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Bennett Institute for Public Policy Annual Conference 2024

22/03/2024 | 09:45 - 18:30
Churchill College, Cambridge / Online
Free - booking required
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The Bennett Institute for Public Policy Annual Conference creates an opportunity for some of our leading practitioners, academic thinkers and policy experts to engage with each other in productive and wide-angled conversations about some of the most pressing challenges facing governments around the world. 

Henry Dimbleby MBE, co-founder of Leon, food campaigner, speaker and non-executive director, will deliver the keynote lecture and discuss the impact of food systems on society in conversation with Deborah Prentice, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge.

This year’s panel discussions are organised under the thematic headings of resilience, infrastructure, governance and disruption.  

This hybrid event brings together delegates from the worlds of government, business, civil society and academia.  

Programme

TimeSession
09:00 – 09:45Registration and refreshments
09:45 – 10:00Welcome
10:00 – 11:15Disruption: What actions are needed to respond to the social, economic and geopolitical disruptions being caused by significant technological innovations in areas such as AI and biomedicine? And how can policymakers not only manage the risks but also ensure the new technologies benefit society as a whole?
Read more
11:15 – 11:45Refreshments and networking
11:45 – 13:00Infrastructure: What infrastructure does society need and what policies can deliver it?
Read more
13:00 – 14:00Lunch
14:00 – 15:15Resilience: What do our institutions need to do to make the UK more resilient?
Read more
15:15 – 15:45Refreshments and networking
15:45 – 17:00Governance: How should the Civil Service be reformed/reimagined for the 21st century?
Read more
17:00 – 17:15Short break
17:15 – 17:20Bennett Public Policy Prize winner announcement
17:20 – 18:20Keynote lecture & conversation:
Fixing our broken food system: where policy meets politics.
Read more
18:20 – 18:25Closing remarks
18:25 – 19:30Drinks reception

09:45 – 10:00

Welcome

Speakers:

Prof Michael Kenny is Professor of Public Policy, and the inaugural Director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. Michael’s research interests include governance; territorial politics; British politics and political ideas. His latest book is: “Fractured Union: Politics, Sovereignty and the Fight to Save the UK.”

Peter Bennett is the founding benefactor of the Peter Bennett Foundation (2013), and the Bennett Institute for Public Policy (2018). Graduating in 1978, he read Economics at Churchill College. Following a successful career in banking and hedge fund management, Peter now devotes his time to pursuing philanthropic endeavours to promote equality and reduce poverty through direct donations and institutional support.


10:00 – 11:15

Disruption: What actions are needed to respond to the social, economic and geopolitical disruptions being caused by significant technological innovations in areas such as AI and biomedicine? And how can policymakers not only manage the risks but also ensure the new technologies benefit society as a whole?

Speakers:

Emran Mian CB OBE is the Director General for Digital Technologies and Telecoms at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). Emran was Director General for Regeneration at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, from September 2021 to July 2023.

Prof Gina Neff is the Executive Director of the Minderoo Centre for Technology & Democracy, at the University of Cambridge. Gina’s award-winning research focuses on how digital information is changing our work and everyday lives.

Brittany Smith is the UK Policy and Partnerships Lead at OpenAI. Brittany has held roles working at the intersection of AI and equity in industry, civil society, and philanthropy. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Partnership on AI, and graduated from Northwestern University and the London School of Economics

Chair: 

Prof Diane Coyle DBE, is Bennett Professor of Public Policy and Co-Director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. Diane heads research under the themes of progress and productivity. Her latest book is ‘Cogs and Monsters: What Economics Is, and What It Should Be‘ on how economics needs to change to keep pace with the twenty-first century and the digital economy.


11:45 – 13:00

Infrastructure: What infrastructure does society need and what policies can deliver it?

Speakers:

Rt Hon Greg Clark is Member of Parliament for Tunbridge Wells, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee and a Japan Envoy, and served as Minister for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in 2022.

Jennifer Schooling is Professor of Digital Innovation and Smart Places at Anglia Ruskin University. Jennifer’s research explores the sociotechnical aspects of digitalisation at the city scale, focussing on governance and ethical innovation to enable delivery of digital solutions for public value creation.

