by Steve Maharey

The new President of France, Emmanuel Macron, wants French people to "embrace the future". Time will tell if he can make that possible, but his is a better message than the Trumps of this world who want to embrace the past

Emmanuel Macron may turn out to be a success. Then again, he may not. But for now, it is enough to compare his inaugural speech with that of Donald J. Trump's.

Trump and his enablers tell us bombing a Syrian air-force base was driven by humanitarian principles. It was not. It was about ratings.

As the United States missile attack on a Syrian air-force base fades from the headlines, the most enduring thing about it seems to be confusion. What was it for?

According to the Productivity Commission the current tertiary education system is blocking innovation. But in its recent report that promised to put forward New Models of Tertiary Education it delivered none. Its failure should not end the debate. There is an urgent need to bring about change

For more than a year the Productivity Commission has been working on its report, New Models of Tertiary Education (released last week), with the aim of showing us how we can have a more innovative tertiary sector. The report will not make the best seller list – but it is worth a read.

The current approach to social investment suggests we can use big data and new technology to better understand who will access public services and fix them. But this is not social investment

"I am from the government and I am here to help you – even though you did not know you needed help". 

In the wonderfully prescient film Minority Report, the central idea is that the police have found a way to identify who is going to commit a crime before they do it. 

New Zealanders have been arguing about education since the Royal Commission on Social Policy in the 1980s told them the needs of all students were not being met. After thirty years of debate confusion reigns. But there is a way forward

The New Zealand education system is in trouble. Not for the reason usually advanced by the critics of our public schools, but because for far too long we have ben arguing about how to equip young New Zealanders for the rapidly changing times in which we live.

In the days of Trump and Brexit, it could be time for those who want a society based on openness, knowledge and new opportunities to revisit an out-of-fashion idea

Since US president Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair departed government, the Third Way political agenda has fallen on hard times.

A message to Kiwi politicians this election year: Must try harder

On September 23rd politicians must give us something to hope for. 

“To be truly radical make hope possible rather than despair convincing” Raymond Williams

The new government's climate change policy is killing innovation, undermining science and abandoning our role as an inspiration to other countries

One night in 2007 I found myself at an official dinner in Brussels seated next to a man who advised the German government on climate change. We chatted about the role countries could play in the shift to sustainability.

New Zealand has turned from a nation of squirrels to one of nutty spenders, yet there's still little debate about just how the global recession will change our behaviour

At 86% of GDP, New Zealand’s national debt is the highest among all developed nations – except Iceland. And Iceland’s banking system has collapsed.

It may be because Scottish blood swirls within my veins but I am not at all comfortable knowing that New Zealanders are so close to not being able to pay their way.