Speakers 2019

Prof. Steve Keen

Professor Keen is a Distinguished Research Fellow at UCL, the author of Debunking Economics (2011) and Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis? (2017), and one of the few economists to anticipate the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, for which he received the Revere Award from the Real World Economics Review.


His main research interests are developing the complex systems approach to macroeconomics, and the economics of climate change. He has over 80 refereed publications on financial instability, money creation, logical and mathematical flaws in conventional and Marxian economic theory, the role of energy in production, and many other topics. He is ranked in the Richtopia list of the world’s 100 most influential economists. He designed the Open Source system dynamics program Minsky (https://sourceforge.net/projects/minsky/), which is the first program to allow monetary economic models to be designed visually. 


He has previously been Professor of Economics at Kingston University London and the University of Western Sydney, Australia. He is active on Twitter as @ProfSteveKeen, and is crowdfunding his non-mainstream research into economics via Patreon: see https://www.patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen .

The incredible inertia of paradigms in economics

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Prof. Ruth Kinna

Ruth Kinna is a Professor of Political Theory at Loughborough University as well as an editor of the journal Anarchist Studies since 2007. Her research straddles political theory and the history of ideas and falls within the Social, Political and Cultural Theory strand of the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture. She has a strong interest in anarchism and nineteenth and early twentieth-century socialist thought. Working with her colleagues in the Anarchism Research Group and the Politicised Practice Research Group, her recent work explores contemporary radical politics, interdisciplinary approaches to citizenship and the intersections of anarchism and nationalism.

 At Shifting Paradigms Dr Kinna will present her paper Anarchist economics: transnational co-operation as a measure of well-being and development which delves into the question of how anarchists have addressed problems of growth and social and economic development. With representative parliamentary governments now regularly criticized for being vehicles for exploitation, domination and oppression, this gives the opportunity to consider how the often-repeated demand for ‘real democracy’ opens a pathway to address issues of well-being and how an anarchist, anti-capitalist conception of economic development might be expressed. To do this, Dr Kinna explores the resonance of ideas advanced during the first globalisation, when the prospect of growing global interconnectedness, modernisation and technological change fuelled debates about the virtues of laissez-faire market and social democratic alternatives.

Anarchist Economics: Transnational co-operation as a measure of well-being and development

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Gareth Boswell

Gareth Boswell was born and raised in South Africa where he completed a BSc in the natural sciences and worked in the petrochemical industry until emigrating to the United Kingdom in 2005. He went on to complete an MBA at the University of Strathclyde in 2016, at which time he developed an interest in corporate governance. He has since started a part-time PhD at the University of Aberdeen that engages with the topic of income inequality, from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Gareth will be presenting on his PhD research with a brief review of the trends, social and economic consequences, and perspectives associated with income inequality. He asks the question “What can be done?”, and introduces the concept of an Equitable Ownership Business Model (EOBM) that would mimic the employee owned businesses in terms of how surplus value (profit) is allocated.

The theoretical basis for the EOBM is discussed, how it can be managed and what outcomes may result from its implementation. Also discussed is how the EOBM can be viewed – as opposed to a regulating mechanism – as an intervention for sustainable development that is consistent with a free market philosophy.

The Equitable Ownership Model

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Prof. Uma Kambhampati

A Professor of Development Economics and Head of School at the University of Reading, Professor Kambhampati has in recent years worked on issues relating to childhood inequalities, particularly in relation to child work and schooling participation, inequalities between girls and boys as well as inequalities across social and religious groups. She has also done work on women’s empowerment and well-being, including women’s labour market participation, life satisfaction as well as nutritional adequacy. Her research extends to the issue of well-being and life satisfaction in the UK, which includes analysis of the extent to which conditions during childhood and youth influence the life satisfaction of adults.


The paper that she will present at the conference analyses the relationship between ‘lifestyle’ and ‘happiness’ in the UK using the Understanding Society data. In particular, the paper investigates the role of the consumption of fruit and vegetables and sports activity on well-being. These lifestyle measures are often endogenous to well-being itself and individuals are more likely to have a ‘healthy’ lifestyle when they are already feeling good about themselves. To account for this, her research instruments these variables using a measure of delayed gratification: individuals who are willing to delay gratification are much more likely to consume more portions of fruit and vegetables and to do more exercise. Using this instrument, it can be found that these measures of lifestyle do significantly influence life satisfaction among both men and women in the UK.

The impact of delaying gratification on the well-being of individuals

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Eric Osiakwan

Eric Osiakwan, Managing Partner of Chanzo Capital is an Entrepreneur and Investor with 15 years of ICT industry leadership across Africa and the world. He has worked in 32 African countries setting up ISPs, ISPAs, IXPs and high-tech startups. He Co-Founded Angel Africa List, Angel Fair Africa and currently serves on the board of Farmerline, Hubtel, Forhey, Teranga Solutions, Hotel Online, Wala, Amp.it, SameLogic, Wanjo Foods, Airshop , Rapid Expense, NestSquare , Data Integrated, Ghana Cyber City and WABco – some of which are his investments.