Giles Wilkes is a specialist partner at Flint and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government where he works on a range of policy issues. Giles was special adviser on policy at the department for Business Innovation, wrote business, economic and political comment for the Financial Times, was hired into Downing Street to fill a similar position for Theresa May when she was prime minister. 

Chair: 

Prof Michael Kenny is Professor of Public Policy, and the inaugural Director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. Michael’s research interests include governance; territorial politics; British politics and political ideas. His latest book is: “Fractured Union: Politics, Sovereignty and the Fight to Save the UK.”


14:00 – 15:15

Resilience: What do our institutions need to do to make the UK more resilient?

Speakers:

Catherine Little CB is the Second Permanent Secretary, HM Treasury where she oversees public spending, international and national security policy. Cat combines this with her positions as Head of the Government Finance Function and Chair of the Finance Leadership Group for Government.

Dr Gillian Tett OBE is Provost of King’s College, Cambridge, and writes for the Financial Times on global finance and business as well as being a member of the FT’s Editorial Board. Gillian is an anthropologist by training and, among other books, is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe.

Dr Anna Valero is a Distinguished Policy Fellow and Director of the Growth Programme at the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance, Deputy Director of the Programme on Innovation and Diffusion (POID), and an Associate of the Grantham Research Institute, LSE. Anna’s research focusses on the drivers of productivity and innovation in firms and regions.

Chair: 

Dr Matthew Agarwala is an economist at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy where he is interested in measuring and delivering sustainability, wellbeing, and productivity. Matthew regularly consults for governments and scientific organizations and speaks to the media about natural capital, ecosystem services, green finance, wellbeing, and sustainability.


15:45 – 17:00

Governance: How should the Civil Service be reformed/reimagined for the 21st century?

Speakers:

Jonathan Slater is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London and Queen Mary’s University London. Jonathan chairs the board of the Charter Schools Educational Trust and is a governor of Sheffield Hallam University. 

Dr Hannah White OBE is the Director of the Institute for Government where she leads the Institute’s work to make government more effective. Hannah is a regular commentator on the radio and television, writes regularly for a wide range of print media, hosts the Institute’s weekly Insider Briefing podcast and chairs UKICE.

Chair: 

Dennis C. Grube is Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, and Research Lead in Political Decision-Making, Bennett Institute for Public Policy. Dennis’ research interests include political decision-making, administrative leadership, institutional memory, and the role of political rhetoric in public policy.  


17:15 – 17:20

Bennett Public Policy Prize winner announcement

Speaker:

Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE is Chair of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy Management Board, Chair of the National Audit Office and Chair of the Governing Council of the Royal Agricultural University. Dame Fiona is the former Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge (2012-2021) following a long career in the voluntary and public sectors, latterly as Director-General of the National Trust from 2001-2012.


17:20 – 18:20

Keynote lecture: Fixing our broken food system: where policy meets politics

Speaker

Henry Dimbleby MBE is a Co-founder of Leon, food campaigner, speaker and non-executive director. Henry also co-founded the Sustainable Restaurant Association and the charity Chefs in Schools, which brings restaurant chefs into school kitchens. He is the author of Ravenous: How to get ourselves and our planet into shape which builds on the work he did in the independent National Food Strategy 2021.

Chair: 

Prof Deborah Prentice is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. An eminent psychologist, her academic expertise is in the study of social norms that govern human behaviour – particularly the impact and development of unwritten rules and conventions, and how people respond to breaches of those rules.


Useful information

  • Costs: The Conference is free but booking is required. Lunch and refreshments are included. When booking please state any dietary requirements.
  • Travel: Details of how to get to the venue are available on the Churchill College website.
  • Accommodation: Should you be travelling from afar, there is the option to book a room at Churchill College or in other University accommodation.
  • Accessibility: Churchill College welcomes all visitors with disabilities and the Conference area is accessible. Their website provides plans and information about access to the College buildings.
  • For further inquiries, please email conference@bennettinstitute.cam.ac.uk

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