Schools Brief- Intergenerational Sustainability's 3Q: 1951-75-2000-2025 ?


Schools Brief was arguably my father Norma's favorite section to sub-edit at The Economist. It gave an opportunity to clarify intergenerational consequences that the rhythm of reporting for a weekly newspaper can work against. In father's  case of 40 years of sub-editing 1948-1988 it offered a consistent mirror to the extraordinary innovations of the second half of the 20th C: was designing peace possible, how were local community lives changed by the coming design of globalisation.

The systems ideology of The Economist can be described as Smithian and Keynesian. In the case of the latter his last chapter of general theory of money, interest and employment expressed an idea that mattered most to my father and like-minded peers of his generation. Increasing only a handful of economist lock in what futures are possible for next generation - this handful being the academic scribblers whose rules become legislation. FRom the late 1960s dominant strains of American economists diverged from the three-in-one design of end poverty, maximise middle class, innovate renewability. So father preferred to be called a future historian than an academic economist.  

Here we number schools briefs by year with number 1 indexing 1951. This was the year father met von neumann at princeton and was asked to make this question the exponentially most valuable scoop journalists had ever mediated: what goods can peoples unite with 100 rimes more tech per decade. There were subtleties in both mens minds:

goods meant the opposite of bads that most of the lives of the Goats of maths (neumann einstein et al) had been required to focus on due toi the nuclear arms race that they were pivotal to; in other words, goods meant way above zero-sum human relationship exchangges. For example when networks share life critical knowhow or apps value is multiplied in use unlike consuming up things

Neumann's commitment to 100 times more tech was about those with the privilege to pioneer this- would they open source benefits equitably? For example Moore's Law from 1965 is an example of 100 times more capacity of silicon chip engineering per decade : would those in the region that soon became branded as silicon valley explore contexts capable of advancing human lot everywhere

The Economist had a particular lens unlike any other media platform that came from the purpose of its 19=843 London Scot founder James Wilson. Whilst journalists were to be openly inquisitive Wilson asked that a handful of overarching goals be why you joined your minds/mindset to The Economist. Wilson's 2 overarching goals "social action" matched 21st C goals 1,2 of United nations - end poverty and end hunger. In fact The Economist began mainly as a Royal Society newsletter- would Queen Victoria help repeal the corn laws that were starving up to a third of the Irish people. And would this start her own journey of preferring to futurise commonwealth rather than slavemaking empire.. 

ed note in reconstructing school briefs, I should say i am a media statistician Cambridge DAMTP MA 1973; i welcome corrections but please note the reasoning of schools briefing described above, and if necessary go to a library to check what The Economist diaries at the time concerned. 


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Schools Brief 27 - in a 1977 trip to china, norman macrae published his best news chart ever

why did this excute him- it showed how rice knowledge could literally save rural places in asia from starvation - this was actually a 25 yera progression od alumni of Amerucan Borlaug over Asia (his reserach is said to have helped feebd over a billion poorest peoples- that's almost half the worlds population of the 1950s- father had first celebrated this in 1962 consider japan survey demonstrating 2 potential asia rising models- super vilages and supertech trade across coastal port hi tech sme supply chains

that china was linking in locally to optimal food production and alowing vilagers to be among the first capitalists (private busienss had not been alowed to 1975) was potentially the foundation for an economic miracle - follow  on from 1977- extrordinary stories like - china develops a currency for rural peopels communities ; however unfair you may think china's one child policy it did 2 extrodrainary things - limited mainland china's population to today's 20% of the world instead of 35%?; made half of all family's economies dependent on their sdmartest 20 something female; if you serach the world for 2020s ssutainability entreprenurial startups - its extremely costly to ignore young professdonal chinese women especially on community cooperation goals 5 4 3 2 1 and digital leapfrog modles- i have compared about 25 countries female milllennials including diaspora networking capabilities and would put chinese under 35s women as top of that tree among big movements - always welcome your findings


Schools Brief 4 (1955)

What was it like to be the only journalist at the birth of EU Messina 1955.

In one sense mindboggling - father came back to London to tell his co-workers this is actually going to happen. Should The Economist be a fan of EU. and what were the consequences for eg English Speaking nations given the founding 6 were France Germant Italy Luxembourg, Netherlands and Belgium. For father if the design of the EU could end Europe as epicentre of world wars then it had to be supported. The EU concept had been born by Monnet whose ideas was if we mix up french and german markets of steel and cola so taht both peoples needs from these markets are indeperendents that will stop French and German people warring with each other. All other markets should be transparent/free in Smithian sense. 

Schools Brief 11 (1962). Dismally a different breed of Eurocrat was born 1962 with the Common Agricultural policy. The reason this was so opposite to peace-making is it prevented Empires within the block from continuing their responsibility to nurture the rise of former colonies. Less developed countries are by definition agricultural. Nations like France were now by EU law no longer responsible for agricultural developments in French speaking countries. What was happening was the start of the block spiraling risks at its borders. The med sea which in the 1400s had been a win-win trading area lead by Italy's skill dominance of short-range navigation, could be at risk of the opposite of ending hunger and poverty at every border between being in the EU and outside it.