He was part of the team that built the TEAMS submarine cable in East Africa and an ICT Consultant for the WorldBank, Soros Foundations, UNDP, USAID, USDoJ, USDoS as well as African governments and private firms.


He authored “The KINGS of Africa’s Digital Economy”, co-authored the “Open Access Model”, adopted globally by the telecommunications industry, “Negotiating the Net” – the politics of Internet Diffusion in Africa and “The Internet in Ghana” with the Mosaic Group. He was invited to contribute ideas to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa. Eric is a TED, Stanford, MIT and Harvard fellow.

Building the digital economy in Africa

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Lisa Hough-Stewart

Lisa is Communications and Mobilisation Lead for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll). WEAll is a small non-profit that aims to connect and amplify the movement for economic system transformation. Lisa is passionate about the need for a new economic story, and optimistic about how “we all” can change the system by focusing on collaboration over competition. She will be speaking about the vision for a wellbeing economy, what it means and how we can get there, including some of the great work already being done by WEAll and its members.


Prior to WEAll, Lisa worked at Oxfam Scotland where she led on campaigns and communications. She holds a BA in Journalism and Politics and an MA in Human Rights, and has previous work experience in sustainability reporting, ethical policy development and media relations in the private sector.


Lisa is Chair of Take One Action film festivals, an Advisory Group member for Plan UK’s reporting into girls’ rights, and brass section leader for Glasgow-based community band SambaYaBamba.

Collaborating for a well-being economy 

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Prof. Peter John

Peter John is a Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. He was previously Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University College London. He is known for his work on agenda-setting, local politics, behavioural interventions, and randomized controlled trials. 

His main interest is how best to involve citizens in public policy and management, often deploying behavioural interventions. He has contributed immensely to the existing literature through his writing of and contribution to a plethora of books including; Field Experiments in Political Science and Public Policy, Making Policy Work, Nudge, Nudge, Think, Think: Experimenting with Ways to Change Civic Behaviour, and Political Turbulence: How Social
Media Shape Collective Action.

A more general approach to the use of the tools of government to achieve policy change is discussed in his book, Making Policy Work.  His most recent book is a critical review of the use of behavioral public policies, called How Far to Nudge: Assessing Behavioural Public Policy. It is no surprise then that his the topic of his talk for this year’s Shifting Paradigms conference is ‘from nudge to nudge plus: Putting the citizen at the centre of behavioural public policy’. He shall address the criticisms of nudge and behavioural public policy and will provide a comprehensive reorientation, which is necessary because posits that the intellectual foundations of the policy are at fault. He will also discuss ‘nudge plus’ which would link more closely with other types of governmental intervention that embrace citizen involvement.

Behavioural Economics and nudge plus

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Dr. Sara Reis

Housing is one of the most urgent public policy issues in the UK. Our housing system is in crisis and this is a gendered issue. In a latest ground-breaking report, the Women’s Budget Group shows how the housing crisis is hitting women hardest: new data demonstrates the crisis of affordability and the knock-on effect this is having on statutory homelessness, precarious or temporary housing, financial abuse and violence against women and girls.


We believe this can change. The session will include a space for discussion on recommendations for investment and collaborative work required across departments and sectors to allow all women to live affordably and free of abuse in homes of their own. Recommendations from this report are also feeding into the Women’s Budget Group’s new Commission for a Gender-Equal Economy because affordable housing is part of our vision for a gender-equal economy.


Sara has a PhD in Politics from the University of Sheffield and previous experience in the rights of victims of crime, women’s rights in the EU, and the impact of migration on local areas in England. She is currently researching the issues that vulnerable women face, including poverty and access to adequate and affordable housing. Sara is also the coordinator of the WBG Early-Career Network, a group of young researchers and feminist economists working on the gendered impacts of public policy.

Gender gap in housing affordability in the UK

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Prof. Will Hout

Wil Hout (PhD in International Relations, University of Leiden) is Professor of Governance and International Political Economy at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. His research focuses on international cooperation and on governance issues in developing countries. Publications have appeared in the European Journal of International Relations, Development and Change, the Journal of Development Studies, Third World Quarterly, Critical Asian Studies, Development Policy Review, the Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée, the Journal of African Economies and Acta Politica. He is the author of The Politics of Aid Selectivity (Routledge, 2007), co-author of Political Economy and the Aid Industry in Asia (with Jane Hutchison, Caroline Hughes and Richard Robison, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and co-editor of Regionalism Across the North-South Divide (with Jean Grugel, Routledge, 1999). His most recent book, co-authored with M.A. Mohamed Salih, is A Political Economy of African Regionalisms: An Overview of Asymmetrical Development (Edward Elgar, 2019).


