UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


IIPP and Camden Council’s Camden Renewal Commission is key part of Camden-UCL MoU signing

16 December 2020

UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) and Camden Council celebrate the Camden Renewal Commission — a UCL project in its home borough — as part of the signing of an MoU between UCL and the Council.

Source: Camden Council

On 15 December, Camden Council and UCL formalised their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). UCL President and Provost Michael Arthur and Camden Council Leader Georgia Gould hosted the virtual signing, and celebrated our existing collaborations, whilst looking to even more joint activity in 2021. 

Centre stage was the Camden Renewal Commission, which is co-chaired by IIPP’s founding director Mariana Mazzucato, and Georgia Gould. Running since the summer of 2020, the Commission takes a mission-oriented innovation lens in order to tackle and provide new solutions to challenges such as food poverty and economic empowerment, which have been deeply exacerbated during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The 14 Commissioners are all Camden locals, or work in the borough, and are drawn from a variety of expertise and backgrounds — including George the Poet, Pooja Agrawal (IIPP Honorary Fellow), Delia Barker (Programmes Director at the Roundhouse) and Christine Foster (Chief Commercial Officer at the Alan Turing Institute). 

Together we have developed four draft missions. Setting the missions in ‘place’ in Camden and interrogating them deeply with Camden citizens will be vital for their success. The Commission is invested in using the concept of place to ground and funnel mission activities. It seeks to rethink such spaces such as housing estates and youth centres, so that they become places people can thrive in and engage with. Through missions, we will also be able to prioritise citizen voices, and rethink how innovation can be governed in a truly multiplicitous, bottom-up manner. 

Being able to situate the Camden Commission within the wider working partnership between UCL and the Camden Council provides numerous opportunities to advance the lives of Camden residents and businesses. Both UCL and Camden Council are cutting-edge thinkers, innovators, investors, landowners, policymakers and leaders in their sectors. This MoU will serve to support innovative projects between these uniquely situated entities. 

Camden Renewal Commission Commissioners: 

  • Georgia Gould: Co-chair of Commission
  • Mariana Mazzucato: Co-chair of Commission 
  • Simon Pitkeathly: CEO of Camden Collective, Euston Town, Camden Highline and Alternative Camden
  • Saul Klein: Co-Founder of Local Globe 
  • Michael Marmot:   Professor of Epidemiology at University College London and Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity
  • Kate Bell: Head of Rights, International, Social and Economics at the Trades Union Congress.
  • Ann Phoenix: Professor of Psychosocial Research at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy
  • Farhana Yamin: Founder and CEO of Track 0, member of Extinction Rebellion, associate fellow at Chatham house, a visiting professor at University College London and a member of the Global Agenda Council on Climate Change at the World Economic Forum
  • George the Poet: Spoken-word artist, poet, rapper, and podcast host
  • Marcel Levi: Chief Executive of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Athien Akec: Youth MP for Camden 
  • Delia Barker: Programmes Director at the Roundhouse
  • Pooja Agrawal: Co-founder of Public Practice, IIPP Honorary Fellow
  • Alexis Keir: Director of Elfrida Rathbone Camden 
  • Christine Foster: Chief Commercial Officer at the Alan Turing Institute 

Learn more about the Camden Renewal Commission