Home > Website archive > News and media > News archives > 2016 > 06 > LSE to launch 20-year programme funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies to support leaders tackling inequalities

LSE to launch 20-year programme funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies to support leaders tackling inequalities

shutterstock_onPageAn ambitious programme designed to build a global community of leaders dedicated to changing policy, practice and public dialogue around inequalities has been announced by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and The Atlantic Philanthropies.

Developed by LSE’s International Inequalities Institute (III) and led by III co-Directors Professors Sir John Hills and Mike Savage, the 20-year fellowship initiative will train the next generation of leaders seeking to influence and facilitate changes in global policy and practice to enable greater equality, opportunity and outcomes for all. It is expected that well over 600 Atlantic Fellows will be developed across geographic and disciplinary boundaries over the duration of the programme.

The 20-year Atlantic Fellows programme at the III is created with a grant of £64.4m ($91m) from The Atlantic Philanthropies. This is the largest philanthropic donation in LSE’s history.

LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun said: "No theme has been more central to the work of LSE throughout its history than addressing and trying to moderate inequality. No issue is more important to the UK or the world today. This remarkable grant will enable LSE's new International Inequalities Institute to scale up faster, join students and researchers across departmental lines, and prepare generations of engaged practitioners to have an even more profound impact."

Christopher G. Oechsli, President and Chief Executive Officer at The Atlantic Philanthropies said: “From its inception, Atlantic has invested in people and in their vision and ability to realise a better world. In our final year of grant-making, we’re making our largest philanthropic investment ever, in people. Atlantic’s grant to the LSE International Inequalities Institute is one of a series of big bets to create an interconnected set of Atlantic Fellows programmes. 

“Our vision for the Atlantic Fellows is to connect and empower a new generation of people who are committed to working together, across disciplines and borders, to build fairer, healthier, more inclusive societies. LSE’s values and commitment to excellence coupled with the International Inequalities Institute’s renowned leadership, multi-disciplinary approach, and ability to translate leading academic thinking into real policy and practice, make them an ideal partner and host for this programme.”

Aimed at academics, activists, policy-makers, journalists, lawyers, health professionals, cultural leaders, writers and creative artists, the Atlantic Fellows programme has been designed with the flexibility to offer different levels of engagement in order to create and continue to support an international community of diverse multidisciplinary and action-oriented leaders.

Participants will follow one of three tracks – residential at LSE over a full year; non-residential for periods over 12-18 months; and a programme for senior academics and practitioners to work together at LSE in teams to combine research and practical knowledge to respond to key challenges.

All Fellows will be supported by a group of expert mentors drawn from LSE faculty and collaborating academic and civil society organisations, including the University of Cape Town Poverty and Inequality Initiative. Completing Fellows will become part of a network with continuing collective and individual support from both the LSE programme team and the Atlantic Institute, which is being established to connect Atlantic’s comprehensive, multi-year global initiatives to promote leadership in social-economic, health and racial equity.

III co-Director Professor Mike Savage, who is to be the initial Academic Director of the Atlantic Fellows programme, said “Inequalities are multidimensional, and narrow policy fixes – even radical ones – are unlikely to be sufficient to address the challenges involved. There is a need for future leaders to be informed by new research across a wide range of disciplines in order to address the challenge of escalating inequalities across the globe. The Atlantic Fellows programme at the International Inequalities Institute will nurture a large network of Fellows committed to tackling inequality who can draw on the best academic and practical experience in the world to enhance their skills, contacts and confidence.”

Professor John Hills, co-Director of the III at LSE, said: “Inequalities, in their multiple dimensions, pose urgent challenges to individual opportunity, societal cohesion and the basic functioning of governments and democracies. There is a growing need to support effective leaders that understand the multidimensional challenges of inequality. We are hugely grateful to The Atlantic Philanthropies for their generous support in creating a long-term programme that will build and sustain a network of committed future leaders working across a wide range of fields in order to drive through real social change.”

More on the Atlantic Fellows programme can be found here  

The University of Cape Town  (UCT) is a collaborating node in a global programme to tackle inequality. Click here  for more. 


Fiona Metcalfe, Head of External Relations at LSE, f.metcalfe@lse.ac.uk 

Jess Winterstein, Deputy Head, LSE Press Office, +44 (0)20 7107 5025, j.winterstein@lse.ac.uk

Nima Shirazi, Communications Manager, The Atlantic Philanthropies, +1 (212) 338 4033, n.shirazi@atlanticphilanthropies.org

Notes for Editors

The Atlantic Fellows programme at the International Inequalities Institute is the third programme to be announced in The Atlantic Philanthropies’ global set of interconnected fellowship programmes. Additional programmes are still being developed and will be announced in the coming months. Individual programmes will be further supported and strengthened by the creation of the Atlantic Institute, which will serve as a convening and knowledge-sharing hub for the global network of Atlantic Fellows.

The Atlantic Fellows programme at the International Inequalities Institute will launch with a phased application process later in 2016 relating to the different tracks. The first team of visiting Fellows will join the III in the first half of 2017, with the first cohorts of residential and non-residential Atlantic Fellows joining in the summer and autumn of 2017. www.atlanticfellows.org

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) 

LSE is one of the foremost social science universities in the world. Founded in 1895 to create and share knowledge addressing major social challenges and to shape a better world, the School works through research, education, creative intellectual debate and public engagement. Its mission is to advance knowledge in social science and a range of related fields so as to inform public policy, economic decision-making, and social welfare both nationally and globally.

LSE seeks to make a positive difference to the world by bringing research-based knowledge to public problems and educating students with the capacity to lead in solving those problems. This means nurturing creative thought and intellectual exploration in students from all backgrounds and around the world to be critical thinkers and skilled professionals who work for the betterment of society.

LSE established the International Inequalities Institute to identify and support innovative interdisciplinary research and teaching addressing inequalities, and to create a structure which was agile and flexible enough to accommodate this vision over generations. http://www.lse.ac.uk/InternationalInequalities/Home.aspx

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to advancing opportunity, equity and human dignity. Established in 1982, when Chuck Feeney quietly committed virtually all of his assets to the foundation, Atlantic has since made grants approaching $8 billion. In keeping with Mr. Feeney’s “Giving While Living,” big bet philosophy, Atlantic invests in systemic change to accelerate improvements in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The foundation, which has operated in Australia, Bermuda, Cuba, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Vietnam, will complete all grant making in 2016 and conclude operations shortly afterward. http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org.

1 June 2016