Is your advice to Obama that he should sit and have a talk with Paul Romer?
Yes, exactly that. I think so.
It’s a fundamental question about making change happen. In truth, much as people in central government love to issue strategy because it’s what they’re there for, a lot of important change happens from the bottom up. Where Britain’s conservatives have been quite good is in looking round the world for good ideas, in the sense that there are some very good Swedish ideas on education involving starting your own school that they’re currently looking at.
I felt a bit kicked because I just blogged about Paul Romer and charter cities a couple of weeks ago!
If you read the full interview, he mentions a lot of very simple yet through-provoking things about the web – like how face-to-face communication brings some amount of awkwardness to situations, which communicating through the web eliminates, and also how sometimes you just don’t want personal interaction, such as when you’re checking into a hotel in the night after a long flight. I just had that experience myself recently, so completely identified with that bit. All you really want at times like those is your room key, with details to be dealt with later.
On that note if you haven’t seen Rory’s talk at TED Oxford in July, you should. Very inspiring.