UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


The Entrepreneurial State as a Welfare State

11 May 2023, 5:00 pm–6:30 pm

ES Welfare State

The UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) invites you to the third talk of the IIPP 2023 Festival: The Entrepreneurial State 2.0. - Rethinking the State in the 21st Century​.

Event Information

Open to



IIPP Communications

Watch the video here

Thursday 11 May 2023 | 17:00-18:30 (BST) UK Time

Welfare provision is often seen as a drag on growth, prosperity, and innovation. But there is no evidence that countries which invest more in social security and public services are less productive or innovative – indeed, there is a strong correlation between social spending and innovation in some cases.
How should we understand this relationship? Is a strong welfare state important for allowing would-be innovators to take risks? Is social spending simply underpinning aggregate demand, one of the key drivers of productivity growth? Or is an investment in specific public services, such as healthcare and education, helping to create the healthy, highly-skilled and resourceful workforce that supports innovation?
An international panel discussion explore ways to further strengthen the welfare/innovation relationship, for instance, how welfare provision can support recipients to become creators and entrepreneurs, and the role of local government and the voluntary sector in delivering public services.
The panel explore how specific welfare practices and institutions can drive mission-based innovation policy. Could Universal Basic Income, for instance, help to combat climate change? Can pension funds become a source of long-term investment in public value? What models of care will deliver the services required in an ageing society while promoting innovation at the organisational level with the potential for spillover to other sectors?

Meet the panel: 
This talk is chaired by IIPP's Dr Craig Berry, Associate Professor in Economic Policy, in conversation with Anna Coote, Principal Fellow at the New Economics Foundation and Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council, Hilary Cottam, social entrepreneur and Honorary Professor at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) and Dr Nick O'Donovan, Senior Lecturer, Future Economies Research Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University.

This event is part of the IIPP 2023 Festival: The Entrepreneurial State 2.0. - Rethinking the State in the 21st Century.  #TheEntrepreneurialState2.0

About the Speakers

Anna Coote

Principal Fellow at The New Economics Foundation

Anna Coote
Anna Coote is Principal Fellow at the New Economics Foundation. She has written widely on social justice, sustainable development, working time, public health policy, public involvement and democratic dialogue, gender and equality. Earlier posts include Director of Health Policy at the King’s Fund, Deputy Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, Editor of current affairs television at Diverse Productions and Deputy Editor of the New Statesman. She was Commissioner for Health with the UK Sustainable Development Commission from 2000 to 2009.  More about Anna Coote

Georgia Gould

Leader at Camden Council

Georgia Gould
Georgia was appointed Leader of Camden Council in May 2017 and has served as a Councillor for Kentish Town Ward since 2010. Born and bred in Camden, Georgia studied at Camden School for Girls and has lived in the Borough for most of her adult life. Interested in politics at a young age, Georgia went on to study Politics and History at Oxford, and then graduated with a master's degree in global politics from the LSE.

Georgia has a particular interest in youth politics and published a book called Wasted: How Misunderstanding Young Britain Threatens Our Future. Georgia helped found Camden’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Commission, designed to understand the future skills market and link them strongly with schools and Further Education, guaranteeing opportunities for young people to make sure they can meet with their talent and creativity. Outside of her Council work, Georgia is an avid QPR fan. More about Georgia Gould

Hilary Cottam

Social entrepreneur and Honorary Professor at UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP)

Hilary's career started with an international focus: she worked in Northern Ethiopia, with Care International in Latin America and as an urban poverty specialist at the World Bank, based in Washington D.C., working in Southern Africa.

Today Hilary is focussed on reforming the British welfare state. Her work starts where the great 20th century welfare designer Sir William Beveridge left off. Hilary challenges us to stop trying to reform out of date institutions and instead look at how modern solutions might start with people and communities, fostering their capabilities. Innovative, practical work includes: a prison re-design; services for older people; new thinking on modern work; a family led programme where those with multiple needs design their own way forward.

The new services and enterprises created by Hilary with communities across Britain have had an impact on the lives of many thousands. Ultimately it’s all about relationships: Hilary’s work shows how we need to turn an industrial, transactional mind set on its head and build our connections with one another into every aspect of social change.

Hilary was educated at Oxford, Sussex and the Open Universities. She was awarded her PhD in 1999.

In 2005 Hilary was voted UK Designer of the Year for her groundbreaking work and in 2007 the World Economic Forum nominated Hilary as a Young Global Leader. Her work has been widely featured from Rolling Stone to Fast Company and in the UK national and international press.

Hilary’s TED talk can be found here. Her book Radical Help: How We Can Remake the Relationships Between Us & Revolutionise the Welfare State was published by LittleBrown in June 2018.

In 2019 Hilary was honoured with an OBE for services to the Welfare State. More about Hilary Cottam

Dr Nick O'Donovan

Senior Lecturer at Future Economies Research Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Nick O'Donovan

Nick is a Senior Lecturer in the Future Economies Research Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University. With a background in public policy, Nick has worked on questions of taxation, public financial management, economic development and decentralisation for organisations including the European Commission and the UK Labour Party, as well as in the context of developing countries and emerging economies. He designs and teaches courses on policy-related issues for civil servants and public officials, as well as introductory courses on policy, politics and economics at the undergraduate level.

Nick’s current areas of research include the knowledge economy and knowledge-based growth, so-called “populist” movements in developed democracies, and the politics and policy of taxation.

More about Dr Nick O'Donovan

Craig Berry

Head of Policy and Associate Professor in Economic Policy at UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Craig Berry
Dr Craig Berry is an experienced academic researcher and policy practitioner. He is a political economist with expertise in economic policy, including industrial policy, and welfare provision, principally pensions. He completed his PhD at the University of Sheffield in 2008, before joining HM Treasury as a policy advisor. He later worked for the International Longevity Centre, and the Trades Union Congress.

His academic career has included roles at the University of Sheffield (Deputy Director of the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute) and Manchester Metropolitan University (Head of the Future Economies Research Centre). He has also taught at the University of Manchester and University of Warwick. In 2017 he was a member of the Industrial Strategy Commission, and he regularly advises local and national policy-makers on economic policy issues.

Craig has published a large number of articles in peer-reviewed journals, and his books include Pensions Imperilled (Oxford University Press, 2021), The Political Economy of Industrial Strategy in the UK (Agenda, 2021), Developing England's North (Palgrave, 2018), Austerity Politics and UK Economic Policy (Palgrave, 2016), and Globalisation and Ideology in Britain (Manchester University Press, 2011). More about Craig Berry