Susan's Musings

Just Thinking Out Loud

Reflecting on 7th July… In 2005 and 2013.

Today, the 7th July 2013 marks the 8th anniversary of the London bombing by four terrorists. It’s also the morning that we wake up to the news that Abu Qateda has finally been deported from the UK.  In addition to the news of suicide bombings in Uruzgan, Southern Afghanistan; Baghdad, Iraq; and  Lahore, Pakistan, there was a report of at least 29 pupils and a teacher being killed in a boarding school in North Eastern Nigeria.

Whilst I recognise that these acts of terrorism are perpetuated on the basis of these people’s definition of Islam, I really  and truly wish that we would stop calling them Islamists. I believe by doing so we almost begin to give their acts some justification or even credibility. As a Christian, I cannot speak on behalf of Muslims. However, on the basis of my understanding of Islam and interaction with Muslims over the years, I don’t believe that terrorism is a true representation of Islam. I therefore believe that by connecting terrorism to Islam and calling the terrorist, Islamist or Islamic extremist we inevitably end up avoiding the need to take the time to really and truly understand and define the root causes of these terrorist act.

More critically, however, I believe today is a time to pause and reflect on the victims of such acts.  I could try and search for the right words to express the sadness, the grief and loss as a result of such events.  However, there is someone who has a direct, personal experience that I believe expresses the situation much better. Her name is Marie Fatayi-Williams, the mother of Anthony Fatayi-Williams.

“This is Anthony, Anthony Fatayi -Williams, 26 years old, he’s missing and we fear that he was in the bus explosion … on Thursday. We don’t know. We do know from the witnesses that he left the Northern line in Euston. We know he made a call to his office at Amec at 9.41 from the NW1 area to say he could not make [it] by the tube but he would find alternative means to work.

Since then he has not made any contact with any single person. Now New York, now Madrid, now London. There has been widespread slaughter of innocent people. There have been streams of tears, innocent tears. There have been rivers of blood, innocent blood. Death in the morning, people going to find their livelihood, death in the noontime on the highways and streets.

They are not warriors. Which cause has been served? Certainly not the cause of God, not the cause of Allah because God Almighty only gives life and is full of mercy. Anyone who has been misled, or is being misled to believe that by killing innocent people he or she is serving God should think again because it’s not true. Terrorism is not the way, terrorism is not the way. It doesn’t beget peace. We can’t deliver peace by terrorism, never can we deliver peace by killing people. Throughout history, those people who have changed the world have done so without violence, they have [won] people to their cause through peaceful protest. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, their discipline, their self-sacrifice, their conviction made people turn towards them, to follow them. What inspiration can senseless slaughter provide? Death and destruction of young people in their prime as well as old and helpless can never be the foundations for building society.

My son Anthony is my first son, my only son, the head of my family. In African society, we hold on to sons. He has dreams and hopes and I, his mother, must fight to protect them. This is now the fifth day, five days on, and we are waiting to know what happened to him and I, his mother, I need to know what happened to Anthony. His young sisters need to know what happened, his uncles and aunties need to know what happened to Anthony, his father needs to know what happened to Anthony. Millions of my friends back home in Nigeria need to know what happened to Anthony. His friends surrounding me here, who have put this together, need to know what has happened to Anthony. I need to know, I want to protect him. I’m his mother, I will fight till I die to protect him. To protect his values and to protect his memory.

Innocent blood will always cry to God Almighty for reparation. How much blood must be spilled? How many tears shall we cry? How many mothers’ hearts must be maimed? My heart is maimed. I pray I will see my son, Anthony. Why? I need to know, Anthony needs to know, Anthony needs to know, so do many others unaccounted for innocent victims, they need to know.

It’s time to stop and think. We cannot live in fear because we are surrounded by hatred. Look around us today. Anthony is a Nigerian, born in London, worked in London, he is a world citizen. Here today we have Christians, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, all of us united in love for Anthony. Hatred begets only hatred. It is time to stop this vicious cycle of killing. We must all stand together, for our common humanity. I need to know what happened to my Anthony. He’s the love of my life. My first son, my first son, 26. He tells me one day, “Mummy, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die. I want to live, I want to take care of you, I will do great things for you, I will look after you, you will see what I will achieve for you. I will make you happy.’ And he was making me happy. I am proud of him, I am still very proud of him but I need to now where he is, I need to know what happened to him. I grieve, I am sad, I am distraught, I am destroyed.

