At the end of 2017 Pret opened their first city-centre branch in Sheffield. I have nothing against Pret; aside from the reasonable food, their hugely commendable charity partnerships ensure daily excess stock is distributed to those who need it. So far so good.
However, what is depressing is the fanfare their arrival created both locally and elsewhere.
Written for Four Seasons Magazine
Will the rise of digital making see the emergence of a cottage industry 2.0? Can bespoke objects made digitally ever attain the emotional and monetary value of hand craft?
We woke up to a new post-referendum country yesterday morning. Well, we woke up to the beginnings of some upheaval at the very least. Things are going to be very complicated for a while. As an owner of a business both in the UK and The Netherlands I, like most people who voted, have no real idea of what the implications on my long term future will be. This wasn’t a vote about policies or grounded in logic, facts or a clear road map either one way or another. The remain/leave campaign has been talked to death and I don’t want to write about my standpoint (though for the record I am a remainer), but watching Mr Cameron outside No.10 made me think about something more general than the intricacies of discussions on battle buses and TV debates over the last few months and that in reality means we won't see very much change in the long term.
Education in the time of the Third Industrial Revolution
Education systems were built to serve the first and second Industrial Revolutions. Neither education nor production models have really changed, until now. The third Industrial Revolution is upon us – people can access and create content anywhere, any time and increasingly this also includes manufacturing/making capabilities. How can we develop new education models to reflect this and to enable increasingly flexible, experimental and fairer learning environments, that help build a more resilient and confident workforce for the future?
With the death of three (well two and a half) large high street chains in a week and no immediate policy level ideas in motion about how we stop the rot, I have been getting more and more confused and subsequently angry about why we’re in this predicament. Even St. Mary Portas doesn’t seem to be able to save our beloved high street (apparently). I know there’s a lot of good stuff happening out there (including Assemble & Join I hope you’ll agree!), but it does feel like a drop in the ocean. I think I’m angry because I’m confused and I’m confused for two reasons. One is I think I can see obvious ways we could do something better, and two is that I’m probably ill-informed / ignorant / naïve (delete as you see appropriate). So I thought I’d scribble some thoughts down mainly to help me reflect and digest: