Blog - Rethinking Poverty


Talking Points: September 2019

By Rethinking Poverty

09 Oct 2019

This month’s Talking Points looks at rising poverty and inequality and what can be done about it – from reforming Universal Credit to introducing UBS/UBI, taxing wealth more, and...

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Too little, too late? Reflections on the 20 September climate strike

By Caroline Hartnell

02 Oct 2019

The introductory statement to the UN Climate Action Summit on 23 September 2019 makes chilling reading, though it insists that there are still solutions available: ‘The last four years...

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45° Change shows the way

By Jon Edwards

25 Sep 2019

The core premise of Neal Lawson’s ‘45° Change’ is that the post-1945 welfare state approach to dealing with societal challenges has broken down. The neoliberal, market-driven system that has...

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Reinventing social services

By Bob Rhodes

18 Sep 2019

As part of its Manifesto for Social Care Reform, the Centre Welfare Reform proposes a radical reinvention of social services and the reintegration and refocusing of social work on...

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Talking Points: July/August 2019

By Rethinking Poverty

11 Sep 2019

This month’s Talking Points ranges widely from US companies’ new professed purpose of improving our society to a change of direction at Joseph Rowntree Foundation, ideas for transforming public... Read More

Road Map to a Green New Deal: From Extraction to Stewardship

By Mathew Lawrence

03 Sep 2019

Executive summary Tinkering at the margins of an economic model driving environmental breakdown is guaranteed to deepen the climate emergency. To thrive, only a systemic response to a systems... Read More

Who has the power to restore nature?

By Chris Williams

28 Aug 2019

The UK’s 25 year environment plan — to lead the world in the ​‘natural capital approach’ — contains many bold statements about the capacity of this approach to produce positive change for nature. One aim is... Read More

Reflections on the Community Wealth Building Summit

By the CLES team

21 Aug 2019

Last week CLES hosted the second annual Community Wealth Building Summit, the only event like it in the UK and the largest event in CLES’ history. The 200-strong delegate... Read More

The big picture

By Fran Bennett

14 Aug 2019

This ‘Poverty and social security: where next?’ blog series has given valuable pointers about what a future government should do to mend social security and tackle poverty over the... Read More

How ‘meanwhile use’ is opening doors in declining high streets

By Thomas Barrett

07 Aug 2019

We are all familiar with the gaps in high streets left as stores close. This article from New Start describes a pilot scheme called Open Doors, to be launched later this year,... Read More

Wellbeing as economic steer – New Zealand leading the pack (again)?

By Lukasz Krebel

01 Aug 2019

Today the ONS has published its latest GDP statistics, showing that UK GDP grew by 0.3% in the three months to May 2019. This monthly release typically attracts widespread media... Read More

Housing in 2040

By Sally Thomas

29 Jul 2019

Reflections from the 2019 annual conference of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) Our annual conference looked at the future of housing, focusing on our tenants, homes, communities... Read More

It’s time to recognise the power of individuals and communities and create a more Enabling State

By Hannah Ormston

25 Jul 2019

Now, perhaps more than ever, our peer-to-peer interactions, social networks and relationships, matter. The importance of personal agency and control in the decisions that affect our lives should not... Read More

Breaking Ground

By Sally Witcher

23 Jul 2019

How would you design a new social security system from scratch? Not an opportunity that comes along every day, so probably not a question many have devoted time to... Read More

A Network Of Hope?

By Dr Hugh Ellis

18 Jul 2019

It might not be immediately obvious why anyone would want to have a relationship with a planner let alone an organisation dedicated to promoting the values of a planning... Read More

Forty years of bumpy road

By Barry Knight

16 Jul 2019

This article is based on a talk to the Voluntary Action History Society on 10 June 2019. Arthur Marwick said that a society without an understanding of its history... Read More

How to live better together

By Barry Knight and Colin Greer

10 Jul 2019

The unseen driver of our troubles causes no pain. But it is quietly destroying you and me. What is it? We reckon that most of you will have thought... Read More

Talking Points: June 2019 

By Rethinking Poverty

09 Jul 2019

This month’s Talking Points reflects on the causes of inequality and puts forward some suggestions for tackling poverty rather than just more ‘bad news’. We also look at the... Read More

The best investment

By Louisa McGeehan

02 Jul 2019

If a future government wants to tackle poverty, its first priority should be child poverty. Growing up in poverty steals away children’s life chances – poorer children are likely... Read More

Making the European project heroic again

By Pierre Calame

26 Jun 2019

The European Union has seen globalization in narrow economic terms as the creation of a single global market rather than the irreversible, interdependent relationships between the world’s societies and... Read More

Building communities for the Scotland we want

By Barry Knight

24 Jun 2019

What follows is the text of a speech given by Barry Knight at a conference of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) on 12 June 2019. The speech... Read More

Major repairs

By Stephen Timms

19 Jun 2019

An incoming Labour government will be confronted with the severe problems currently facing claimants grappling with universal credit. What will the Labour party need to do to put social... Read More

Social justice and climate justice must go hand in hand

By Stephen Pittam

18 Jun 2019

In April I attended Ariadne’s annual meeting in Belfast. Ariadne is a European peer-to-peer network of over 600 funders and philanthropists who support social change and human rights. Participants... Read More

