Why we must make a Big Noise - Benny Higgins

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"Curiosity, optimism and courage" – Benny Higgins writes about why we must make a Big Noise in a challenging world


Our Chairman, Benny Higgins, writes in today's (27 June 2019) Scottish edition of The Times about how Sistema Scotland's Big Noise programme can help Scotland not only deliver on the National Performance Framework, but also prepare our children and young people for a challenging world.


The National Performance Framework (NPF) - which reports on the progress of government in Scotland and now includes areas such as child well-being and happiness - is a potent weapon as we set out to invigorate our economy and nourish the well-being of our nation. The framework is not an entirely novel idea but that in itself is of no particular consequence. As the French filmmaker Jean-Luc Goddard said famously: "It's not where you take things from that matters, it's where you take them to".


But if we could have only one wish would there be a more worthy one than giving every one of our children the spirit to confront their future with curiosity, optimism, and courage? To deliver this we must, of course, fight battles on many fronts. Centre stage stands the challenge of tackling child poverty and its consequences.


Over the next decade and beyond we will confront the teeth of the economic headwinds precipitated by Brexit and by the so-called fourth industrial revolution that will create points of inflexion around the pursuit of carbon neutrality, automation, and an ageing population. Economic history is littered with warnings about how fragile we may be during such fundamental transformation. The inevitable discontinuities will present us with many opportunities as well as challenges. But there will never be a more important time to cling to our ambitions and protect our values around inclusive growth and a fair society.


The Big Noise centres illustrate what is possible when we adopt the essence of the NPF, when we recognise the broad impact of engaging children in learning and culture, and what can be achieved through focus and determination. In the words of Marcus Aurelius from his Meditations: "Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them".



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