N8 and RSA to explore future of regeneration and social enterprise at York Festival of Ideas


The forthcoming York Festival of Ideas will host the inaugural event of a series supported by the N8 Research Partnership and the RSA.  

The events will be hosted across 2023 and early 2024 at different N8 universities and will bring together thought leaders from the public, private, third and academic sectors, along with key political figures, to discuss how levelling up is shaping the North and how the North is leading the conversation nationally on what it means to level up. 

Taking place on Thursday 15th  June 2023, 12.30pm to 4.45pm at St Saviourgate in York city centre, the first event will be chaired by Jennifer Williams, Northern correspondent of the Financial Times, who is also set to oversee the future events in the series.  

This first event in the series will examine the need for a new approach to urban regeneration through inclusive growth and by harnessing the power of major employer institutions, education providers and social enterprise to deliver more equitable and inclusive economic outcomes for everyone. 

Social enterprise is undoubtedly playing a significant role in delivering inspirational community-based entrepreneurship, but the sector is not yet well understood and has so far been largely overlooked in the national discourse on how to achieve levelling up. 

The expert panelists – including Professor Charlie Jeffery, University of York Vice-Chancellor and Chair of N8 – will address a series of questions, including: 

  • What are the opportunities for York to build on its strengths and become a magnet city for investment, levelling up and net zero?  
  • What challenges and opportunities might we see as a result of digitalisation, globalisation and demographic shifts?  
  • How can we build the skills of our future workforce to address this?  
  • How can we support risk-taking and entrepreneurship while safeguarding job quality, collective bargaining and social protection? 

This event is presented in collaboration with Aviva and will also include an opportunity to meet and hear from local businesses and social enterprises. 

Full details of the event and details of how to book tickets can be found here.