Citizen Renaissance was conceived by Jules Peck and Robert Phillips in the spring of 2008 – on the eve of the global economic crisis and before The Big Society had really seen the light of day. Originally published as a wiki-book, Citizen Renaissance explores the collision of the three seismic shifts of our time: the perfect storm surrounding Climate Change; the Wellbeing Imperative; and the axiomatic rise of Digital Democracy. At its heart lies a call for more citizen-centric thinking and behaviour and an end to the global imbalance of Wants & Needs. Citizen Renaissance continues today as a forum for thought; a platform for the exchange of ideas; and as a collaborative project that seeks to develop a Manifesto for Change.
About the authors
Jules Peck is a Founding Partner at strategy and innovation consultancy Flourishing Enterprise which works to engage the commercial world with wellbeing-economics and to help them innovate through the lens of wellbeing. He is also Chairman of the Edelman’s Sustainability and Citizenship Group where his Citizen Renaissance co-author Robert is Chairman of EMEA.
For two years Jules was Director of David Cameron’s Quality of Life Commission that led to the Prime Minister calling on the Office for National Statistics to measure and develop policy based on wellbeing.
Jules is a Trustee of nef (the New Economics Foundation), an adviser to The Green Thing and a Fellow of the think tank ResPublica. Jules is an advisor to Transition Towns Network and a member of the Transition Towns TT&C strategy group, an advisor to Happy City and the social enterprise Bath & West Community Energy.
Jules’ special interest is the new economics of wellbeing and the strategic innovation opportunities wellbeing can unlock for business. He has worked in sustainability and wellbeing for 24 years, one third in and around politics at the EC, in London and in Washington, one third in marketing, sales and corporate sustainability and one third in the social enterprise space and with NGOs like WWF where he was Global Policy Adviser for five years. Jules has worked with many of the world’s largest companies including; Shell, Carillion, Anglo American, Kingfisher, SSE, Rio Tinto, EON, BP, Unilever, Ford, Starbucks, Old Mutual and HSBC.
Jules is a regular blogger for Citizen Renaissance, Left Foot Forward, Compass, Green Alliance, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review and others, and a regular tweeter and public speaker.
Robert has been trying to change the world since about the age of eight. An early attempt to run for political office (purely to unseat a teacher he passionately disliked from the local Council) was thwarted when he realised he was still a minor and therefore ineligible to stand.
Joining the much-lamented SDP in the early 1980s as a student radical (albeit one firmly in the political centre), ultimately cost Robert his otherwise blossoming career at Oxford. After a brief stint working on policies and speeches, Robert quit both the political arena and his political ambition when he was heckled by members of his own side at Party Conference for suggesting that Public/ Private Partnerships in Health and Transport were the way forward. He recalls saying at the time that we were meant to be fighting for a better, more open and more equal society – and not one another.
In his professional career, Robert went on to co-found the award-winning consultancy, Jackie Cooper PR, whose flagship clients included the launches of PlayStation, O2 and the infamous ‘Hello Boys’ work for Wonderbra. In 2004, Robert and his business partner Jackie Cooper sold JCPR to Edelman, the world’s largest, independent PR firm. Robert took over as UK CEO of Edelman in May 2007 and, in January 2011, Robert assumed the role of President & CEO, Edelman EMEA. In December 2012, Robert resigned from Edelman to concentrate on new research and writing projects. Although a committed workaholic and Manchester United fan, Robert is still determined to change the world in his spare time.
He is married, lives in London (with occasional forays into Suffolk), and has two terrific sons. He dedicates his half of Citizen Renaissance to his father, John, who bestowed his passion for social justice – and taught him why it is fundamentally important to always be a liberal with a small ‘l’.
Arabella is Associate Director at Edelman UK, and helped edit and refine Citizen Renaissance.
Antoine is Head of Digital in Buenos Aires, and helped build and direct the website in which Citizen Renaissance is housed.