New economics

I  am looking forward to seeing ex-colleagues and new staff at the New Economics Foundation today. money-matters

David Boyle is one. He forays out to write with brilliance and eclecticism about Blondel, fairies and the tyranny of numbers before returning, as he does in his new book, to his favourite subject  – money, what it is and what it could be.

David’s Money Matters: Putting the eco into economics is published by Alastair Sawday.

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Memo to Ofcom

I gave a presentation at the Ofcom senior team awayday this afternoon.  Drawing on our research (‘Rating Regulators’ and my analysis of the Consumer Conditions Survey 2008) I argue that Ofcom compares well on the way it works as a regulator BUT that the markets it regulates are among the worst in the UK for consumer experience.

Clean food

I met Anne and colleagues from the Gateshead, Sunderland and South Tyneside councils today who are running one of our partnership social marketing demonstration sites on consumer behaviour.

They are encouraging uptake of primary school meals at a time when recession is driving poorer diets and food choices. When they ask kids what puts them off school food, one group surprised their school by saying that they stayed away because the kitchen and food hall was dirty, so the food couldn’t be good. Clean the kitchens, the lesson was, and they will come.

Bill Smith, editor of the international journal Social Marketing Quarterly, described Anne’s work and other demonstration projects as the Susan Boyle of health – not pretty, not posh, but ever so good.

Not dot com corrected

SL380689Trevor Bowden is from an outfit called the Big Room in Canada.  I met Trevor at the recent OECD conference on ICT and climate change where we were on a panel together on consumer responses.

The conference blog gives a good account of some of the best ideas – not least the way in which the rollout of faster broadband speeds are being used by countries such as South Korea to drive green policies. The country aims for a 1 Gbps wired (10 Mbps wireless) network to allow it to reach a goal of having 20% of public employees teleworking by 2013.