Podcasts and event recordings from the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge.To listen to our Crossing Channels Podcast Series, produced with IAST, visit: https://pod.fo/e/102ba0
How much do people care about inequality?
Rory Cellan-Jones and leading experts Charlotte Cavaillé, Ailbhe McNabola and Jack Shaw discuss the causes of income and regional inequality, why policymakers should care, and what policy interventions work best to reduce them.
Leading experts from the Bennett Institute for Public Policy and Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse discuss recent trends in income and regional inequality, and evaluate the effectiveness of different policy approaches. They identify the opportunities and challenges of (de)centralisation, what works best to revive ‘left behind’ places, and whether the assumptions built into the Levelling Up White Paper will deliver to reduce inequalities.
This episode is hosted by Rory Cellan-Jones (former technology correspondent for the BBC), and features guest experts Professor Charlotte Cavaillé (Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan and IAST), Ailbhe McNabola (Bennett Institute for Public Policy, and Power to Change) and Jack Shaw (Bennett Institute for Public Policy, and IPPR).
Listen to this episode on your preferred podcast platform
Season 2 Episode 3 transcript
For more information about the podcast and the work of the institutes, visit our websites at https://www.bennettinstitute.cam.ac.uk/ and https://www.iast.fr/
Tweet us with your thoughts at @BennettInst and @IASToulouse.
Audio production by Steve Hankey.
Associate production by Stella Erker.
Visuals by Thomas Devaud.
Relevant links and publications
Shaw, J., Garling, O. and Kenny, M. (2022). Townscapes: Pride in Place. The Bennett Institute, https://www.bennettinstitute.cam.ac.uk/publications/pride-in-place/ Charlotte Cavaillé (forthcoming). Fair Enough? Support for Redistribution in the Age of Inequality, https://charlottecavaille.wordpress.com/book-project/ More information about our guests
Professor Charlotte Cavaillé is a visiting Research Fellow at the IAST and an Assistant Professor at the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Her research examines the dynamics of popular attitudes towards redistributive social policies at a time of rising inequality, high fiscal stress and high levels of immigration. In her forthcoming book, Fair Enough? Support for Redistribution in the Age of Inequality, Charlotte proposes a new framework to explain why, in countries where inequality has increased the most, voters are not asking for more income redistribution.
Ailbhe McNabola is an Affiliated Researcher at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy and Director of Policy and Communications at Power to Change, a charitable trust that supports communities to run businesses that reinvest profits into their local area.
Jack Shaw is an Affiliated Researcher at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy and recently co-authored a report on pride in place with Professor Michael Kenny and Owen Garling, also at the Bennett Institute. His background is in local government and economic development and currently works at the Institute for Public Policy and Research.
Rory Cellan-Jones is a former technology correspondent for the BBC. His 40 years in journalism saw him take a particular interest in the impact of the internet and digital technology on society and business. He has written multiple books, including his latest “Always On” which was published in 2021.
Towards a semantic civil service
Prospect’s Editor, Alan Rusbridger chats to the winner of the Bennett Prospect Public Policy Prize 2022 , Walter Pasquarelli, and Prof Dennis Grube of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, about "What is a 21st century civil service for?"
Walter Pasquarelli—a policy research manager and consultant in the Tech & Society practice of Economist Impact—created and submitted a short film titled: “Towards a semantic civil service,” which argues for a civil service (inspired by the semantic web) that is decentralised, grants personal control of data, and creates more bespoke and better processes.
He explains how this modernised civil service would be decentralised (controlled by the user), break down data silos (joining up across departmental services) and be automated through smart contracts (with access granted by the user). To get to the semantic civil service, there is a need to: invest in tech, open data, and infrastructure; develop a culture in which users have more responsibility, and; establish supporting policies for mitigating risks such as data privacy and bias in decision-making.
For more information about the Bennett Prospect Public Policy Prize and how to enter visit: www.bennettinstitute.cam.ac.uk/prize
Public Policy and Global Public-Policy Tech
This panel discussion explores the intersection of public policy and public-purpose technology - the technology needed to help address major public needs - in 2022, and how leading founders, investors, and policy experts view them.
