This interview was recorded in late autumn 2019 - before the general election, before the UK formally left the EU and when no one in the world had plans for a era-defining global pandemic. However, the ideas and theories discussed resonate more than ever, with a bigger urgency about the way society learns, makes decisions, collaborates and adapts. In this episode, we’re focusing on democracy, social policy and community decision-making. Our very special guest is a sociologist, public intellectual, broadcaster and political adviser - Matthew Taylor CBE. Matthew first rose to prominence as one of the architects of Tony Blair’s historical election victory in 1997, as Campaign Coordinator and Director of Policy. Following a five year stint as Director of the Institute of Public Policy Research, Matthew returned to Downing Street as the head of Blair’s Policy Unit and author of the successful 2005 Labour Party manifesto. For the past 14 years, Matthew has been Chief Executive at The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, - an apolitical think tank with a global fellowship of nearly 30,000 social reformers, educators and cultural activists. Matthew is a regular broadcaster, including The Moral Maze on BBC radio 4, Agree To Differ and The Fix. And, in 2017 he wrote the Good Work report for Theresa May’s government on the future of employment conditions in the UK. Richard met Matthew in his London office to ask him about whether society does really learn in a time of crisis and whether democracy and civic participation is the answer --- Useful links: Matthew on Wikipedia / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Taylor_(political_strategist) Matthew's blog / https://www.thersa.org/discover/publications-and-articles/matthew-taylor-blog The RSA / https://www.thersa.org/ Good work: the Taylor review of modern working practices / https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/good-work-the-taylor-review-of-modern-working-practices Matthew's lecture on 'An Age Of Insecurity' / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-AlFZnJHC8 'Leadership After Covid-19' / https://medium.com/bridges-to-the-future/leadership-after-covid-19-12746d8fa2f5 The RSA: 'Bridges To The Future' podcast on change after corona / https://www.thersa.org/coronavirus/podcast --- We’ll be debating the issues raised at www.thepossibilityclub.org, a free network of professionals with something to say and ideas to test - and we really want to know what you think. Don’t forget to join right now, for free. The Possibility Club is an always possible podcast, produced by Chris Thorpe Tracey for Lo Fi Arts.