75 years after the publication of the Beveridge report, LSE Festival Beveridge 2.0 offers a series of public engagement activities shining a light on the ‘Five Giants’ identified by Beveridge in a global 21st-century context. Originally described as Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness, today’s Giants are being framed for the Festival as the challenges of poverty; health and social care; education and skills; housing and urbanisation; and the future of work. In exploring these topics, the Festival will also consider their interconnections and the cross-cutting questions they raise. And what would you add to the list today? LSE Festival will be identifying ‘missing Giants’ that a modern-day Beveridge would prioritise instead.
Tickets for the Festival, running between Monday 19 February and Saturday 24 February 2018 and free and open to all, will be available after midday on Tuesday 6 February: further information can be found here. Before you book your tickets, check out our guide to some of the events on offer!
Interested in the challenges of poverty?
The possibility of a Citizen’s Basic Income has become a mainstream global social policy discussion. In ‘Beveridge Rebooted’, key figures on both sides of the divide will be debating whether Beveridge would have recommended a Citizen’s Basic Income if the Report were being written today. Since the wealth of the richest in society has risen dramatically since 1942, ‘The Challenge of Richness’ asks whether addressing poverty requires us to tackle extreme wealth too. ‘Five LSE Giants’ Perspectives on Poverty’ looks at the issue of poverty through a historical lens, discussing five key reports authored or co-authored by LSE thinkers – including Beatrice Webb and Amartya Sen – that have sought to challenge inequality over the last 100 years.
Interested in the challenges of health and social care?
‘The Doctor’s Dilemma’ spends an evening discussing health service resource allocation and medical ethics, culminating in a staging of George Bernard Shaw’s titular 1906 play. A panel of academics explore the possibilities and challenges of implementing universal health coverage in the Global South. With the average life expectancy increasing from 66.7 in 1942 to 81.25 in 2017, the Festival also looks at ‘The Future of Ageing’. On Sat 24 February, the panel ‘Who Cares’ critically examines the provision of care today, complementing an exhibition on ‘Who Cares? Women, Care and Welfare’ running from 19 February – 23 March 2018.
Interested in the challenges of education and skills?
Does education, and Higher Education in particular, lead to greater happiness and social mobility or can it contribute to continued inequalities? Though one of the Giants of 1942, Ignorance was barely mentioned within the Beveridge Report. ‘Education and the Giant of Ignorance’ returns to this enduring issue, particularly looking at equality of opportunity, while ‘Bridging the Gap’ explores how students’ backgrounds prior to entering university can have a huge impact on their destination once they graduate. ‘Is Higher Education Good for You?’ debates the fundamental role of Higher Education today – should government reduce HE funding in favour of early years education, as LSE Professor Paul Dolan will argue, or should we stand up for the continued value of a university degree with former UK Minister for Universities, David Willetts?
Interested in the challenges of housing and urbanisation?
The crucial role of social housing has been recognised following the Grenfell Tower disaster, which also laid bare the disconnect between elites and the most disadvantaged in society. In ‘Lessons from Grenfell Tower’, Danny Dorling, Lynsey Hanley and Anne Power explore the link between inequality and housing. ‘Getting Ahead of the Curve’ looks at the particular challenges facing developing countries experiencing rapid urbanisation, the pace of which is often exceeding their capacity to ensure decent, affordable housing for citizens.
Interested in the future of work?
The structure of the economy and the nature of employment have fundamentally changed in the 75 years since the Beveridge Report. ‘The Future of Work’ brings together academics from LSE’s Employment Relations and Human Resource Management Faculty Research Group to debate what Beveridge 2.0 would involve for work and how work could change in the future. ‘Our Automated Future’ looks at the question of automation and its particular impact on younger generations, asking whether it is something to be embraced or feared.
Interested in exploring further?
Featuring a video by LSE European Institute students, a panel discusses the most promising 21st-century European welfare state reforms that are tackling the five Giants today, while ‘Civil Society and the Five Giants’ looks at the vital role played by contemporary civil society actors across the globe in enabling bottom-up transformation. ‘Identity and the Welfare State’ reflects on the challenge of sustaining social solidarity, while ‘Beveridge and Voluntary Action for the 21st Century’ uses Beveridge’s lesser known Voluntary Action report as a springboard for considering the value of private action for public good. ‘The Evolution of Altruism’ returns to the 1960s theories of WD Hamilton to examine the evolutionary significance of altruism. And can literature reach audiences on the issues explored by the Giants in ways that the social sciences cannot? In ‘Writing Fiction to Dramatise Inequality’, novelist Louise Doughty, Not the Booker Prize winner Winnie M Li and LSE Professor Nicola Lacey discuss the importance of narratives that bring to life such experiences. LSE LIFE rounds off the Festival with ‘Tongue Lash’, a night of spoken word performances hosted by Poetcurious with hiphop poets from across London offering lyrical rhymes that challenge our assumptions on urban spaces, masculinities, racism and much more.
And what’s missing?
Join the debate on the sixth Giant for the 21st century! Having polled LSE students, staff and alumni, a sixth giant will be selected from one of the following: Sustainability; Equity; Loneliness; Security; or Extremism. Which would you pick? To help you decide, on Mon 19 Feb, panellists will make a pitch for each of the potential missing Giants for ‘Beveridge’s Sixth Giant‘. This will be complemented by a screening of the 2016 documentary RiverBlue, while ‘The Future of Fashion’ will explore the capacity of the industry to reduce its environmental impacts. ‘Sustainable Food and Beveridge’ looks at how to tackle the mountains of food waste in the UK. ‘Who Belongs?’ examines the challenges of developing a diverse, inclusive and equitable society. In ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It?’, Paul Dolan turns his attention to loneliness and how the relationships we pursue and discard impact on social and individual wellbeing. To close the Festival, LSE Director Minouche Shafik will chair an event discussing ‘The Giants of 2020’ and the missing Giant, as voted by you, will be revealed!