How to build a society that works for everyone: the Big Debate

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to announce that Equality West Midlands will be holding a public debate on the 22nd October at the Priory Rooms, Bull Street, Birmingham, starting at 6.30 pm. These prominent academics and local campaigners will be joining us to discuss the impact of growing income inequality in the UK, and how we, as a society, a group and individuals can turn the tide. The debate will be chaired by Karen Leach and will involve Stewart Lansley, Joy Warmington and Karen Rowlingson.

Karen is the Coordinator of thinktank and consultancy Localise West Midlands, which promotes local supply chains and ownership of the economy for social justice and sustainability. This has included setting organisational strategy and systems, leading a research project on maximising socio-economic benefits through localised economic development; initiating a national Alliance for a Better Economy; coordinating policy responses and generally keeping all the plates spinning. She is also involved locally and nationally in Friends of the Earth, where she developed her interests in sustainability, economics, planning and policy.

The economist and journalist Stewart Lansley is the author of The Cost of Inequality and ( with Joanna Mack ) of Breadline Britain, The Rise of Mass Poverty, to be published in February by Oneworld.

Joy Warmington is CEO of brap, a human rights charity. As a nationally renowned equalities practitioner, Joy’s expertise has been sought by organisations including the Department of Health, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Education, Birmingham City Council, and many others.  Joy has written and co-authored over 20 books, articles, and reports on subjects as diverse as implementing organisational change, improving public sector engagement practice, and using human rights to improve service delivery. Joy is regularly asked to comment on equalities issues in the media, most recently appearing in the Economist, Daily Telegraph, and Health Service Journal in addition to numerous appearances on BBC radio and television.

Karen Rowlingson is a Professor of Social Policy in the Institute of Applied Social Studies at the University of Birmingham, as well as being Director of the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM). Along with Stephen McKay, she is an author of Wealth and the Wealthy and has co-authored numerous articles for academic publications on topics connected to income inequality. In November 2012, Karen spoke to Equality West Midlands on the topic of pre-distribution vs. re-distribution.

We hope that many other prominent activists and decision-makers will also attend to provoke a lively and engaging debate on the consequences of income inequality.

The debate is open to all, free of charge. We will, though, appreciate any donation you could make to the cost of the evening.

To recap, the debate is being held on Wednesday, 22nd October from 6.30 pm onwards at the Priory Rooms on Bull Street in Birmingham. ( please see for details on how to get to the venue: )

Please follow us on Twitter and check out our Facebook group and blog for more information about the debate as we draw closer to the day.

I hope to see you there!

Best wishes,

Tom Pratt (Chair, Equality West Midlands)


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