He didn’t do anything to anybody, he loved everybody so much. If what I hear is true, even when he came out of the underground he was directing people to take buses, to be sure that they were OK. Then he called his office at the same time to tell them he was running late. He was a multi-purpose person, trying to save people, trying to call his office, trying to meet his appointments. What did he then do to deserve this. Where is he, someone tell me, where is he?”

#Selah

 

Susan Popoola runs Conning Towers Ltd, an HR organisation focused on Talent Management and HR Transformation and Engaged For Success a Social Enterprise. She is also the published author of Touching The Heart of Milton Keynes: A Social Perspective and Consequences: Diverse to Mosaic Britain. She is also Winner Women4Africa Author of the Year 2013

 

Copyright 2013. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

 

 

 

 

Unlocking Charity Giving

I recently read an article by Sunil Bali on an Italian sandwich shop, which faced with the threat of a Giant Supermarket opening next-door ending up sharply increasing their profit within the period of six months.  I believe they attained this contrary result because they offered something of high value to their customers; they had an engaging approach and they remained focused without panicking.

This led me to reflect once more on a telephone call I recently received on behalf of a Charity, which was looking, to raise funds for what I must say is a very good cause. The approach adopted did, however, make me feel very, very uncomfortable.

The Charity in question was offering information on cancer. I provided my details in order to obtain the mentioned information and this led to the above mentioned phone call.

I was asked if I had a few minutes to spare, to which I responded yes. (If talking to them/providing information would be of help to them – why not) I was asked for confirmation of my contact information so that the details could be sent to me.  I confirmed the information required.  I was then asked how much I know about cancer?  That’s a very vague question I responded. The lady proceeded to ask me a few other questions in relation to cancer. To each of my responses she gave me some information.  I began to feel as if I was in school being spoken to by a teacher.

She moved on to ask me whether I knew about recent breakthrough and spoke about a specific breakthrough treatment now being trialed. She went on to speak about how they need support.  She told me she wanted to tell me about 3 ways in which I could support them. She started talking about a direct debit option. Only half listening to her, I waited for her to finish so that I could inform her that I would consider how I would support them once I had, had the opportunity to review the information sent to me. She pointed out that this level of information would not be included in what was sent to me, as they could not afford it as a charity. I told her I’d look at their website.  She asked me if I would commit to making a lower payment by direct debit. I explained to her that I wasn’t saying that I couldn’t help, but I don’t make commitment over the phone/without proper information.  I thought this would be the end of it.

The pressure continued as my discomfort and resolve grew. They could only call me this once she said. With the breakthrough they needed immediate help. It was cheaper to process payments over the phone. There was a cooling off period ………

I pointed out that I was beginning to feel as if I was being harassed by a doorstep salesperson. She still continued not recognizing how comfortable I was or how disengaged I’d become.  Shortly afterwards the call finally ended to my relief. I had not provided any information and now although somewhat put off I’m waiting for the promised from the Charity to see if and how I will support the charity.

It’s sad because the Charity is doing critical work of high value – I recognized that from the conversation. I was totally disengaged and put off by someone trying to do what virtually amounts to bullying.

All in all it reiterates my thinking that Charities will receive support if they have a worthwhile/valuable course.  Critically, however, is to target people that identify with the cause and to ensure that all the people involved with the cause effective serve as ambassadors and communicate with people in a manner that is informative, engaging and compelling.

As with the sandwich shop – the product or service should speak for itself.

Selah

 

P.S. Of possible interest – Conning Towers Ltd.’s Strategy, Skills and Brand Ambassadors programme.

Copyright 2013. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

Just Keep on Moving

I drove down to Milton Keynes Shopping Centre earlier today for a meeting with Waterstones about my new books.

I hadn’t realised that the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile was taking place in the City Centre.  This led to some closed roads and the need to do a bit of meandering to get a parking spot.

Having parked my car I walked towards the shops only to get caught trying to cross the road by some of the event’s participants running along the road.

Being that it was such a lovely afternoon and I had plenty of time on my hands, I stood relaxed waiting for the participants to pass by, listening to the beating of the African drums being played by the side of the road as it did so.

