Soft Power

Kids, Eat Your Verts - Languages Are Good For You

John Worne | Posted 03.09.2014 | UK
John Worne

When it comes to language learning, I start this new school term like all those other parents sending their kids to a new school: a little anxious, a little excited, and hopeful for a brighter linguistic future.

Culture Is a Contact Sport

John Worne | Posted 06.08.2014 | UK Sport
John Worne

Sport is one of the universal languages which connect people and cultures... Sport is primal, basic, essential and everywhere... Sport and great sporting events are a massive draw. But the best of all is when sport is shared alongside culture. And here Glasgow excelled.

Whatever the Weather, Culture's Our Biggest Draw

John Worne | Posted 29.07.2014 | UK
John Worne

There's plenty to be proud of when it comes to UK culture and our national image. And that's important as it attracts people from around the world to visit, study here and do business with us. The world may (wrongly this week) think that our weather's terrible - but the sun never sets on UK culture, and it shines all around the world.

Gentle Touch: The World Cup as a Soft Power Instrument

Dr Arlo Brady | Posted 10.09.2014 | UK Sport
Dr Arlo Brady

It will be interesting to see how the next World Cup kicking off in Moscow in 2018 impacts global views of the Kremlin. For while the media spotlight has shone on an already-vibrant Brazil today, unless the four year hiatus is used to full benefit, it may reflect very differently on Russia tomorrow.

The Importance of Soft Power

Stephen Liddell | Posted 25.08.2014 | UK
Stephen Liddell

Most people are familiar with what is known as Hard Power. The idea that someone with more swords, bigger guns and overwhelming military ability can force someone to do something against their will but which is almost entirely in favour of those holding the gun. History is full of situations, the ancient Chinese, Persians, Romans all the way through to the British, French, American and Russians...

Soft Power and the UK

Gary Kent | Posted 31.05.2014 | UK Politics
Gary Kent

Soft power can influence others to want the same things as the UK "by building positive international relationships and coalitions which defend our interests and security, uphold our national reputation and promote our trade and prosperity." The report also says it should be carefully combined with hard power, essentially military force, to form "smart power."

Remembering Halabja and Boosting the Kurdish Diaspora

Gary Kent | Posted 18.05.2014 | UK Politics
Gary Kent

Several MPs referred favourably to Ukrainian communities and organisations in their constituencies in a recent Commons debate on Russian actions against Ukraine. Such links with voters, who may be seen as newsworthy locally and electorally important, makes MPs more attentive.

Could The Changing Music Industry Help International Diplomacy?

Mark Hillary | Posted 19.04.2014 | UK Entertainment
Mark Hillary

The music industry is changing fast. Artists need to tour because nobody buys records today and markets such as the US and UK produce a disproportionate number of popular artists appreciated all over the world.

WWI - Remember the World as Well as the War

John Worne | Posted 12.04.2014 | UK
John Worne

Just like the courtesy of learning a few words of the language, for someone from the UK travelling to countries with different memories of WWI than ours, learning a little more about the scale and legacy of this truly global conflict can be invaluable in effectively navigating and building relationships of trust.

Greater Than the Sum of Its Arts

Hamish Jenkinson | Posted 19.03.2014 | UK Entertainment
Hamish Jenkinson

Azerbaijan is not alone. In fact it's little wonder that a country like Qatar is also putting more and more focus in this area. For a place, which has an abundance of sand, sun and oil, but not much else, it makes sense to be making such an effort to build up its cultural sector

The Languages for the UK's Future

John Worne | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK
John Worne

It's a toughie. Famously tongue-tied in foreign languages, and notwithstanding the 200+ languages widely spoken in London and Manchester alone, the fact is the UK needs more people speaking more languages.

Five Years On, Financial Crisis Has Transformed China's Reputation as a Global Power

Andrew Hammond | Posted 19.11.2013 | UK
Andrew Hammond

Five years on, the dust is still settling but it is clear that the consequences have been more than financial. In terms of perceptions, many international publics believe the economic balance of power has swung sharply toward China.

