Public policy in an age of disruption

Launched in 2018, the Bennett Institute is committed to interdisciplinary academic and policy research into the major challenges facing the world, and to high-quality teaching of the knowledge and skills required in public service.

Our goal is to rethink public policy in an era of turbulence and inequality. Our research connects the world-leading work in technology and science at Cambridge with the economic and political dimensions of policymaking. We are committed to outstanding teaching, policy engagement, and to devising sustainable and long-lasting solutions.

The Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge aims to develop successful and sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing problems of our time.

This is a critical moment for this aim, which has at its heart a commitment to a deeper analysis of the economic, social and political systems in which policy is developed; the creation of powerful new networks of policymakers, influencers and researchers; and the development of a new generation of reflexive and critical policy leaders.

We bring together the world-class research of Cambridge in technology, engineering and the natural sciences with a deep understanding of the social and political forces that are remaking democracy and generating fundamental challenges for governments across the world.

Our work reflects a readiness to move away from the technocratic assumption that there are technical fixes or ready-made solutions to intractable challenges arising from resource scarcity.

All of our research is directed towards improving understanding of public policy challenges, and none of it is in any way politically motivated or directed. It is funded by a variety of sources including competitively won awards from research councils, trusts, and foundations, and also by philanthropic donors. 

The Institute is driving forward research into the growing demand for a more equitable distribution of the world’s natural and social assets and examines the impact that technological change is having on the nature of work, community and consumption around the world.

Our research

Our research is organised into several programmes, each containing a number of projects. These programmes are designed around some of the major policy challenges of the 21st century and reflect concentrations of research strength within Cambridge. Our initial research programmes are: Place, Progress and Productivity.

The Institute also houses the Centre for the Future of Democracy, and offers policy resources to introduce academics to the policy development process.

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