Additional note: as we mentioned Economist journalists whose contributions are not named are expected to celebrate a few connecting views on human intel's goods. As well as end poverty and end hunger, Geoffrey Crowther (the editor in 1940s who had also led publication of The Economist's 1943 centenary autobiography of The Economist) added from 1945 : outlast Stalin. The Economist had learnt from world war 1 that it is not sustainable to punish peoples whose countries lose in wars. If a war is necessary, winning sides should want to change the leaderships and the system of places but at the same time free the peoples to entrepreneurially start up again rejoining win-win world trades as well as their own love for community building. When we gaze at how Europe of 2020s looks as dangerous as Europe of 1920s, it has to be said that Eurocrats did not design sustainable peace from 1989 (from 1984 Schools Brief Issue 33 The Economist demanded Europeans do a lot of prep for the fall of the Berlin Wall whose collapse it timelined correctly 5 years ahead of time). We mention this case as it is essential that you ask any academic economist or bureauCRAT who rules over you what timespan does his model apply to. If its just the last 90 days that numbers analysis will be negatively correlated with sustaining our children everywhere) 

SchoolsBrief 58-60 (2008-2010)

2008 saw publication of dad's last article; his 60th year of journalising economics

2010 start of remembrance events after his parting june 2010 - this video from economist boardroom

and eulogy from economist science editor viscount ridley

2 weeks after dad's death Glasgow University began the launch of 2 end-poverty journals connecting adam smith scholars, 140 years of The Economist's primetime as newspaper weekly of end poverty before webs offered 24/7 coverage,



these journals give pride of space to knowhow-replicable stories (social actions) from the fields of Asia's billion women-led village community developmentwhich had moved dad's mind while camped in burma between air sories bomber commands to von neumanns scoop for the humanity's most curious - what good will human intel unite with 100 times more tech per decade; we're helpig glasgow stage 265th moral sentiments summit june 2023 aka microeducationsummit reflecting our seconding of the HG Wells propistion : civilidation is a race between education & catastrophe; in other words intergeneration growth of places is sustained by education, quite what economics depeneds on deciphering the maths of the handful of scribblersd that have becomes your nations constitutional rules and quasi professional monoploies (not necessarily with any relevance to advancing huiman lot let alone preventing extinction unless you or blockchain designers or storytellers or beingai curation can show us how the deep data models that0


schools brief 5- 1956 - in english manage comes from breaking in horses: which might lead you to ask why teaching people to ne masters of management is a good thing - I will leave that to a later letter : the one lecture I gave at Harvard-- meanwhile i love Peter Drucker's 1956 Practice of Management

There's a big lesson though in terms of context - for example 1956's peter deucker wriytes: marketing and innovation add value everything else adds to costs of organisarion

but peper was not referirng to tv advertsing which still nascent in 1956 - no he meant  continuous improvement business/marketing model-

for ecxmple over many decades Marks & Spencer was beloved UK retailer

as a merchandiser it believed it should at least annually improve what customers got not just what shareowners got

what was the point of another years learning if it wasnt getting better- interesting was definition of better which varied - sometimes lower cost, sometimes better product quality, sometimes more responsibility for supply chain or employees so customers knew they were part of a network improving society- my one yteaching job was at University of Leeds in 1970s; Leeds was where M&S was born; there was still extrordinary pride for M&S - its improvement by and for communities over more than half a century- during which time I would vote for it as one of world's most purposeful retailers

when it coems to innovation driucker had a radical definition - just because our organsiation has always done things this way, every year ask  what do we need to change to stay ahead of way society of the  world is changing - sadly M&S did not stay ahead of digital - though to be fair I recall a time in early 2000 when 99% of western acdemics were saying big box physical retailers have beaten off ecommerce- how lemming like can marketing and innovation professors get?

Ischools brief 45  spent much of my first year on worldwide wen in 1995 manually hosting an online discussion organising creativity- in those days it was easy to get R&D directirs of big firms to join in - the yearof you've got weekly Q&A mail started off optimistically but overtime many people had to start admitting that the biggest organisations really dont like change - they would far prefer to continuing and increasing profits from a patented way we do things- many by the mid 1990s deemed it perfectly fine to spend a billion dollars of ad money a year claiming they were best (imagine that spending customers money or misinformation) 

when you add in von neumman's question what will people connect with 100 times more tech you may see that  paricularly in the west: in many ways nation's biggest organsations pose biggest risks to sustaining next generations unless they apply drucker's logic - sadly I have seen 100 western  academics change drucker's defintions (publish whole books in doing so) to the one loyap to drucker marketing prof;

topline: having applied my cambridge ma in statistics to media all my life - competition with other nations honestly isnt america's biggest problem in 2022 -its the mindset of many of its biggest organisations bot com and gov - see also school brief 26 -1976 where my father's survey ofentrepreneurial revolution opened up this debate in the context of future capitalism 

schools brief 72 (2022) - our partners at honored to be invited to pioneer

if we extinguish our species education must take a fair share of the blame starting with vice chancellors who use monopoly of university certification bot to make stu8dnt debt the largest debt class in USA and ever less correlated with jobs graduates need to celebrate being the first sustainability generation

can google help youth hasten the demise of the rotten segment of america's coleges which involves some of the most expensive degrees


