Meet the speakers
ANN PETTIFOR • AVA VIDAL • DANNY DORLING • DAVID HOWARTH (Events Chair) • DAVID WILLETTS • FAIZA SHAHEEN • FRANCES FOLEY (Events Chair) • GEORGE MONBIOT • GUY STANDING • HELENA KENNEDY • HELEN MARGETTS • HERMANN HAUSER • KATE RAWORTH • LAURIE MACFARLANE • MICHAEL MARMOT • OWEN JONES • RICHARD MURPHY • TAMASIN CAVE • TOBY LLOYD • ZOE WILLIAMS
Director of Prime (Policy Research in Macroeconomics) and fellow of the New Economics Foundation
Ann Pettifor is the author of The Production of Money, (Verso, 2017) and a member of Labour’s Economic Advisory Committee. She was one of a few economists to correctly predict the crisis in her 2006 book The Coming First World Debt Crisis (Palgrave). Ann’s work and writing has concentrated on the international financial architecture, the sovereign debts of the poorest countries, and the rise in sovereign, corporate and private debt in OECD economies. She is well known for her leadership of the organisation Jubilee 2000, which placed the debts of the poorest countries on the global political agenda, and brought about the cancellation of over $100 billion of debt, as well as radical policy changes at national and international levels. Her previous book, “Just Money: how society can break the despotic power of finance” was published by Commonwealth in 2014. She co-authored an essay with Professor Victoria Chick in 2010: “The economic consequences of Mr. Osborne” and in 2008 she co-authored “The Green New Deal”. In 2003 she edited the new economics foundation’s “The Real World Economic Outlook”(Palgrave) with a prescient sub-title: “the legacy of globalisation: debt and deflation”.
Ann spoke on Macro-Economic Policy – 12 October 2017
Ava Vidal is a cool and composed performer with an intriguing past. She became a mother at 18, and spent five years as a prison officer at Pentonville before turning to stand-up, a move inspired by watching Chris Rock. Ava is now a fixture of the stand-up circuit, juggling motherhood with a hectic schedule of club dates and TV appearances, both as a comedian and a commentator. Critically judged as ‘a face of the future’, Ava performs in the UK, America, Canada and Australia, and is an occasional journalist.
Ava Vidal has become a regular presence on television since she turned heads as the BBC New Comedy Awards’ only female finalist in the very first year of her career. She has appeared on Mock the Week, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Comedy Central’s The World Stands Up, Edinburgh and Beyond and C4 reality show Kings of Comedy. Ava was the subject of the documentary From the Top, detailing her background and development as a comedian. As a commentator, Ava has contributed to The Wright Stuff, Daybreak, ITN News and BBC World Have Your Say. She has written for The Independent and The Guardian, and has used racist abuse directed at her as fuel for her acclaimed solo stand-up show.
Ava’s current projects are Empowering Women Through Comedy and a documentary on women’s experiences of sexism and disadvantage called ‘Sketel’. Ava will be hosting ‘Sketel’ live at Frank Collymore Hall (Barbados) at the first ever Caribbean Comedy Festival, 17-19 May, 2018.
Ava spoke on Intersectional Feminism – 22 March 2018
Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford
Danny Dorling is a Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford. He has also worked in Sheffield, Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds and New Zealand, went to university in Newcastle upon Tyne, and grew up in Oxford. He has published over forty books including many atlases and Population Ten Billion in 2013; All That is Solid in 2014; Injustice: Why social inequalities still persist in 2015, A Better Politics: How government can make us happier in 2016; The Equality Effect in 2017 and his latest book is Do we need economic inequality.
Danny spoke on Education – 19 October 2017
David Howarth (Events Chair)
Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Cambridge
David founded and until 2016 directed the University’s MPhil in Public Policy. He has been a Fellow of Clare College Cambridge since 1985. David has also been active in politics both locally and nationally. He served as a city councillor in Cambridge for 17 years, including three years as Leader of the Council. He then became MP for Cambridge for five years until 2010, serving as the Liberal Democrats’ Shadow Secretary of State for Justice. While an MP he also served on the Justice and Environmental Audit select committees and on the Committee on Reform of the House of Commons (the Wright Committee). He retired from frontline politics in 2010 but continues in national public service as a member of the UK Electoral Commission.
