The Inclusive Growth Podcast - hosted by the Centre for Progressive Policy


EVENT: In conversation with Martin Vander Weyer & Edie Lush

From the Industrial Revolution to the internet, capitalism has been a great engine of human progress. But, according to the Spectator business editor it now stands accused of allowing the greedy few to run riot over the rest of society, exploiting workers and suppliers and recklessly damaging the planet in pursuit of profit. Where did these accusations come from – and are they true?

Martin Vander Weyer will argue in this in-conversation with journalist Edie Lush that capitalism has indeed lost its moral compass, lost public trust and is in urgent need of repair.

This reflective end-of-year event will ask, amongst other questions: Do businesses always operate in a social context? Can a ‘good’ business in a moral sense also be a business that rewards its creators and backers? What does 21st-century capitalism look like? Can faith in entrepreneurship and private-sector investment be reinstalled as a proven path to innovation and prosperity? If so, which of the core principles of our economic systems need revived? And is reaching net zero at the heart of its revival?

This event builds on CPP’s previous work on the Role of Business in Society and on previous discussions such as the role of corporations in levelling up.

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Inclusive growth, what is all about and why now? Episode #1

Ep. 1
For the last decade, stagnant real wages have squeezed living standards, wealth has become increasingly concentrated and having a job has been no guarantee of stable, secure or sufficient income. The economy is no longer producing the quality of jobs people need to support their families and opportunities vary depending on where people live and what their background is. The pandemic has exacerbated the UK’s longstanding regional inequality and the questions of how to ensure the transition to a green economy - is gaining prominence.As inequality worsens and the capacity for communities around the world to shake off economic challenges is depleted, the case for switching to a new ‘inclusive growth’ model is intensifying.At the heart of our work is the belief that inclusive growth can allow individuals, families and communities across the UK to contribute and benefit from shared prosperity. For this to happen, people need access to good jobs and a supportive social infrastructure, including health, skills training and childcare. Economic policy must reflect this and recognise inclusive growth as a driver of productivity, both nationally and locally.In our first podcast, CPP’s director Charlotte Alldritt speaks with CPP’s Head of Research, Ben Franklin; the Senior Lead of the Inclusive Growth Network hosted by CPP, Annabel Smith; and Ben Lucas, Managing Director at Metro Dynamics.Our guests will be discussing why inclusive growth has never been more important and what they would like to see in the upcoming Spending Review, Budget and Levelling up White Paper - set to be published by the UK Government. 

EVENT: A shared motto or common paths?

If the Trump era was about America First, President Joe Biden has made his administration about ‘jobs first’ – both in recovering from the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression and in responding to climate change. Similarly, Prime Minster Boris Johnson – invigorated by a swathe of Conservative party victories in recent elections – has promised that the UK will go ‘from jab, jab, jab to jobs, jobs, jobs’. The US and the UK face the same conjuncture. The economics and politics of both countries have been driven increasingly by the salience of division and inequality – whether regional, racial, health, wealth or income related.Upon assuming the presidency, Joe Biden set out a vision for unity to rebuild in the devastating wake of Covid-19, but it would be no mean feat against a backdrop of historic uprising in the Washington State Capitol and the Black Lives Matter protests that had swept the nation – and the world – over the previous summer. With long term stagnant to falling middle class wages, an ever-polarising city vs rural divide and Covid pushing over 2 million women out of the US workforce, the question of how to build back better, and what this could mean for different people and places will define the future of the country in decades to come. In the UK, the challenges of shaping new, post-Brexit trade links are as much about responding to the grievances of the former red wall as an exercise in foreign diplomacy. The result in the recent Hartlepool by-election typifies the scale of political dislocation from ‘traditional’ values and voting patterns, all while our very constitutional existence is under question as a United Kingdom.Much hope on both sides of the Atlantic has been pinned on the creation of new, green jobs – simultaneously driving prosperity and reducing climate emissions. Trillions of dollars have been committed by the US President for investment in physical and – notably – social infrastructure. This investment-led approach to more sustainable, inclusive growth has been heralded by some as the timely and long overdue introduction of a firmer social safety net. Others fear the impact of this approach, overheating the economy with the sheer scale of federal financial intervention and shifting the US towards a model directly opposed to its founding 'small State’ principles. Meanwhile Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party is leading a seismic shift in UK politics in its mission to level up by tackling ingrained regional inequalities across the UK - territory previously the reserve of the Left. Investment in physical infrastructure and the quality of local high streets are high on the agenda, with the promise of a ‘skills and training revolution’ also in the offing.What do UK and US leaders – national and local – need to do to deliver on the hope of building back better? What are the key barriers to success? What can the UK learn from its US counterparts, and vice versa? How do we prevent this moment being a missed opportunity for systemic change? Are we witnessing a more fundamental shift in the Anglo-Saxon model that has shaped the development of modern capitalism in the UK, US and beyond? What might the results of this shift be in the medium – longer term?PanellistsPenny Abeywardena, NYC Commissioner & former Director of Girls and Women Integration (CGI)Heidi Binko, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Just Transition FundSunder Katwala, Director of British FutureBruce Katz, Founding Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University in PhiladelphiaSir John Kay, Economist