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The Decisive Decade: how should the UK navigate the economic change of the 2020s?

Hosted by LSE Festival: How Do We Get to a Post-COVID World?

Online and in-person public event (Great Hall, Marshall Building)


Torsten Bell

Torsten Bell

Carolyn Fairbairn

Carolyn Fairbairn

Professor Stephen Machin

Professor Stephen Machin

How will economic change affect the jobs we do, the places we live and the firms we work for?

What can we learn from past periods of change? And how can we build a new economic strategy that responds to the challenges of the 2020s, as well as our legacy problems of weak productivity, high inequality and stagnating living standards?

The UK is facing a decisive decade of huge economic change, from restructuring after Brexit and the pandemic, to urgently transitioning towards a net zero future, and adapting to technological shifts amid an ageing population. Some of these shifts present big new opportunities for people and places throughout the country. But they bring challenges too, and failing to respond to the disruption they will bring carries huge risks – to our living standards, our communities, and to our planet. The UK’s many strengths must be harnessed to manage this change well.

Meet our speakers and chair

Carolyn Fairbairn (@cbicarolyn) joined the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) as Director-General in November 2015, a role she held until 2020. Carolyn has previously worked at the World Bank, The Economist, McKinsey, and in government as a member of John Major’s Number 10 Policy unit. She has also worked as BBC Director of Strategy, and has extensive FTSE board experience, including as non-executive director of Lloyds Banking Group, the Vitec Group, and Capita plc. She is a member of the Economy 2030 Inquiry commission.

Torsten Bell (@TorstenBell) is the Chief Executive of the Resolution Foundation. He has a background in economic policy, with his current research focuses including inequality, the labour market, tax and benefits, and housing and wealth. Prior to leading the Resolution Foundation, Torsten was Director of Policy for the Labour Party. He has also worked in HM Treasury, as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers during the financial crisis and as a civil servant.

Stephen Machin (@s_machin_) is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, has been President of the European Association of Labour Economists, is a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists and was an independent member of the Low Pay Commission from 2007 to 2014. He is the Chair of Sub-Panel 16 Econometrics of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).

A pre-recorded message will be delivered by Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to her current role, she was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. She is an alumna of LSE. Her new book, What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract, is out now. She is co-chair of the Economy 2030 Inquiry commission. 

More about this event

This event is part of the LSE Festival: How Do We Get to a Post-COVID World? running from Monday 13 to Saturday 18 June 2022, with a series of events exploring the practical steps we could be taking to shape a better world.

As part of the Economy 2030 Inquiry, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, this event is hosted by the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE and the Resolution Foundation (@resfoundation). Based on the research findings from the Inquiry so far, we will discuss how the UK has responded to past periods of economic change, and how to make the coming decade of change a success.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEFestival

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from The Decisive Decade: how should the UK navigate the economic change of the 2020s?

A video of this event is available to watch at The Decisive Decade: how should the UK navigate the economic change of the 2020s?

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