Ben Southwood is a founding editor of Works in Progress. He has been head of research at Create Streets, and head of housing at Policy Exchange, been part of three successful Emergent Ventures grants, and worked as a public sector consultant for KPMG. You can follow him on Twitter here.
Some think of advances in science and technology through the metaphor of low-hanging fruit: we “picked” the easy ones, and the rest will be very difficult. But it may not be the ideas that are getting harder to find – it’s us that are getting worse at finding them.
The housing theory of everything
Western housing shortages do not just prevent many from ever affording their own home. They also drive inequality, climate change, low productivity growth, obesity, and even falling fertility rates.
For a time in recent history, R&D labs seemed to exist in a golden age of innovation and productivity. But this period vanished as swiftly as it came to be. How did it happen, and why did it fade away?