Be careful what you ask for

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On Monday I asked what it was that readers thought I should be writing about as the relatively quiet weeks of summer stretch before me. So far there have been over 80 comments, and the thread is not closed as yet. Other have emailed me, sometimes at length, and I am not complaining.

Every time I have said 'noted' in reply to a comment I literally mean that. I plan a great deal of what I do and write using mind maps. For the tech minded, I use iThoughtsx for this purpose, which is relatively cheap for software of this type, excellent in use, but only available on Macs. And what is developing is a plan for new writing that is deliberately intended to address the issues that people seem concerned about.

The aim is, at the same time, to have some sort of order to this so that what is written will in turn be capable of assembly into another ebook like 'Money for nothing and my Tweets for free' (or maybe, even, a real one) that answers the host of questions that people obviously have about the economy that we live in and share, but whose workings remain a mystery to most.

It so happens I have some freedom in deciding what I am going to be doing over the next year or two. To summarise my current work commitments, there are five.

First, I am engaged on a project for about a day a week with Copenhagen Business School over the next four years. This is called 'Time Mirror' and is about developing sustainable cost accounting.

Second, I am, one day a week, Professor of Accounting at Sheffield University Management School. Sheffield has now confirmed that they wish me to focus on research work around auditing, accounting and tax and that I will only be doing occasional lectures, rather than being responsible for teaching a course. The aim is to create impact case studies for them targeted on the next research review date, which is in 2028. I have such a case study in the 2021 REF (as it is called) for City, University of London.

Third, I am working through the Corporate Accountability Network on a project funded by Luminate working on audit reform. As it turns out, most of this is in partnership with Sheffield colleagues. The project runs until next March, although the focus has been quite heavily on making submissions to the UK audit reform consultation, which is now closed. Two lengthy submissions have been made.

And fourth, I have just secured funding from the Polden Puckham Charitable Trust through Finance for the Future LLP, which is a partnership between me and fellow Green New Deal Group member Colin Hines, to work on the promotion of new funding sources for the GND, which will include building on the narratives created on this blog. This last for three years, and is worth £10,000 a year.

Finally, there is the blog, where donations are still welcomed.

The reality is that I know that this leaves me with maybe two days a week from the end of the year available to develop the type of writing to which I referred in my blog post on Monday, and that is now what I would really like to work on. If funding is available, that would be good because it always helps to be able to partner with editors, designers and others to add focus to projects: getting messaging right takes time and is fundamental to change. Ensuring that the work informs others is also vital: I want to use this thinking to empower other campaigns to think that the means of funding that they want for the projects that they think desirable is achievable despite the prevailing government narrative that 'there is no money' that is going to be heard so often over coming years.

So, all those comments are useful. And, with luck, this should result in more blogs, Twitter threads (which are the most powerful outreach mechanism I have right now) and publications. That's the hope - and the responses that request I made is getting are helping shape that work. So, thank you.

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