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Imagine a better world where…

How would you complete this aspirational invitation?

“Imagine a better world where… ”

To fire your inspiration and enthuse your passion, here is a picture of a cute cat:

cutest_cat

That may have seemed gratuitous, but it isn’t. Glimpse, a group of creative people who want to use their skills for good, took over all 68 advertising spaces in a London Tube Station and replaced them with pictures of cats. According to Glimpse, We want agencies and brands to be mindful of the power they wield and to use it to encourage positive values in society. Things like empathy and tolerance, community and togetherness deserve to be at the heart of our culture.

cat_tube-_glimpse
Glimpse says its aim is to make positive social change feel attractive to millions more people. Instead of focusing on the problem, they show ‘glimpses’ of a better world that’s possible. It echoes observations by commentators like David Brooks, whose writings encourage us along a ‘Road to Character,’ and Alain de Botton, who muses regularly on a life of values over valuables, on meaning not materials. In his book, Religion for Atheists, de Botton observes that a quick glance at any of our public spaces shows them to be overwhelmed with commercial messages, designed to manipulate our thinking: “If we tend to think so often about lemon-scented floor polish or cracked black pepper crisps, but relatively little about endurance or justice, the fault is not merely our own.”

Glimpse suggests that the commercial world be considerate of its power to influence public perception. If you accept that assertion, how are your companies being thoughtful? What public virtues is your business fostering?

This week I am speaking at TEDxLincoln. TED is dedicated to ideas worth spreading. I imagine a better world where people discover the humanity in others, and in themselves, through the act of conversation. How do you imagine a better world? How are you making it so?

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