UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Soundbites and Director's Seminars

The Soundbites and Director's Seminars series are public events hosted by the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity, and open to all.

IGP Soundbites and Seminars

The Soundbites and Director's Seminars series are public events hosted by the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity, and open to all. Each series features both Seminars and Soundbites, mixed intermittently. 

Soundbites are a platform for professionals and entrepreneurs who are leading in their field. Speakers are innovators and inspiring actors working in new and traditional sectors, outside of academia. The Soundbite gives the audience an insight into how their organisation contributes to sustainable and inclusive prosperity.

The Director's Seminars are an opportunity for audiences to get an in-depth theoretical perspective on sustainable and inclusive prosperity. These Seminars are given by academics who are pushing for new ways of thinking and new ways of researching society's grand challenges.

Visit our Events List for the full list of our upcoming events 

Recordings of previous seminars are available on our YouTube channel

Events archive: 

Autumn 2020


15.10.20: Joana Dabaj (CatalyticAction)

29.10.20: Universal Basic Services (Andrew Percy)

9.11.20: How addressing racism in organizations leads to positive change for the way they function, Dr. Jonathan Ashong-Lamptey

3.12.20: Inclusive Economy: a localist perspective, Nick Kimber 

17.12.20: Sir Simon Woolley CBE

Directors Seminars:

8.10.20: Rebuilding economics post-covid, Dr Ruth Yeoman (University of Oxford)

22.10.20: The role of community engagement in speeding up post-covid recovery, Dr Rochelle Burgess (Institute for Global Health at UCL)

5.11.20: Health economics post-covid, Professor Andrew Oswald (University of Warwick)

26.11.20: Work, livelihoods and welfare post-covid, Torsten Bell (Resolution Foundation)

10.12.20: The future of sustainable business, Professor Gail Whiteman (Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research)

Spring 2020


16.01.20 Averting The Zombie Apocalypse: How planning is killing us and how prototyping will save us

30.01.20 Stimulating Innovation for Prosperity

13.02.20 Applying the rating agency model to financial crime

Director's Seminars

23.01.20 Inclusion on the Edge: Digital Labour and the Social Contract in Nigeria

06.02.20 Shadowy Conjunctions. Biometrics in counter-terror and beneficiary registration: the case of Somalia

27.02.20 Frugality, frugal innovation and 'a good life for all within planetary boundaries'

Autumn 2019


03.10.19 The Scramble for Data: How & Why Surveillance Is Being Exported

17.10.19 AI and Human Rights Investigations

31.10.19 Innovating Bold, Fast and Responsibly: How to Resolve the Tension Between Growth and Responsibility in the Digital Economy

21.11.19 Data, Power and Consent in Humanitarian Support

05.12.19 Check Global: Building a Digital Literacy Network Across the World

Director's Seminars

10.10.19 Professor Homi Bhabha, On Global Perplexity and Global Prosperity: Migration and Dignity

24.10.19 Migration, Globalisation, Work and Poverty

14.11.19 Performing Rights: Contemporary Art, the Refugee Condition, and the Alibi of Engagement

12.12.19 Climate Change Politics in Urban Environments

Spring 2019


10th January, Food Sovereignty and the Land Workers' Alliance, Jyoti Fernandes, The Land Workers' Alliance

24th January, Ethical Trade, Sarah Roberts, Ethical Tea Partnership 

7th February, The Climate Disclosure Project, Carbon Disclosure Project

28th February, How do we fix the food waste problem? Claire KnellerWaste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)

14th March, Are Cities the Farms of the Future? Dr Jens ThomasFarm Urban 

Director's Seminars

17th January, Transformative Agroecology: beyond sustainable intensification, Dr Graham Woodgate, UCL Institute of the Americas

31st January, Most Farmers are Subsistence Farmers: How industrial farming is driving monoculture from our gut biomes to our landscapes, and making us sicker and poorer in the process, Shane Holland, Slow Food London

21st February, Why are food systems failing diet-related ill-health - and what can be done about it? Professor Corinna Hawkes, Centre for Food Policy, City University 

7th March, The work of the London Food Board, Claire Pritchard, London Food Board 

21st March, Digital Food Activism: Reframing Food Politics? Dr Catherine Dolan, Oxford Food Governance Group and Department of Anthropology, SOAS

Autumn 2018


4th October

Will the London National Park City really change anything? Dan Raven-Ellison, Guerrilla Geographer, National Geographic Explorer, founder of campaign to make London a National Park City 

18th October

The Future of Urban Planning, Euan Mills, Urban Futures Lead, Future Cities Catapult

1st November

Geography, Culture and Prosperity as Co-creators of Public Spaces in CitiesDr Sandra Piesik, 3 ideas Ltd

22nd November

The Production of Play: new forms for civic engagement within contested urban realmsCatalina Pollak-Williamson, artist and architect

6th December

From Vacant to Vibrant: unlocking value through temporary activation of space, Yoana Tulumbadzhieva, London Borough of Waltham Forest

Director's Seminars

11th October

Reinterpreting human history to decouple prosperity and environmental impact, Prof. Mark Maslin, Department of Geography, UCL

