Social infrastructure is a concept that has become embedded in the language of policymaking and academia over the last few years. The government’s Levelling Up White Paper alone contains nearly 50 mentions of the phrase, either used on its own or in conjunction with the phrase social capital. But what is social infrastructure, how is it used, and why does it matter? How do communities conceptualise social infrastructure and how can we design and maintain spaces, structures and systems that are inclusive and accessible – to help level up left-behind places?
To engage with the debate around these issues, the British Academy and Power to Change came together in early 2022 to collectively explore questions relating to social infrastructure and its value to different communities and their economies. The Bennett Institute for Public Policy and the Institute for Community Studies were commissioned to undertake two related research projects. The first explored examples of international policy interventions that aim to strengthen social infrastructure to draw out learning for UK policymakers. The second involved peer research into community definitions and understandings of social infrastructure in England.
We’re now pleased to invite you to the launch of the report ’Space for Community: Strengthening our Social Infrastructure’ which brings together the findings of these ground-breaking research projects. The research, overseen by a cross-sector advisory group chaired by Dame Julia Unwin, has included engagement with international policy stakeholders, and events across England involving communities, civil society organisations and local policymakers.
Please join us for a panel discussion, introduced by Tim Davies-Pugh, CEO of Power to Change, and chaired by Hetan Shah. The discussion will be followed by drinks and canapes.
Confirmed panelists include:
- Helen Barnard, Research and Policy Director, Pro Bono Economics
- David Knott, Chief Executive Officer, National Lottery Community Fund
- Angie Wright, Chief Executive Officer, B-Inspired
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