Instead of relying on old narratives, it’s time to build power for new ones

Organisations that want to tackle the climate crisis have a duty to ensure that the deeper narratives that their work reinforces, and the values that underpin them, are in service to the world they want to see. Nudge theory – the beloved strategy of neo-liberal governments, businesses and many NGOs alike – argues that many […]

Research shows that research isn’t good at changing people’s minds.

To paraphrase George Lakoff, if the facts do not fit your values, the values stay and the facts bounce off. (Okay, so Lakoff was writing about what he calls “deep frames”, rather than values, but the relationship between values and deep frames seems close). When confronted with inconvenient information, it’s much easier – it requires […]

Common Cause June newsletter: We’re looking for a new team member

Common Cause newsletter, sent 30/06/22 Common Cause June Newsletter Dear friends, We hope that you are all well and thriving, despite all that’s going on in the world. Apologies for the delay in getting this over to you this month — two thirds of the team were struck with Covid and so things have been […]

Common Cause May newsletter: What do we really value?

Common Cause newsletter, sent 30/05/22 Dear friends, Honestly, putting together a newsletter this month has felt challenging — I am navigating life with almost one-year old twin babies and very little sleep, which has left little room for lateral thinking. I have been reflecting on how entirely exhausted and burnt out many of us are; […]

Common Cause March newsletter: Focussing on neoliberalism isn’t enough

Dear friends, Many of us working in networks focused on promoting social change identify neoliberalism as the root problem of the challenges that we confront. As Common Cause often highlights, neoliberalism encourages extrinsic values — the pursuit of material self-interest through the accumulation of wealth, and the desire for social status and public image. These […]

Healing division through exploration of shared values

Originally published 15/02/22 on the Othering & Belonging Institute It seems that we live in a time of polarisation. The most salient areas of public debate are characterised by deep division on, for example, immigration, restrictions implemented to reduce transmission of covid, vaccination, membership of the European Union. In this context, the assertion wheeled out […]

Neoliberalism is not the Only Problem

We recently came across a provocative essay co-authored by Jack Coffin, an academic at the University of Manchester. Many of us working in networks focused on promoting social change identify neoliberalism as the root problem of the challenges that we confront. Not so, argues Jack. Neoliberalism, though important, is actually a symptom of a deeper […]