Reporting on poverty: why the tone matters

By Manny Hothi

11 Jun 2019

Is the angry and exasperated tone of Phillip Alston’s report on poverty in the UK counter-productive? Let’s compare this with responses to climate change. For years David Attenborough and... Read More

Talking Points: May 2019

By Rethinking Poverty

05 Jun 2019

A big story this month is the launch of a new review of inequality in the UK, but will it make a difference? Discussion of the four-day (or shorter)... Read More

Back to school: some personal reflections on Losing Control and CTRLshift

By Mark Wilkinson

04 Jun 2019

In this blog, Mark Wilkinson, Losing Control advisory council member, reflects on the Losing Control conference in February, CTRLshift: an emergency summit for change in May, and the way community groups in towns and... Read More

Alternative Editorial: CTRLshifts into next gear

By Indra Adnan

30 May 2019

CTRLshift is all about ‘shifting control’ from national-level political parties and corporations to the people and organisations collaborating in towns, cities and regions – very much the agenda of... Read More

Three points to keep in mind when you talk about poverty

By John Veit-Wilson

28 May 2019

Poverty is growing in the UK, and it’s not only that more people are suffering, but the hurts and indignities they suffer are getting worse. Much of this avoidable... Read More

Reimagining the Economy: The Social Justice Enterprise

By Aaron Tanaka

23 May 2019

Editors’ note: In this article, Aaron Tanaka, director of the Center for Economic Democracy and cofounder of the Boston Ujima Project, envisions a new approach for economic development that is... Read More

Will government look different if wellbeing is its guiding star?

By Caroline Hartnell

21 May 2019

The devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all three put wellbeing at the heart of their approach – codifying their values and goals within wellbeing frameworks... Read More

Commanding public confidence

By Claire Ainsley

16 May 2019

For people living in poverty in the UK, the workings of the social security system are too often part of the problem, not part of the solution. People will... Read More

The importance of losing control if we are to #ShiftThePower

By Kim Soliman and Laura Ross Gakava

14 May 2019

For two days in February we were welcomed to ‘Losing Control’, a gathering of like-minded folk seeking to connect, inspire, debate and conspire about how to lose control. As... Read More

Is protest the new form of politics? Tyne & Wear Citizens offer a different model

By Barry Knight

08 May 2019

Barry Knight attends an assembly of Tyne & Wear Citizens to meet the candidates in the North of Tyne mayoral elections Something is stirring. A new populism is on... Read More

Talking Points: April 2019

By Rethinking Poverty

01 May 2019

 The big development this month is the re-emergence of the Green New Deal in the UK, offering a way forward to address poverty, inequality and climate change. Also this... Read More

Out there is in here: the importance of systems awareness

By Caroline Hartnell

24 Apr 2019

Systems change is an area Rethinking Poverty intends to look at in a systematic way, examining some of the key concepts such as emergence and design, equifinality, etc. While... Read More

Communities in control: a local democracy laboratory

By Roy Payne

16 Apr 2019

The government’s new Working with Communities policy is important because it establishes the principle of ‘community consent’ to long-term planning decisions affecting the local community. This has the potential... Read More

Eradicating poverty and tackling climate change are inextricably linked

By Caroline Hartnell

10 Apr 2019

I have been very aware for a while that Rethinking Poverty should be including climate change in its focus. But a gut feeling about the interconnectedness of everything isn’t... Read More

Talking Points: March 2019

By Rethinking Poverty

03 Apr 2019

New economic models feature prominently in this month’s Talking Points. The publication of new reports from NEF and Compass has revived the debate about universal basic income vs universal... Read More

Creating a shared vision to reduce inequality in Oxford

By Caroline Hartnell

28 Mar 2019

On 1 March I met with a group of people from Oxford – city council officials, an elected councillor and staff of social enterprise Aspire Oxford – to talk... Read More

Missing Morality

By Reverend Paul Nicolson

26 Mar 2019

I am delighted to make this politically independent contribution to debate the left’s poverty and social security agenda in the 2020s. I work without allegiance to any political party,... Read More

The Blackpool We Want For Our Children

By Barry Knight

22 Mar 2019

What follows is the text of a speech given by Barry Knight at a one-day conference in Blackpool on 22 March 2019. The objective of the conference was to... Read More

The great sale of public land – a fire sale for our times

By Peter Hetherington

20 Mar 2019

Here Peter Hetherington reviews Brett Christophers’ new book on enclosure in neoliberal Britain. Jason Hickel’s blog, posted yesterday, also focuses on enclosure and the role it has played as the engine... Read More

Degrowth: A call for radical abundance

By Jason Hickel

19 Mar 2019

What do we need for a good society and a sustainable future? We need to de-enclose social goods and restore the commons, so that people can access the things they need... Read More

A female face

By Mary-Ann Stephenson

14 Mar 2019

Our social security system is not working. A succession of cuts and changes over the last eight years have left a fifth of the population (more than 14 million people)... Read More

