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The Inequality Debate

RSA Event


Great Room Auditorium, RSA House

  • Economics and Finance
  • Cities
  • Social justice


Is growing inequality a price worth paying for London’s continued economic success?

London’s position as a global economic powerhouse is unquestionable. A leading financial centre, home to world-class cultural institutions and a mecca for technology start-ups; London is a playground for the ambitious, the successful, and the wealthy.

But London is also a place of great inequality. Between 1980 and 2010, the city saw an 80% increase in the poorest and most wealthy households, while the middle has dramatically shrunk. London now has more billionaires than any other city in the world, yet 1 in 5 Londoners are paid below the Living Wage rate.

As London’s economy continues to outpace the rest of the UK, so does the inequality gap. Is such inequality an inevitable by-product of the city’s growth, rewarding those who risk their capital to create employment, for example? Or, will it eventually derail the city’s upward progression, and push out those whom London relies on to keep it moving?

The debate is curated in partnership with Trust for London, a charitable foundation working to tackle poverty and inequality in the capital. This year the Trust celebrates its 125th anniversary. For more information about Trust for London and the work they fund, please read this Storify produced to commemorate their 125 years of supporting social change in London. 

Panel to include Danny Dorling, Professor of Geography, University of Oxford; Mark Littlewood, Director General, Institute of Economic Affairs; Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice, London Business School and Faiza Shaheen, director, Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class).


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