RSA Events


Society & Culture

The RSA hosts one of the world’s leading public events programmes, delivering over 100 lectures, talks, screenings and debates a year. These events provide a platform for our most exciting public thinkers, and encourage intelligent exploration of today’s most urgent social challenges. Our public programme welcomes speakers from across the world and across disciplines – all united by a belief in the power of ideas to inspire and motivate social change. All of the audio files are recordings of talks in our public events programme.


Why Policy Fails – and How it Might Succeed

September 13th, 2016

Episode 436 of 494 episodes

Why do some policies succeed in bringing about widespread social change, but others founder? In his annual RSA Chief Executive’s Lecture, Matthew Taylor examines the relationship between policy-making and social change. What distinguishes successful policy changes - for example, the smoking ban - from other ideas that seemed to have everything in their favour at the outset, and yet ultimately failed to deliver? Is there a key to truly impactful policy creation and implementation? Or, to meet the scale and urgency of the challenges we’re currently facing, do we need to start thinking differently about how change happens - looking beyond policy to nothing less than a new paradigm for society and social progress?

Featured Podcast