Levelling Up is a flagship policy of the current government of the United Kingdom.
It is a powerful phrase, but one which is open to interpretation. As sociologist Jack Newman has written, “the phrase ‘levelling up’ has reached an almost unbearable saturation point, where it has come to mean anything and everything. For those less connected, it tends to produce varied reactions from dismissive cynicism to vague optimism, but with general confusion about what it actually means.”
This event, sponsored by the Campaign for Social Science and SAGE Publishing, aims to improve the public debate on this policy agenda aimed at reducing inequality in health services, education and justice in different places. The two-hour virtual event starts at 16:30 GMT on November 9. It is free but registration is requested.
Coming shortly after the Chancellor’s Spending Review and Autumn Budget announcement, this event assembles a group of distinguished social scientists, politicians and practitioners for a timely exploration of the principles and practices that must be foremost if ‘levelling up’ is to be effective. It will feature 10-minute inputs from a range of experts, including Neil O’Brien, MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (formerly the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government).
Will Hutton, president of the Academy of Social Sciences, will chair the event. In addition to O’Brien, Levelling up: Principles and Practice will see short and sharp inputs from:
- Lord Kerslake, chair of the UK2070 Commission
- Juergen Maier, vice-chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership
- Ben Houchen, Tees Valley mayor
- Laila Page, head of Sustainable Banking, Performance and Frameworks, NatWest
- Stuart Martin, CEO, Satellite Applications Catapult
- Sandra McNally, professor of economics, University of Surrey and Director of the Centre for Vocational Education Research and Director of the Education and Skills Programme at the Centre for Economic Performance, LSE
- Adrian Pabst, deputy director for Social and Political Economy, National Institute of Economic and Social Research
- Christine Whitehead, emeritus professor of housing economics, LSE
- Kate Pickett, professor of epidemiology at University of York and co-founder of The Equality Trust