Can a successful community be planned? The case of Derwenthorpe

By Steven Burkeman

12 Mar 2019

In 1901, Joseph Rowntree began creating what was to become the village of New Earswick, 2½ miles north of York. Today, New Earswick is a thriving mixed community of... Read More

Talking Points: February 2019

By Rethinking Poverty

06 Mar 2019

Is the zeitgeist changing? While the beginning of February saw a spate of calls for the rich to pay more taxes, the end of the month has seen a... Read More

Money and its uses

By Donald Burling

27 Feb 2019

Rethinking Poverty encourages its readers to contribute their thoughts so that we can all engage in developing the society we want. Here we publish an article by Donald Burling... Read More

Why we need an inclusive economy not inclusive growth

By David Burch and Neil McInroy

20 Feb 2019

From time to time a new policy concept emerges, which seems to capture the mood and desire for a certain type of change. Today in economic development that phrase... Read More

Universal Credit: the welfare reform pushing people into hardship

By Rachel Gregory

14 Feb 2019

Universal Credit is hailed as the biggest welfare reform since the welfare state was introduced. While support exists for the principles behind its introduction – simplifying the legacy benefits... Read More

Talking Points: January 2019

By Rethinking Poverty

05 Feb 2019

Why is inequality increasing? Because the rich aren’t paying their way A discussion panel at the recent Davos World Economic Forum became a sensation after a Dutch historian took... Read More

Community wealth building – what is it all about?

By Caroline Hartnell

30 Jan 2019

What is community wealth building (CWB)? On the one hand, it seems like a new idea. The Labour Party established its CWB Unit less than a year ago, on... Read More

The state we want

By Caroline Hartnell and Barry Knight

23 Jan 2019

Here, we follow up the article by Neal Lawson and Caroline Hartnell on ‘45 Degree Change’ and examine initiatives identified by Aditya Chakrabortty in a series of articles called... Read More

NewStart Feature – how a derelict swimming pool became one of Birmingham’s most treasured community hubs

By Thomas Barrett

16 Jan 2019

Another great example of how an area can be transformed when the city council works closely with local residents at every stage of a regeneration project, led by ‘what... Read More

Talking Points looks back on 2018

By Rethinking Poverty

09 Jan 2019

Deepening poverty and inequality Gordon Brown provides what seems like a fitting epitaph for the year. ‘I’m seeing poverty I didn’t think I would ever see again in my... Read More

Powering a good society

By Barry Knight

03 Jan 2019

Last year was a bad year for anti-poverty campaigners. Poverty rose significantly and yet the government summarily dismissed reports from the UN and JRF. If we are to produce... Read More

Thoughts on a good society

By Katy Goldstraw

19 Dec 2018

Current discussion of a good society takes place in a period of profound global change, and there is no agreement about what a good society would look like. In... Read More

Tyne and Wear Citizens shows the way

By Barry Knight

12 Dec 2018

In all my years of working with voluntary organisations and community groups, I have never been to an AGM like it. The room is packed, the energy high, the... Read More

Talking Points: November 2018

By Rethinking Poverty

05 Dec 2018

The UN report on poverty in the UK … The big event in the area of poverty this month has to be Philip Alston’s damning report on poverty in... Read More

A Northern Soul – a story of a striver with a happy ending

By Barry Knight and Caroline Hartnell

28 Nov 2018

Moved, humbled, inspired, sad, angry – these are some of our feelings after watching A Northern Soul, a film by Hull-born documentary-maker Sean McAllister, shown on BBC2 on Sunday 18... Read More

45 Degree Change: where bottom up meets top down

By Neal Lawson and Caroline Hartnell

21 Nov 2018

We want to change the world.  Of course that means ending poverty and stopping climate change. The problem is, though, we really don’t know how to do it.  Two... Read More

Real Estate Radio show meets #thehullwewant

By Gill Hughes and Sarah Hatfield

15 Nov 2018

We are Gill Hughes of the University of Hull’s Youth Work and Community Development team and Sarah Hatfield from Timebank. Together, we convene the #thehullwewant project. The project is... Read More

Talking Points: October 2018

By Rethinking Poverty

07 Nov 2018

March Talking Points featured a heading: ‘A big shift in the economy needed – but where are the ideas?’ In June we asked: ‘Why are there no ideas “lying... Read More

Principles for a Good Society

By Ghiyas Somra

24 Oct 2018

Rethinking Poverty advocates a move away from ‘top-down approaches drawing on the views of professional experts’ and actually hearing from the communities we seek to help. Here, Ghiyas Somra... Read More

Shocking similarity between UK poverty in 2018 and around 1900

By Pat Thane

17 Oct 2018

Surveying British history since 1900 for my new book Divided Kingdom. A History of Britain, 1900 to the Present, my most shocking discovery was that the extent and causes... Read More

#ShiftThePower: how are we doing two years on?