David is the principal Chair for all imagine2027 events.
David (the Rt Hon. Lord David Willetts) is the Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation. He served as the Member of Parliament for Havant (1992-2015), as Minister for Universities and Science (2010-2014) and previously worked at HM Treasury and the No. 10 Policy Unit.
David is a visiting Professor at King’s College London, a board member of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a Board member of Surrey Satellites and of the Biotech Growth Trust, Chair of the British Science Association, a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He is a member of the Board of the Crick Institute and a Trustee of the Science Museum. He is an Honorary Fellow of Nuffield College Oxford.
David has written widely on economic and social policy. His book ‘The Pinch’ about fairness between the generations was published in 2010. His latest book “A University Education” is published by Oxford University Press. The Resolution Foundation’s report A new generational contract was published in May 2018.
David spoke on Intergenerational Fairness – 31 May 2018
Director of the Centre of Labour and Social Studies (CLASS)
Dr Faiza Shaheen is Director of CLASS, joining in February 2016. Prior to this, Faiza was Head of Inequality and Sustainable Development at Save the Children UK, where she led on the development of a new global campaign on inequalities in child outcomes, and Senior Researcher on economic inequality at the New Economics Foundation (NEF).
Faiza is an economist, writer, activist and commentator. She is the author of a range of materials and publications covering the most salient social and economic debates of our times, including inequality, austerity, immigration, youth unemployment and social mobility. Faiza is a regular contributor to debates on popular news programmes including Newsnight and Channel 4 News, and has worked with Channel 4 and the BBC to develop documentaries on inequality.
Faiza was born and raised in East London. She has a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from St John’s College, Oxford University, and both an MSc in Research Methods & Statistics and a PhD from the University of Manchester. Her PhD charted the changing geography of poverty between 1971 and 2001 in the UK, and modelled the economic, demographic and societal factors driving these trends.
Faiza spoke on Class and Social Mobility – 8 March 2018
Frances Foley (Events Chair)
National Campaigns and Project Coordinator at Compass
Frances is National Campaigns and Project Coordinator at Compass where she leads on progressive alliance building, events, local groups and research. At the 2017 General Election, Frances acted as Campaigns Manager for the Progressive Alliance campaign, directing volunteers, training local organisers and overseeing alliance-building strategy. The campaign helped forge 42 alliances across the country, resulting in a significant swing towards progressive candidates in marginal seats. It also paved the way for long-term alliances between progressive forces locally, which are still being developed and extended. Before arriving at Compass, Frances was involved in democratic education and political participation projects. She ran Unlock Democracy’s Unlock Magna Carta project, a year-long series of events, workshops and performances to produce a new People’s Charter for the 21st Century.
Frances is Chair for some imagine2027 events, including:
Forum on Action – 28 June 2018, 8:30pm (after Zoe Williams)
Author and Columnist
George Monbiot writes a weekly column for the Guardian and is the author of a number of books, including How Did We Get into this Mess?; Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning; The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order; Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain; and Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea, and Human Life. He recently worked on an album, written with the musician Ewan McLennan, called Breaking the Spell of Loneliness. His most recent book is Out of the Wreckage: A new Politics for an Age of Crisis. (Portrait photo by Dave Stelfox)
George spoke on a new Politics of Belonging – 22 February 2018
Guy Standing is Professorial Research Associate at SOAS University of London, Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences and co-founder, now co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), an NGO promoting basic income. He was previously Professor of Development Studies in SOAS, Professor of Economic Security, University of Bath, Professor of Labour Economics, Monash University, and Director of the Socio-Economic Security Programme of the International Labour Organization. He has been a consultant for many international bodies, including the United Nations, OECD and the World Bank, has worked with the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India for many years, and was Research Director for President Nelson Mandela’s Labour Market Policy Commission. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Cambridge. His recent books include The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (2011), which has been translated into 20 languages; A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens (2014); with others, Basic Income: A Transformative Policy for India (2015); and The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay (2016). His latest book is Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen (2017).
