Kindness, emotions and human relationships are policy blindspots, according to UK report

by Freya Lucas

November 29

A report, released this month by the Carnegie UK Trust, explores the place of kindness within public policy, outlining how kindness and a focus on everyday relationships can affect change and support individual and societal wellbeing.  

 

The report’s focus on relationships and a relationship-centred approach is likely to be of interest to those in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, and could add weight to lobbying and advocacy efforts in the public policy domain.

 

An additional exploration in the report of the role of relationships as an antidote to “an increasing use of technology and artificial intelligence transforming the way services are delivered” is also likely to be of interest to the sector, especially in light of calls from renowned ECEC experts for caution in this domain.

 

The report was developed following a series of roundtable discussions and events hosted by the Carnegie Trust, and documents key learnings from these discussions,capturing thoughts on the complexity and challenges of kindness and human relationships in public policy.

 

Described as “containing some powerful and challenging messages for policymakers”, the authors hope the report will support advocates for social change to have difficult discussions and advocate for change, saying: “There are clear risks to engaging in a discussion on re-designing public policy to better respond to our need for kindness, emotions and human relationships. However the risks of not engaging are far higher in terms of reducing trust and failure to deliver effective and responsive services. If there is no creative response to the challenge to allow space for kindness in public policy discussions the results would be disastrous for us all.”

 

The report can be read in full here.

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