Shifting Opinions

A photo by Annie Spratt.

Photograph by Annie Spratt

I have a lot of opinions. I mean seriously if you have a couple of hours – okay more like a couple of spare days – then hit me up on anything to do with politics, feminism, the UK education system, global warming, lack of education/understanding/communication on most issues, diversity in the events industry (or shall we just talk about the lack of diversity in EVERY industry). I am more than happy to have a conversation on all of these and MANY many more!

Yet I know that none of my opinions on these topics are set in stone.

My opinions develop and change as I grow up, experience more things, meet different people, and when I get challenged by others who counter my facts with their own.

The last post I wrote on here was about Brexit & the Events Industry. Whilst we are unlikely to know how Brexit will effects jobs till next year when Article 50 will be triggered by March 2017 – I have had some conversations in the past few months that have made me reconsider my personal view points on this topic. Or at least have opened my eyes to a new way of looking at the topic.

So here is a post where I retract/explain how some of my opinions have moved on and why.

I voted remain.

A vote I think I would give again if the chance came up. However I attended Future Fest a few weekends ago & sat in on a debate that looked at the Future of Europe; this conversation, filled with experts, brought to my attention many things I wasn’t previously aware of.

That it is not just the UK who have bad feelings about the EU. In fact many Eastern European countries don’t feel listened too, they feel left alone on dealing with the Migrant crisis, the debt crisis + other issues. And before Brexit the whole conversation was about Grexit – and where Greece would go.

This made me realise that I actually don’t know much about the EU, my knowledge and understanding on European politics is distinctly lacking & to really have an opinion I need to know more. How can I really call out people who voted to leave when I don’t know anything about how the European Union actually functions?!

Of course it’s going to effect our industry, when people have the choice of where to hold their event are they really going to pick a destination that has decided to segregate themselves & basically say ‘you’re not welcome’?

The above point is one I want to retract. I made a very judgmental point that grouped together the 52% who voted to leave, took myself out of the equation and basically said I am not part of the problem.

But the thing is I am.

We as citizens have a responsibility to listen to all views, 52% of the country feel that the best opportunity is for the UK to leave the EU. That means we – you & I – have a duty to understand why people voted this way and address those issues, fix them & help create a country we’re all proud of. It was at Future Fest where I learnt that many people’s reasoning for voting to leave stems from them feeling like they have no control with what happens in their local community. Rather it is the bigger cities such as Liverpool, London and Glasgow – the majority of who voted to remain – who have seen value and gained from being part of the EU.

I don’t agree with the Brexit vote, but I would rather make the best of this situation by understanding more about why people voted this way and helping to craft a country and community that I am proud of. I feel it is a chance for us to be part of something the will come to shape the UK for many generations. Might as well make it count, right?!

There are a lot of things that might not look like they have a direct relevance to the events industry, or to gaining a degree in events management. But knowing more about the world, understanding people & how they think and behave, will ultimately allow you to create the best events that answer a need.

So with the new academic year just starting I would urge you to continue to pay attention to those areas outside of the events industry, and don’t be afraid to admit when some of your previous opinions have changed!