Legatum Institute CEO Philippa Stroud is, after 7 years as CEO, stepping down, saying:
Over the last few months the Legatum Institute has been incubating a new project, the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC). I have been asked to take up the reins of this new initiative as its founding CEO, and it feels an enormously exciting opportunity not to be missed.
Philippa is going to lead ARC – a new global conference that is apparently committed to formulating and advocating a positive and hope-filled vision in response to life’s most fundamental social, economic, philosophical and cultural questions. High-minded objectives with a high quality organising committee. Unofficially, it is being touted as the antidote conference to the Davos/WEF worldview – according to Jordan Peterson it aims to end the catastrophising prevalent in Davos because
… it is existentially perilous to insist upon the impending end of the world in this doomsaying manner—lest the ensuing panicked tyranny produce exactly the result that is, in principle, most feared. The use of increasingly powerful and invasive technology to monitor and control everything, in combination with the willingness and ability to use compulsion and force, can lead only to tyranny and despair, regardless of the hypothetical nobility of the end goal.
We have improved almost everything, and appear to be rapidly getting better at doing precisely that. As the great British historian Macaulay long ago inquired: “On what principle is it, that when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?”
We have therefore initiated the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC), a new movement of hopeful vision, local, national and international in its aim and scope, aimed at the collective, voluntary establishment of a maximally attractive route forward. The ARC will open itself up to widespread public membership, as rapidly and extensively as is practically manageable, at as low a cost as is possible and desirable, so that everyone interested can aid in voluntarily formulating this story and strategy, and to discuss how its implementation might be encouraged.
The first conference, slated to be held in Greenwich in late October, concentrates on issues metaphysical, cultural and practical. Jordan is aiming for two thousand initial attendees; open to a wide swathe of the public “under the assumption that each citizen has the inalienable right and is well-equipped when engaged, informed and consulted to choose and adhere to the desirable, sustainable, productive and generous future path.” Something like this is well-needed. Much of the Western business, cultural and media elite has lost self-belief and any sense of optimism about the future.
Popular Psychology Professor Jordan Peterson is not everyone’s cup of tea but he had a number of interesting points to make on Question Time last night, particularly on the dangers of criminalising speech and the inextricably related problem of who actually defines what “hate speech” is. A nuanced approach all too rarely seen in this era of no-platforming and trial by Twitter…
As Peterson puts it: “the criminalisation of what hypothetically constitutes offensive speech is going to be a cure that is so much worse than the disease that we can hardly imagine it.” Food for thought…