30 July 2013
This morning I walked over Millennium bridge on my way to work.  On the middle of the bridge, a guy was handing out some flyers …
15 July 2013
Last week, Katie Hopkins stirred up much hatred across the country for admitting she wouldn’t like her children to play with kids …
12 July 2013
This summer over 14,000 young people will take part in NCS powered by The Challenge. For 15-17 year olds across the country, NCS …
05 July 2013
From 20th century Cold War espionage to last month’s PRISM story, spying has remained a well-established practice within our …
03 July 2013
This is a story of a game for two people. The game is called the Ultimatum game. It works like this.The first person is the …
28 June 2013
My eldest daughter is three years old. I like to think I know most of what is going on in her life. But whenever her grandmother …
27 June 2013
My eldest daughter is three years old. I like to think I know most of what is going on in her life. But whenever her grandmother …
26 June 2013
My eldest daughter is three years old. I like to think I know most of what is going on in her life. But whenever her grandmother …
21 June 2013
We believe integration policy really matters. People aged under 55 living in the UK trust their neighbours less than in any other …
20 June 2013
We believe integration policy really matters. People aged under 55 living in the UK trust their neighbours less than in any other …

In the early 90s, Mr Brooks was my secondary school English teacher. In between teaching Macbeth and Wuthering Heights, he would tell us about a friend who had grown up in apartheid South Africa but now lived in London. Once a week, this friend would go to the local primary school and sit outside at playtime just to watch black and white children playing together as equals. He said it restored his faith in humanity.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013

Apocalypse how?

I was never that worried about the environment. I knew there were problems. But I figured that we’d faced environmental problems before and we’d always found a way through. I reassured myself that we hadn’t wiped ourselves out before by messing up the environment.

If we want to have excellent vocational training and apprenticeships, we need some leaders who chose the non-university route. Or at least know well some people who did.

Unfortunately most of our political leaders have taken the uni-route. And so will most of their other halves …

Nearly 1,400 young people took part in ‘The Big Festival’. A total of 15 festivals were held during half term across London, Surrey, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Lancashire. The aim of the festivals was to use art and music to bring local people together and provide an opportunity to signpost our young people towards volunteering and social action opportunities within their local area.  

Mancunian Matters, 22/02/2013

A national refugee charity is calling on Mancunians to spice up their cooking and celebrate the city’s migrant communities in aid of World Food Night tonight.

With Manchester having the largest number of refugees in the country, Refugee Action hopes people will take to their kitchens this evening to cook up a recipe for change. Celebrity Chef Levi Roots – who strummed his way to £50,000 worth of investment in the BBC series Dragon’s Den – hailed the event.

Huffington Post, 01/03/2013 

The UK has a segregation problem. When we open our eyes we can see it. We see it when we visit our schools, we see it when we walk round our neighbourhoods, we see it when we look at our friends. By age, income and race – our country divides every morning and every evening.

When The Challenge Network talks about the need to built a united country where people from different backgrounds come together, some assume we’re just talking about ensuring immigrants speak English.

We’re not.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

How do we bring people together?

The Challenge Network brings people from different backgrounds together. Key to this is building clubs and institutions that people want to join. Over the last 50 years, the institutions which connected us have declined – whether places of worship, local markets, trade unions or local clubs and societies. Our aim is to build new institutions for the 21st Century.

We know that the UK is becoming segregated – by income, age and ethnicity. We know because of the research – an OECD report last year showed that our schools were among the most segregated in the rich world*. And many of us know by experience – our friends are mostly like us by income, age and ethnicity.

Want to get a job?  Make friends with employed people.  Researchers in Germany have found that every employed close friend increases your chance of finding work by 4% and your likely salary by 6%*.  

How can this be?  I’ve never been asked at interview whether my friends are employed.  There are three reasons the researchers think this works.  

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