Theme 2 – Transforming our economic system for all stakeholders

Our present global economic system was very much influenced by Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations in 1776. What has been forgotten is that this work was a continuation of his previous writing, The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759. By ignoring this previous work, we have developed an economic system based on self-interest, whereas Smith’s account of self-interest is directly linked with the common good.

There is no doubt that capitalism has made the world richer and healthier than previous generations, yet the world also has over a billion living in extreme poverty. In addition, over the last forty years there has been a serious and growing disparity between the rich and the poor in western society. Is it right when the 80 richest people in the world control as much wealth as the poorest half of the world which accounts to 3.5 billion people? How has this happened?  Can capitalism be more inclusive?

Speakers include:  Will Hutton, Lukasz Krebel, Dr Katherine Trebeck, Tera Allas CBE

Will Hutton has recently completed his term of office as Principal at Hertford College Oxford after 9 years. He is a political economist, co-chair of the Purposeful Company, and the author of seven best-selling books on political economy and business, notably The State We’re In (1995) but more recently with Andrew Adonis, Saving Britain – the case for Britain’s membership of the EU and a second referendum. Previously he was executive vice chair of the Work Foundation (one of four think-tanks he has founded, co-chaired or run) , and chaired two commissions for the UK government – one on the creative industries and one on executive pay. Will also spent four years as editor-in-chief of The Observer, for which he continues to write a weekly column. He is currently working on opportunities for young job-seekers via a National Youth Corps, building on the recently proposed government-sponsored work programme Kickstart.

Lukasz Krebel is an economic researcher at the New Economics Foundation, focussing on monetary and fiscal policy and is currently working on designing policies for a green and just recovery and modelling reforms of the UK’s tax and benefits system. Prior to joining NEF, he worked at the Centre for Progressive Policy, supporting research programmes on skills, housing and the role of business in society. Lukasz has an MPhil in Economic and Social History from the University of Cambridge and previous experience as an analyst and strategy specialist in the telecommunications industry.

Dr Katherine Trebeck is Advocacy and Influencing Lead for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance and co-founder of WEAll Scotland, and instigated the group of Wellbeing Economy Governments. She has over eight years’ experience in various roles with Oxfam GB and sits on a range of advisory groups, including for the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity and the Omina Foundation. She is a member of the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Renewal Advisory Group and Zero Waste Scotland’s Demystifying Decoupling Advisory Group. She is Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Schumacher Institute. Her most recent book The Economics of Arrival: Ideas for a Grown Up Economy (co-authored with Jeremy Williams) was published in January 2019.

Tera Allas CBE is Director of Research and Economics in McKinsey’s United Kingdom and Ireland Office, working closely with the McKinsey Global Institute. She leads McKinsey’s research on productivity, technology adoption, and government effectiveness, bringing together deep expertise and more than two decades of experience in economics, public policy, innovation, technology, and leadership, as well as ten years of experience as a management consultant focusing on corporate and business-unit strategy.

Tera is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a frequent author, panellist and speaker on topics ranging from economic and innovation policy to technology adoption and the future of work. She serves as a trustee of the Royal Economic Society, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, and the United Kingdom’s Productivity Leadership Group. She is also a member of a number of expert advisory groups on economic policy and innovation issues. She was previously on the board of Innovate UK, the United Kingdom’s national innovation agency, and a member of the States of Jersey Fiscal Policy Panel. In 2018, Tera was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to economic policy.

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