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Elections ought to be a good time to think about the future. After all, they are our chance to pick a government for the next five years, which is about as long-term as political thinking usually gets.

In a close-fought campaign where the main parties are struggling to gain support, political debate in the UK today seems dominated by short-term fears and political point-scoring. And it’s questionable if it has ever happened. Looking back at party manifestos over the last fifty years, we find a strange mixture of hype in the very earliest stages of a new trend, followed by fear and delay as it actually becomes important.

The policy ideas we set out here are an attempt to think about the longer term in six areas that we think are of particular importance. They include how to invest in creativity to meet the rise of the robots, how to make the most of the collaborative economy, and how public services like hospitals and schools should change to meet the needs of the future. We believe the UK needs a richer national conversation about these big challenges, as well as others, from decarbonising the economy to fixing pensions.

We hope these proposals will lead to a wider debate on the policies that Britain needs to face the future.