Guy spoke on Basic income – 1 February 2018
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC
Helena Kennedy is a leading barrister and an expert in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issues. She is a member of the House of Lords and chair of Justice – the British arm of the International Commission of Jurists (Justice website). She is a bencher of Gray’s Inn and President of the School of Oriental and African studies, University of London. She was the chair of Charter 88 from 1992 to 1997, the Human Genetics Commission from 1998 to 2007 and the British Council from 1998 to 2004. She also chaired the Power Inquiry, which reported on the state of British democracy and produced the Power Report in 2006. She has received honours for her work on human rights from the governments of France and Italy and has been awarded more than thirty honorary doctorates.
In Helena’s practice of law as a barrister – she is a member of the Doughty Street Chambers in London – she has acted in many of the most prominent cases of the last 30 years including the Brighton Bombing, the Michael Bettany espionage trial, the Guildford Four appeal and the bombing of the Israeli embassy. She has also acted in many homicide trials with a domestic setting. She was the British member of the recent International Bar Association Task Force on Terrorism. She recently chaired an inquiry for the Royal College of Pathologists and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health into sudden infant death, in the aftermath of miscarriages of justice where mothers were wrongly convicted of murdering their babies. As a life peer she also participates in the House of Lords on issues concerned with human rights, civil liberties, social justice and culture. She has led the opposition to encroachments on the right to jury trial and for her courageous stand against the government was awarded the Spectator’s Parliamentary Campaigner of the Year Award in 2000.
Helena speaks on Access to Justice – scheduled for mid-late 2018
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Director of the OII, and Professor of Society and the Internet
Helen is a political scientist specialising in digital era governance and politics, investigating political behaviour and political institutions in the age of the internet, social media and big data. She has published over a hundred books, articles and major research reports in this area, including Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action (with Peter John, Scott Hale and Taha Yasseri, 2015); Paradoxes of Modernization (with Perri 6 and Christopher Hood, 2010); Digital Era Governance(with Patrick Dunleavy, 2006); and The Tools of Government in the Digital Age (with Christopher Hood, 2007). In 2003 she and Patrick Dunleavy won the ‘Political Scientists Making a Difference’ award from the UK Political Studies Association, in part for a series of policy reports on Government on the Internet for the UK National Audit Office (1999, 2002 and 2007), and she continues working to maximise the policy impact of her research. She is editor-in-chief of the journal Policy and Internet. She is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Faculty Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science.
Helen spoke on Social Media (and other Platforms) – 16 November 2017
Hermann holds an MA in Physics from Vienna University and a PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and an Honorary Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. Hermann holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Bath, Loughborough and from Anglia Ruskin University and was awarded an Honorary CBE for ‘innovative service to the UK enterprise sector’ in 2001. In 2004, he was made a member of the Government’s Council for Science & Technology. In 2012 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his contribution to the translation of science into business, in 2013 a Distinguished Fellow of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, and in 2015 an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) for services to engineering and industry.
Hermann has had a long and successful history as an entrepreneur and (since 1997 with Amadeus Capital Partners which he co-founded) a venture capitalist, founding or co-founding companies in a wide range of technology sectors. These include Acorn Computers (where he helped spin out ARM), Active Book Company, Virata, Net Products, NetChannel and Cambridge Network Limited. He was a founder director of IQ (Bio), IXI Limited, Vocalis, SynGenix, Advanced Displays Limited (acquired by Cambridge Display Technology), Electronic Share Information Limited, E*Trade UK and has supported many other start-ups. Hermann’s successes at Amadeus include: CSR plc (LON: CSR); Entropic Research Laboratory (acquired by Microsoft in 1999); Solexa (acquired by Illumina in 2007); and Icera (acquired by Nvidia in 2011). He is currently a non-executive director of several technology companies.
