Raven, J., University of Edinburgh, UK
Research summarised in the author's The New Wealth of Nations reveals that, if we are to survive as a species, we urgently need to introduce societal learning and management arrangements which will make it possible to act on information in an innovative way to promote the long term public interest. Among other things, this involves enacting - on a societal basis - the findings of such researchers as Rosabeth Kanter and Donald Schon who have studied innovative organisations, and others, like Gareth Morgan, who have studied the operation of social systems. To do this we will need tools to identify the diverse contributions which people can make to climates of innovation, to find out whether public servants have been able to create pervasive climates of innovation in which people act on information, monitor the results for the systems lessons to be learned, and change their behaviour accordingly, and tools to enable people to take stock of the climate for innovation in their society, ask themselves whether they like the look of what they see, and set about introducing desired changes. The research which has led to these observations will be summarised and the new assessment procedures that have been based upon them will be described. Measurement psychologists have a crucial role to play in creating the conditions required for the survival of our species. It remains to embrace that role in appropriate ways.