What is to be done? Contribute to Revolutionary Times

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Dear Friend of Jericho,

What is to be done?

We live in extraordinary and uncomfortable times.

The tumultuous events of the past year are well documented and have been subject to so much commentary that we do not need to re-tread them here. But we do need to ask ourselves what happens next – what is to be done and how can we, together, be the change?

Three years ago, we created Jericho to help large organisations navigate the messy space between business, politics and civil society. We realized then that the world was in difficulty and that, without progressive thinking, new models and significant intervention, optimism and hope would be defeated by cynicism and despair.

We have not lost hope but we need to re-build it from a very dark place. A better society cannot allow intolerance and xenophobia, rancour and division to triumph. But nor can we escape the harsh fact that much of this is of our own making: our failure to tackle root issues related to globalisation, inequality and injustice – to listen to dissenting voices before their cry became a roar.

There is a new responsibility for business here, just as there is for politics.

Since the summer – and accelerated by events of the past few days – many clients and friends have turned to us and asked us “what is to be done?”. This is the question we are now asking of you, a friend of Jericho.

In order to facilitate an open, positive and generative conversation, we are committing to transform our occasional title, Revolutionary Times, into a forum for new ideas and a new hope. This will bring focus to the wider Jericho community – and we would like to work with you both to find better pathways forward and to socialise these among friends.

We will create a new platform on-line, as well as publish off-line also. Critically, we need to be much, much more than another Talking Shop. We need ideas but we also need action – in our workplaces, in our communities and in the organisations we lead. We have a collective responsibility, for sure, but each one of us needs to be an agent for change.

Jericho continues to work at the junction of business, politics and civil society. Our programmes with clients on Responsible TaxGlobalisation & Public Interest and the Future of Work is Human we think speak clearly about the kind of society we want to see and be. At the heart of our work is a belief that greater vulnerability builds greater trustworthiness and that embracing dissent is essential: none of us can learn if we do not listen. The echo chambers of the past half-century have in many ways brought us to the point we find ourselves at today. We live in a febrile and activist world – and that world needs positive activist leadership more so now than ever before: activism with common good at its core.

We will be in touch with you again in the coming weeks. We hope to publish the next volume of Revolutionary Times within a fortnight. Entitled “What is to be done?” it will be the first of several collections and we hope it will signpost better ways forward and include tangible, deliverable ideas for change. We will follow this up with meetings of the Jericho community in various formats, so we can gather thoughts and convene the debate. We are looking for actions, not words.

If you would like to get involved and/ or have a specific passion point you would like to champion, please let us know.

We cannot afford to simply be by-standers or commentators any longer. These are revolutionary times indeed and we need a revolution of our own.

With best wishes, in hope

Robert, Christine, Neal, Deborah and the Jericho family

Christine Armstrong, Robert Phillips, Neal Lawson, Deborah Doane
Curators – Revolutionary Times

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