25th October

Designing Open Cities, Prof. Ricky Burdett, Professor of Urban Design, Director of LSE Cities and Urban Age 

15th November

What is the Human in the Humanities Today? Professor Rosi Braidotti, Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University

29th November

Special Director's Seminar: Rise Up: Providing homes for key urban workers on London's rooftopsArthur Kay, SKYROOM and bio-bean

4th December

Special Director's Seminar: Infrastructure, citizenship and urban cultureProfessor Henrietta MooreProfessor Suzanne HallProfessor Nick TylerDr John Bingham-Hall  

13th December

Digital Revolution and the StateDr William H. Janeway

Spring 2018


Thursdays, 1-2 pm, Room 114 Foster Court, Malet Place, UCL, London, WC1E 6BT

11th January

Changing our housing system, Alastair Parvin, Co-inventor of WikiHouse

25th January

How can we make AI drive prosperity? Olly Buston, Founder of FutureAdvocacy

1st February

An introduction to Universal Basic Services, Andrew Percy, Co-Director of the Social Prosperity Network

8th February

Blockchain in Energy, Joanna Hubbard, Co-founder and COO, Electron 

1st March

Entrepreneurship, Professor Stephan Chambers, Inaugural Director of the Marshall Institute, LSE

15th March

Education in the context of mass displacement, Dr Fadi al-Halabi and Dr Brian Lally, General Director and Consultant at Multi-Aid Programs 

Director's Seminars

Thursdays, 4-6 pm, G08 Sir David Davies Lecture Theatre, Roberts Building, UCL, London, WC1E 6BT

18th January 

An introduction to Degrowth, Dr Jason Hickel, Goldsmiths

6th February

Cultures of Sustainability and Wellbeing: Theories, Histories and Policies, Dr Paola Spinozzi, University of Ferrara, and Dr Massimiliano Mazzanti

22 February (cancelled due to UCU strike)

An introduction to SystemIQ, Jeremy Oppenheim, Senior Managing Partner, SystemIQ

8th March (cancelled due to UCU strike)

An introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Human-computer interaction, Dr Kate Devlin, Goldsmiths

22nd March 

Artificial Intelligence and Creativity, Professor Maggie Boden, Research Professor of Cognitive Science, Department of Informatics, University of Sussex

Autumn 2017


Thursdays, 1-2 pm, Room 114 Foster Court, Malet Place, UCL, London, WC1E 6BT

5th October

The UK's Inclusive Economy Partnership, Alexandra Meagher, Senior Policy Advisor for the Government Inclusive Economy Unit

19th October

The Dark Matter of massive change, Indy Johar, Co-founder of 00, Senior Innovation Associate with the Young Foundation, Co-founder of Dark Matter Laboratories

26th October

Renewable Energy in the UK, Hayden Wood, Co-founder of Bulb

23rd November

Grassroots Finance - Bringing back trust, Stuart Field, Community Development Financial Consultant, Bread Funds

7th December

Rethinking our Digital Lives, Barbara Miranda 

Director's Seminars

Thursdays, 4-6 pm, G08 Sir David Davies Lecture Theatre, Roberts Building, UCL, London, WC1E 6BT

12th October

Design, Evolution and Revolution - A Change Agenda for Prosperity, Professor Mikko Koria, Professor of Design Innovation and Director of the Institute for Design Innovation, Loughborough University London

2nd November 

Is our economy set up to benefit regular, working people? Professor Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate and co-President of the Basic Income Earth Network

16th November

Understanding the Good Life: a discussion of current CUSP, Kate Burningham and Sue Venn, Deputy Director and Research Fellow at the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity

30th November

Transitions to sustainable and prosperous places, Dr Clare Melhuish, Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory

14th December

Worldviews on the current economic order, Michael Jacobs, Director of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, Visiting Professor in the School of Public Policy, UCL

Spring 2017


Thursdays, 1-2 pm, Room 114 Foster Court, Malet Place, UCL, London, WC1E 6BT

12th January

Green Infrastructure Consultancy, Gary Grant

26th January

Social Life, Nicola Bacon, Founding Director, Social Life

9th February

Repowering London | Community-owned clean energy in London, Agamennon Otero, Founding Director of Repowering London, Energy Garden and Clean Marine 

2nd March

The People Who Share, Benita Matofska, Global Sharing Economy Expert

16th March

Abundance Investment, Bruce Davis, Joint Managing Director (Brand and Marketing), Abundance Investment

Director's Seminars

Thursdays, 4-6 pm, G08 Sir David Davies Lecture Theatre, Roberts Building, UCL, London, WC1E 6BT

19th January

How infrastructure and engineering can transform living conditions and alleviate poverty, Dr Priti Parikh, Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Science, UCL

2nd February

Mainstreaming the Internet of Things, Professor Jeremy Watson, Professor of Engineering Systems and Vice-Dean (Mission), Faculty of Engineering, UCL

23rd February

Materials for the 21st Century, Professor Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials and Society, Mechanical Engineering, UCL

9th March

The Sharing Economy: A Financing Prosperity Network panel

23rd March

Systemic Enfolding: Microfinance, Financial Risk, and Imagining Alternatives, Dr Sohini Kar, Assistant Professor, Department of International Development at LSE