University of Sheffield research institute SPERI celebrates its fifth anniversary

13 July 2017
A leading University of Sheffield research centre, which unites internationally renowned researchers, policy makers and journalists to explore new approaches to economic and political challenges, celebrated its fifth anniversary yesterday (Wednesday 12 July 2017) with a celebration event and reception at the Bank of England.

The Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) was launched at the University of Sheffield in 2012 to research the political and economic issues posed by the global financial crisis. Since then, it has published a huge number of reports, papers and briefings, providing a valuable insight into key events in the economic and political sphere.

The research institute at the University of Sheffield has hosted high profile speakers to give its annual lecture, including the then Labour leader Ed Miliband MP, Robert Peston, George Monbiot, Lord Robert Skidelsky and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

It has also provided a home for visiting researchers and policy-makers from the UK and beyond, becoming an international focus for debate, discussion and policy development in relation to the current combination of financial crisis, shifting economic power and environmental threat.

Andrew Haldane, University of Sheffield alumnus and Chief Economist at the Bank of England, hosted last night’s celebration event and delivered a keynote speech, while President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, chaired.

Other speakers included Dawn Foster, a regular political contributor to the Guardian, the London Review of Books and the Independent; Gavin Kelly, Chief Executive of The Resolution Trust; and Vivien Schmidt, Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Boston University and Chair of SPERI’s International Advisory Board.

A panel discussion followed the talks, in which the audience was invited to participate. Topics of discussion included sustainable economic growth, climate change, growing inequality and global shifts in power.

Professor Tony Payne, Co-Director of SPERI, talked about SPERI’s work over the past five years. After the event, he said: “SPERI was set up by the Vice-Chancellor five years ago to create a new space to research the many consequences of the global financial crisis and to address some of the huge economic and political challenges that resulted.

“We have worked hard and achieved a lot, producing many papers, reports, briefs and books and posting a regular blog called ‘SPERI Comment’. We are now working to identify the big political economy questions that will shape our work over the next five years.

“The insights offered by the speakers and the members of the audience at the panel discussion will help enormously in this respect.”

SPERI builds on the activities of the University’s longstanding Political Economy Research Centre (PERC), opened by Professor JK Galbraith in 1994.

Additional Information
The University of Sheffield
With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.
Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

For further information please contact:
Shemina Davis Media Relations Manager The University of Sheffield 0114 222

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