The Accidental Columnist
Posted by jembendell on January 9, 2017
I just completed an audit of my 2016 outputs, as required of me by the University of Cumbria. It covers things like applications made, bids won, keynotes delivered, papers presented, conferences co-organised, and so on. Looking back, I discovered I wrote 15 opinion editorials (op eds). From The Telegraph to Open Democracy, Huffington Post to the World Economic Forum, over the past 12 months I offered contexts for current affairs that drew on my grounding in critical social theory and political economy.
Prior to 2016, I restricted myself to publishing on topics that I research academically and only those non academic outlets that closely align with my field, such as Guardian Sustainable Business. So something happened last year, to make me broaden my engagement. I think this reflects what is happening with a number of my peers in the sustainable business and finance fields, as we realise the need to engage more broadly on matters of economy, politics, society and culture.
My splurge of opinion arose from irritation, rejection and then collaboration. A year ago, the mainstream media debate on Trident was so mood-driven, without a serious discussion of the issues, that while on a business trip, sitting in a hotel lobby, I penned an opinion piece for the Portsmouth Evening News. I’m from the city, and it’s a Naval town, so I thought a great place to stimulate more informed debate. And I was a bit bored and lonely in that lobby. The News rejected my piece, saying they should have a debate between me and Admiral Lord West instead (which is here). So I reached out to Jo Confino at the Huffington Post, and his support meant I unleashed a stream of writing. Fortunately another friend, Marc Lopatin, was once a professional journalist and ghost writer, and could school me in how to appear less boring in print. Yep, those lessons are ongoing.
Writing is only one form of public engagement, and often with limited impact. But writing demands that you clarify your thoughts and what you think could be useful to say. So it’s a start in a process of broader engagement.
I will publish less in 2017, as I have started writing a book. I will also be finishing academic papers (those things no one reads but we academics have to produce).
In reverse chronological order:
Bendell, J. and M. Lopatin (2016) Democracy Demands a Richer Britain, Huffington Post, 02/12/16. Listed here.
Bendell, J. (2016m) Pro-Competition Regulation can Help Fintech and Virtual Currencies Fulfil Potential, European Financial Review, 22/10/2016, See here
Bendell, J. and M. Lopatin (2016) Why New Labour And Talk Of Austerity Must Go, Huffington Post, 13/10/16. Listed here.
Bendell, J. (2016l) Businesses Like Apple Need Politicians Who Can Stand Up To Them, Huffington Post, 09/09/16. Listed here.
Bendell, J. (2016k) Drug Pricing Threatens Political Flashpoint For Labour, Huffington Post, 24/08/16. Listed here.
Bendell, J. (2016j) Monty Python’s Lessons for Leaders: or how spirituality & leadership are close at hand, Huffington Post, 19/07/16. Listed here.
Bendell, J. (2016i) Stopping Blair Trashing International Law Means Justice Can Come, Huffington Post, 07/07/16. Listed here.
Bendell, J. (2016h) Leadership after Brexit must involve this, Huffington Post, 29/06/16. Listed here.
Bendell, J. (2016g) Does capitalism need some Marxism to survive the Fourth Industrial Revolution? World Economic Forum, 22/06/2016. See here.
Bendell, J. (2016f) Our Planet Needs a Purposeful Private Sector, confirms UN, Huffington Post, 20/06/16. Listed here.
Bendell, J. (2016e) Carry on flying: why activists should take to the skies, Open Democracy, 22/05/2016, See here.
Bendell, J. (2016d) Financial technology start-ups need power of the EU behind them, The Telegraph, 17/05/2016. See here.
Bendell, J. (2016c) London’s Fintech Boom Needs the EU, Huffington Post, 10/05/16. Listed here.
Bendell, J. (2016b) How can we fund the Sustainable Development Goals? World Economic Forum, 21/03/2016, See here.
Bendell, J. (2016a) Retiring Trident Is a Defence Imperative, Huffington Post, 24/01/16. Listed here.
FOR A ROLLING LIST OF MY PUBLICATIONS, INCLUDING PAPERS, BOOKS, AND UN REPORTS, SEE HERE.