By Jenny Hodgson

10 Oct 2018

Regular readers of the Rethinking Poverty blog and our Twitter followers may have noticed frequent mentions of #ShiftThePower and #TheHullWeWant – and may well have wondered what these have... Read More

Talking Points: September 2018

By Rethinking Poverty

03 Oct 2018

Ten years on from the crash and nothing learned Ten years on from the collapse of Lehman Brothers on 15 September 2008, there has been a bevy of articles... Read More

Creating a new narrative for a good society – lessons from Letchworth

By Rethinking Poverty, Compass, TCPA, University of Hull, UCL

26 Sep 2018

What would a good society look like and how can we achieve it? As described in yesterday’s blog, a small group of people got together in Letchworth Garden City... Read More

What could planning contribute to achieving a good society – lessons from Letchworth

By Rethinking Poverty, Compass, TCPA, University of Hull, UCL

25 Sep 2018

‘Town and country must be married. And out of this joyous union will spring new hope, a new life, a new civilisation.’ Ebenezer Howard, Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to... Read More

Government and charities don’t do enough to give people power

By Julia Unwin

14 Sep 2018

Scrapping top-down attempts at building a good society and shifting the power to those people who we seek to help are some of the main ideas put forward by Barry... Read More

Talking Points: August 2018

By Rethinking Poverty

04 Sep 2018

The government’s new Civil Society Strategy … August has seen the launch of the government’s new Civil Society Strategy. Civil Society Media quotes Jeremy Wright, the culture secretary: ‘Our... Read More

The Development Set and its role in perpetuating poverty

By Gerry Salole

29 Aug 2018

  ‘Although we move with the better classes, our thoughts are always with the masses.’ (Ross Coggins, 1976) In 1976, an exasperated development worker, Ross Coggins, attending his umpteenth... Read More

Talking Points: July 2018

By Rethinking Poverty

14 Aug 2018

Child poverty is worsening Child poverty is soaring, says NPC chief executive Dan Corry in a recent Guardian article. Resolution Foundation analysis suggests that child poverty has risen from 1.6... Read More

How ‘good help’ can help to transform lives

By Caroline Hartnell

07 Aug 2018

What is ‘good help’? According to a new report published by OSCA and NESTA, Good and bad help: How purpose and confidence transform lives, ‘good help’ is help that... Read More

If knowing the facts reduced poverty, it would be all over by now

By Barry Knight

24 Jul 2018

Barry Knight reviews Poverty: The facts (6th edition) by Alan Marsh, with Karen Barker, Carla Ayrton, Morag Treanor and Moussa Haddad (Child Poverty Action Group, 2017) and The New... Read More

Talking Points: June 2018

By Rethinking Poverty

17 Jul 2018

Plight of poor people worsening … June has produced plenty of bad news on this front. Analysis by the Centre for Social Justice, a right-wing think-tank, shows that the wages... Read More

Rethinking poverty, rethinking data

By Michael Weatherburn

12 Jun 2018

The publication of Barry Knight’s Rethinking Poverty: What makes a good society? (2017) no doubt raised eyebrows when its author suggested that one of the most effective ways to... Read More

Talking Points: May 2018

By Rethinking Poverty

06 Jun 2018

How can funders help develop the kind of civil society we need? How can funders support development of a civil society that will provide ‘a creative response to everything... Read More

Universal basic services – is this the answer to poverty?

By Caroline Hartnell

29 May 2018

  ‘Focusing on basic services, such as housing, food, communications and transport, is, we conclude, far more effective at driving down the cost of living than spending the same... Read More

Are we dancing on the edge?

By Barry Knight

21 May 2018

Beatrice Webb’s observation that poverty has little to do with individual sloth and everything to do with economic mismanagement and social structure led to systematic government action to regulate... Read More

‘How do we solve poverty if all your jobs depend on it?’ Barry Knight goes on a poverty safari

By Barry Knight

16 May 2018

The title of this article is taken from a quotation from Poverty Safari by Darren McGarvey – better known as the rapper Loki. Based on his experience of growing... Read More

Universal Basic Income – not the answer to poverty

By Chris Goulden

11 May 2018

Universal basic income (UBI), or citizens’ basic income, is one of the ideas put forward in Barry Knight’s book Rethinking Poverty: What makes a good society? as a ‘promising area for... Read More

Talking Points: April 2018

By Rethinking Poverty

08 May 2018

Why is wealth inequality soaring? By 2030 the richest 1 per cent will own two-thirds of global wealth. Dominic Frisby offers 10 reasons why this is happening in the... Read More

How can we bring child poverty to an end? Caroline Hartnell attended the launch of CPAG’s new book

By Caroline Hartnell

03 May 2018

Why do we value children so little? This question was posed by Ingrid Wolfe, consultant in children’s public health medicine and director of the Evelina London Child Health Partnership,... Read More

Rethinking Poverty: Towards the Webb Legacy – a summary

By Caroline Hartnell

24 Apr 2018

Barry Knight’s book Rethinking Poverty:What makes a good society? was published last September, eliciting a wide range of responses, published on the Rethinking Poverty blog. Barry’s new paper, summarised... Read More

Talking Points: March 2018

By Rethinking Poverty

04 Apr 2018

A big shift in the economy needed – but where are the ideas? ‘Reflective Corbynites and thoughtful Conservatives are agreed on one thing—the time is ripe for a big... Read More

Can Rachel Reeves’ ‘everyday economy’ replace the neoliberal consensus?

