12th December 2019

Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues Consultation: Character and Sport

In Partnership with The Jubilee Centre For Character & Virtues

Character and Sport are linked; linked in the media, linked in practice, and linked in education. Sport builds character, or so the myth goes. Practising sport builds resilience, determination, self-discipline, teamwork, and a whole host of other virtues, whether you are kicking a football around on a field with jumpers for goalposts, or playing elite sport and competing in the Athletics World Championships in Doha. We don’t test this, it is taken as read. Elite sportsmen and sportswomen speak of ‘showing character’ in their performances, and pundits, journalists, and fans comment on the lack of character when it is absent from performances, or evident in scandals of questionable behaviour, or win-at-all-costs mentalities.

So what is ‘character’ in sport? Does watching, participating in, and teaching and coaching sport need a moral dimension? How does one learn about respect and fairness? How do you coach someone the ‘spirit of the game’? The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues has previously found that participating in sports is not necessarily a precursor to developing ‘good’ moral reasoning when presented with moral dilemmas, any more than participating in drama or choir is (Arthur et al., 2015). However, sport does have a hold over young people in terms of having a positive influence on their conception of what it means to live a ‘good life’ (Arthur et al., 2017). This consultation sought to bring together those researching, teaching, and delivering sport-based programmes in the community to discuss the place of a moral focus in sport, and how this can help individuals and communities flourish.

The full report from the consultation can be read here

3rd December 2019

Creating a long term plan for our country’s education system – a new approach

In Partnership with the Foundation for Education Development

You will be well aware that education policy in England is currently set by central government and driven by ministers of state. Over the past 60 years in England, the average tenure of a Secretary of State for Education has been two years. As a result, education policy has been determined primarily by the preferences of the incumbent Secretary of State and is more often than not, politically motivated.

The Foundation is convinced that a co-constructed  approach to research, development and setting of education policy is pivotal to an education system’s progress over time and we need your support to help make a once in a lifetime change that will leave an enduring legacy for many generations to come. 

The Foundation for Education Development is a newly established body which has already carried out informal discussions with leading representatives across the sectors. We would like to engage in this vitally important non-political joint initiative which aims to create a neutral space where we can explore how we might create a better future for our country’s education system.

17th November 2019

Post-Liberal Renewal

The last few decades have been dominated by social and economic liberalism. The economic and political shocks of the recession and the vote to leave the EU have exposed the limitations of this consensus. Blue Labour and Red Tory provided initial accounts of the crisis and a possible way out, but neither has yet generated lasting change. The political space in the country still exists, however, and this Windsor gathering bought together senior thinkers across the political aisle to clarify our diagnosis and begin to build a movement to respond to the contemporary challenges we face.

14th November 2019

Community Wealth Building

In partnership with Local Trust

The event discussed different approaches to community wealth building. Drawing on international practice, including the work of the Democracy Collaborative in the US, we considered whether and how such approaches might both be adapted and integrated in England to support our most deprived communities.  For the purposes of the consultation, we adopted their definition of community wealth building as  ‘a systems approach to economic development that creates an inclusive, sustainable economy built on locally rooted and broadly held ownership’.

1st October 2019

AI & Healthcare

We explored the potential benefits of applying AI in healthcare, as well as the risks to be faced. AI, as you know has huge implications for medical practitioners and patients alike. It has, for example, the potential to offer innovative solutions to longstanding challenges faced by the NHS by empowering patients to take more responsibility for their own care, so reducing pressure on an overstretched health system.

However, its use also comes with great risks: protection of patient data and the inclusivity of healthcare are just two areas of concern. How can the NHS best weigh the benefits and risks to ensure that all patients have access to the best possible healthcare within a system they can trust? What are the systemic changes facing healthcare provision? What are the attitudinal shifts required by providers and users? During our twenty-four hours together, we will look at how best to harness the potential of AI in healthcare from these and other angles.

The full report from the consultation can be read here

9th September 2019

Can anyone be an engineer?

In partnership with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers

Engineering is a central industry in the UK economy, yet it is a sector that is consistently misunderstood by the general public, leading to a serious skills shortage. Engineering remains worryingly unattractive to women and minority groups despite decades of intervention in schools and communities. It also remains an area of study that is side lined in mainstream education, and is for the most part accessible only through extracurricular enrichment opportunities. Efforts to place engineering at the heart of education, for example in University Technical Colleges, have encountered barriers to acceptance and integration in the current education system.

