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Social science and industrial strategy: how can we develop social solutions...

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Inox Dine, University of Sheffield

Level 5, Student's Union Building

Durham Road

Sheffield

S10 2TG

United Kingdom

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Speakers:

Paul Kirby - Co-founder & CEO of Zinc Venture Capitalists. Visiting Professor, London School of Economics. Non-Executive Director, Cabinet Office, UK Government

Sarah Want - Director of Partnerships and Regional Engagement, University of Sheffield

Neil Lee - Lecturer in Economic Geography, London School of Economics

Alasdair Rae - Reader, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield

Chair:

Professor James Wilsdon, Social Sciences Faculty Director of Impact and Engagement, University of Sheffield.


Social science and industrial strategy: how can we develop social solutions to boost productivity, improve living standards and reduce regional inequalities?

The government’s new Industrial Strategy aims to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country”[1]. A £4.7 billion Industrial Strategy Challenges Fund has been established to support these goals.

These are complex challenges. New technologies will be part of the solution, but research from the Resolution Foundation suggests that investing in advanced technologies and manufacturing in deprived regions will deliver few benefits for people in low skilled work.

There are of course opportunities for substantial social science contributions to existing industrial strategy priorities. In healthcare services and technologies, there is a growing emphasis on the social determinants of human health. And as developments in artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning gather pace, economists, sociologists, political scientists and lawyers are engaging more with their opportunities and dilemmas.

In a UK economy that is 79% based on services, achieving the goals of Industrial Strategy will require a broad approach that invests in advanced services alongside advanced manufacturing, and tackles challenges of productivity, skills, innovation and wellbeing.

This Northern Exposure event will explore the opportunities for social scientists in the context of the Industrial Strategy, and how we can contribute to real solutions that improve wealth and quality of life for people in the Sheffield city region and across the UK.

[1] Building our Industrial Strategy, Green Paper, January 2017

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Inox Dine, University of Sheffield

Level 5, Student's Union Building

Durham Road

Sheffield

S10 2TG

United Kingdom

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