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survey 1of child centric education

IF SCHOOLS were child centric they would make age relevant interventions:

if anyone is illiterate at age 6 it only takes 90 days to change that - best of all a literate kid can be main helper in 20 minute session - see sunita gandhi

finacial literacy would be practicsed from age 8 - see aflatoun ( works in 100 countries

from age 10 pre-teens would have access to pfysical and mental health studies designed peer to peer -see Lancet

no kid would leave primary school without knowing how open space meetings/teamwork is facilitated

teachers would be celebrated for clarifying which skills involve experiential learning not classroom examination - while there is some recognition that music and sports involve practice, its shocking that coding isnt valued this way ..


Do you have life-changing moment to share? - what was it and what did you think or do differently after it?

example until 9/11, i assumed that (good) futures are happening somewhere in the world and would be searched out so that all could communally replicate them;  === 9/11 caused me to question whether global connectivity will give us time to find sustainable solutions for our kids- i became particulaly interested in places where good education leaps appeared but did not get app'd the world over - one example actually goes back to my favorite 1990s advances in schools that a small cliuster of new zealand schools pioneered - download it here

i welcome discussion of this book's parts at any time rsvp if you have a solution every community that develops youth could be cooperational

in 1984our book with economist editors 2025report made the case for 40 year commitment to every child identifying own skils dashboard and maximising AI curation of this- we valued this as sustainability critical worldwide cooperation - we see no logic for changing this concern

== we live in an age where most up to half of knowhow of techforgood changes every 3 years - we needed mindsets for exploration not for being standard examined; a nation that makes its college students its largest debt class is likely to collapse economically socially environmentally if web3 is designed for celebrating sustainability cooperation; and if web3 is not designed for neough yout to linkin the first sustainability generation then we are all heading the way of the dodo

I am learn to learn  

TECH - What is IT? and which exponential multipliers most impact human and natural futures?

AI   >. silicon chip singularity (ie when one chip > one brain in pure analytical capacity) - science fictiion no moore

who programs the ai - the race to include lost voices eg girls- the world of statistics re=-examined like never before (eg previously mass statistics very weak at coding meaining from numbers)

Biotech  >> Affective science (loveq and emotional intelligence remains human's unique edge over artificials for at least 10 more years!)

Some people say that Virtual or Augmented Reality has advanced at its best so far in last 12 months that there are hardly any qualified teachers only pioneering explorers- does this matter - well its VR which is your gateway to web3 - intead of just a mobile device you will like wear  a visual sensor system; equally others argue that you shouldnt worry about how fast you put googles on - what you should want is to take back ownbership of what you spend time creating virually- look at the small print of the big platforms you probably dont own anything without them..maybe this is a generation issue bu interstingly the met-generation can now work on chnaging anything that old systems are destroying (eg climate) ...t 

 IOT which things will now have brains and be as mobile connected as you are

Crypto - can communities celebrate financiang their own most urgent sustainability cooperations? if they dont who wil?

Cyber >> Drone - opportunities and threats of public spaces- first in spaces like the arctic circle if we dont use drones we will get no warning before the big meltdown

-the mkist memorable western campus event i attended in 2010s was tufts colllaboratory summit convened mainly by arctic circle youth under 25; 

one of the main debates how to help teachers in arctic circle schools empower their students to use virtual reality to visit other arctic circles schools communities; many of the changes and solutions are analogous; I am reminded by educators leading the compilation of virtual realty libraries of the DICE acronym - a reen might want to do something dangerous like climb everest, why not VR simulate that? there are impossible things a trainee doctor will never be able to travel inside a humans gut but that can be VR'd; there are catastropghic simulations - you would rid the world of bees just to test if donald is wrong about nature being more powerful than he is, you can simulate it; or the future of smart tourism may be curation of what a community is proudest of being visited for - this way ecotourism, cultural appreciation exchanges can be twinned to maximise celebration of each other- and by the way friends of the tourist can join in virtually- of corse this raises a metaverse question - that Hong Kong is leading the world on

being 100% public - good and bad hacs- note context matters - context 1 smart city context 2 isolated vilalge no moore context 3 make a huge land safe at borders

3D printing aka additive engineering

Big Data Small by market tech sector Leapfrogging

Nano cf einstein - to innovate science model more micro


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