Social innovation in the foundational economy: promoting inclusive growth in the Cardiff capital region

The project will identify the potential for inclusive growth in one of the most deprived parts of the Cardiff Capital Region.

Blaenau Gwent - where the assets of the Foundational Economy offer untapped potential to create better employment and well-being opportunities for the most marginal sections of the population, the sections that (are alleged to) feel most alienated from mainstream economy and society.

The local activities that we propose to fund through the project fall into five phases.

  1. We propose to establish a Foundational Economy Steering Group (the core members of which are the primary and secondary partners listed above) to select, monitor and evaluate 2 FE experiments in the fields that our local partners have identified as most relevant to the improvement of well-being in the borough: social housing and adult social care.
  2. We propose to conduct an Asset Mapping Exercise to create up-to-date pictures of local assets in social housing and adult social care in Blaenau Gwent to enable policy-makers and practitioners to make better informed decisions about current and future options.
  3. We propose to convene Community Participation Workshops in the two selected fields of intervention, social housing and adult social care, to solicit a citizen perspective on what is needed/desired.
  4. We propose to convene two Impact Workshops to present policy and practice options. The Social Housing Workshop will be hosted by the representative body for housing associations in Wales, Community Housing Cymru, and Welsh Housing Quarterly, where Steve Cranston is a Board Member. The Adult Social Care Workshop will be hosted by WISERD in association with Professor Diane Burns of Sheffield Management School, PI on a Wellcome SEED Award for “Doing Care Differently” a project on which IRJ is a CoI.
  5. To assess the impact of the above activities, we propose to conduct an Impact Survey of local partners and nationally involved bodies to ascertain what difference the project made to the framing of the problems in the borough and the policy and community responses to those problems.

Finally, we propose to host an International Symposium on the Foundational Economy at Cardiff University jointly with Professor Karel Williams and his team at Manchester University, who are conducting a parallel FE project in the Swansea Bay Region.

The aims of the symposium are twofold: (i) to present the findings of the IAA project to policy and practice communities in Wales and (ii) to set the findings in an international context by inviting European Commission and OECD representatives to reflect on the wider implications of the local results with a view to enhancing the international policy impact of the findings.


The project team

Professor Kevin Morgan

Professor Kevin Morgan

Professor of Governance and Development

Ian Rees Jones

Professor Ian Jones

Director, WISERD

Eva Elliot

Dr Eva Elliott

Senior Lecturer

Calvin Jones

Professor Calvin Jones

Deputy Dean for Public Value and External Relations


Support

This research was made possible through the support of the following organisations: