Insights 2020: Social integration and cohesion at a crossroads - where to now?

Register now for a place at the launch of Insights 2020. This year Understanding Society is hosting a discussion event on the theme of social integration.

28th January 2020, 10.00 - 14.00

Coin Street Community Builders, London

In our turbulent political times, social integration and cohesion is becoming more important than ever. Recent years have seen a number of government attempts to address the question of how integrated the UK is across spatial, economic, ethnic and faith lines. If we bring in other factors, such as civic participation and the age of citizens, we can see that this is a complex environment in which to understand and drive change. In particular, the rise of identity politics, and the Brexit process, have raised concerns about social fractures and political mobilisation along ethnic or religious lines. So what is the way forward for integration and cohesion?

This event will present timely new research on the state of social integration in the UK from different perspectives, based on Understanding Society – providing evidence of both progress and significant challenges. The debate aims to foster a better understanding of what conditions are needed to enhance integration and cohesion, including turning around the tide of hate crimes. A well-informed panel and an interactive format will enable delegates to share their knowledge and experiences.

In addressing the challenges of integration and cohesion, some of the questions being asked are: how are national, ethnic and political identities being shaped at a time of great change? How important is active citizenship, i.e. civic and political participation, to integration? How are household incomes shaping spatial segregation at neighbourhood level? Where is progress stuck when it comes to equality of labour market opportunity and social mobility across different groups?

The event is free to attend, but you need to register in advance. Book your place here.

Who is the event for?

This is an interactive policy event, bringing different insights together, and promoting a cross-sectoral conversation on a challenging area of policy. It will bring together people from local authorities, arts and cultural organisations, educationalists, civic organisations, refugee support groups, religious organisations, government departments, think tanks and academia.

Launch of Insights 2020

The event will see the launch of the Understanding Society Insights 2020 report. This annual publication highlights policy-relevant findings from longitudinal research that uses Understanding Society’s rich data and provides commentary from leading policy thinkers and practitioners. This year the publication profiles longitudinal evidence covering three themes: social integration; geographical mobility; and the labour market and health.

Programme (draft)

10.00 - 10.30                 Registration

10.30 - 10.35                 Welcome and introduction

10.35 - 10.50                 Headline findings from Understanding Society

10.50 - 11.10                 Group discussions: state of integration and cohesion

11.10 - 12.30                 Panel and discussion session

  • Catherine Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Jo Cox Foundation
  • Professor Adrian Favell, Chair in Sociology and Social Theory, University of Leeds and principal research investigator for Northern Exposure: Race, Nation and Disaffection in "Ordinary" Towns and Cities after Brexit
  • Professor Jenny Phillimore, Professor of Migration and Superdiversity, University of Birmingham and Director of Institute for Research into Superdiversity
  • Debbie Weekes Bernard, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Great London Authority
  • Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration (tbc)

12.30 – 12.35             Closing remarks

12.35 - 14.00              Lunch, coffee and networking