Welcome to The Slow Lane
After 20 years of travelling the world, telling people how to fix problems faster, I invite you to The Slow Lane, my small publishing experiment. Each week, The Slow Lane will give you a bite-sized story about truly transformative change.
Let me take a moment to explain.
A lot of things happen really fast around us. Amazon delivers in a day. Many of the apps we use give us instant gratification. New solutions come seemingly out of nowhere, and within a few years they are everywhere. The secret behind this speed is that they avoid anything that slows them down. This is the way of the Fast Lane. But the hype, personified in the ‘heropreneurs’ of our age, is misleading us to believe that there are quick fixes for everything. The truth is, that whenever our leaders in government and business rush to answers, they deepen our divides. By moving fast, we keep losing the long game of transformative change.
People have known the perils of rushing to action for thousands of years. Philosophers, religions and folktales caution us to go it slow. I myself have ignored their advice and spent the last 20 years travelling the world telling people how to fix problems faster! But the reality I encountered taught me something else entirely: The quickest way to really change the world is to slow down and listen.
An insight a week to build a big idea: I am writing The Slow Lane to offer insights to seasoned professionals — as well as my teenage daughters. It is written in small installments that will take about 5 minutes to read. Each installment covers a well-researched story or an insight to extract truly meaningful lessons from some of the most sophisticated movements and leaders for social change around the world. Taken together, The Slow Lane will give you insights you need to find your place in a world of change.
The Slow Lane is a small publishing experiment. It started out as a book project as part of my Fellowship at New America, but I soon realized that I wanted to invite people to share my journey of discovery. So instead of pitching a book, I am inviting you to participate in it, through a weekly newsletter — loosely structured like the chapters and sections of the book. Whether you hope to make a difference at home, work or in your community — The Slow Lane is for you.
A preview of the topics that The Slow Lane will cover:
- Audacious Social Imagination
- The Art of Listening
- Facing Painful Setbacks (the Zombies)
- Healing Democracy
- Scale: Grappling with the Verb and the Noun
- The App — What Slow Lane Technology looks Like
- Applying the Five Slow Lane Principles to your Life, Work, Activism
The first installment of The Slow Lane is called “Preamble: Enlightenment on The Cally”. You will join me as I visit a notorious prison in London during the peak of government austerity measures following the financial crisis. On that day, Kevin Reilly, the prison governor, took a truly audacious measure, a first in the prison’s 170 year history:
He listened to the prisoners.