As I stood watching it was fascinating to see the diversity of the participants from those in costumes to the other participants of different ages – parents with children and people just going along by themselves.  There were those that were running and also those just walking along. There was even a lady with a pushchair.

All of them were just walking towards a destination at their own individual paces.  As they finally all passed by and I crossed the road, I found myself thinking – as we all go in the new week, let’s keep on moving by whatever means necessary, regardless of whatever odds we may encounter.

Selah.

Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source.

Basketball & Drums

I was at a game of Basketball – MK Lions against  the Leicester Raiders on Friday.  Unfortunately, MK Lions didn’t win – we lost by a miserly 3 points. I’m not going to give you a full analysis of the game,, but I must say it was a good game – full of energy both from the players and the supporters.

I specific mention the supporters, because like most basketball teams the Lions have a drummer who beats a drum as the game goes on.  When every the Lions  have the ball the supporters chant Lions to the beat of the drum, whilst when the opposing team has the ball, they chant defence.

At the last game I attended the drummer wasn’t around and the whole atmosphere was subdued.  I tried to get the supporters to chant lions and defence as the opposing team beat their drum but it didn’t work.  I couldn’t get a chant going – it was like trying to breathe to someone else’s heartbeat.

You see to me the beating drum is like a heart beat with the supports creating an atmosphere that spur the players on. Yes, the players would still probably play well without the support of the drum and the chants of the supporters, but I believe that the support system provides something extra – inspiration; a sense of belief and purpose; strength to push on against the odds or when tired.  Haven’t you noticed that in sports teams often do best in front of a home crowd?

The truth is in life, we all need a good support system to spur us on i.e. those special people who provide us with inspiration or whatever it is that we need to take us on through both the good times and the bad.  As I continually develop and grow I’m constantly reviewing my support system, in order to try and ensure that I have what I need to help propel me forward as I’ve come to  recognise that I’m no way an island and I just can’t make it on my own.

Reflecting back on the game, maybe one of the reasons why Leicester Raiders had an edge over us in the game is that not only did they come with their own drum, they also had a supporter with a little microphone who stood in front of the Leicester supporters spurring them on to support the Raiders. And the Raiders truly did raid us, scoring the winning 3 points just as the game to an end.

Selah

Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source.

The Power of an Idea

Did you know…
£5 provides water for a family for a week?
£10 pays for a rural health care worker for a week?
£25 feeds a family of six for a month?
£50 pays for a sewing machine?
£100 empowers a widow to set up in business?
The Akabusi Charitable Trust Literature

If for no other reason, if you watched the 4 by 400m relay at the 1991 World Championships at Tokyo you will have heard of Kriss Akabusi.  Since the end of his athletics career you may have seen him on television on programmes such as Record Breakers, heard him on the radio or had the privilege to hear him give a motivational talk at an event.  Even if you do know all of this, you may not be aware that he additionally Chair’s a Charity, “The Akabusi Charitable Trust”, that works to promote the social and economic development of communities in poverty in Nigeria.

I say he Chair’s the Charity, but he’s role doesn’t stop there – amongst other things he is actively involved in fundraising for the Charity and in 2010 he led on a Charity Bike Ride from Edinburgh to London aimed at raising funds for the Charity.  Having done what I could to support Kriss on the Bike Ride, a few months later, I received some information which outlined the difference that various amounts of money could make, starting from £5 to the impact that a £100 could have on the life of a widow.

£100 could enable a widow to set up a business I read. I’d like to do that I thought i.e. have the privilege of helping to transform someone’s life. It was just another one of the many ideas that I develop.  More often than not, I think of things that I could do that might be great ideas, but just put them aside. I don’t know if you’re anything like that too?  The only thing is that with this particular idea, the next time I went into the office of the Charity I took my cheque book with me.

“I’d like to sponsor a widow”, I announced. Everyone looked at me. “Your literature mentions that £100 can transform the life of a widow” I stated.  “Find me a widow to support” I went on to demand as I wrote out a cheque for £100. Obediently the next time Kriss and another trustee went to Nigeria to monitor the work of the Charity, they identified a struggling widow and through one of the Charity’s partner organisations supported her in setting up a small business which enabled her to support her family and ensure that her children went to school.  Her life, her prospects and that of her children were transformed.

As a result, the Charity decided to set up a project  – Woman2Woman; to enable women in the UK to support women in rural Nigerian communities.  It’s early days yet, but already there are a growing number of women whose lives are being transformed through this project. I’m humbled by the knowledge that this project developed because I did something with a simple idea that I had.

