The Battle for the Economy

Saturday 16 May 2009, 09.30 AM until 6.00 PM, Goodenough College

A one day satellite conference of the Battle of Ideas festival and public response to the G20 Summit. Organised by the Institute of Ideas.

Venue: Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1N 2AB.

Produced by: Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas, with Geoff Kidder, Suzy Dean, Angus Kennedy, Stuart Simpson and Kirk Leech.

Tickets Standard £20 waged/£15 concession; IoI members £15 waged/£10 concession; Goodenough College students/fellows £10. Tickets are available here…

Sessions: View sessions listing.


This summit is an opportunity to engage in a public discussion about the economic crisis with leading economists, political commentators, business people and policy makers. With the emphasis on public debate rather than behind-closed-doors diplomacy, the event will start a conversation to move us beyond political soundbites and help us get to grips with the political and economic battles ahead. Gordon Brown and Barack Obama may not be there, but the opinion formers of tomorrow will be. Will you?

Now the dust has settled on the G20 London Summit, the economic reality remains: bankruptcies and unemployment are set to rise to the highest levels since the Great Depression. For all the talk about international co-operation, upbeat predictions about improving financial systems, and open markets versus protectionist measures, the recession still digs deep, and solutions are still contested, indeed contradictory.

Too often such disputes, whether about regulation, liquidity or state bail-outs, are reduced to technical discussions, confined to world leaders and financial gurus. While the G20 as an event attracted maximum media attention, its debates and conclusions too frequently felt like communiqués from above, with the world’s citizens reduced to spectators on the sidelines.

The recession has enormous political and social ramifications for all of us. It needs to become a focus of public discussion, but popular involvement seems confined instead to lacklustre demonstrations or lobbing insults, sometimes bricks, at bankers, financial institutions and even economic growth itself. In contrast, this is a public summit that means business – a public discussion with leading political and economic thinkers.

Saturday 16 May 2009

10.05am to 11.30am The Great Hall
Demystifying the crisis

Saturday 16 May 2009

11.45am to 12.45pm The Great Hall
Rein in the greedy bankers?

Saturday 16 May 2009

11.45am to 12.45pm Churchill Room
Recession in the heart of the Eurozone

Saturday 16 May 2009

12.55pm to 1.40pm Churchill Room
Activists’ working lunch

Saturday 16 May 2009

1.45pm to 3.00pm The Great Hall
Can the state save the economy?

Saturday 16 May 2009

3.15pm to 4.15pm Churchill Room
The rise and rise of behavioural economics

Saturday 16 May 2009

3.15pm to 5.15pm The Great Hall
Protectionism, global tensions and a new world order?

Saturday 16 May 2009

4.30pm to 6.00pm The Great Hall
Investing in the Future: what are the opportunities and barriers for growth?

Produced by
Institute of Ideas

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