By Caroline Hartnell

29 Mar 2018

‘Since 1945 Britain has experienced two models of political economy,’ said Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West, launching her new pamphlet, The Everyday Economy, at The Trampery in London... Read More

Both/and not either/or: we need to rethink poverty AND rethink politics

By Caroline Hartnell

26 Mar 2018

‘If the crucial issue is how to ensure adequate resources for all, why are we asked to discuss the ‘Good Life’ at all?’ writes John Veit-Wilson. ‘… what they... Read More

There have been important successes in our attempts to end poverty

By Reverend Paul Nicolson

23 Mar 2018

The main point of Barry Knight’s book is that ‘our efforts to end poverty over the past 75 years have failed’. I disagree. There have been some significant successes.... Read More

A little less conversation a little more action please!

By Sara Bryson

21 Mar 2018

The persistence of poverty, it seems to me, continues because we fail to tackle a central crucial issue: power. We have centuries of writing, analysis and debate in relation... Read More

We need knowledge and leadership for a good society

By Nat O’Connor

19 Mar 2018

Barry Knight, and others, are right to move beyond the word ‘poverty’. It is a loaded term and people carry so many preconceptions into any conversation on poverty that... Read More

This isn’t rethinking poverty

By John Veit-Wilson

14 Mar 2018

In response to Barry Knight’s invitation to give feedback on his recent article ‘Rethinking Poverty: Towards the Webb Legacy’, I’m puzzled why there isn’t more emphasis on asking why... Read More

Rethinking Poverty: Towards the Webb Legacy

By Barry Knight

07 Mar 2018

Purpose of this paper This paper has two goals. The first is to learn from reactions to the publication of Rethinking Poverty given during a wide range of public... Read More

Talking Points: January/February 2018

By Rethinking Poverty

07 Mar 2018

New Guardian series on alternative economics ‘It’s time to take on the zombies’ is the title of the first article in Aditya Chakrabortty’s new fortnightly series called ‘The Alternatives’... Read More

Talking about poverty – is being careful about language enough

By Caroline Hartnell

01 Mar 2018

‘The problem with the word poverty is that it embodies so many negatives,’ said journalist Stephen Armstrong, author of The New Poverty, speaking at Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s (JRF) ‘Talking... Read More

Rethinking Poverty – Chris Goulden draws parallels with new research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

By Chris Goulden

01 Mar 2018

I completely agree with the book’s aspiration for us all to think differently about poverty. That’s also the foundation of new JRF research from the Frameworks Institute that seeks... Read More

Mapping a new way to the society we want

By Peter Hetherington

26 Feb 2018

Peter Hetherington finds compelling arguments in a recent book challenging preconceived ideas about the role and responsibility of government and the assumptions of both the political right and left.... Read More

Poverty eradication is a ‘vaste programme’

By Bassma Kodmani

22 Feb 2018

I started to highlight the sentences that inspired me, as I often do, with the intention of citing Barry Knight’s Rethinking Poverty in my own lectures or writings, but... Read More

Rethinking Poverty: The Webb Legacy

By Rethinking Poverty

19 Dec 2017

After more than 70 years, the Webb Memorial Trust will close at the end of 2017. This follows a decision in 2010 to spend down the endowment of the... Read More

Event Report: Rethinking Poverty – Greater Manchester Can Lead the Way

By Tom Skinner

19 Dec 2017

Reflections from Tom Skinner, Director of Greater Manchester Poverty Action We had a fantastic time at our Rethinking Poverty event last week, and I want to thank everyone who... Read More

Forces of agency – from young marketers to social movements

By Lisa Jordan

18 Dec 2017

Before getting into the heart of the Rethinking Poverty dialogue I want to first say ‘thank you’ to Barry Knight and the Webb Memorial Trust for helping me understand... Read More

Blending past insights with new ways of thinking – the role of wellbeing in social progress

By Jennifer Wallace

12 Dec 2017

Working for an organisation with a hundred-year history tends to change your perspective. While most analysis of the relationship between the state and citizens starts from the postwar social... Read More

Fairness: a basis for uniting people across class, gender, race, and other differences

By Albert Ruesga

11 Dec 2017

A doff of the hat to my colleague Barry Knight for his recent book, Rethinking Poverty: What Makes a Good Society? In the US, we live in a society where few... Read More

Living Wage campaign links community with politics and business

By Jessica Goble

17 Nov 2017

Living Wage campaign links community with politics and business, says Jessica Goble As a programme officer for the Living Wage Foundation, the point that most struck me from Rethinking... Read More

Rethinking Poverty? We shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

By Kate Green

15 Nov 2017

How to end poverty in rich countries has been the subject of much hand-wringing over the years. When the Webb Memorial Trust kicked off our programme of work in... Read More

Democracy is Alive: parallels between Rethinking Poverty and Constituent Voice

By David Bonbright

24 Oct 2017

Last month I attended a very British event at the London School of Economics. A hundred or so of us gathered in the Shaw Library, named after George Bernard... Read More

Gerry Salole reviews Rethinking Poverty: What makes a good society?

