that anthropogenic climate change is real

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Reducing the UK’s carbon footprint — one of the world’s largest

New Optimist Dame Julia King has brought two recent important reports from the Committee on Climate Change to my attention. (By the by, she’s one of only nine people on the Committee, and the only woman.)

The first report, published in April 2103, is Reducing the UK’s carbon footprint and managing competitiveness risk. This is a response to a Government request to look at the role of consumption-based emissions. The UK is now one of the world’s largest net importers of emissions, with a carbon footprint around 80% larger than our production emissions.

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Escaping the inequality trap: Grounds for new inequalities

In response to the significant and systemic inequalities in Birmingham, here’s a suggestion:

What we can do in here is invest in activities where cues for social status, high income in particular, are irrelevant. That’s not to say we’ll all be equal in such environments — far from it. We’ll have grounds for different inequalities.

And here’s why it matters, and how it might work.

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State of Nature: England

The State of Nature report has just been published. It gives an overview of how wildlife is doing in England.

Launched by David Attenborough at the Natural History Museum in London last night, and with 25 organisations involved in its compilation, we need take note.

Although there is some good news, overall wildlife and landscapes are under threat. Moreover, current conservation practice seems inadequate to the task.

For perspectives on this important report, read Martin Harper’s blogpost Why the state of nature matters


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