The New Extraordinary

There’s a lot of chat about the ‘new normal’.

That’s good news for two reasons. First, pointing at once-radical ideas and saying ‘huh, that’s normal now’ helps us see and believe in change. Not only does that help us get over our lack of agency and/or apathy, it helps us tackle the problem of declining baselines.

Second – and the subject of this blog post –  when something moves from radical to normal it creates an interesting new space: from where power lies to what we do with it, come with us on a tour of the new extraordinary.

Disclaimer: this is a relentlessly positive look at the new extraordinary. We can’t help it, we are optimists.


New normal- The Greens are well and truly on the political scene. You actually have to squint quite hard not to see them.

New extraordinary- Recognising and valuing political consensus for what it is: our route to solving problems and building great big brilliant things together.

New normal- Developed countries in the grips of austerity are getting organised about their discontent.

New extraordinary- Money and its handlers no longer rule the world. Other stuff comes first – like happiness and wellbeing; you know, what real people want.

New normal- The phrase ‘digital democracy’ is on everyone’s lips – from the BBC to the Commons.

New extraordinary- We’re all happily using digital tools to run the country.

New normal- Widespread political commitment to improve the NHS – with a focus on wellbeing.

New extraordinary- Tax cuts are no longer a catch-all voting incentive. The health of society is a joint responsibility, the NHS needs the tax of the rich not just the rest. Beveridge is back.

New normal- It is widely accepted that people are disillusioned with Westminster politics. Trust in politicians is at an all time low and everyone’s calling everyone else apathetic.

New extraordinary- Citizens are organising themselves to achieve the change they want – locally, nationally and globally.

New normal- All big decisions are global in consideration and consequence.

New extraordinary- People define themselves by their planet, not their country.

New normal- There’s a sudden abundance of alternative tools for democracy, and a willingness to try something new.

New extraordinary- Collaboration rules! There are strong partnerships between groups who have different specific aims but the same big vision.

Hurray for humanity! We only gone and started something!