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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The Launch of The Work and Equalities Institute at The University of Manchester

Debating the future of work and equalities in the fourth industrial revolution in the birthplace of the first industrial revolution

Event Time
14 Mar 13:00 - 14 Mar 20:00
Event Location
Christie’s Bistro, The Old Quadrangle, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL
Event Type

Debating the future of work and equalities in the fourth industrial revolution in the birthplace of the first industrial revolution.

Our formal launch will take place at a drinks reception at 6.30pm in Christie's Bistro, 14 March 2018.

The launch will conclude an afternoon of three interactive panel debates from 2pm at University Place. These will focus on important themes for contemporary society, building on and developing Manchester’s rich legacy of contributions to equalities at work.

The first panel will discuss human rights and the responsibilities of businesses and society to ensure dignity, fair treatment and fair access to work.

The second panel will debate the priorities and possibilities for promoting equalities in the workplace.

The final panel debate, to be chaired by University of Manchester governor and distinguished journalist Michael Crick, will consider the impact of the fourth industrial revolution on work and equalities.

These panels, comprising distinguished and informed speakers, will help to set the agenda for the Work and Equalities Institute. New ways of working, new risks to equalities and new concerns over the potential loss of jobs are intensifying debates on how we organise work in the future, what we can do to promote decent forms of work, and the responsibilities society and the business community have towards citizens and workers.

Confirmed speakers

  • Michael Crick, Channel 4 News, and member of the University of Manchester Board of Governors
  • Simon Deakin, Professor of Employment Law, University of Cambridge
  • Gerhard Bosch, Professor, University of Duisburg-Essen and member of German Government’s Work 4.0 commission
  • Paul Dennett, Mayor of Salford and Alliance MBS alumnus
  • Matthew Laza, Research Director, Policy Network
  • Susan Hayter, lead on future of work for International Labour Organisation, Geneva
  • Sally Bucknell, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, EY
  • Kate Pickett, Professor, University of York, co-founder an board member of The Equality Trust, author of The Spirit Level
  • Wilson Wong, Head of Insight and Futures at the CIPD


  • 1pm: Lunch
  • 2-6pm: Panel debates
  • 6.30pm: Drinks reception and formal launch

Register for the panel debates and/or the drinks reception here

If you are not able to join us but would like to be kept informed about the activities of the Work and Equalities Institute please email us at

Work and Equalities in Manchester

There is no better place to interrogate these issues than Manchester, with its significant historical and contemporary contributions to the promotion of equalities. Political devolution in Greater Manchester is sparking debates on how we can make policy more people-centred with decent work available for all and how these goals could be achieved while enhancing Manchester’s spirit of an open, dynamic and multicultural society in the shadow of Brexit.

In 2018 Manchester is also celebrating its role in both the 100 years of women’s suffrage, and the 150 years of the first Trade Union Congress. Manchester’s legacies go back further: while it may have grown rich on the slave trade, the city also played a key role in the fight to abolish slavery. Although Manchester was the site of the Peterloo massacre, Manchester responded by playing key roles in the formation of an informed free press through the founding of the Manchester Guardian, the repeal of the Corn Laws, the founding of the cooperative movement, and the growth of trade unions. It seemed entirely fitting that Manchester became the chosen home for the Equal Opportunities Commission in the 1970s, now the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The aim of the Work and Equalities Institute is to contribute to continuing this rich and radical tradition in Manchester.

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