Fluffy clouds and a sunset in the sky
8th December 2015

Changing the Trajectory – Charting a New Course for Youth Services

In partnership with NCVYS

The government’s austerity agenda is of course not new – it has been seven years since the collapse of the banks, and five years since deficit reduction and austerity have risen to the top of the government’s agenda.

Unsurprisingly, this agenda and its impact on services for young people has dominated the way we talk about, frame and reshape

youth policy and services over the last few years. Moving forward, we need to move to a new trajectory – a trajectory that leads towards opportunity and growth; and leaves behind inadequate policies, strategies, plans and service reductions. This consultation looked at the best way in which to do this.

The NHS logo
30th November 2015

Redefining the UK’s Health Services

It is a truism to say that the NHS is under strain. Together, an ageing population demographic with all the attendant care costs, increases in public expectation, an expanding burden of non-communicable diseases, and technological/pharmaceutical advances create a burden which many believe cannot be sustainably met. As NHS England’s Five Year Forward View makes clear, ‘if the nation fails to get serious about prevention then recent progress in healthy life expectancies will stall, health inequalities will widen,

and our ability to fund beneficial new treatments will be crowded-out by the need to spend billions of pounds on wholly avoidable illness.’

For the first time public health physicians were joined by NHS executives and also by those ‘in the high-tech end of medicine’, in recognising the need for change. But what should this change look like? The consultation looked to find ways forward by bringing together a range of people from within the health sector and beyond.

A report of the consultation is available here.

26th November 2015

The Opportunities and Ethics of Big Data

In partnership with The Royal Statistical Society, SAGE and British Academy

Policymakers show increasing interest in how data might help inform policymaking processes. Big data is sometimes held out as a transformative technology that will radically change how we govern our world. For example it is argued that ‘smart cities’ will better manage energy and transport usage through monitoring data from the ‘internet of things’. The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) in New York is held out as an exemplar of successfully using big data for policy solutions. It is said that the police

will become radically more efficient at deploying their resources to stop crime through considering the data about where crime is likely to take place. Personalised medicine will allow far more effective healthcare. Poor countries with weak statistical systems will be able to leapfrog by using big data to tell them about their economy and society.

Do existing ethical, regulatory and legal frameworks need to change or can they accommodate big data? Do professional bodies need to change their professional codes in light of the changing nature of data? How can we use the increasing amounts of data in society for public good and with public support? These were among the issues the consultation looked to explore.

The full report is available here.

A Glimpse of the Future into Big Data

Jubilee Centre Logo
29th September 2015

Character Building and Teacher Education

In partnership with The Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues

The Jubilee Centre consulted a select group about the role of teacher education to help build the character of young people.  This was an opportunity for individuals to share their knowledge and experience in this area to participate in the development of a new Statement on Teacher Education and Character Building.

A statement on Teacher and Education and Character Education was developed after the consultation and can be read here.

Photograph of elderly man and women holding hands.
14th September 2015

Relationships and Wellbeing in Policy

In partnership with Relate

Following the advances made over the last Parliament, with the advent of a new government, it was an opportune moment to highlight the importance of couple, family and social relationships for policy and to explore ways of embedding a relational focus at the heart of policy ahead of the next Comprehensive Spending Review. The existing momentum towards a focus on wellbeing, the increasing recognition of the importance of relationships in policy,

and the growing realisation that systemic relationships – with family, friends, at work and with wider communities – hold the keys to our wellbeing, provoke a series of big questions relating to how policy can unlock the power of relationships: How can we better support relationships to improve the nation’s wellbeing, taking into account the full spectrum of needs and of points for delivery across the life course? What does an approach to public health (including mental health) which recognises the importance of relationships look like? How can understanding and leadership be developed among different sectors to recognise relationships as powerful catalysts of change rather than optional extras? Similarly, a systemic approach raises the question of the potential roles for various different actors and agencies in realising a vision of strong relationships as the basis of a thriving society: individuals, communities and civil society, the charitable sector, practitioners in frontline public services, and businesses, as well as the roles of local and national government.

Additionally, the realities of the wider context – for example, continuing fiscal restraint – pose challenges for the practical realisation of a relational approach. The ongoing more restricted financial climate may also serve to focus the attention of policy makers: strengthening relationships need not be an expensive business, but may require a different way of working – less doing-to individuals, couples and families, and more working alongside them; building on their existing strengths and capabilities residing within their relationships and recognising their needs across a spectrum of available models of support. We look forward to discussing these important questions and challenges with you. The St George’s House consultation sought to generate ideas and practical solutions for unlocking the potential of relationships and providing more cost effective and impactful solutions to promote citizens’ wellbeing.

