Couped Up

While not quite the coup some people claim, prorogation is certainly a tactic to stop Parliament ruling out a no-deal Brexit. Parliamentarians in opposition to no-deal still think it can be thwarted, although if it's true that Number 10 is considering wacky measures such as creating new bank holidays, in a matter of weeks we may be close to something more like a constitutional crisis.

Boris Johnson is taking a huge gamble. Though he's the one rolling the dice the man trying to load them is the Rasputin-like figure of Dominic Cummings. If you only read one thing about him, make it this article by Tom Chivers. In essence, Chivers thinks Cummings is aping something akin to Nixon's Madman Theory of international relations in the hope that being seen as uncompromising and erratic forces your opponent to compromise.

Chivers explains that this approach is only credibly when both sides have a lot to lose (like the US and Soviet Union). In the case of Brexit: "There are worse outcomes for the EU, such as other countries seeing that they blinked first and trying similar strategies to get favourable deals from them. It may be that no-deal is the least bad option available for them if Britain commits to it."

The worry is that "Cummings isn’t playing some clever John von Neumannesquegame, but driving his Fiat down the rails and expecting a train to swerve."

Public Knowledge
PUBLIC is a great organisation that helps startups solve public problems, and it has a report out on how new technologies will shape the future of the UK's geospatial sector. The Future Technologies Review will be of interest to anyone in technologies such as artificial intelligence, drones and Internet of Things.

One of the main reasons I love my job is that I get to meet some really smart people. Whether it's my colleagues, entrepreneurs, academics, experts, or even the odd politician, a lot of my life involves learning from people who are the best in the world at what they do.

But like everyone, I suffer from too much information, which is why I rely on a network of brilliant people to point me in the right direction. This e-bulletin is an attempt to distill some of this information.

However, I think we are missing a trick. That's why we are starting another e-bulletin that will simply consist of three brilliant people giving you a paragraph telling you the best thing that they've recently read and why. The contributors will rotate every week and the subject matter will broadly focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and ground-breaking ideas across all the sciences. I hope some of you will want to contribute.

It's an experiment – even its name is a work in progress. Sign up to our Innovation Update – the pithy Tuesday update from three smart people about what you should be reading – here

This will be our fifth e-bulletin (thankfully they don't all go every week!). The other e-bulletins we have are:

  • Policy Updates – An ad hoc update of policy changes that will impact you business –Sign Up Here

  • APPG for Entrepreneurship Digest – A monthly roundup of Parliamentary debate and activities related to entrepreneurship (only sent when Parliament is sitting) Sign Up Here

  • Female Founders Forum – A quarterly update about what's going on for Female Founders – Sign Up Here

Part of the reason for producing so many e-bulletins is to save you time. If you're mostly interested in how policy changes will impact your business on a very practical basis, subscribe to the Policy Updates and unsubscribe from everything else. However, if politics is your gig, the APPG Digest might be the most relevant.

Read the full e-bulletin here, and subscribe here.