Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Britain's unmet needs

The Young Foundation has recently published an interesting report called ‘Sinking not swimming: Understanding Britain’s Unmet Needs’. Its findings are summed up by their Director, Geoff Mulgan, as follows:

"Our survey shows that Britain is a rich country but with many poor people; a generally happy country but with many unhappy people. It’s not broken. But it is brittle, anxious and stressed. To the public it is obvious that psychological needs are as important as material ones, that love, care, peace of mind are as vital to a good life as having enough heating or enough clothes to wear. Yet there is an odd gulf between this common knowledge and public policy. Whoever can bridge that gap may win the battle to convince the public that they understand poverty and what to do about it."

This pulls together some of the themes I have been working on - the need to not only move towards a more just, equal and sustainable society with stronger communities, but at the same time the need to build the capacities of individuals to flourish in their lives. See my book 'Modern life - as good as it gets' for more thoughts on this, and Life² for an organisation that aims to begin this process of building people's capacities to flourish.

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