In August Elizabeth Murdoch gave the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival. She talked compellingly about values and purpose, something very close to the heart of all of us here at Make Happy. She also threw down a challenge to government and business, arguing that success based solely on money is inherently dangerous and often leads to bad behaviour.

Here are a couple of quotes which particularly resonated with me. The full text of her speech is available here (

“Personally, I believe one of the biggest lessons of the past year has been the need for any organisation to discuss, affirm and institutionalise a rigorous set of values based on an explicit statement of purpose.”

“We need to learn how to be comfortable with articulating purpose and reject the idea that money is the only effective measure of all things or that the free market is the only sorting mechanism.  Do we have such faith in the imperatives of the market that we need have no will of our own other than to succeed on its terms?  It’s us, human beings, we the people, who create the society we want, not profit.  It is increasingly apparent that the absence of purpose – or of a moral language – within government, media or business, could become one of the most dangerous own goals for capitalism and for freedom.”