Social investment & Economic Crisis: Austerity in the UK and Europe


Social investment and Economic Crisis: What have we learned from 10 years of austerity in the UK and Europe?

The RE‐InVEST project is a four year pan European research initiative, launched in 2015, which aims to contribute to a more an EU that promotes solidarity and inclusion through an inclusive, powerful and effective social investment strategy. The Poverty Alliance has been a partner in the project in Scotland. The project emerged from the ‘Alliances to Fight Poverty’, a network of civil society organizations, trade unions, policymakers and academics committed to a more inclusive Europe. Despite the fact that the EU launched a new Social Investment Package in 2013, much of the momentum of the desire for inclusive growth had been lost due to the impact of the economic crisis. Indeed, the austerity policies since the crisis not only disproportionately hit vulnerable groups, but have exacerbated the crisis and further destabilized European economies – significantly undermining the goals of social investment. The RE‐InVEST research project has looked at a number of dimensions of the impact of the crisis and subsequent austerity policies.

This seminar (the first of two dissemination seminars) will look at the impact of the economic crisis and subsequent austerity policies on the practice and prospects for social investment. It will highlight the findings from the RE‐InVEST project as a whole, as well as focusing on the lessons from the research carried out in the UK as part of the project. The seminar will also look at the prospects for developing alternative models of social development in a post-Brexit Scotland, UK and Europe.

09.30 Registration

10.00 Welcome & Introductions

Dr. Angela O’Hagan, Glasgow Caledonian University

The context

10.05 Austerity in the UK: What has been the impact on poverty?

Adam Corlett, Senior Economist, Resolution Foundation

10.25 The Consequences of Social Disinvestment across the EU: What we Have Learned

Professor Ides Nicaise, KU Leuven

10.45 Q&A

11.15 Break

11.35 Bearing the Brunt: Reinvest Research findings in the UK

Fiona McHardy, Research & Information Manager, the Poverty Alliance

Prof Michael Lavalette, Liverpool Hope University

12:40 Lunch

Developing Alternatives

13.30 Making ‘Inclusive Growth’ a reality

Jim McCormick, Depute Director, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Towards a Wellbeing Economy

Dr Katherine Trebeck, Research Director, Wellbeing Economy Alliance

14:30 Social Investment in the Future: Final Panel

Gary Gillespie, Chief Economist, Scottish Government

Professor Ides Nicaise

Other speakers TBC

15.30 Close