There is real hope here - one only need look at the Olympics to see an example of how collaboration can really engineer success. Just one year on from the riots, the energy and optimism from London 2012 can be harnessed to bring people together to make real change. There is a general mood of positivity in the air, which can be turned into something tangible.
The world's attention is on London at the moment, as it was a year ago but for very different reasons. But how much has really changed since the riots that disfigured my town and other parts of the capital last August?
This weekend I watched Usain Bolt run the 100m as a VIP guest in the Olympic stadium; this time last year I was watching my home town burn in the summer riots. Had I made different choices I could have been watching the race from prison.
Exactly a year ago, hundreds of kids misbehaved really badly, so why has nobody asked the question? Have we - society, government, family - done something wrong? Why the loud silence? Oh, sorry, I forgot - they are they just nasty little rioters, and should go to prison. There is nothing else to ask. Where is the reflection, the understanding, the questions? Those arrested during the riots mainly came from deprived areas and had the poorest educational backgrounds. They set fire to their own communities, and looted consumerist goods − plasma TVs, "branded" fashionable electronics and expensive shoes. Why did they do what they did?
As we celebrate the shining achievements of so many British athletes in London 2012, the disorders of last August seem a nightmarish memory. How is it possible that two such different Augusts, two such opposing images of modern Britain, could be separated by only twelve months?
A year on from the riots which gripped parts of London and other cities up and down the UK, it is worth recalling that they were a predictable outcome to the economic and social pressure the communities impacted were under from a Tory-led coalition government, which had begun to dole out its punishment to the poor in response to an economic recession not of their making.
The riots showed us at a real low. The Olympics have been a national high. We have seen the best and worst reflections of ourselves over the past year - and so has the world.
I believe that the riots were, in part at least, a consequence of keeping people in a permanently dissatisfied state and persuading them that their lives will be improved by owning something they haven't got, can't afford and almost certainly don't need.
Do we really want to develop an education system based on well-meaning but ultimately skewed nostalgia?
Everybody concerned needs to grow a backbone. From the police and the politicians, to the young people, families and communities that they, not to mention the academics and commentators more interested in confirming their own prejudices, are so busy patronising. In fact we should all be getting to grips with what were extraordinary, disturbing and quite unprecedented events but may well come back to haunt us if we don't.
When we think back on London in the year 2012, where will we cast our minds?
I heard on the radio yesterday a young policeman describing some rioters who had attached Stanley knives to sticks to use as weapons. This is gutting and the new statistics are stomach-churning. One of the things that I remember most from those evenings last year is the fear. That crippling feeling of the unknown. How close to our homes were they going to get? Why?
This week the Authority will be launching our 'Have your say' roadshows.
Ever since the riots blazed across UK streets and TV sets worldwide last year, debate has raged on the catalyst that sparked an estimated 15,000 individuals to become one angry mob. Around 70% of the London 2011 rioters were under the age of 24 so identifying a root cause could well help stop these scenes happening again.
Predictably, the prime minster is taking flak over his decision to run parenting classes for people. As expected, some are calling the initiative an example of the Nanny State. In due course, editors will pull out examples of poor parenting by members of his government or those who advise him. We all know what's coming, don't we?
As commentary (about the riots) developed it became clear that the reporting was either black or white. Right wing commentators were quick to label all rioters as individual criminals, while more liberal factions tried to convince that there was a direct cause and effect relationship between recent youth centre closures and civil disorder. The idea started to emerge that a more un-mediated version of events would help form a fuller picture of what happened last August. Together with Minnow Productions and BBC 3, we combed the internet for more footage.