Why is Change so Hard? | LSE Festival

Hosted by LSE Festival: People and Change

In-person and online public event (Great Hall, Marshall Building)


Stella Creasy

Stella Creasy

Professor Conor Gearty

Professor Conor Gearty

Laura de Molière

Laura de Molière

Dr Jens Madsen

Dr Jens Madsen


Dr Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington

Dr Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington

Whilst we celebrate the power of people to bring about change in society, we must also acknowledge what a tortuous and slow path meaningful change can take.

Prevented by risk or fear; hampered by bureaucracy; stifled by people circumventing interventions; or cancelled out by unintended consequences - the panel will consider the legal, social, political and psychological reasons why change is so hard. 

Meet our speakers and chair

Stella Creasy (@stellacreasy) has been the Labour and Cooperative MP for Walthamstow since 2010, having previously worked in youth services and the charity sector before being elected. Stella completed her PhD in LSE's Department of Social Policy on 'understanding the lifeworld of social exclusion'. She has gone on to campaign on a number of issues and has a track record of securing legislative change from the backbenches- winning the regulation of payday lending and buy now pay later companies, supporting bereaved parents to access financial help, helping secure access to abortion rights for the women of Northern Ireland and here in the UK through the introduction of bufferzones around abortion clinics and making misogyny a hate crime. 

Conor Gearty (@conorgearty) is Professor of Human Rights Law, LSE Law School. He was born in Ireland and graduated in law from University College Dublin before moving to Wolfson College, Cambridge in 1980 to study for a Master’s Degree and then for a PhD. He is interested in how belief and behaviour impact democratic stability, information fragility, discrimination, and environmental sustainability.

Laura de Molière (@laurademoliere) is a behavioural science consultant and former Head of Behavioural Science at the UK Cabinet Office. She founded and led the Cabinet Office Behavioural Science team, consulting on high profile, fast moving policy and communication challenges across Whitehall.

Jens Madsen (@jenskoedmadsen) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE. He designs and teaches the module on cognitive psychology for the 2nd year undergraduate students in BSc Psychological and Behavioural Science. 

Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington (@jsskeffington) is Associate Professor of Social Psychology, Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, LSE. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology & Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin and Masters in Social Psychology at the LSE. She then joined the UK civil service as a social psychologist, applying behavioural insights to the understanding of conflict and terrorism, rising to the role of Senior Strategic Analyst. Jennifer moved to the US to complete her PhD in Psychology at Harvard University. 

More about this event

This event is part of the LSE Festival: People and Change running from Monday 12 to Saturday 17 June 2023, with a series of events exploring how change affects people and how people effect change. Booking for all Festival events will open on Monday 15 May. 

The Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science (PBS) (@LSE_PBS) is a growing community of researchers, intellectuals, and students who investigate the human mind and behaviour in a societal context. The department conducts cutting-edge psychological and behavioural research that is both based in and applied to the real world.

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Podcast and video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Why is Change so Hard?

A video of this event is available to watch at Why is Change so Hard?

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