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Influencing social and political change at book launch

7 October 2016

Image of Professor Luigi de Luca, Duncan Green, Professor Kevin Morgan and Professor Martin Kitchener
(L-R) Professor Luigi de Luca, Duncan Green, Professor Kevin Morgan and Professor Martin Kitchener

Cardiff Business School hosted a book launch for Duncan Green, Senior Strategic Adviser at Oxfam GB, on Monday 3 October 2016.

The launch was held at the Postgraduate Teaching Centre and hosted by the Responsible Innovation Network (RIN).

In addition to his advisory role with Oxfam GB, Duncan Green is a Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics (teaching International Development), a visiting fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, and an Honorary Professor of International Development at Cardiff University’s School of Geography and Planning. His blog is one of the most widely read on international development, and is named after his book From Poverty to Power.

Green’s book, How Change Happens, explores how political and social change takes place, and the role of individuals and organisations in influencing that change. Green discusses the challenges that ‘systems thinking’ creates for traditional activism and aid, and how a ‘power and systems approach’ requires activists, whether in campaigns, companies or governments, to fundamentally rethink the way they understand the world and try to influence it.

Kicking off the evening’s proceedings, Professor Martin Kitchener, Dean of Cardiff Business School, welcomed the assembled guests, which totalled almost 50 people, to the School. He introduced the School’s bold new Public Value strategy, which echoes some of the themes of Green’s book. The School is committed to engendering social and economic improvement through interdisciplinary working, breaking down silos and tackling major social challenges.

Professor Kevin Morgan, Professor of Governance and Development at the School of Geography and Planning, introduced Duncan to the audience and gave a precis of the book before Green took centre stage. Green’s talk explained the inspiration behind the book and his understanding of how to effect real change in an unequal global society. He spoke about the need to change ways of thinking in order to respond to, and work within, today’s reality.

Green’s presentation was followed by a lively Q&A, led by Professor Luigi De Luca, with varied views on the nature and value of activism in a contemporary context expressed.

The launch was hosted by the Responsible Innovation Network (RIN). RIN was launched in March 2016 and is a University-wide initiative to create a convening space for stakeholders who have an interest in exploring the meaning of responsible research and innovation. Membership includes academics and professionals from the third sector, education, policy and commercial organisations interested in responding to the challenge of societal challenges including, poverty, climate change, renewable energy, ageing societies, dignified eldercare, food security, and diet-related disease to name a few.

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