As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution do we need to change radically the way we think about engineering education, recruitment, and retention? What might be a new and compelling narrative for the engineering sector? What risks will be involved in changing the current system?

4th September 2019

Challenges for a world where drugs are legally regulated

In partnership with Transform Drugs

Managing the production, supply and use of illicit drugs is one of the most pressing issues facing global policymakers. Despite a continued commitment to the enforcement of prohibition in most of the world, drug markets continue to expand and countries are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of drug-related deaths. At the same time, the violence associated with the illicit drugs trade has continued to grow, with devastating consequences for some of the most vulnerable communities on the planet. 

This consultation bought together a range of international, cross-disciplinary experts to consider the ‘what ifs’ of a post-legalisation landscape. It did not dwell on the arguments for and against legal regulation, but rather considered the challenges and opportunities as reform becomes more widespread. They were seeking the broadest possible range of views, and consideration of the widest range of  actors. They want to move beyond some of the familiar debates about individual rights or the ineffectiveness of current policy to ask what we would need to be prepared for as policy changes. How might it affect the economy? How might we assess benefits and harm? How might we protect vulnerable communities in the developing world? How can we ensure policy protects public health?

The discussion opened the space for a fruitful and constructive exchange of views about the realities of promoting health and social justice in a world where drugs were legally regulated. By doing so, they hope to better inform the current debate on drug policy and ensure that, as things move forward, all the key issues are taken into consideration.

The full report from the consultation can be read here

16th July 2019

Deprived Communities ‘What about the poor?’

In Partnership with Renewal & Reform, Church of England

The Renewal and Reform agenda in the wider Church of England rightly challenges all church communities to give serious prioritisation to proclamation, evangelisation and growth. Some of the most successful models of growth and church planting come from affluent communities, and are rightly championed as toolkits of ideas and innovations to help others facilitate growth.

 A cursory scan of diocesan strategy information on their websites in the Northern Province in early summer 2018 revealed that only one of the twelve Northern dioceses included any intentional proclamation of the gospel and provision of sacramental ministry in deprived communities. Diocesan budgets across post-industrial dioceses are beginning to show huge strain, and traditional models of stipendiary ministry are increasingly untenable, making the poorest parish communities the most vulnerable to amalgamation and closure. What does it say about the Church of England if we do not ring fence investment and prioritise this work in the poorest communities of our mission field. In an era of declining stipendiary posts and financial challenges, surely those who are least able to nurture within themselves vocations and financial resources without support are the ones that ought to be imaginatively protected. It is in these very communities that the greatest need for knowing and hearing about the transformative power of God, to encounter repentance and forgiveness, to understand about new life in Christ, needs to be heard.

Reflecting the work of the Reform and Renewal Estates Evangelism Task Group, the Coastal Towns initiative, and the Low Income Communities Funding review work, this timely consultation intends to raise the statistical and theological implications of the consequence of prioritizing investment of stipendiary resources in the communities most likely to grow numerically and to produce the most return financially.  It allows us to ask the questions of whether abandoning the poorest communities to find the gospel and the sacraments themselves is acceptable and intentional, and to begin to formulate a response.

The full report from the consultation can be read here

10th June 2019

Local Leadership in a Cyber Society 3: Building Resilience Together – Lessons for the future

In partnership with National Cyber Security Programme-Local, Research Institute in Science of Cyber Security (RISCS) and INetwork

Our consultation looked in depth at the emerging research and cyber exercising techniques, examined the impact of cyber-attacks on local communities and heard from senior leaders, policy makers and practitioners on how they are using the lessons to be learnt to build local resilience for the future.

The rapid pace of technical change is creating new opportunities for greater efficiency and effectiveness. These include more engaging and efficient digital services, new ways to work remotely and to store or transfer data such as mobile devices and cloud services. The seriousness of this challenge has been brought home recently by the UK and its allies exposing a campaign by the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service, of indiscriminate and reckless cyber-attacks targeting political institutions, businesses, media and sport.

The full report from the consultation can be read here

15th May 2019

Civic virtues in the public domain

The Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues consulted a select group about the place and role of civic virtues in the public domain.  This will be an opportunity for individuals to share their knowledge and experience in this area and to participate in the development of a new Statement on Civic Virtues in the Public Domain.