Last night we welcomed a cross-sector audience of senior academics, policymakers, NGO leaders, and media and student representatives for a seminar on 'Inequality & Social Cohesion', chaired by Julia Unwin, former Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The event was part of our 70th anniversary season of conferences, lectures and seminars. It looked at the extent and impacts of social and economic inequalities in 21st century Britain and the practical implications for shaping our social policy.

The aim was to explore whether social and economic inequalities negatively affect basic human qualities, such as our ability to trust one another and our willingness to show kindness, and whether you can have a socially cohesive society that is also fundamentally unequal? 

Julia opened the seminar by talking about what is meant by the contested term 'social cohesion' and its relationship to social insecurities, poverty and inequalities between places, communities and generations.

After this, the audience engaged in plenary discussions over dinner, before a feedback and question and answer session.


While the event itself was held under the Chatham House Rule, to encourage open debate, Julia spoke to our Principal, Ed Newell, shortly beforehand, about the key topics she planned to address.

A seminar blog is available on our Learning Resources page, here.