Radical Reformers ep.24: Simon Kaye, Senior Researcher, New Local
This episode is with Dr. Simon Kaye, Senior Researcher at New Local, an independent think tank and network of councils, with a mission to transform public services and unlock community power.
At the time of publication, we had just had the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester and the focus was on the ideas of “levelling up”, devolution and the right way to empower local areas and communities to rejuvenate after decades of post-industrial decline.
This is where Simon comes in. He is an expert in the work of Elinor Ostrom, a political economist who specialised in localism and whose thinking provides the intellectual framework for the levelling up/devolution debate. Ostrom was the first woman to ever win the Nobel Prize for Economics, entirely because before (and even during) her time women were actively discouraged from studying things like economics.
Simon and I discuss how Ostrom’s thinking can be applied to how resources are best used, how devolving decisions down to communities can improve public services and also help tackle existential challenges like climate change.
It’s a fascinating and timely discussion which will be of huge interest to anyone grappling with the whole idea of levelling up and devolution!