Classic Blog: ‘Afternow’ – what’s next for the health of society? by Phil Hanlon

Professor Phil Hanlon from the University of Glasgow discusses such seemingly intractable problems as; obesity, overwhelming involvement in various ‘addictions’, loss of wellbeing and inequalities as emergent products of our late modern culture and social structures. He argues that these problems will not improve until there is a radical transformation of our whole society and the culture that has created it.

‘Afternow’ – what’s next for the health of society?

Professor Phil Hanlon from the University of Glasgow discusses such seemingly intractable problems as; obesity, overwhelming involvement in various ‘addictions’, loss of wellbeing and inequalities as emergent products of our late modern culture and social structures. He argues that these problems will not improve until there is a radical transformation of our whole society and the culture that has created it.

John McKnight on where change begins

“One of those men belong to one association and one belongs to none. Statistically, the one who belongs to one association will live two years longer than the one who belongs to none. Now you can measure medical interventions, but hardly any would claim that they make you live two years longer.”

In his forty years working with impoverished American communities, John McKnight witnessed incredible social change at the grassroots. He discovered that the majority of the solutions to issues like unwanted teenage pregnancy and crime depended on empowering local citizens and building relationships at the community level.

Although social innovations disrupt the status quo in boundary-breaking and sector-spanning ways, change begins with the individual and their surrounding network.