A new year for PS21

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHard to believe, but PS21 is now a full year old. Executive Director Peter Apps outlines its plans for the year to come. 

This time last year, if we are honest, PS21 was little more than a website, a good idea and some ambitious but still far from tightly defined projected events. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this year it now feels very different – still very much a new and evolving entity but also an unquestionably established institution.

We have successfully stayed true to our founding principles and ideals, I think – non-national, non-ideological, non-partisan and ever so slightly feral. We have also, perhaps even more importantly, built the beginnings of a really great community – a unique and interesting group of people from a very wide range of backgrounds united by the desire to explore some of the biggest issues of the era. It’s a fun, always eclectic crowd and building that has been perhaps our greatest achievement.

We have also produced some great research and writing, true to our ambitions of delivering content people read and discussions they remember.

So, what next?

Content people read

Over the last year, the PS21 website has showcased some truly excellent writing from our fellows, international advisers and other contributors. From immigration to geopolitics, the Arctic to Australia, our writers have delivered some really great content an increasing quantity of which we have been able to place elsewhere on other media.

This week we launch a particularly exciting new strand – our Imaging 2030 Series. This will showcase some of PS21’s best writers as they imagine what the world in general – and their areas of expertise in particular – might look like in 2030. You can read our first piece here.

Discussions they remember

Our 2016 events programme commences this week with an excellent discussion at Whitehall in conjunction with the Cabinet Office on Risks to Watch in 2016. Other upcoming discussions upcoming on London, DC and New York include Social Media in the Middle East, the upcoming US election, and the challenges of running megacities.

This year we will be making a concerted effort to move beyond some of the national security and political risk topics that were much of our focus in 2015. We will keep delivering discussions on topics in those areas of course – they are important and we have developed a strong reputation in that area. But we also want to look beyond they at wider societal, cultural and other trends.

Building on the success of last year, we will also be holding networking drinks and small salon-like meetings in all three cities. Because sometimes the best conversations don’t need structure at all.

Once again many thanks for being part of PS21’s first year. 2016 we hope should be better yet. Please feel free to get in touch at ps21central@gmail.com.

All the best,

Peter Apps

Executive Director

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