By Gerry Salole

19 Oct 2017

The title of this book, Rethinking Poverty – What makes a good society?, promises a theoretical treatise on the elimination, or reframing, of poverty and destitution in the UK.... Read More

New Statesman article: Reinventing the Welfare State

By Barry Knight

18 Oct 2017

This article was originally published in the New Statesman magazine and online How to reinvent the welfare state for a new political era: voters want both freedom and security... Read More

Poverty in the Netherlands – the challenges for philanthropists

By Bodille Arensman

18 Oct 2017

On 20 September 2017 the Erasmus Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (ECSP) organised a learning event on poverty for philanthropists in the Netherlands with the aim of discussing the challenges... Read More

Citizen’s Basic Income Trust’s review of Rethinking Poverty

By Rethinking Poverty

05 Oct 2017

This book offers a summary of a Webb Memorial Trust research programme that asks how we might construct a society without poverty rather than the slightly different question as... Read More

Four thoughts about the ‘poverty narrative’

By Keiran Goddard

04 Oct 2017

Rethinking Poverty argues that the ‘narrative around poverty is broken’ … and, assuming we want our social narratives to render experience with something like fidelity, it’s a claim that... Read More

The solutions lie in communities, the world over

By Jon Edwards

28 Sep 2017

The launch of Barry Knight’s book Rethinking Poverty has certainly acted as a catalyst for thinking and reflection. Although the emphasis in the book is on the crisis in... Read More

Rethinking ideology, a view from the US

By Christopher Harris

28 Sep 2017

  Joseph Stiglitz, the 2001 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics, has written for a long time about the failure of neoliberal economics and the resultant human suffering... Read More

A narrative that resonates for single parents

By Rosie Ferguson

26 Sep 2017

One in four families in the UK today is headed by a single parent, making them an everyday part of the fabric of our society.  We’ve become a much... Read More

WATCH: Commentary on the launch of Rethinking Poverty

By Rethinking Poverty

26 Sep 2017

We invited some attendees at the launch of Rethinking Poverty to share their thoughts on the messages that feature in the book. Read more from the Rethinking Poverty discussion forum: Starting... Read More

Forget “Global North” & “Global South” – when it comes to poverty, power and progress, it’s a global conversation

By Barry Knight

21 Sep 2017

As the first anniversary of the launch of the campaign to #ShiftThePower approaches, there are clear signs that people in the Global South are developing it creatively.  A prime example took... Read More

Importance of housing underestimated

By Paul Nicolson

21 Sep 2017

In Rethinking Poverty Barry Knight and the Webb Memorial Trust turned to participatory research to provide opportunities for ‘…individuals on low incomes to develop and express their own ideas’. They rightly... Read More

Starting a conversation – the launch of Rethinking Poverty

By Andrew Milner

21 Sep 2017

The Webb Memorial Trust launched the book Rethinking Poverty: What makes a good society? in the Shaw Library at the London School of Economics (LSE) on 13 September 2017.... Read More

WATCH: John Akinde perform ‘The Youth Will Not Die’ at Rethinking Poverty launch

By Rethinking Poverty

19 Sep 2017

John Akinde performs ‘The Youth Will Not Die’ at the launch of Rethinking Poverty, a new book by Barry Knight, Director of the Webb Memorial Trust. Find out more... Read More

Imagining a new future

By Stephen Pittam

15 Sep 2017

Gandhi recognised that there are limits to what protest can achieve in trying to change society. He was a strong advocate of the ‘constructive programme’. So, Barry Knight is... Read More

Poverty needs a new story

By Barry Knight

13 Sep 2017

This article was original published on the Huffington Post   Our society is drifting. Nowhere is this more evident than in the fight against poverty. Without an underlying story... Read More

From paternalistic elites to participatory networks

By Neal Lawson

13 Sep 2017

  I try to love everyone and while I fail, I at least think everyone is lovable.  I know that every life is as valuable as any other and... Read More

Discover Society: Let’s talk about security and freedom

By Barry Knight

31 Aug 2017

This article was written for Discover Society Let’s talk about security and freedom We live by the stories we tell ourselves.  The most important storyline is how to live... Read More

Policy Press Blog: What’s next for poverty?

By Barry Knight

31 Aug 2017

In a blog for Policy Press, Barry Knight, Webb Memorial Trust Director asks: What’s next for poverty? Progress on poverty has stalled.  The proportion of people living in poverty... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives – concluding thoughts: ‘We resolved crises of housing and poverty before, we can do it again’

By Richard Rawes

17 Feb 2017

In our final exclusive comment piece as part of the 75th anniversary of the Beveridge Report, Richard Rawes, chairman of the Webb Memorial Trust, says we can resolve the... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #14: ‘We need a diverse house building model to solve the housing crisis’

By Kate Henderson

16 Feb 2017

Government must support all kinds of house builders to build the homes we need, says Kate Henderson, the chief executive of the Town and Country Planning Association, in the... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #13: Standards in the private rented sector ‘must improve’

By Seb Klier

15 Feb 2017

Government must do more to protect the millions of people renting in the private sector, argues Seb Klier, from Generation Rent, in the latest of our exclusive articles compiled... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #12: ‘We must not leave our suburbs behind’

By Paul Hunter

09 Feb 2017

A suburban renaissance will be key to solving our housing crisis, says Paul Hunter from the Smith Institute, in the latest of our exclusive articles compiled as part of... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #11: ‘Time to make council housing a big part of the solution to the housing crisis’

