Citizens: Why the Key to Fixing Everything is All of Us

Citizens: Why the Key to Fixing Everything is All of Us

Citizens: Why the Key to Fixing Everything is All of Us

Citizens: Why the Key to Fixing Everything is All of Us

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'An underground hit' Best Politics Books, Financial Times

'Jon has one of the few big ideas that's easily applied' – Sam Conniff, Be More Pirate

'A wonderful guide to how to be human in the 21st Century'Ece Temelkuran, How to Lose a Country: the Seven Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship

Citizens opens up a new way of understanding ourselves and shows us what we must do to survive and thrive as individuals, organisations, and nations.

Over the past decade, Jon Alexander’s consultancy, the New Citizenship Project, has helped revitalise some of Britain’s biggest organisations including the Co-op, the Guardian and the National Trust. Here, with the New York Times bestselling writer Ariane Conrad, he shows how history is about to enter age of the Citizen.

Because when our institutions treat people as creative, empowered creatures rather than consumers, everything changes.

Unleashing the power of everyone equips us to face the challenges of economic insecurity, climate crisis, public health threats, and polarisation.

Citizens is an upbeat handbook, full of insights, clear examples to follow, and inspiring case studies, from the slums of Kenya to the backstreets of Birmingham – and a foreword by Brian Eno.

It is the perfect pick-me-up for leaders, founders, elected officials – and citizens everywhere. Organise and seize the future!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781912454884
Publisher: Canbury Press
Publication date: 04/13/2023
Edition description: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x (d)

About the Author

JON ALEXANDER began his career with success in advertising, winning the prestigious Big Creative Idea of the Year before making a dramatic change. Driven by a deep need to understand the impact on society of 3,000 commercial messages a day, he gathered three Masters degrees, exploring consumerism and its alternatives from every angle. In 2014, he co-founded the New Citizenship Project to bring the resulting ideas into contact with reality. In Citizens, he is ready to share them with the world.

ARIANE CONRAD has built a career turning big ideas into books that change the world. Known as the Book Doula, she has co-written several New York Times bestsellers.

BRIAN ENO is an artist, philosopher and Citizen who has played a critical part in British culture since the early 1970s. He is a deep believer in the power of ideas and the possibility of a better world, beliefs which manifest both in his audio and visual art, and in his deep engagement with social, political and environmental issues.

Table of Contents

Foreword. Brian Eno sets out the value of Citizens in framing a new, optimistic cooperative story for our age, as opposed to the two other options: authoritarian states such as China and "Siliconia" - "a Consumer state with centralised power and deep surveillance". Mentions Citizen Story

1. Opening. Jon Alexander sets out the need to 'step into' the Citizen Story so that we can deal with the many challenges of our age: economic insecurity, ecological emergency, public health threats, political polarisation, and more. Mentions citizens, economic insecurity, ecological emergency

2. Citizens Everywhere. How humans are bound together through interdependence and reciprocity, and in turn have a deep bond with nature, which conventional big business cannot understand. Picks apart the self-dependence and utilitarian philosophy of tech billionaires Peter Thiel and Mark Zuckerberg

3. Citizens By Nature. Central to the Citizen Story is a belief in ourselves and in human nature as creative, capable, and caring, rather than lazy, self-interested, and competitive within a zero-sum framework. Any redesign of institutions will fail if we haven’t embraced this fundamental belief

4. We're All Consumers Now. The launch of the consumer age, by way of Apple's advert for its new Macintosh at the US SuperBowl in 1984. Mentions Apple Macintosh, Ridley Scott, consumer demand, Consumer Story, George Orwell 1984, Virgin Atlantic, Richard Branson, IKEA, Walmart, Virgin Galactic

5. Once We Were Subjects. Before the Consumer, there was another story: the Subject, as in ‘subjects of the king.’ In this story, the Great Man – the Chief, Pope, King, Boss, Father – knows best. The rest of us are innocents, ignorant of important matters. Mentions King Sargon of Akkad and Mesopotamia

6. Citizen NGOs. The Consumer Story is falling apart, but the truth alone is not enough to ensure it passes to the Citizen Story. We must act too, to seize control of our futures, and to ensure that we actually have a future. Case studies include the National Trust in the UK

7. Citizen Business. How businesses can harness the power of the Citizen Story to make their workings more popular and inclusive, and to drive forward societal change. Case studies include the brewery BrewDog in Stonehaven, Scotland. Mentions Martin Dickie, Tesco, craft beer, Equity Punks

8. Citizen Government. Taiwan has pioneered the application of citizen government, in stark comparison to Communist China, which offers a vision of an alternative, authoritarian future. Mentions Taiwan, Taipei, Economic Power Up Plan, Tarek el-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi, Arab Spring, Sunflower Revolution

9. Closing. A new Citizen movement is building. Examples include Paris approving a standing Citizens' Assembly and Chile's Citizen-driven Constitutional Convention. Mentions Delian Aspourhov, Restor, Founders Fund, Varda Space Industries, Francis Suarez, Elon Musk, Balaji Srinavasaran

Writing Citizens. The book has been a collaborative process involving several different sets of people and organisations, including not least the New Citizenship Project team

References. The author thanks, among others, Jo Hunter, Emma Ashru Jones, Tendai Chetse, Anna Maria Hosford, National Trust, Helen Meech, Fallon advertising agency, Iris Schönherr, Ariane Conrad, OuiShare Fest, Food Ethics Council, Chris Seeley

Index. A full index of terms used in the book, such as participatory democracy, Certified B Corporations, citizens assemblies, and sortition
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