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The dumbsteeple monument

A planned web site/forum on issues affecting the workplace today.

The Dumb Steeple is a stone monument in the North of England. It is unmarked and its origins are unknown but it was used as a meeting point for people concerned about the future of work. These people were Luddites – skilled artisans, fearful that technological innovation would destroy their livelihoods. Mechanisation and new ways of working did indeed create a watershed in the way people lived and worked but not without hardship and dissent, often seated in ignorance.

Today’s information technologies have created the potential for a mixed marketplace featuring new ways of working and a return for some to artisan-style transactions between suppliers and customers. Some of these developments, aided by the internet, are forcing ever greater efficiencies among large businesses struggling to sustain their models of scaled-up employment which proved so successful when factory-based industrialisation favoured the concentration of production and wealth.

For the first time in its history, big business is faced with accounting for its employment policies in the same way that it has accounted for its assets and expenditure. This is because employment has become the biggest overhead in many companies. Shareholders and owners need to know whether this overhead is being managed sensibly. These forces of change have implications for everyone.

Dumb Steeple will be designed as both a resource and a forum for large companies and independent employees attempting to understand the changing relationship between work and business. Its role will be that of a clearing house for ideas to promote a greater understanding of the way we live and work. The Dumb Steeple was a silent witness at the flashpoint of the greatest social revolution the world has known. It is vital as a society that we make ourselves aware of today’s changes so that technology can be viewed as transformational rather than disruptive. Organisations interested in sponsoring this site can reach me through my contact details.

©2006 Richard Donkin - all rights reserved