Here at Breaking Blue we’ve all just done training on recognising and overcoming bias against particular demographics (such as women, people of colour, people with disabilities, the LGBT community, older age groups) in our organisational culture.
Economists and psychologists alike will tell you that, left to their own devices, people often make choices that are not in their own best interests. Healthcare and education both tend to be under-consumed if people have to buy them out of their own pocket, because the benefit isn’t always as immediately obvious as that of sitting in front of the TV stuffing your face with chocolate. That’s why economists developed the concept of ‘merit goods’: things like healthcare and education benefit not only the person who consumes them, but society as a whole, which benefits from a healthy and skilled workforce. So it’s in the government’s interest to ensure people are incentivised to consume these goods, often by making them cheap or free.
I recently went to the MRS Travel and Tourism Conference, and the most interesting thing I learnt there didn’t actually have much to do with travel or tourism. Helen Rose of the 7Stars and Lesley Dusart of Exterion Media did a great presentation on debunking myths about the travel sector, in which they reported that 46% of us agreed that we get the right amount of annual leave. In other words, only half of us at most are angling to get more than our allowance.
It’s 2015 and we don’t have hoverboards; it’s September and we don’t have the Night Tube; it’s 5pm and I can’t count on my commuter train running on time. Public transport in the UK seems in recent years to have upped the ante when it comes to over-promising and under-delivering.
You wouldn’t shout abuse at someone when pitching to a client any more than you would explain the benefits of your business practices to a football team – and on social media, it’s equally important to remember that different rules apply in different places.