In 2016 we decided as a group to hold an annual public event which would be open to academics and practitioners, keeping the numbers limited in the interests of sustained discussion. The colloquia take radical social innovation as their theme because that represents our concept of policy and practice.
The First Radical Social Innovation Colloquium in Cardiff was co-sponsored by WISERD and CRESC in May 2016. You can read Mick Moran’s blog about the colloquium here and access the conference programme here. The opening plenary presentation by Julie Froud can be read here.
The second colloquium took place at Queen Mary University of London in May 2017. You can see the draft programme here.
On the 8th of March 2017 the Welsh Assembly held a 60 minute debate on the foundational economy. Four Labour members proposed a motion which “Calls on the Welsh Government to develop a strategy to maximise the impact of the foundational economy across Wales as part of its work on developing a new economic strategy.” This attracted cross party support from Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives, and the Economy Minister, Ken Skates, then responded positively. Watch the debate here.
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In March 2017 we published the most recent in a series of public interest reports which have attracted considerable public attention. The new report Coming Back Capability and Precarity in UK Textiles and Apparel develops a distinctive analysis of firm capability and emphasises the importance of supportive ecological conditions. The practical implication is that a large scale reshoring of garment production is not going to happen, but, that there is much to be done in supporting small and medium firms and policing competition from firms who are not paying minimum wages.