Behind The Scenes: Raising The Nation

Literature, Interviews, Books & Debate, Books & Debate

Meet Paul Lindley, the award-winning social campaigner and bestselling author determined to inspire a brighter future for our children.

‘Kindness is a costless, unlimited and universal resource that our society has largely failed to harness’ – Paul Lindley OBE

Paul Lindley OBE has been campaigning for children’s welfare for many years. He’s the best-selling author of Little Wins and the founder of award-winning organic baby food brand Ella’s Kitchen.

He’ll be at Brighton Festival, Thu 23 May, to share his new book Raising the Nation: How to Build a Better Future for our Children.

We spoke to Paul to find out more…

Your first book, Little Wins, encouraged people to ‘think like a toddler’. How does this benefit us as adults?  

I think children are the more perfect human beings because they naturally exude ideas, curiosity and kindness. With this mindset they see the world with a fresh perspective, and the possibilities that arise from this are limitless. Adults should embrace (or re-embrace) this perspective.

What was the motivation behind your new book, Raising the Nation?

As Nelson Mandela says, ‘there can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats its children’. Today, the childhood experience has been revolutionised by unprecedented new challenges, yet society has failed to adequately respond.

I want to stimulate a conversation about what success looks like for a society and explore how we can implement child-led policies to collectively build a better future for all.

One of your specific goals is to create a kinder society - why is this important?

I’m amazed that our education system and national curriculum have no goals to learn about or master relationships, yet an ability to successfully cultivate them is key to a thriving life.

Raising the Nation shares numerous, specific ideas to develop a culture of kindness, inclusion, wellbeing, and experience of positive relationships for children, within the framework of a National Children’s Service.

Tell us more about your idea of a National Children’s Service.

My National Children’s Service would deliver the holistic, whole systems approach currently missing from public policy. It would restructure responsibilities away from siloed departments of state and deliver a suite of publicly funded services that ensure that every child’s well-being, welfare, agency and opportunities are maximised.

Your book features essays from fascinating range of people, from a prime minister to a pop star. How did you choose who to include?  

The 68 thinkers, creators, activists, artists and agitators featured in the book range from those in positions of power to those completely without it, including those with the lived experience of being buffeted through childhood with no agency.

I’m an absolute believer that ‘we’ is more powerful than ‘I’ and, in problem solving, the more diverse ‘we’ is the better the solution found will be.


Hear more from Paul Lindley at Raising the Nation, Thu 23 May 7.30pm (Brighton Girls)