I’m therefore writing this for two reasons. In the first instance you may have one or two ‘simple’ ideas of you’re own that you’re sitting on. I would like to encourage you to go for it, put yourself out there – you just don’t know what will happen.

Secondly, a seed has been planted, i.e the idea of transforming lives of Nigerian widows and those of their families through donations of £100. In my head, the idea is beginning to develop that this could actually become something phenomenal that transforms whole villages and I was just wondering if you would be interested in being a part of this?

#Selah

© Susan Popoola MA CIPD FRSA
Conning Towers Ltd
Leveraging the Power of People

New Orleans – Making a Difference

I’ve always felt a connection to New Orleans as my all time favourite group – Maze featuring Frankie Beverley, recorded their popular album “live in New Orleans there.

Subsequently, when I sat glued to the television watching the events that followed Hurricane Katrina unfold, I felt the need to do something – the need to physically go their and to help to make a difference.

It took me a couple of years to make my first visit, but I clearly remember that when I mentioned my plans to friends who lived in Houston they told me that it wasn’t a good time to visit New Orleans as the place had not yet recovered from Katrina. I was, however, convinced that this was the exact reason why it was an important to visit.

You see when any place faces a disaster – our natural inclination is to stay away. However, whilst donations in cash and kind unquestionably go a long way to make a difference – the presence of people coming back to visit the area really. Lets the local people know that we care. I’m not talking about immediately after the disaster as this could be in the way if we do not have a specific role to play in the clean up process. (For this reason it is best to check first before visiting immediately after a disaster)

However, visiting after the immediate clean up process not only says that you care, but it helps the economy of the area to come back as regardless of what they have been through, the shops, the hotels, the entertainment centres and tourist activities need our custom more so than ever before.

It’s even better if you have the opportunity to volunteer. For a long time I had the impression that in order to volunteer to work on a house-rebuilding programme you had to be available for weeks or months on end – frustratingly, this is not a practical option for me.

Over recent years, I’ve got into the habit of going to New Orleans for the annual Jazz and Heritage festival, which spreads over two weekends. This leaves me with a few days in between the weekends to do tourist things and catch up with friends.

I was therefore delighted when I came across an advert from a volunteers’ organisation named Project 195 earlier this year. They were looking for people to help with reconstruction over the Jazzfest period for anything from a day upwards. They also made it clear that no prior experience was required. I therefore signed up and spent three of days in between the Jazzfest weekend laying floor boards, fitting and painting doors and skirting boards for the house of an extremely grateful and excited man who was going to be able to finally move back to his home after over five years.

During this process I learnt that while it is common for people to volunteer for weeks or months, there is also a place for people who can only help for a day or two or even half a day. During this process I also learnt about the diversity of people that volunteer, from school children, to numerous young adults; to professionals inclusive of a group that had come to play golf in the morning and then volunteered in the afternoon. I was also told about a group of nuns that came in their habits to work for a day. Of further fascination was the number of young American who decide to permanently relocate to New Orleans following on from a volunteering experience.

I’ve also had the opportunity to become an advisor for a small non-profit organisation and with modern technology I don’t have to physically be there to be of help. Ultimately, what I have learnt from my visits to New Orleans is that there is always a way to help even from a distance or whilst having fun.


Copyright 2011. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

Going Local

Just before Christmas, I was told about a local Farm shop which is said to have some very good supplies.  I wanted to immediately rush along and see what they have in store but I was put off by the snow.  Subsequent to that the past few weekends have been exceptionally busy so I haven’t had the chance to visit.  However this Saturday I will be driving down to Wakefield Farm Shop with a big smile on my face. You see one of the many reasons why I moved to Milton Keynes almost eight years ago was in order to explore the countryside and buy groceries from local farm shops. As of yet, I’m yet to fully exploit the opportunities offered by the various farm shops, but it’s never to late.

Beyond the general desire, whilst I believe it’s also important to support local producers and suppliers. You see whilst I reognise, accept and even see some of the benefits of the global economy that we now live in, I believe that local is still important and if we want it to survive we need to give it support.

The only thing is whilst we have a responsibility to support local suppliers, they simultaneously have a responsibility to provide high quality products and services that meet the reasonable requirements of the public. They also need to help us to help them and not assume that we should automatically support them because they are local.

