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How Hard it is to Make Policy

In helping bring together the Ragged University I have been working with lots of people who are keen to make a success of this as an inclusive education project. In day to day life we meet and interact with many people and human relationships are always complex.

I mean complex in the sense that even the smallest moments of speaking, working or interacting with others, involve countless and immeasurable factors which feed into the exchange and outcomes. This I think is why other people enrich our lives so much, fascinate us, and consistently educate us.

Policy Process Lifecycle
Policy Process Lifecycle

When a group of individuals come together to achieve a common aim, the idea of organisation comes into play. Obviously the ideal situation is to be able to write down rules which everybody can read and reference when a question arises so everybody knows where they are. It is often not as simple as it seems.

People’s behaviour is beyond the Complexity Horizon and not predictable or reducible to a statement, equation or pattern. In designing ‘policy’ for the Ragged University I can only think it wise not to be prescriptive because so many things I have not invested enough time in to understand sufficiently.

In this project there are echoes from all cultures and times. For me, a knee-jerk stance is as helpful as a dogmatic one in approaching matters of shared practice. Being a big fan of libraries I am tend to refer to people who have invested much time in questions I have invested relatively little time to grasp.

Richard Harris
Richard Harris

Trust to the experts – Experto crede – in my opinion, history and literature are some of the finest resources we have available to us. So over time I am going to read about successful policy and hopefully hold an open mind to developing written policy which wins all votes.

There have been lots of very interesting and successful policy makers throughout human history. One which is worth mention is Marcus Aurelius as played by Richard Harris in the popular film Gladiator. I was surprised to find out that this was a reference to a real historical figure who thought deeply about the decisions he was entrusted with making.

It is interesting that we are privy to some of the thoughts of this man because he wrote them down all that time ago; his Meditations are very worth exploring.

A humble man who tried hard to think beyond his own interests and administrate in a way that best met the mean of the world around him. What do you think ? Is it easy for anyone to sit under the sword of Damacles ? Should we be so quick to judge ? What criteria can we arrive at to assess the people charged with making decisions… hmmmmmmm

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