Hermann spoke on Technology – 5 April 2018
Kate is focused on exploring the economic mindset needed to address the 21st century’s social and ecological challenges, and is the creator of the Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries. Her internationally acclaimed idea of Doughnut Economics has been widely influential amongst thinkers, businesses and activists. Her best-selling book, Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist, published in April 2017, is being translated into eight languages.
Kate has worked with micro-entrepreneurs in the villages of Zanzibar, the UN as co-author of the Human Development Report, and Oxfam. She has an MSc in Economics for Development from Oxford University, is a member of the Club of Rome and serves on several advisory boards. She is a Senior Visiting Research Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, where she teaches on the Masters in Environmental Change and Management. Kate is also a Senior Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
She has written extensively for media including The Guardian, The New Statesman, Newsweek.com, and Wired.com, with frequent appearances on broadcast media both in the UK and internationally. Kate blogs at her website, and the Guardian has named her as “one of the top ten tweeters on economic transformation”.
Kate spoke on Transforming Economics – 18 January 2018
Laurie is Economics Editor at openDemocracy and a Fellow at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London (UCL), which focuses on how public policy can be used to tackle societal and technological challenges. Prior to this Laurie was Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation, the UK’s leading think tank promoting social, economic and environmental justice. Laurie has written extensively on issues of financial reform, housing and land, inequality, innovation and technology. Laurie’s critically acclaimed book Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing (co-authored with Toby Lloyd and Josh Ryan-Collins) was published in February 2017, and selected by the Financial Times as one of their “best economics books of 2017”.
Laurie spoke on Fair and Affordable Housing – 10 May 2018
Sir Michael Marmot
Professor Sir Michael G. Marmot MBBS, MPH, PhD, FRCP, FFPHM, FMedSci, FBA Director of the Institute of Health Equity (UCL Department of Epidemiology & Public Health)
Professor Marmot is Professor of Epidemiology at University College London, and Immediate Past President of the World Medical Association. He is the author of The Health Gap: the challenge of an unequal world (Bloomsbury: 2015) and Status Syndrome: how your place on the social gradient directly affects your health (Bloomsbury: 2004). He holds the Harvard Lown Professorship for 2014-2017 and is the recipient of the Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health 2015. Marmot has been awarded honorary doctorates from 17 universities, and has led research groups on health inequalities for 40 years. He chairs the Commission on Equity and Health Inequalities in the Americas, set up in 2015 by the World Health Organizations’ Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO/ WHO). He was Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), which was set up by the World Health Organization in 2005, and produced the report entitled: ‘Closing the Gap in a Generation’ in August 2008.
At the request of the British Government, he conducted the Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010, which published its report ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’ in February 2010. This was followed by the European Review of Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide, for WHO Euro in 2014. He chaired the Breast Screening Review for the NHS National Cancer Action Team and was a member of The Lancet-University of Oslo Commission on Global Governance for Health. He set up and led a number of longitudinal cohort studies on the social gradient in health in the UCL Department of Epidemiology & Public Health (where he was head of department for 25 years): the Whitehall II Studies of British Civil Servants, investigating explanations for the striking inverse social gradient in morbidity and mortality; the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), and several international research efforts on the social determinants of health. He served as President of the British Medical Association (BMA) in 2010-2011, and is President of the British Lung Foundation. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology; a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences; an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for six years and in 2000 he was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen, for services to epidemiology and the understanding of health inequalities. Professor Marmot is a Member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Sir Michael spoke on Healthcare – 9 November 2017
Owen Jones is a columnist at the Guardian, Huffington Post and elsewhere, and the author of Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class and The Establishment – And How They Get Away With It
Owen speaks on Social Inclusion – scheduled for 2018
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Director of Tax Research UK, and Professor at City University, London
Richard Murphy is a chartered accountant and a political economist. He is consistently ranked as a Global Top 50 tax expert by International Tax Review, who have described him as ‘a characteristically fiery campaigner.’ The world’s tax systems have been almost entirely shaped by moneyed interests, to suit themselves, and Richard is a tireless and forensic campaigner for ‘the rest of us’ against them. In the words of one finance journalist “he has probably done more than any other individual to bring to light the tax avoidance schemes of multinational companies”, and the Guardian characterised him as an “anti-poverty campaigner and tax expert”.
