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The thorns in our side

Written by Harriet Moll, creative director
12 September 2020

Good morning,

When will there be good news? I’m afraid I can’t answer that this morning, but I hope this week’s mix of reads and listens from a wide variety of sources do at least provide some understanding and insight into some of the thorniest problems we face together as individuals, communities and countries. Anger, sadness and despair do feature, yes, but hope and joy are still to be found, often in unlikely places. 

Have a good weekend.  

Angrynomics

Everyone is angry and the reasons are always obvious, aren’t they? Politics, inequality, climate change, it’s all getting worse and it’s maddening because we already have the solutions – so why are things still getting worse? Mark Blyth and Eric Lonergan’s book Angrynomics dissects the mood of the day and offers some practical solutions for an increasingly polarised and confusing world.


Join us next week to share your rage with them and others. Write to us as rsvp@charlottestpartners.co.uk if you’d like to come along to the Zoom call.

Buy it from Amazon

To the very end

Wednesday marks a month since the 2020 Belarusian protests started against Alexander Lukashenka, a dictator who has been in power since 1994.


Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, is the only original member of the opposition Coordinating Council – made up of prominent Belarusians – who has yet to flee the country or be exiled. “I don’t want people to lose the last remaining hope,” she says. “So I’m going to be here to the end.”

Read in the New Yorker.

Power in the collective

Recently I listened to a conversation with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks where he said something that resonated with me. The countries that have managed best during the pandemic are those with group mentalities; those with a ‘we’ culture not an ‘I’ culture. Countries with rampant individualism at their core, the UK and the USA being obvious examples, have struggled to lead hearts and minds in a unified direction. We have simply forgotten that the greater good can only be achieved through individual commitment. This article reminds us that collective decisions are often the best decisions.

Read in the New Statesman.

Netflix’s world domination

The Netflix culture deck was first released in 2009 and quickly became legendary amongst HR and company culture professionals because it broke all the rules – unlimited holiday, no performance management, top pay and face-to-face team 360s as standard. It’s been downloaded over 20 million times and it still feels fresh and too frightening for most to emulate. Lunch with the FT is always an entertaining read, and this one with chief executive Reed Hastings doesn’t disappoint.

Read in the Financial Times.

Nice White Parents 

Podcast enthusiasts will remember the smash hit series Serial from two years ago. Well for 2020 the same team have put together an in-depth dissection of another shocking miscarriage of justice: decades of intractable racism at the heart of the American public-school system, much of it unwittingly reinforced by the titular Nice White Parents. The first episode is a stark illustration of the unintended consequences that unfold when well-meaning white parents bring their money and ‘opportunity’ into a majority black school.


Listen to it on Apple Podcasts.

Let’s talk about it

This Thursday past marked World Suicide Prevention Day. BBC Radio Scotland ran a series of programmes and conversations to mark the day and raise awareness of the devastating problem of suicide in our country, particularly amongst young men. Two programmes called Six Men tell the story of six friends from one shinty team in Fort William who all died by suicide. It’s not an easy listen but it’s an important one – it reminded me that things do change if we reach out. Lives can be saved if we get a bit braver about opening up and checking in on each other.

Listen on BBC Radio Scotland. 

Never going to give you up

For anyone clinging to their BlackBerry mobile phone, things just started looking up! As Sophie Charara writes, BlackBerry is back and the faithful are in a frenzy. With a new BB-branded phone coming in 2021, she speaks to those for whom the iconic phone never went away. 


Read on Wired

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