By Martin Wheatley

08 Feb 2017

The building of new council homes should be a key part of solving our housing crisis, argues Martin Wheatley, from the campaign for social housing (SHOUT), in the latest... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #10: ‘Local solutions are needed for local problems’

By Jennifer Line

07 Feb 2017

In the latest of our exclusive articles compiled as part of the 75th anniversary of the Beveridge Report, Jennifer Line explores what community-led housing has to offer in response... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #9: ‘We must build communities, not just new homes’

By Ruth Davidson

07 Feb 2017

In the latest of our exclusive articles, compiled as part of the 75th anniversary of the Beveridge Report, Ruth Davidson from the National Housing Federation explains creating communities, and... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #8: ‘We must listen to children if we’re really going to tackle poverty’

By Rys Farthing

03 Feb 2017

The experiences of children in poverty should guide our approach to tackling poverty, argues Rys Farthing in the latest of our exclusive articles compiled as part of the 75th... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #7: ‘Unfolding before our eyes is a glaring missed opportunity to overcome the housing affordability crisis’

By Alice Martin

02 Feb 2017

In the latest of our exclusive articles compiled as part of the 75th anniversary of the Beveridge Report, Alice Martin argues the government needs to get smarter about selling... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #6: We must always remember our social purpose

By Terrie Alafat

01 Feb 2017

Terrie Alafat CBE, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, says the sector must do more to prepare for the challenges which lie ahead in the latest of... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #5: ‘More must be done to tackle fuel poverty’

By Sarah Daly

31 Jan 2017

‘More must be done to tackle fuel poverty’ 31/01/2017 Sarah Daly, director of strategic sustainability and partnerships, Sustainable Homes, says more must be done to end fuel poverty in... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #4: Housing policy proposals are ‘just tinkering with the problem’

By Duncan Bowie

30 Jan 2017

Duncan Bowie, senior lecturer in spatial planning at the University of Westminster, argues for a fundamental change in housing policy in the latest in a series of exclusive articles... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #3: ‘Intervention needed’ to reduce welfare bill without causing more poverty

By Toby Lloyd

27 Jan 2017

Toby Lloyd from Shelter explores the need for government intervention to reduce the welfare bill and tackle poverty in today’s exclusive article, compiled as part of the 75th anniversary... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #2: Growth of private sector renting and poverty ‘closely linked’

By Peter Kenway

26 Jan 2017

In today’s exclusive article, compiled as part of the 75th anniversary of the Beveridge Report, Peter Kenway from the New Policy Institute examines the relationship between the growth of... Read More

2017 Housing Perspectives #1: ‘Housing must be central to attempts to tackle poverty’

By Brian Robson

25 Jan 2017

In the first of a number of exclusive articles which shine a light on the link between poverty and housing, Brian Robson, from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, argues housing... Read More

Event Report: What is the future of social housing?

By Caroline Hartnell

21 Oct 2016

Most commentators now agree that the shortage of housing in the UK is reaching crisis proportions, with rental costs rising sharply and those on low incomes particularly seriously affected.... Read More

Whose responsibility is poverty?

By Barry Knight

30 Aug 2016

In October 2016 the New Statesman will publish its annual Webb Memorial Trust supplement. This year we explore the theme of agency; who has the understanding, responsibility, and power to bring about... Read More

Forging a Good Local Society

By Neil McInroy

27 Jul 2016

  For too long we have either turned a blind eye to poverty and disadvantage or hoped that a general rising tide of economic wealth would trickle down. The... Read More

Children’s Voices and Poverty

By Barry Knight

22 May 2016

Barry Knight, Director of the Webb Memorial Trust, contributed a chapter to Effective Philanthropy: Another Take published in April 2016 by Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace to coincide with... Read More

What is the role of business in reducing poverty in the UK?

By Caroline Hartnell

13 May 2016

What is the role of business in reducing poverty? This was the question before a meeting hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty (APPG) and the Webb... Read More

Workshop Report: The Language of Poverty

By Georgia Smith

15 Mar 2016

The word ‘poverty’ features heavily in the lexicon of British politics. The Prime Minister has proposed an “all-out assault on poverty,” Labour MPs and peers recently campaigned hard to... Read More

Understanding and developing new language around poverty

By Abigail Scott Paul

15 Mar 2016

Abigail Scott Paul, JRF – Understanding and developing a new language around poverty in the UK  Abigail Scott Paul, Head of Engagement at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, delivered the... Read More

Engaging with the public: What do the public think of us and how can we speak in ways that understand each other?

By Deborah Mattinson

15 Mar 2016

Deborah Mattinson, Britain Thinks – How to have an effective conversation with the public Deborah Mattinson, Founding Director of Britain Thinks, picked up the theme of public engagement. The... Read More

Kate Bell – Where next for anti-poverty campaigners?

By Kate Bell

15 Mar 2016

Kate bell – Where next for anti-poverty campaigners?  Next up Kate Bell drew on her experience as a former policy advisor to the Labour Party and coordinator with CPAG... Read More

The drivers: What drives public attitude towards welfare?

