These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

MINISTER OF THE FUTURE


MINISTER OF THE FUTURE



Printed in the Southern League Premier Division programme v Chippenham Town on Saturday 2nd April 2016. We won 1-0 in front of 255 people.

Lets be honest. Most of us cant see beyond next weekends football match, forget big occasions and are more concerned that we cant find our car-keys than climate change. We complain about games being postponed but don’t like the idea of artificial pitches. We don't like pubs closing but buy cheap beer from supermarkets. Politicians are even worse. They know they have a very limited time to change their world – and they will only really try and change it if looks like its a vote winner. We have an education system that is obsessed with measuring everything and heading the same way of the housing free-for-all. In short not many of us really do much future planning and many football clubs don't seem to do any planning at all.

So take a bow Sweden, for their
Minister of the Future. Not some Dr.Who Time Lord Sketch but headed by Kristina Persson. But the idea is a simple one: for Sweden to remain competitive tomorrow, it might, unfortunately, have to take unpopular steps today—and since politics and politicians, given elections and interests, tend to focus on the short-term, a watchdog for the long-term was needed. It's easier said than done. Can you think of a politician willing to risk re-election for a better future they cannot benefit from? Thought not.

Ms Persson explains: “'The ministry is organized in three strategic groups. The first is concerned with the future of work, the second with the green transition and competitiveness, while the third one is what we call "global cooperation." Each strategic group brings together people with different backgrounds. Some come from the business community, others from civil society, trade unions, and academia. This variety is of the uttermost importance as the questions we are trying to address are complex, and finding solutions needs the cooperation of all of society’s stakeholders.
Let’s take into consideration the "future of work". There is no point trying to resist technological change and the expected automation of a great number of jobs in the coming years. Such an attitude would be short sighted. So the real question is not how we can try to delay the process but how can we best prepare? And again, how can we guarantee that Sweden’s unemployment rate remains low and the level of social welfare the same as today? You see, these are not easy questions and if we want to find answers, we better start working now.
We live in a world that is transforming at an unprecedented speed, a world that is constantly challenging and disrupting the old ways we are used to do things. Given the context, I believe that if politics wants to remain relevant and be useful to citizens, it needs to change its approach. It needs to experiment with new ways and new solutions. This is what we are doing at the ministry and it's quite ground breaking. A lot of colleagues from other countries have expressed interest in my work and I hope a similar institution will soon be developed in other parts of the world.”

So what the hell as this got to do with football - an immediate win-at-all costs results business. Mr.Big comes along and waves his wad and we don't care if its all built on sand. What can possibly go wrong. Brentford might be working out victory from a mathematical viewpoint but what about those clubs that are working hard behind the scenes for the long-term benefit of their team. That might be investing in infrastructure, 3G pitches, marketing strategies, scouting systems, academies, renovating the clubhouse, It might be adopting a model that has loads of different income streams so you are not just reliant on football.

The Minister of Future certainly has bigger fish to fry but we can learn from them because it is those clubs that plan properly for the future that will flourish while others will be footnotes in the football history books. So look beyond another defeat and see victory in the future!

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