Higginson Strategy: Why we’re supporting Top Thinkers 2024

January 05, 2024
© Commission Air / Alamy Stock Photo
© Commission Air / Alamy Stock Photo

In 1945 George Orwell wrote Animal Farm. In it he warned of the dangers of unthinkingly adhering to reductive messages: “Four legs good, two legs bad.” Four years later in his seminal novel 1984 he portended how people could be kept in check by punishing ‘thought crimes’. At no point in the 74 years since have those two messages been more relevant than today.

Advocates of cancel culture believe that by punishing those who express views they don’t agree with they are stopping their spread. The rise of the far right across Europe shows it is having the opposite effect. Rotten ideas spread in the dark and perish under the sunlight of scrutiny. But ‘left wing good; right wing bad,’ is no more true than if the statement is reversed. There are compassionate, intelligent people on both sides of the political spectrum. When people feel attacked, humiliated or silenced they look for the evidence that backs their argument. They dig in. Their minds close to new ideas. They seek comfort in their tribe. This is no way to find and enact the solutions to the profound challenges facing our planet today.

Rotten ideas spread in the dark and perish under the sunlight of scrutiny

If we do the opposite—if we listen to people’s fears and hopes and discuss both with open minds—we not only reach better solutions ourselves but bring others with us. Today’s challenges are deep and profound and they require deep and profound thought. By raising the profile of those thinking deeply about our biggest problems we can land on solutions that make the world a better place for everyone. That is why we are honoured to be supporting this year’s Top Thinkers.

To find out more visit: higginsonstrategy.com