UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


IGP and the New Economics Foundation form strategic partnership

29 November 2017

The Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) and the New Economics Foundation (NEF) form strategic partnership to rethink the role of work in sustainable and prosperous modern economies.


The IGP and NEF are forming a strategic partnership to rethink the role of work in sustainable and prosperous modern economies. Much attention has been paid to how the nature of work is changing in modern societies, with the rise of new knowledge economies, digital innovation and the prospect of automation. At the same time, in-work poverty, entrenched deprivation, growing social and financial inequalities, the casualization of labour, widespread youth unemployment and increasing economic insecurity are global trends. Many have not seen real-term growth in income for decades, and even faced declining real-terms incomes whilst other parts of society have seen their wealth soar.  If these trends continue, the consequences will be far reaching for both current and future generations.

The 20th century notion of prosperity as economic growth and wealth creation is no longer adequate to the task of enabling societies to provide a good life for citizens. The IGP and NEF developing new ways of thinking about prosperity, work, and how the economy can do better for people. This focuses on two main questions:

  1. What is ‘good work’ in the 21st century?
  2. How does the quality of work in the UK effect the UK’s overall prosperity?

Through joint research around these themes, the IGP and NEF will be looking to introduce new measures which enable policymakers to better understand the levels of, and challenges to prosperity. Going forward, this will allow a better understanding of how these factors are impacted by technological and economic shifts, and enable policy to create resilient, prosperous economies. 

Thinking beyond doomsday scenarios of robots taking our jobs, the collaboration will explore how the nature of work will change in the coming decades, and look to develop tools for determining the UK’s economic resilience in face of major technological changes. This will enable us to think about what kind of economy can be the basis of prosperous lifestyles in the decades ahead.


About the IGP and NEF

The IGP’s work sets out to build new partnerships and generate new ideas to make prosperity happen for communities around the globe. We work with communities and a range of partners to challenge assumptions, reframe questions and develop new approaches to delivering prosperity.

NEF aims to make the economy deliver better lives for people, working to bring control and meaningful economic activity back into peoples’ lives. We aim to challenge inequality and instability by bringing economic power back into the hands of citizens.


Previous collaboration

The IGP and NEF have collaborated on many projects working to make progress in this area. Most notably, the London Prosperity Board, which aims to rethink what prosperity means for people living and working in London, and to test innovative new ways of creating sustainable and inclusive prosperity for London’s neighbourhoods. NEF have been official partners of the London Prosperity Board since its launch in 2016.

Together, the IGP and the NEF combine academic excellence with a localised, community-based approach to understand the obstacles to prosperity, and work towards building models that can deliver better lives for people.