During the conference, he will discuss the ‘Permanent Crisis of Development Aid’. A variety of approaches, the latest of which is the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015), is analysed to illustrate the way in which development agencies have dealt with the permanent crisis of the development project and have attempted – but, arguably, failed – to learn from problems they experienced.

Permanent Crisis of Development Aid

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Dr. Elena B. Stavrevska

Dr. Elena B. Stavrevska is a peace scholar whose work and publications have explored issues of gender, intersectionality, transitional justice, and political economy in post-war societies. She is currently a Research Officer at the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School for Economics and Political Science.


Most recently Dr. Stavrevska co-edited a book focusing on the everyday manifestations of the political economy of peace, published by Routledge in April 2019. Her work has also appeared in different edited volumes and international peer-reviewed journals, such as International Peacekeeping and Civil Wars. Until June 2019, she was a research fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, where she worked on completing her book manuscript with focus on gender provisions in peace agreements and the ways in which they are translated into laws and policies. Drawing on ethnographic research and interviews with Roma women in Bosnia and Herzegovina and indigenous women in Colombia, the book highlights the gendered and intersectional impact of those ‘translations’ and advances the concept of intersectional justice in peace processes.


Her talk for this year’s Shifting Paradigms conference will explore the limitations of the mainstream understanding of informal economic practices from a feminist perspective. Focusing on conflict-affected societies in particular, the talk aims to highlight its gendered and gendering implications and bring to the fore the lives of those that this approach renders invisible. The talk will also provide examples of existing alternative models of economic organising in conflict-affected societies

Issues of gender and intersectionality in post-war societies

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Dr. Steve Davies

Steve Davies is a  historian who graduated from St Andrews University in Scotland in 1976 and gained his PhD from the same institution in 1984. He was co-editor with Nigel Ashford of The Dictionary of Conservative and Libertarian Thought (Routledge, 1991) and wrote several entries for The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism edited by Ronald Hamowy (Sage, 2008), including the general introduction. He is also the author of Empiricism and History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), The Wealth Explosion: The Nature and Origins of Modernity (Edward Everett Root, 2019), and of several articles and essays on topics including the private provision of public goods and the history of crime and criminal justice. 


 He’s been the Head of Education at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London since 2010. He also has connections with the IEA since he was an undergraduate at St Andrews University in 1972. From 1979 until 2009 he was Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and Economic History at Manchester Metropolitan University. While there he taught courses on a range of topics, including world history, the history of crime and the criminal justice system in the UK, and the history of the Devil. He has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio and a programme Officer at the Institute for Humane Studies in Arlington, Virginia. 

The Ends of Central Banks: Free Banking and the need for a sane Monetary System

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Dr. Thomás Rotta

Toms Rotta is Lecturer in Economics in the Institute of Management Studies (IMS) at Goldsmiths, University of London. Tomás was previously Senior Lecturer in Economics in the International Business & Economics department at the University of Greenwich in London, UK, and member of the Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre (GPERC).


He holds a PhD and an MSc in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, USA, an MSc in Economic Development and a BSc in Business Management from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Tomás specializes in Political Economy. He teaches Advanced Econometrics and Applied Quantitative Economics. 

Unproductive Accumulation in the United States

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Prof. Paul Spicker

Professor Paul Spicker is a writer and commentator on social policy. His published work includes nineteen books, several shorter works and 90 academic papers. His studies of housing and welfare rights developed from his early career; since then, his research has included studies related to benefit delivery systems, the care of old people, psychiatric patients, housing management and local anti-poverty strategy. He is a consultant on social welfare in practice and has done work for a range of agencies at local, national and international levels. After teaching at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Dundee, he held the Grampian Chair of Public Policy at Robert Gordon University from 2001-2015. He is now an Emeritus Professor of RGU. In 2018 he was a Fellow of CROP, the International Social Science Council's Comparative Research Programme on Poverty, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Lodz in Poland.


In this year’s Shifting Paradigms Conference, he will explore the controversial topic of ‘Basic Income’ and the arguments to and for it. He posits that there are serious issues to resolve relating to cost, distribution, adequacy and practical implementation when it comes to this topic. 

Basic Income

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS:

Prof. Jan Toporowski

Prof. Toporowski is a professor of econnomics and finance at the Department of Economics in SOAS University of London. In 2018 he was awarded a Major Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust to pursue the project of writing an intellectual biography of Oskar Lange, one of the founding figures of twentieth-century economics. Prof. Toporowski has authored numerous books, such as Why the World Economy needs a Financial Crash and other critical essays on Finance and Financial Economics (2010) and two intellectual biographies on Michal Kalecki. During the conference he will discuss financial crisis and debt management and provide various perspetives on these issues.

Financial crisis and dept managment

Topic presented at SHIFTING PARADIGMS: