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On the Ball…..! – A Focus on Fun points the way towards popular public engagement

A few days ago, one of the more popular Radio Stations invited a Church of England Vicar to talk about the special prayer he had published. In essence this was an appeal to the Almighty (or, to reflect our multiculturalisms, one of the Almighties) to assist the England team in their quest to win the World Cup.

Once upon a time, such an item would have struggled for space on the BBC but in these days of rolling 24-hour news and current affairs, this was an angle fully deserving of an airing. Afterwards, the presenter asked the Vicar why he had gone to the trouble. Predictably the answer was This is the way we can engage with young people! There followed a fascinating discussion on the wall-to-wall media coverage of the football-fest in Germany; on the good and bad points of the football culture, and on the cult of soccer celebrities and the influence they have on young people.


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About the Author

Rhion Jones is considered a leading authority on Public Engagement and Consultation. A founding Director of the Consultation Institute, he is co-author of “The Art of Consultation” (2009) and “The Politics of Consultation” (2018). He has delivered over 500 training courses and Masterclasses and is a prolific writer on the subject, having written over 350 different Topic papers and over 50 full Briefing Papers for the Institute. Since 2003 over 15,000 person-days of training based on courses he invented have been delivered. Rhion is in demand as an entertaining Keynote Speaker and Special Adviser, particularly on the Law of Consultation, and its implications for Government and other Public Bodies. In 2017, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

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