Ears pricked when i heard the mention of - wait for it - the UN Millenium Summit and the 8 UN Millenium Development Goals, being introduced on Newsnight about half an hour ago.
Having spent many hours stewing over the brief for the Millenium Promise Competition on this here site and researching into the cause I couldn't help but listen intently to the piece.
For those of you unacquainted with Scottish media, Newsnight Scotland, that replaces the final 20 minutes of the london-centric Newsnight for Scottish viewers, is a BBC news analysis prgoramme in which, through ruthless interviewing styles, viewers can learn more about current issues within the country as well as international affairs relating to devolved Scotland.
Don't let the diminutive size of this land fool you. These people love their politics - well, not so much the voting part. Small it might be but, as with countless other small nations, patriotism runs high and with nationalists now in power some consider we have triggered a chain of events that will lead to independance from the UK.
Small nations love to feel important. Its understandable. The G8 Summit in Gleneagles has affirmed this and rightfully so. The Scottish people cling to this as anything that panders to this need - kind of like England's determination that it has a world class football side becuase of its World Cup victory in 1966. Nine out of ten of the Scottish National Party's core support will, when debating the Union (with England that is) will refer to battles from the last millenium for evidence.
So...there was a meeting in Scotland today by some officials concerned with the Scottish contribution to the achievement of the 8 Millenium Development Goals. The Newsnight Scotland report was short and to the point and confirmed all the conclusions i had drawn from my thinking for the competition.
The programme, despite being aimed at politically sensitive intellectual types, could not avoid a slow introduction - having to recap on what the fact that the UN millenium summit actually happened and that 8 goals were made etc. etc.
What shoked me here was that knowledge of the MDGs seems lower than I first thought if Newsnight, that usually operates with a connoisseurial narrative, has to fill the viewers in from the start.
We can be certain that this is something the Millenium Promise have identified and are goin about rectifying - the competition being proof. But why is this the case.
It seems to me as an innocent bystander and someone who also knew nothing about the MDGs etc. before the Design21 competition that it all reeks of international politics, and that appears to be a big turnoff.
I'd offer the feeling of disinterest, embodied by the general lack of related knowlege, to the European Union as another example. It seems that the more global the politics gets the more removed it is from the average family in the developed world. When we get to the UN and international politics something seems so distant about it all. I personally find it fascinating but i, on reflection, have never considered i can impact on any of it.
AND what makes it all worse is the fact that these political promises and initiatives dont seem to be working.
To cut an already long story (a little) short(er) I'll try and get to the point. i'm relatively new to Design 21 but have been trauling through the archives and subsequently gathering my thoughts for the MPromise competition. As with any attempt at philosophising we are only left with more questions so here it is
Can design be "action", where politics is "words".