Culture and communication
Trust me, I'm a philosopher
“A lot of the time, there’s a perception that philosophy is too abstract to be of any use in the ‘real world’,” says Professor Jonathan Tallant.
But his work has proved this theory wrong.
He has advised a wealth of local businesses, charities and the public sector, helping to inform the way they communicate with the public.
Professor Tallant said: “One of the great things about working with such a range of groups has been finding out just how much impact philosophy can have on people’s lives and the way that they do their jobs.”
Professor Tallant is heavily involved in work around the concept of trust.
In business, trust is widely recognised as a key driver of commerce and a powerful means of improving productivity, and Professor Tallant’s research has seen him work with companies across the East Midlands on how to communicate and build trust with clients.
He has also advised local charities the Renewal Trust and Nottingham Community Voluntary Services (NCVS), with a focus on driving up trust in the organisations, as well as working with the health system in Nottingham. The Government’s Long Term Plan for the NHS set out the ambition to develop Integrated Care Systems across the country – with Nottinghamshire becoming one of the first. These changes will see systems that have previously worked very separately come together to improve the care delivered to patients, but there are many organisation hurdles to overcome, as well as patient perceptions.
"One of the great things about (my work) has been finding out just how much impact philosophy can have on people’s lives and the way that they do their jobs."
Professor Tallant helped to create survey questions which will aid the new organisation to determine the areas it prioritises, as well as working with its communications team to ensure the public engage with and trust their materials.
The work carried out with these organisations has spurred further collaborative work on the nature of trust, including ‘Empirical Reflections on Trust in Groups’, produced with Dr Sareh Pouryousefi at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Canada.
Jonathan Tallant is a professor in the Department of Philosophy and a member of the Centre for Social Philosophy.