While the consultation as a whole explored how to promote good-quality systemic relationships as the key to wellbeing, the discussion channelled through four policy domains:

  1. Individuals and family life – with a particular focus on social justice issues.
  2. Preparing children and young people for safe, stable, nurturing relationships in future – building relational capability as part of promoting wellbeing.
  3. Business and the workplace – extending beyond issues of work-life balance and flexible working to explore the importance of healthy workplace relationships for wellbeing and productivity.
  4. Relational public services – embedding the importance of relationships in the design and delivery of public services of the future, drawing on citizen capability and building resilience.

It brought together experts from a range of fields, including policy-makers, academics, senior figures from the private and third sectors, and other thought leaders over a 24-hour period.

The Roots & Shoots Logo
4th August 2015

Roots & Shoots International Leadership Event

In partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute

This week-long Consultation brought together young people across the world who are involved in the Roots and Shoots Programme devised by the Jane Goodall Institute. The focus of the week was for the professional development of each participant with particular emphasis on leadership.

There was also a series of high-level presentations on topics of relevance to the Institute as a way of engendering debate and discussion.

The consultation aimed to:

  • Facilitate international relationships and collaboration between critical Roots & Shoots global leaders.
  • Foster growth by sharing global Roots & Shoots stories and impacts.
  • Enhance globally relevant skills that will facilitate the spread of Roots & Shoots in our respective countries.
  • Collaborate on global initiatives so that they reflect the true global voice of the Roots & Shoots programme.

Roots & Shoots 2016 Group

   Participants from the 2016 Roots & Shoots Group 

A pair of hands holding the earth and a wooden cross in space.
3rd July 2015

Science & Society: A New Conversation

In partnership with the Centre of Theological Inquiry

Scientific research in all fields presents major challenges for society at large. This is especially true on questions of science and religion but the challenge extends to many other areas of public interest such as climate change, bioethics, or the search for life on other planets. Too often the public debate and media coverage focus on sensational reports and conflicting viewpoints on science and society. All the while some scientists and scholars in the humanities have been holding a different conversation,

one that is by contrast mutually respectful and informative but too little known. The consultation considered how that conversation can grow and become better known.

One of the places where this new conversation happens is the Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI) in Princeton, New Jersey. CTI is an independent institution for advanced research on global concerns. It convenes scientists and theologians in projects that consider the implications of science, not only for religion but also for society. CTI is embarking on a new collaboration with NASA’s Astrobiology Program to consider the societal implications of the search for life in the universe. NASA’s Senior Scientist for Astrobiology Dr. Mary Voytek joined scholars in the Consultation to talk about this initiative.

Drawing on CTI’s experience and the insights of science writers and reporters, the consultation focused on the challenge of shaping a more responsible public conversation on science and society through the media.

Two hands exchanging money
25th June 2015

Corruption, Protest and Militancy

In collaboration with the Justice and Security Research Programme (JSRP) at the London School of Economics, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the World Peace Foundation


Current research into corruption is transforming the understanding of the phenomenon. Rather than seeing corruption as the work of individual “bad apples,” guilty of such crimes as bribery, fraud or extortion, analysts are beginning to define it as a functioning system, achieving its core objective with real effectiveness.

Such systems are made up of multi-dimensional political-economic relationships associated with different forms of predatory elite governance—which may differ in form and function in different countries. These developments demand cogent analysis and effective policy responses.

The main question for the consultation was: how does pervasive corruption in government relate to militancy and radicalism in society? Secondary questions included: what forms of corruption tend to be most politically radicalizing? What other risk factors, in conjunction with corruption, help drive extreme responses? What is the role of international assistance and security cooperation in enabling corruption? What is the best combination of policies that can be adopted to mitigate corruption and its adverse political impacts? Should certain countries be prioritised for concerted policy actions? On the basis of what criteria?

Fluffy clouds and a sunset in the sky
9th March 2015

Anglican Schooling

Serving about one million pupils, the Church of England’s maintained schools represent the single largest point of direct and structural collaboration between the Church and State. This brings considerable challenges as well as opportunities. To maintain their ‘place at the table’, the Church, like other providers has to adapt quickly to changes in government policies and programmes and is judged on its successes and outcomes in public assessments. In one sense it has considerable resources with which to do this; its diocesan teams,

its network of universities, its 22,500 directly appointed foundation governors, its charities and trusts and, of course, its 5,000 schools themselves.

However, it remains a key challenge how best to harness this capacity, not just to meet expectations imposed upon it, but to influence and shape policy across the system of which it is such a significant part. It was hoped that this consultation will assist this process.

The key purposes were:

1. To enable participants to deepen their understanding of the role of each organisation and to identify common issues and practical priorities to enhance :-
a) The flourishing of Church schools and
b) Their distinctive contribution to the mission of the Church of England.

2. To explore scope for increased joined-up thinking between organisations and to identify ways to develop the most effective use of resources to support the identified priorities.

3. To advance sustained theological reflection on Anglican schooling in order to :-
a) Promote the flourishing of the Church school movement
b) Enrich the Church’s understanding of its mission in the community and the central part its schools play in that mission.

To download the full report please click here.