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The insider or outsider: who is best placed to bring about change?

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 17 March 2012

Who drives change more effectively in our world: the insider working from within the establishment, or the maverick outsider?

Voices from government, science and business discuss how to effect change within their fields.

Does government tend to cling to the status quo, to preserve its power; should it welcome fresh ideas from science and business to meet the challenges of our age?

With independent diplomat Carne Ross, cosmologist Lord Martin Rees and business supremo Simon Walker - plus a lively audience of opinion formers and business leaders.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: Thinking Inside and Outside the Box in Science, Diplomacy and Business.


2 items


    Founder of Independent Diplomat Carne Ross says the atmosphere, culture and structure of government institutions militates against innovation and change. During his fifteen years’ service in the British Foreign Office, Carne came to believe that you are shaped by an institution more than you shape it. He believes that only by working outside institutions is it possible to create ideas that are the catalyst for long lasting change.
    Photo: Habie Schwarz

    Ross: The Leaderless Revolution


    As former President of the Royal Society and current Professor at Cambridge University, cosmologist Martin Rees makes a case for the ‘scientific citizen’. He argues that scientists have a unique responsibility to engage in the fruits of their ideas and discoveries, and that they should urge greater priority for long-term global issues on the political agenda.
    Photo: Habie Schwarz



    Simon Walker was Communications Director for the Queen, and worked for former British Prime Minister John Major. He now champions British business as head of the Institute of Directors. He argues that change in business needs to be rapid and widely experimental. Capitalism is about failure rather than success, about people getting out and trying things that may well not succeed. However, institutions such as the monarchy cannot afford to take this approach.
    Photo: Habie Schwarz

  • Simon Walker, Carne Ross, Martin Rees, Bridget Kendall

    Simon Walker, Carne Ross, Martin Rees, Bridget Kendall

    Photo: Habie Schwarz

  • Portmeirion 11/03/2012

    Portmeirion 11/03/2012

    Photo: Habie Schwarz

  • In Next Week’s Programme:

    We ask – Is there anything we can do to protect our privacy in a digital age? With IBM Chief scientist Jeff Jonas, Professor of Artificial Intelligence Nigel Shadbolt and electronic artist Rafael Lozano Henner.



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