London, Paris, New York: Some Things You Just Can't Bottle

John Worne | Posted 05.11.2013 | UK
John Worne

This week I was a panellist at the launch event for the inaugural Ipsos MORI Top Cities survey - a worldwide poll that crowned London as the most popular city in Europe, but forced us to tip our bowler hats to New York as the global winner. But in amongst the data were a few fascinating phenomena...

Please 'Elp Me, I Am Briteesh...

John Worne | Posted 13.10.2013 | UK
John Worne

The UK's lack of foreign language skills has become almost a cliché. But that doesn't make it a laughing matter. If we don't have the skills to get by for a few days in the sun, what hope do we have when it comes to the serious business of international trade?

London 2012 - One Year On...

John Worne | Posted 20.09.2013 | UK
John Worne

It's a bit 'last year' in 2013 to talk up 2012 but, as we approach the first anniversary of the London Olympics, there's good evidence that 2012 has changed what the world thinks about us.

Why Soft Power Is Hard for Governments

John Worne | Posted 18.08.2013 | UK Politics
John Worne

Sharing culture is hard when you can't entertain another point of view, tough when you have to stick to your line, and impossible when what you say can immediately be turned into a headline and used as a stick to beat you. This is the lot of modern governments.

If Young Scientists Ruled The World...

John Worne | Posted 11.08.2013 | UK
John Worne

If young scientists ruled the world, it might be a better place - but then there'd be no-one to do science. FameLab brings us the best of both: young scientists advancing the sum of human knowledge and learning to share it with us all - from world politician to ordinary punter.

UK Culture Means Business

John Worne | Posted 20.07.2013 | UK
John Worne

But in these austere times she also asked for better evidence of the value of culture. In short, her point was that if we want UK Government to continue investing in culture - as public spending gets the squeeze - we in the cultural industries need to demonstrate a return on that investment

End of Which Era?

Indra Adnan | Posted 22.06.2013 | UK Politics
Indra Adnan

Thatcher's funeral v Olympic Opening Ceremony - which is the real Britain?

Can Britain Claim Greater 'Soft Power' Thanks to Iron Maiden?

Mark Hillary | Posted 14.06.2013 | UK Politics
Mark Hillary

British music, art, and culture in general has reached every corner of the world and this does create a favourable impression of the nation - useful for business and politics in addition to just feeling a bit more welcomed when visiting a new place as a tourist.

Dollars, Booze and Hashtags: The Global Past, Present and Future of English

John Worne | Posted 03.06.2013 | UK
John Worne

It's time to let go of the idea that English 'belongs' to anyone - let alone English speaking countries. "No way!" as the rest of the world regularly exclaims - after all far more people now speak English around the world as a second language than as their mother tongue.

Science's Greatest Discovery: It's Okay to Be Wrong

John Worne | Posted 25.05.2013 | UK Tech
John Worne

There are a small number of universal human languages which are very widely understood. English itself is one, the arts are another, there is sport - especially football - and there is science. The language of science, underpinned by the Scientific Method, is one of humanity's purest languages - perhaps second only to maths.

Avoiding Cultural Chalk and Cheese in the World of Business

John Worne | Posted 04.05.2013 | UK
John Worne

For anyone determined to perpetuate the myth that we don't need to learn foreign languages in the UK because 'everyone speaks English anyway', there's a clear wake-up call in this new research. Less than a quarter of managers in China and well under half in Brazil say their businesses use English on a daily basis.

China: Don't Let the Opportunities Get Lost in Translation

John Worne | Posted 05.04.2013 | UK
John Worne

Xin Nian Kuai Le, Gong Xi Fa Cai! If you didn't understand that, you've just missed out on the chance to make friends this week. And you're not alone. The Mandarin Chinese language is becoming more and more important for the UK because, quite simply, China is becoming more and more important on the world's stage.

Want More for Less, Davos Man? Our World Is Your Oyster

John Worne | Posted 25.03.2013 | UK Politics
John Worne

As the global elite don snow boots for Davos, those of us tramping through the slush at home will wonder 'what's Davos got to do with me?' I say two things: 1) the UK has always been a great trading nation and, 2) the UK is a modern day cultural superpower. We're up to our boot-tops in the global economy and our language, education system and creativity are in massive demand to drive global growth and prosperity. And we all have a stake in that. Because what our politicians and business leaders are discussing on our behalf is a near universal need to tighten our belts.