The big challenge: Reimagining the existing economic model

thumbnail_The big challenge_ Reimagining the existing economic model

FWN-FES Economic Conference
Saturday 22 April 2017
11am – 4pm
UNISON, 130 Euston Road, London, NW1 2AY
@Fabianwomen #econfuture @FES_GB


In the past year, Fabian Women’s Network (FWN) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) have been working in partnership on the challenges the progressive movement is facing.

We’re now bringing together high profile experts and policy specialists from several industries under one roof for a free conference on the economy to encourage the formulation of new policies and approaches that can drive the renewal of innovative economic thinking.

Why are we doing this? 

There is no doubt that in the post-2008 era countries in Europe and across the world need to rethink the current economic model to ensure working people are rewarded more fairly.

We are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – with major shifts in technology such as automation, artificial intelligence, and the rise of civic and sharing platforms reshaping work and the labour market as we know it. Today’s labour markets worldwide face growing fragmentation – the rise of the gig economy and zero hour contracts offering flexibility at a cost at both the individual and at the macro-economic level.

Globally, the resurgence of nationalism and populism marks the beginning of a more protectionist era – not just economically but also politically. Brexit also means we are experiencing unprecedented economic uncertainty.

It is clear economics cannot be separated from difficult political choices, and an inclusive debate is needed to help determine what kind of an economy we want post-Brexit.

Now is the time to contribute to the debate to help create a UK society and economy that truly works in the interests of the many, not the few.

The aim of this conference is to discuss the above issues and encourage the formulation of new policies and approaches that can drive the renewal of innovative economic thinking on the left.


10.30 – Registration and Coffee

11.00 – Keynote speeches 
Seema Malhotra MP & Mary Honeyball MEP

11.30 – The scale of the challenge: panel discussion
Sam Smethers, Chief Executive, Fawcett Society (Chair)

The New Economy: Participation, Democracy and Innovation
Rowan Conway, Director of Innovation and Development, RSA
Faiza Shaheen, Director, Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS)

How to address the remaining gender gaps in our economies
Christina Boll, Research Director, Hamburg Institute of International Economics

How do we avoid Brexit being used as an excuse?
Fiona Twycross, London Assembly Labour Group Spokesperson on the Economy

12.30 – Lunch

13.30 – Breakout sessions

Cities vs non urban areas: who owns the future?
Tackling in-work poverty
Technology driving a more flexible and inclusive workforce
Creating innovation: How should the public and private sector work together?

Contributors include

Rebecca McDonald, Analyst, Centre for Cities
Anna Round, Senior Research Fellow, IPPR North
Carole Easton, Chief Executive, Young Women’s Trust
Seyi Akiwowo, Speaker and Councillor, Newham Forest Gate
Glenys Thornton, CEO, The Young Foundation
Tabitha Goldstaub, Co-Founder, CognitionX

14.30 – A new industrial strategy: panel discussion 
Sarah Sackman, Public and Environmental Lawyer & Member of FWN Executive  (Chair)

Investing in social infrastructure for a stronger, more equal economy
Susan Himmelweit, Emeritus Profressor of Economics, Open University

Energy transition and local government
Polly Billington, Director, UK100

The role of trade unions and women’s economic empowerment
Gloria Mills, Senior Equalities Officer Unsion & President of the ETUC’s Women’s Committee

The future of work: Global supply chains and the objectives of industrial policy
Annajoy David, Business woman and former Director UK Centre of Nuclear Excellence

16.00 – End

Register now to reserve a free ticket


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