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The People, the Commons and the Public Realm

Tuesday 31 October 2017, 4.00PM5.30pm

Speaker(s): Anna Coote, New Economics Foundation

Social and Political Sciences seminar

This session considers the potential for claiming and controlling the commons – essential resources on which we all depend to survive and flourish. How can we decide which resources are essential? Who should make those decisions and how? If people seek to control common resources, what is the role of the state? How can locally-generated initiatives be recognised and supported by public institutions? In addressing these questions, the speaker will draw on ideas about sustainable development, human need and control, as well as practical examples of ‘commoning’. She will explore the potential for this approach to help build a new, sustainable political economy.


Anna Coote is Principal Fellow at the New Economics Foundation. A leading analyst, writer and advocate in the field of social policy, she has written widely on social justice, sustainable development, working time, public health policy, public involvement and democratic dialogue, gender and equality. She was Commissioner for Health with the UK Sustainable Development Commission (2000-9), led the Healthcare Commission’s work on engaging patients and the public (2005-8) and was Director of Health Policy at the Kings Fund (1998- 2004). Earlier posts include Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director of IPPR (1989-1998), Editor and Producer of current affairs television for Diverse Productions (1982-6), Deputy Editor of the New Statesman (1978-82). Her recent publications include Building a New Social Commons, (NEF 2017) Local Early Action: how to make it happen (NEF 2015), People, Planet Power: Towards a New Social Settlement (NEF, 2015) and Time on our Side: why we all need a shorter working week (NEF 2013).

Directions and parking

Please see the University campus map for the location of ARC/014 which is in the Alcuin Research Resource Centre. The building is opposite the Alcuin Teaching Block (Seebohm Rowntree Building) reception. The room is on the ground floor at the far end from the main entrance, around the corner, behind the lift. It is just a short walk to the Alcuin Research Resource Centre from Campus North car park and it is well sign posted. Parking costs £1 per hour and you can pay using coins or via a mobile phone via the RingGo parking. For information on public transport to the University please see the Travel and Transport webpages.

Location: Room ARC/014, Alcuin Research Resources Centre

Admission: is by free ticket only. Please book below.

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