I say this specifically because I recently received a call from a local business. The caller told me about the services that he offers and highlighted the fact that he was local.  I told him that I already had suppliers but was happy for him to send me details just in case. He asked me whether my current suppliers were local.  I explained to him the criteria that I used to determine the suppliers that I use – beyond the basic fact that they are local.  He continued talking, reminding me that he was local. He seemed to punctuate every sentence with the word local.

I ended the call by asking him to email details of his website so that I could refer to his services if I had a need. He did so. I had a quick look at the website, it had some basic text on it and nothing more. Now for a business that provide services in the creative space, I thought this was unacceptable and was left asking – did he really expect me to buy from him simply because he is local?

Ref: http://www.wakefieldfarmshop.co.uk/farmshop.html

Copyright 2011. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

Lakes Youth

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea,

never regains its original dimensions.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

In 2006 a young man named Ray Quinn appeared in the talent show The X Factor. I couldn’t help but like him. While he remained true to who he was he was extremely grateful for the opportunity of being on the show and wanted to make people, especially his mentor, Simon Cowell, proud. He went on to the finals and finished as the runner-up. In 2007, I felt proud to see him judging on Baby Ballroom, another talent contest.

In some many ways, he reminds me of some other young people I know of in Milton Keynes who live on the Lakes Estate. I guess like most young people they were of the opinion that they never had enough to do – they were bored. On the Lakes Estate there is an officer called a Community Mobiliser who has responsibility for community development within the area.

Described by a local parent as “someone who gets things going or keeps things going in the community.”, recognising the frustrations of the young people, the community mobiliser worked with them to arrange a number of sporting events. This included the rare opportunity to go away for an event outside of the estate and as such broaden their horizons. To her credit the events were a great success. They both involved and effectively engaged a lot of the young people. Significantly, they have carried on since the first event. What stands out about the events now is that they are no longer organised by the Community Mobiliser. Rather they are actually organised by the young people themselves. The only thing that the Community Mobiliser does to help is provide them with support at their request.

Their activities have had such an impact that they received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services in 2005. And some of these boys, though still quite young now are very conscious of their community needs and are working to help fulfil the needs of the young children on the estate who look up to them. They also work to support the older people within their community. To this end some of these young people also go to meetings within the Council Offices to represent their community’s needs.

It’s amazing how little things have such a huge impact. After all, these are young people that the typical adult would not think of talking to, who on their own part were very shy and would not have even contemplated conversing with adults, who now go to meetings and clearly articulate their viewpoint on behalf of the whole of their community.

There are a total of eight community mobilisers in Milton Keynes, working across the most deprived areas. Taking the time to understand the community needs and support the communities in fulfilling them through a number of different means inclusive of activity groups, workshops, trips and outings, but ultimately providing local people who sincerely care about their communities with the opportunity to improve on things for the collective good.

On YouTube there are a few videos which much better highlight the work of Community Mobilisers than I ever could. [i]


[i] Community Mobilisers – http://www.youtube.com/user/CommunityMobiliser

Copyright 2008 Extract from Touching The Heart of Milton Keynes: A Social Perspective

This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated from content obtained from other sources and such content is referenced as appropriate.

The Demonstrated Beauty of Credit Unions!

It’s been quite saddening to learn via the BBC of atrocious stories of how people have been charged ridiculous interest rates on loans from loan sharks. Interest that they could never practical pay, but have accepted out of desperation.

The stress that the resulting pressure of being chased for payments causes cannot readily be explained. However in what some may see us an extreme one young man ultimately committed suicide recently.

It’s therefore pleasing to remember that in Milton Keynes there is a credit union to help people who may otherwise have no other choice but to go to a loan shark.

I recently read the story below which clearly highlights how credit unions can help to transform lives!


Christina has been a member of Milton Keynes Credit Union (MKCU) for some time now. She told Kim Davis, MKCU, Development Officer about her experience of borrowing money with MKCU.

“I’d known about credit unions for a while so I searched on the internet to find one in Milton Keynes. I’d heard food things about credit unions from my mother, as she had been a member nearly 50 years ago when she lived in Canada. Mum had gone there to live and decided she wants to come back home. Using the local credit union, she saved up her fare home! Having heard such a positive story, I got in touch with MKCU and joined.

