Despite this landscape, however, I am approaching 2015 in an unusually optimistic manner. This is unusual for reasons that go beyond the fairly common "meh" feelings towards the forced jamboree of New Year's Eve & the resolutions that go unfulfilled. I think the optimism stems from a feeling of possibility & creativity that is apparent across sectors, organisations & generations in recent months. The Scottish referendum may have been a catalyst for this (regardless of your views on the result, it was a victory for democracy & debate), alongside the developing perception of the revolutionary possibilities for the future. "Digital" is a shorthand catch-all for the possibilities for technological change, but the potential is obvious. Some impacts will be negative & the understanding needed to adapt to change will grow even further. But the potential for innovation, creativity & (re)design of business, public services & lifestyles is enormous.
This optimism, it is fair to say, is not my natural default setting. The first General Election I was eligible to vote was in 1997, the year of New Labour's landslide victory & subsequent euphoria leading to widespread disillusionment. Any kind of Pollyannaism in politics or public policy raises eyebrows, including mine. But for now at least I see the options open to voters in May as a huge opportunity to influence & inform how we build the futures ahead, together.
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Wishing you a happy & prosperous New Year.