Mal Fletcher

Here at the 2020Plus international Think Tank, we are asking members of the public to contribute to a study on the impact of constant talk of ‘crises’ in the media.  We would value your help.

We believe that the future isn’t primarily shaped by economic forces. The future is a largely a product of human reactions to those forces – reactions that are, to a large degree, influenced by human emotions.

Mal Fletcher, social futurist and chairman of 2020Plus says: 'Every economist knows that the first currency to suffer in recession is the currency of public confidence.  Once confidence is damaged or devalued, it is slow to rebuild.'

'In the past year, as new recessionary forces have threatened to spread worldwide, sections of the news media have presented a near-constant stream of emotive and negative words which speak of new crises and imminent disasters.'

The study, entitled "Bad News?",  is explained on a designated page on this site. Getting involved is easy and we value every person's response highly. 

We're asking people to watch one or more news programmes on the TV or internet and let us know how many times they hear (or see printed on screen) one or more of the following words: crisis, emergency, disaster, disastrous, recession, recessionary, depression, desperate.

We then ask people to report, via twitter (@malfletcher) or email (, citing the name of the news programme(s), the words they tracked and the number of time they heard/saw each word.

The study will end on Sunday October 16.

Damaged public confidence and human emotions are often reflected in seemingly abstract measures of prosperity like GDP. 

People who lack confidence in either themselves or the system will feel a depressive effect and their productivity naturally follows suit. The question is, are the news media – and those whose words they carry – helping or hindering a renewal of public confidence?

To get involved pleaes click here.

To watch the BBC Breakfast interview introducing the study, click here

Mal Fletcher (@MalFletcher) is the founder and chairman of 2030Plus. He is a respected keynote speaker, social commentator and social futurist, author and broadcaster based in London.

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