When I became a member, I wasn’t managing my money very well. I’d borrowed from a ‘doorstep lender’ and was paying a high interest rate. Even when I got a loan from my own bank to pay off an overdraft they charged me 50%in interest! I’d been with them over 20 years and expected more support, instead I got a really high interest rate.

I had no savings and no means of saving – no one wants you to save just a few pounds a month. Nowadays most banks require you to keep a certain amount of money in your account of you have to pay charges.

Since I joined Milton Keynes Credit Union, I’m still not great with money, but I’m improving. For the first time for years, I have some savings behind me – I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I borrowed money from MKCU to pay off my Provident loan, as the credit union charged me a lower interest rate, they talked to me about repaying too, we agreed a repayment which was affordable, and left me able to save too.

Borrowing with MKCU is different as I began to know some of the people there, it was a very personal service. I’m now on top of my repayments plus I’m building on my savings too – in fact, my savings are now greater than what I owe on my loan, which makes me feel good. With MKCU, the interest is charged on the decreasing balance so the more I repay, the less interest I’ll be charged, much better for me than doorstep lenders or my bank.

It’s good that money I’m saving also helps out other people in Milton Keynes with loans when they need it. You have to live or work in Milton Keynes to join the Credit Union so I know I’m helping other local people.

Now I’m looking to the future and planning a family holiday for my birthday – I’ll be using the Credit Union to save for this and it helps to know I’ve got the option to apply for a loan if I need it too”

As told to Kim Davies, Development Office. (story retold with permission from Milton Keynes Credit Union – ref: http://www.mkcreditunion.org.uk/ )

Welcome to Milton Keynes

Never be afraid to try something new.

Remember, amateurs built the ark,

Professionals built the Titanic.

Anon

Milton Keynes is synonymous with roundabouts and concrete cows. However if, after 40 years as a new town and centuries of prior existence (as a number of different small towns and villages), this was all that Milton Keynes had to offer, Milton Keynes would not be such a diverse place with people from all backgrounds, colours and creeds and an ever-growing population.

It would also not be deemed England’s most successful new town and a showcase city visited by people from across the world who want to understand how to develop a successful new town, which is earmarked for growth into one of England’s ten largest cities by 2030.[i]

I’m possibly not the most knowledgeable person on Milton Keynes as I’ve only been here for five years, but the more I learn about it, the more passionate and in love with it I become and the more I come to believe that there is a need for greater awareness of what Milton Keynes is really about for the people outside of the town, some of whom will never ever visit, but carry an often very strong opinion of the place. Of equal importance, I believe it is necessary for those of us who live and work in Milton Keynes to be more aware of the diversity it offers.

Recognising the limits of my experience and knowledge of Milton Keynes, I have taken the time to visit different parts and speak to different people who I know have a much clearer, in-depth knowledge than I do on specific areas.

Having done all of this, I am very conscious that I only just touch the tip of the iceberg as there is so much more that I have consciously or subconsciously omitted or am possibly unaware of. For this reason, I hope that what I have put together will inspire you to investigate and find out more. You can find a number of links on the Leverage Points website.[ii]

As with everything in life there are negative things about Milton Keynes as well as the many positives. I have chosen to focus more on the positives: the possibilities and opportunities to overcome the negatives. I’m in no way deluded, but I don’t believe it is constructive to focus on the things that have been tried that have not worked or the mistakes that have been made along the way, unless there is a direct lesson to be learnt from doing so.

It is therefore not a contradiction that on occasion I have been compelled to mention some of the ‘mistakes’ that have been made in order to explain some of the current circumstances and, I hope, to provide some suggestions on how to avoid them and to move forward into the ultimate future for Milton Keynes.

I also hope that, through this book, people outside of Milton Keynes will come to understand that while we love our roundabouts and concrete cows, there is so much more to be said of this vibrant town.


[i] Invest Milton Keynes Facts & Figures 2008 Basic Presentation

[ii] Leverage Points – www.leveragepoints.org

Copyright 2008 Extract from Touching The Heart of Milton Keynes: A Social Perspective

This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated from content obtained from other sources and such content is referenced as appropriate.

About The Author

Susan Popoola

Susan is a Human Resources Capital Optimisation Specialist specialising in areas inclusive of Talent Management with additional interest in a number of other areas inclusive of Education, Community and Social Justice.

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