Wednesday, 29 April 2015

My Collaborators (and what I want to do with them)

Here are those who have agreed collaborate if the project is successful:

The Rt Hon Lord David Owen and the Daedalus Trust

Lord Owen is a prominent British politician. He has agreed to be a collaborator both individually and as Chairman and Founder of the Daedalus Trust.

He is a doctor by training and has a long-standing interest in the interrelationship between politics and medicine. Among many other things, he is the proponent of the hypothesis according to which people who exercise power often develop a distinctive psychiatric condition, what he calls the Hubris Syndrome, a personality disorder that leads to impulsive and irrational decision-making. When powerful people make bad decisions, many suffer and the wellbeing of many is at risk.

The Daedalus Trust is a registered charity funded by Lord Owen with the aim to raise awareness of the existence and the threats generated by Hubris Syndrome in public and business life.

The website of Lord Owen:

The website of the Daedalus Trust:

Professor Sir Michael Marmot and the Institute of Health Equity

Sir Marmot is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL. He is most famous for his work on the social determinants of health and for what is known as the Marmot Review. He has agreed to be a collaborator both individually and as Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity.

Among many other things, he is the proponent of the hypothesis, known as the Status Syndrome, that differences in socioeconomic and occupational status are responsible for differences in health (because lower status is more likely to give rise to chronic stress). 

The UCL Institute of Health Equity is supported by the UCL Department of Health and by the British Medical Association. Its aim is to study the social determinants of health in order to increase health equity both at a national and at a global level.

The webpage of Sir Marmot:

The website of the Institute of Health Equity at UCL:

Professor Kate Pickett and the Equality Trust

Kate Pickett is Professor of Epidemiology at the University of York. Professor Pikett has agreed to collaborate both individually and as the Founder and Board Member of the Equality Trust.

Professor Pickett is co-author, with Richard Wilkinson, of The Spirit Level chosen as one of the Top Ten Books of the Decade by the New Statesman, winner of Publication of the Year by the Political Studies Association and translated into 23 languages. The book argues that inequality has pernicious effects on individuals and societies, and that more equal countries fare better than more unequal countries in terms of life expectancy, physical and mental health, education, violence, etc.

The Equality Trust aims to contribute to improving the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic inequalities and by promoting awareness of the harms produced by inequality. The Equality Trust also collaborates with My Fair London, an organisation that promotes awareness of inequalities in London, and of their effects on people. The plan is to set up a collaboration also with My Fair London.

The webpage of Professor Pickett:

The website of the Equality Trust:

Possible outputs

The possible outputs could be as follows

3 academic conferences
  • 1 in collaboration with the Daedalus Trust. 
  • 1 in collaboration with the UCL Institute of Health Equity. 
  • 1 in collaboration with the Equality Trust. 
  • We can also think about producing an edited collection with contributions from the conferences.
3 public lectures (or public debates, or research cafes, and possibly more than 3):
  • 1 in collaboration with the Daedalus Trust.
  • 1 in collaboration with the UCL Institute of Health Equity. 
  • 1 in collaboration with the Equality Trust and/or MyFair London.
A series of interviews:
  • With prominent people from different backgrounds and with different areas of expertise (academics and politicians but possibly also people from the world of sports/entertainment/art/business) with the aim of exploring what their views on “striving and thriving” are, both at an individual level and at a societal level, with a particular focus on the negative aspects of the motivation for success. 
  • Lord Owen, Sir Marmot, and Professor Pickett have already agreed to do one of these. 
  • The interviews could be uploaded to a Youtube channel where members of the general public can comment and express their views.
A book about "the dark side of success", that is, about the desire for success, hierarchies and their impact on freedom, health, and happiness.

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