Eleanor Rathbone Social Justice Public Lecture: Sophia Parker

5:00pm - 7:00pm / Wednesday 4th May 2022 / Venue: Lesley Hearnshaw Lecture Theatre Eleanor Rathbone Building
Type: Lecture / Category: Department
  • Admission: Free Admission
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The Eleanor Rathbone Social Justice Public Lecture Series 2022-23
Sophia Parker - Imagination: the beating heart of social justice.

Sophia Parker - Director of Emerging Futures, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Efforts to tackle poverty and related forms of social injustice are set today against a backdrop of interconnected, complex challenges. From crises in traditional welfare models to the evolution of ‘platform capitalism’, conventional responses to lift people out of poverty seem less likely than ever to work. And dramatic climate change impacts everything. We have a decade at best to rewrite our relationship with the planet by thinking differently about future priorities and strategies for change. And yet, at the very moment we need it most, we also appear to be caught in a crisis of social imagination; we seem to be gripped by a fatalism that gets in the way of us imagining how things could be better. The lecture will explore the place collective imagination has in our work to achieve social justice in the 21st century, and to reflect upon what it would take to begin to build a future that has people and planet at its heart.

Sophia Parker leads a major new programme of work for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation - to imagine and develop radical new approaches to tackling poverty and social injustice. A previous Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School, she has held positions in central government, leading ‘think tanks’ (including Demos and the Resolution Foundation) and has served as the founding CEO of an NGO. Sophia brings a track record in policy, research and designing community-based responses to key social challenges.

The event will commence at 5:00pm and it will be followed by a wine reception.