By Emily Fu

15 Mar 2016

Emily Fu, TNS BMRB – What drives public attitudes to welfare? Emily Fu, Associate Director at social research agency TNS BMRB, examined the emotional drivers of public attitudes towards... Read More

The debate: What are current sentiments towards poverty in the UK?

By Barry Knight

15 Mar 2016

Drawing on research conducted by YouGov, Director of the Webb Memorial Trust, Barry Knight, reflected on current sentiments towards poverty in the UK. He defined this as an area... Read More

Whose land is it anyway?

By Richard Rawes

18 Feb 2016

Richard Rawes, Chair of the Webb Memorial Trust, reflects on recent events at the Town and Country Planning Association, Institute of Economic Development and New Economics Foundation. The Trust... Read More

Business must spearhead action on decreasing in-work poverty

By  Barry Knight

29 Apr 2015

 A report launched today commissioned by the Webb Memorial Trust discusses how in-work poverty is the product of three variables: levels of pay, levels of in-work benefits, and the... Read More

Round the clock: In-work poverty and the hours question

By Rethinking Poverty

29 Apr 2015

Low-paid parents can be helped to overcome the greater barriers they face in striking the right balance for their families between work and parenting through better childcare support, more responsive... Read More

Conference Report: A Future Without Poverty

By Georgia Smith

24 Mar 2015

Detailed summary of 'A Future Without Poverty' cross-party conference organised by The Fabian Society and Bright Blue on 2nd March 2015 at the Hallam Conference Centre.

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A Future Without Poverty – Panel Discussion Summary

By Georgia Smith

24 Mar 2015

Panel Discussion: A future without poverty Chair: Oliver Wright, Whitehall correspondent, the Independent Charlie Elphicke MP, PPS to secretary of state for work and pensions Helen Goodman MP, shadow minister for... Read More

Event report: Young Voices

By Georgia Smith

23 Mar 2015

  An arresting start to the proceedings was provided by the Seasons Playhouse in Liverpool, ‘Young Voices’. Part of the Poverty Ends Now (PEN) initiative, the actors spoke brief... Read More

A Future Without Poverty – Question Time: Who has the best plan to tackle poverty?

By Georgia Smith

23 Mar 2015

Question Time: Who has the best plan to tackle poverty? Chair: Ian Birrell, contributing editor, Mail on Sunday Jeremy Browne MP, former Home Office minister Philip Collins, chief leader... Read More

A Future Without Poverty – The Future of Welfare Reform and Universal Credit

By Georgia Smith

23 Mar 2015

Sam Bowman, deputy director, Adam Smith Institute Alison Garnham, chief executive, Chid Poverty Action Group Andrew Harrop, general secretary, Fabian Society Chair: David Kirkby, researcher, Bright Blue   Alison... Read More

A Future Without Poverty – Breaking Barriers: How do we tackle social exclusion?

By Georgia Smith

23 Mar 2015

Seema Malhotra MP, shadow minister for preventing violence against women and girls Hannah Pearce, head of public affairs, Age UK Cllr Harry Phibbs, Hammersmith and Fulham council Chair: Daisy-Rose... Read More

A Future Without Poverty – Dragon’s Den: Innovating on the ground: local solutions to 21st century poverty

By Georgia Smith

23 Mar 2015

Dragons: Tessa Awe, chief executive, CVS Brent Chris Goulden, head of policy, Joseph Rowntree Foundation Cllr Gary Porter, leader, LGA Conservatives Innovators: Richard Jones, chief executive, Joshua Project Alex... Read More

A Future Without Poverty – closing remarks

By Georgia Smith

23 Mar 2015

A Future Without Poverty Conference – closing remarks Andrew Harrop, general secretary, Fabian Society Ryan Shorthouse, director, Bright Blue Andrew Harrop celebrated what he saw as the left and... Read More

Event report: Putting poverty at the heart of the 2015 General Election

By Alan Milburn

10 Mar 2015

Many thanks to the Fabian Society and Bright Blue for organising today’s event and to the Fabians for your important Inequality 2030 report.  Thanks are also due to the Webb Memorial... Read More

Paul Goggins Memorial Prize Winner: The Whitefoot and Downham Community Food + Project

By Webb Memorial Trust

08 Sep 2014

In spring 2014 the Webb Memorial Trust launched the Paul Goggins Memorial Prize. Paul Goggins MP was the Secretary of the APPG Poverty and a champion of the anti-poverty agenda in... Read More

Event report: APPG on Poverty – Measuring Child Poverty

By Webb Memorial Trust

27 Mar 2014

This submission from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty is based on a specially commissioned debate, held on 24 January 2013, between Professor Jonathan Bradshaw (York University), Christian Guy... Read More

The January Declaration – a better deal for the North East two years on

By Peter Hetherington

18 Mar 2014

Peter Hetherington examines outcomes from a recent anti-poverty conference in Newcastle co-organised by the Webb Memorial Trust.


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Growing pay gaps are hurting business

By Deborah Hargreaves

18 Mar 2014

Deborah Hargreaves, Director of the High Pay Centre, discusses some of the main findings from a recent report commissioned by the Webb Memorial Trust on pay ratios.

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