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Basque Country kudos for Welsh ambitions

3 December 2018

Flag on old building
In 2012 the Basque Country placed fifth in the Gender Equality Index ranking of the countries of the European Union.

The often-repeated contention that Wales has much to learn from the Basque Country will be examined in detail as the Dean and Deputy Dean of Cardiff Business School join the Wales Audit Office’s Good Practice Exchange Team to welcome colleagues from ‘Euskal Herria’ for a knowledge sharing visit.

At the centrepiece conference of the visit, on Tuesday 4 December 2018 workshops will showcase Basque approaches to reducing inequality through cooperative development in the fields of manufacturing, disability inclusion, education and enterprise.

Professor Rachel Ashworth, Dean and Head of Cardiff Business School, will participate in a final panel discussion where the lessons of the day can be digested, and next steps plotted.

In 2012, EUSTAT reported that the Basque Country placed fifth in the Gender Equality Index ranking of the countries of the European Union.

The autonomous community situated in Northern Spain came behind Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Netherlands, but in front of the remaining 24 members of the European Union and well in front of the European average.

The visit is one of several events and projects aimed at aligning the School’s Public Value strategy with the work of the Wales Audit OfficeOffice of the Future Generations CommissionerBusiness in the Community, Cymru and others.

This developing landscape of co-created value seeks to illuminate potential drivers of economic and social inclusion and improve public service delivery whilst encouraging a more diverse and purpose-driven landscape of Welsh economic actors.

Reducing economic inequalities

The visitors will experience the quality and impact of Welsh social enterprise first hand when they visit Big Moose Coffee in Cardiff – a business where all profits are reinvested to help the homeless.

Professor Rachel Ashworth said: “We look enviously at the success of the Basque Country in reducing economic inequalities and think we can mimic that here in Wales, but in reality, it’s not that easy...”

“This event will help us understand what lessons we can practically adapt from the Basque context, and how we can better understand the role of cooperative organisations in generating prosperity here in Wales, whilst perhaps allowing us to show off some of our own successes, too.”

Professor Rachel Ashworth Dean and Head of School

“The shared goal of addressing inequality, the value of partnerships, and the resulting knowledge exchange with a practical purpose, really sum up what we mean when we say public value,” she added.

The conference ‘Mutual Benefits: Building a Co-operation Between Wales and the Basque Country' will be held on Tuesday 4 December 2018 from 10:30 - 15:30 at the Glamorgan County Cricket Ground, Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

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