What One Change?

I have a question for you. It’s the question behind the purpose of this blog.

What ONE change would have the biggest positive impact on our society?

Here are some pointers:

  1. Firstly… think big! This is about root causes – big ideas that change society.
  2. You don’t have to know how to implement your idea – this is about the what, not the how.
  3. Do explain why it will work. What are the social mechanisms at play?
  4. Please – no whingeing! This is about positive change, so please… be positive!

So now it’s over to you. What one change would you make? Do you support the evidence about income equality, or perhaps it’s about our approach to happiness? Maybe the biggest change will only come from a new social economic theory? Whatever you think really drives social behaviour, whatever you think the root causes of our social issues might be, please share your ideas.

Layard – happiness

Matt Chocqueel-Mangan

Digital producer, agile practitioner, scrum master. Pursuing sustainable democracy and social change.


  1. Steve McAdam   •  

    Tackle the exploding population of our tiny planet which, if not checked, will see worldwide starvation on an unimaginable scale in 100 years time, not to mention the increasing divide between the rich and poor as food, water, land & energy resources become increasingly rare, expensive & luxurious.

    Personally, I’d recommend a worldwide ban on any more than 1 child per couple, like the chinese did, for the next 100 years… and maybe shoot a few hundred thousand bankers.

  2. Gavin Foad   •  

    Education needs to be radically changed. Instead of teaching facts and figures that can be tested every couple of months, people need to be taught life skills. We need to learn how to think, not what to think. I think this needs to include some form of ethical education, political understanding, social skills and useful sex education (beyond the basic mechanics – i.e. relationships).
    This is because I feel there is a lack of respect between people leading to crime, declining social cohesion and little future for many individuals. By educating people properly they can interact better and hopefully improve the general standard of living.

  3. Paul the Red   •  

    My one change (outside a socialist revolution) would be either:

    1. A Maximum Wage starting at 10 (being the maximum) to 1 (being the minimum) This will ensure that the richest will have their income reeled in (after all the gap between rich and poor is the highest it has ever been) and given the research gone into this, it is shown that wealth disparity creates not just an unequal society but a sick society. I would then want it scaled down over a decade to 5 to 1.

    2. Alternatively, and as a democratic socialist I would like to see a new workers party to the left of labour created. This would have a massive impact in radically altering not just the policy vacuum, but also raise the sights of ordinary people to become involved in politics.

    The Green party whilst trying to position themselves left – have on many occasion not acted so – look at the Greens in Ireland part of a coalition that made massive cuts.

  4. MuddyWitch   •  

    Photovoltaic cells should be attached to every public building with a suitable roof/wall etc. This would be FAR cheaper than building even one nuclear power station, produce truly green energy, provide jobs both in manufacturing as well as installation, save the govt huge amounts of cash in the long term, provide power security, (solar panels aren’t controlled by the whims of foreign governments in the way that our gas now is),be ‘on stream’ far quicker than any other ‘new power station’ could be, thus closing the ‘energy gap.

    Downside? This wouldn’t be able to be used to kill people!

    Cynical? MOI????? 🙂

  5. Boutros   •  

    One Change? I suggest the UK renounce its permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

    This cost free action would have a cascade effect. It is accepted that as a permanent member Britain has obligations as well as influence. I suggest the influence is illusory at best whist the obligations and their associated costs are all too real.

    Apart from providing a stage to strut for the small cadre of diplomats and political types, can you think of a single instance within the last fifty years where the UK’s anachronistic role on the Security Council has been of quantifiable benefit to we ordinary tax paying mortals?

    Against that, the cost of maintaining armed forces of an otherwise disproportionate size, not to mention a nuclear capability we would never deploy, are clear too us all. These are however the necessary underpinnings of our diplomatic positioning, the trappings of world power, which, in case you haven’t noticed, we no longer are in any other respect.

    We are supposed to be proud of Britain’s ability to punch above its weight; well in my experience people who try to punch above their weight tend get into more than their fair share of fights and consequently get beaten up on a regular basis. I suggest we have made far more enemies than friends by our diplomatic positioning, not just amongst states but more importantly these days, amongst their populations, requiring us to live under, and pay for, a security regime which would not be out of place in a country at war – which again, in case you haven’t noticed, we are.

    Just think of the goodwill and if you like the ‘soft power’ that we would generate from renouncing this old thinking and taking a more realistic position in the world. Perhaps even gradually re-deploying the undoubted world class organisational and logistical skills of our armed forces towards purely humanitarian ends. Now there’s world influence for you. And as for the Treasury? It’s all their Christmases come at once.

  6. Olivia Sprinkel   •  

    Sitting still, with eyes closed, for 10 or 20 minutes, twice a day. Meditating.

    Simple. But profound.

    If we all took the time to be present to our thoughts, and to ourselves – what a change this would make.

    The research is there to prove the results – in organisations from schools to prisons to workplaces; in the mental and physiological wellbeing of meditators; in the creativity of those that give their mind the space to make connections.

    The change that we need in society is profound. So profound that it needs to start with ourselves.

  7. infannity   •  

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot ever since I first saw it.
    For me, the biggest positive changes would arise from the global adoption of CANDOUR. (I’m mindful of the ambiguity of “‘our’ society” there.)

  8. Matt Chocqueel-Mangan   •     Author

    @infannity Thanks. Would be great to also know your thoughts on why this would work.

  9. Pat Edlin   •  

    Number One Change

    7% of the world’s population control 93% of its wealth so is this fair? So for me the issue of Income Inequality is the biggest and the first thing that must be addressed if change if change is to be meaningful.

    People’s happiness would be much improved if there were a fairer share of the ‘profit motive’ cake. Happiness to many, over half the world, would be to be taken out of poverty, with a decent means to support themselves e.g. Clean Water, Shelter, Food, [ability to produce] and with that Education, Medication Transportation means of production new technology etc that would follow on naturally.

    The success of the current American system is the proposition that anyone could be a winner if they only buy into the ‘American Dream’. And the ‘American Dream’ is deeply believed as being open to all. The greatest weakness of the American system is that mathematically the dream cannot work. Though the sales-pitch of the system sells this dream hard as its gets many to buy into it whilst it forgets to tell you the down side. It doesn’t work and only increases poverty and starvation for others as greed is manipulated as its passed off as Hope.

    Money is said to be the root of all-evil so is issue of income equality that can breed opportunity?

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