Welcome to The Future Now. I'm a freelance writer with a specific interest in the prospects for transformative social change towards a more just, inclusive and sustainable society. Thus the title of my first book, The Possibility of Progress. My Second Book, Four Horsemen: The Survival Manual, co-authored with film director Ross Ascroft and inspired by his acclaimed film, is also now available. And my first novel, a political thriller entitled The Blueprint has just been published.
Beyond economics, politics, evolutionary biology, psychology and the many other disciplines which have something to contribute to the debate about building a better world, my more general interests include film, music, wine, books and sport (especially cricket) so while my blog will feature posts on, and links to resources about, anything to do with the prospects for progressive social change, you will also find more general commentary, like this piece about the modern day fate of great music.
Beyond writing, my working life has been mainly in IT. I have worked in the private, public and voluntary sectors, and spent three years as an adviser to the government of Mozambique. This involved setting up an IT Department in Ministry of Health, developing and implementing that country's first national computerised health information system, as well as passing on skills to local colleagues. It also provided me the oppurtuntity to travel widely in the region, to learn a great deal about what different cultures have in common, and to visit some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
I subsequently did a stint as IT Manager at the housing and homelessness charity Shelter. Continuing homelessness is, I think, an indication of just how far our society has to go before it can honestly call itself civilised. And for the last twelve years, I've been plying my trade at the Mary Evans Picture Library, the leading source of historical imagery, as the marketing blurb goes.
Writing wise, I currently have a number of projects on the go. I've pretty much given up writing articles on spec, preferring to wait for commissions (so come on you editors!). But I am a regular contributor to the excellent Renegade Economist website, and my back catalogue of articles for The Guardian and Comment is Free can be found here.
I live in south-east London, just off the Lee High Road, one of the best examples of multicultural community harmony in the country, and within walking distance of the lovely green spaces of Blackheath and Greenwich Park. I share my home with my wife and two step children who are delightful and challenging in equal measure, with two cats of whom the same might be said, and with Missie, our 4 year old working cocker spaniel, who does little in the way of work, but has proved a never less than delightful addition to the household since her arrival in January 2009.
As for the name of this blog, The Future Now pretty much explains itself. I hope to use it to consider what the future might look like, and discuss the factors that shape it, now.
I want the future now,
I want to hold it in my hands;
all men equal and unbowed,
I want the promised land.
I'm sure if he was writing it today he'd use more gender-neutral language. You can watch an excellent performance of the song from the early 1980s below, or read the full lyric here.
Thanks for stopping by. If you want to get in touch, email me here.