James Belchamber

Using Discord to bring the STEMM community together

In January ALDES partnered with justLiberals, a blog and community, to further one of ALDES three aims: "To create a good fellowship amongst the STEMM community within the Party, and develop a better understanding between said communities and politicians". We started inviting ALDES members to their "Discord" - essentially, a group of chat rooms - and we've been using their platform to bring together Liberals that care about Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine.

Six months later I am excited to report on both our successes and the lessons we learned along the way.

Read More

In a previous article I was scathing about this government's approach to education - a regressive insistence on churning out compliant automatons while employers demand creative, self-directed and specialised workers. But in their approach is a logic - that learners all need to be calibrated to a common criteria. This plays out in a national curriculum - literally, everyone learning the same things at the same point in their lives - and comes with the values (uncritical obedience and an unwavering respect for authority) that are required of any system that tries to achieve this.

I no longer believe that should be our goal.

It would not surprise you to know that, as a Liberal, I believe everything starts with - and comes back to - individuals. But education should not just be focused on the individual based on an abstract idea - we need to ground it in the practicalities and intent of education.

So let me convince you of an alternative goal: a much expanded "national curriculum", that every learner progresses through at their own pace and in their own order - and that no one person should ever come close to completing.

Read More
Rob Davidson

We need Climate Freedom, NOW

As a child of the 80's, the environment was constantly on my mind. We had the hole in the Ozone Layer, letting in the sun's rays and giving people cancer. As a Cub Scout, I helped manually crush drinks cans for the apparently new concept of recycling. There was the growing Greenhouse Effect, of course, and in fevered dreams I imagined a mushroom cloud bloom over Chernobyl. Between the Cold War and Climate Change, youthful thoughts about the future were sometimes bleak to say the least.

For the youth of today, things are far worse. Ignore for a moment the looming Cold War with China, Russia and a new wave of 'illiberal democracies' and take a look at the environment. What we once called Global Warming and then called Climate Change is now the Climate Emergency.

School children and other young people are showing signs of 'climate anxiety'. Mental health is suffering because of this crisis. There is some evidence that climate scientists are suffering from 'despair' and feelings of 'hopelessness' and that, surely, cannot be a good sign.

Read More

Quantum computing will complement classical computing—not replace it. And like with all emerging technologies, it’s using them in combination that generates the most value: quantum computing will sit alongside classical computers, to deal with complex algorithms sent via cloud and then back again, ultimately producing new insight.

From my brief conversations with the real experts, quantum conversations need to focus on:

  1. Road-mapping and future potential
  2. the ecosystem
  3. complementing existing technology—not replacing it
  4. outcomes, as always…
Read More

COVID-19 has re-contextualised and accelerated digital transformation initiatives for the majority of businesses. The pandemic has also redefined priorities, barriers, and mindsets within whatever that pre-pandemic definition of transformation was. Businesses are finally recognising digital transformation as a “have-to-have,” not a “nice-to-have.” Businesses are investing heavily in emerging technologies as they become essential for survival. But leaders realise more distinct business value through the combined power of emerging technologies being aligned towards achieving outcomes—versus the less fortunate that remain trapped by “piecemeal” implementations.

Read More