After graduating in Economics and Accountancy from Southampton University, he trained with a major accounting firm, and later founded his own in London which he and his partners sold in 2000. He has also held various board level roles at over ten small businesses. Since 2003 Richard has been increasingly involved in economic and taxation policy issues. He was a founder of the Tax Justice Network and now spends much of his time working on taxation policy, advocacy and research for aid agencies, unions, NGOs and others in the UK and abroad. His work and ideas about international tax and tax avoidance have informed tax thinking at the EU, OECD, IASB, and he has also advised the TUC, the Green New Deal, and others.
Richard has written widely, blogs frequently, and has appeared in many radio and television documentaries on taxation issues. He has also presented written and oral evidence to select committee committees of the House of Commons and House of Lords. He is a co-author of Tax Havens: How Globalization Really Works, Cornell University Press, 2009 and author of The Courageous State, Searching Finance, 2011, Over Here and Under Taxed, Vintage Books, 2013 and most recently, The Joy of Tax, Random House, 2015.
Richard spoke on How Tax can be made Fair – 26 April 2018
Campaigner and Author
Tamasin Cave is a writer and campaigner on corporate lobbying. For this she has been called a ‘conspiracy theorist’, but also ‘generally right’. She currently blogs at badinfluence.net, which looks at private sector influence on public services, and campaigns against the cosy ties between property developers and local councils at https://locallobbying.wordpress.com. For the past decade, she has been part of Spinwatch.org, a non-profit that investigates corporate PR and lobbying and led the campaign for transparency regulations for lobbyists in the UK. She is co-author of A Quiet Word: Lobbying, Crony Capitalism and Broken Politics in Britain (Vintage, 2015), which shines a light into one of the darkest and least-understood corners of our political culture: the UK’s £2 billion commercial lobbying industry. The Mail on Sunday described it as “A timely account of how voters are conceding power to a silent industry”.
Tamasin spoke on Corporate Lobbying: fixing the ‘gateway’ problem for a fairer 2027 – 21 June 2018
Shelter - Head of Housing Development
Toby has worked in housing policy across the public, private and voluntary sectors for over ten years. He joined Shelter as Head of Policy in 2011, and led Shelter’s proposal for new garden city that was the runner-up for the Wolfson Economics Prize 2014. He is now Head of Housing Development. He has been a senior policy manager for the Greater London Authority, a project manager for the London Rebuilding Society, and taught financial history at the LSE. Toby’s critically acclaimed book Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing (co-authored with Laurie Macfarlane and Josh Ryan-Collins) was published in February 2017, and selected by the Financial Times as one of their “best economics books of 2017”.
Toby was to speak on Fair and Affordable Housing (with Laurie Macfarlane) – 10 May 2018, but was obliged to withdraw after taking a role advising the UK government on Housing policy
Journalist and Author
Zoe Williams has been writing political commentary, interviews and reviews for The Guardian since 2000. Her work has also appeared in the Spectator, the New Statesman, NOW Magazine, and the London Evening Standard. She has appeared on various current affairs and discussion shows. She was 2013’s Print Journalist of the Year for the Speaking Together Media Awards, 2011’s Columnist of the Year at the Workworld awards. After two books on the politicisation of motherhood, her most recent book is Get it Together: Why We Deserve Better Politics (2015).
Zoe spoke on How we can fix our Media for a more equal 2027 – 28 June 2018