Leading experts look at the challenges and opportunities in engaging technology innovation to address pressing public needs and bring together perspectives from entrepreneurship, investment, and academia.
The role of government and public policy in the development and uptake of public-purpose technologyWhether states should more explicitly support a shift towards business with a public purpose, and build it into funding agreementsThe barriers and opportunities for startups and innovative providers in breaking into the government market and areas where there is significant policy interestHow students and researchers can collaborate with these sectors and build their own ventures
Chair: Dr. Tanya Filer, CEO and Founder of StateUp, and Digital State, Bennett Institute for Public Policy
Greg Bybee, CEO and Co-founder of Avela
Dr. Cristina Peñasco, Lecturer in Public Policy, University of Cambridge
Angela Homsi, Co-founder of Ignite Power
Leo Ringer, Partner, Form Ventures
This session was recorded during the online launch event for StateUp 21, the leading international resource on public-purpose technology.
Union at the crossroads: can the British state handle the challenges of devolution?
There is a growing political focus upon the future of the UK Union, in the context of consistent support at 50% or higher for independence in Scotland, the destabilising impact that Brexit has had on Northern Ireland and the emergence of a more active independence movement in Wales.
A report published by the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge, and The Constitution Society, states that the future of the Union needs to encompass a clearer focus upon the lack of a developed culture of, and machinery for, bringing the different governments of the UK together.
Two of it's authors, Michael Kenny, Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Bennett Institute, and Philip Rycroft, former Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union (2017-2019), share their insight into some of the decisions, events and mentalities within the state machinery that have led to the current situation and what the state must do to save the Union.
Read the report: Union at the crossroads: can the British state handle the challenges of devolution?
Wellbeing: Measuring what matters to people
There is a growing appreciation that the ‘success’ of a society is about more than money and growth, and that 'well-being', including our health, relationships, feelings, environment, goals, and other items, all have value to us, and that we should make decisions that invest in these areas accordingly.
There is however a less widespread appreciation of how to measure and weight these 'life qualities'. Different countries and organisations adopt different methods - from the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, to the OECD's Better Life initiative - and how much they are worth.
In this podcast, Deborah Hardoon, Head of Evidence at the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, and Dr Mark Fabian, social scientist, and Dr Matthew Agarwala, economist at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge, discuss their research which aims to build on the range of measures that already exist and the data they have generated, to tell us more about what matters, which indicators are most useful in which contexts, and the policy implications to improve overall well-being.
- Bennett Institute for Public Policy: The many dimensions of well-being
- What Works Centre for Well-being
The Many Dimensions of Well-being project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Building Forward: Investing in a Resilient Recovery
Government spending in response to Covid-19 stands at well over £300 billion in the UK, and over £10 trillion globally. How this money is spent will shape the future of the economy and the environment for decades to come.
Professor Diane Coyle, Dr Matthew Agarwala and Dimitri Zenghelis, Bennett Institute for Public Policy, discuss the key findings of their new Wealth Economy report: Building Forward: investing in a resilient recovery.
Building forward: Investing public funds - in people’s health and skills, and in social, natural, and physical capital - is the best way to bring about a more resilient and prosperous future, and to deliver the ‘levelling up’ agenda.
Place, inequality and assets: Geographical inequalities, such as access to education, employment and nature such as urban green space and clean air, affect society’s overall potential and productivity.
Public debt, public wealth and fiscal and structural sustainability: Investment in human, social and natural capital across the country is the best way to restore prosperity and ensure fiscal health after the pandemic. A temporary rise in the government debt/GDP ratio should not prevent investment. In periods of high uncertainty, low confidence, and unemployed economic resources, public investments in the natural environment and local community programmes offer attractive economic returns.
Case studies: Countries, from Scotland to New Zealand, are pioneering the wealth approach, and it sets out concrete actions – in education, infrastructure, fiscal policy, and the Treasury’s Green Book guidance – that the UK could take to Build Forward.
Putting the wealth approach into practice: Gaps in economic measurement have contributed to the chronic under-investment in assets such as natural and social capital. This makes them invisible in policy choices. Investment is needed in data gathering and statistics to provide timely information about the stock and performance of all the components of wealth and be considered in decision and policy making.