Baroness Jo Valentine, Jason Stockwood & Paul Collier in conversation: 'Grimsby and Blackpool- how community power is helping them with levelling up'

Past Event

24 May 2023, 5:00pm - 6:30pm

Oxford Martin School & Online
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Event Recording:

We know that flourishing communities and good work sits at the heart of good lives and wealthy societies. At the start of the digital revolution, in the 1970s, there was an expectation that people and places could transition to a new economy. Today we are reaping the grim rewards in terms of social deprivation and unbalanced economies. Levelling Up is an acknowledgement that transitions must be managed.

But how? It will not be enough to expand the number of ‘crap’ jobs and it will not be enough to pour money into projects and deals that do not add up to a coherent local strategy. Instead we require a new set of institutions, new relationships and socio-economic norms that can bridge the now perilous chasms in our society and enable each and every one to flourish.

Our two speakers, Baroness Valentine & Jason Stockwood join Professor Sir Paul Collier to discuss how we can help create a new narrative of civic entrepreneurship, good work and community flourishing in Grimsby & Blackpool. They will also be joined by Billy Dasein & Josie Moon who work with East Marsh United, a community group in Grimsby dedicated to transforming where we live for the better.

In association with the Oxford Martin Initiative on Regional Levelling-up

Official portrait of Baroness Valentine crop 2

Baroness Valentine of Putney
Special Projects Director, Business in the Community

Baroness Jo Valentine is a Crossbench member of the British House of Lords. Her career spans the city, industry, campaigning and regeneration. She is currently Co-Director of BITC’s Place programme, and holds several non-executive roles, including vice chair of UCL and chair of Heathrow Southern Railway. In 2016, she established and led BITC’s Blackpool’s Pride of Place partnership.

Baroness Valentine previously ran London First, joining the organisation in 1997 as Managing Director and becoming Chief Executive in 2003. Prior to London First, she worked in corporate finance at Barings Bank, where she became the first female manager. In 1988, on secondment from Barings, she established and ran “The Blackburn Partnership”, a public-private partnership to regenerate Blackburn, Lancashire. In 1990, she joined the BOC Group to head the corporate finance and planning function, leaving in 1995 to establish the Central London Partnership. ​

She was a member of the Board of Governance for The Peabody Trust from 2012 to 2017, a board member of the New West End Company and of inward investment agency Think London and a Trustee of Teach First.​

Stockwood Jason

Jason Stockwood
Founder & Partner, 53 Degrees Capital

With over 3 decades of experience as a technology and now social entrepreneur, Jason Stockwood, has been instrumental in founding and scaling several award winning businesses across a number of sectors.

A current Fellow at The Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, Jason has also been a Guest Lecturer at London School of Economics, University of Liverpool and London Business School addressing issues of business, culture and the future of work. He is a published author of ‘Reboot – A Blueprint for Happy, Human Business in a Digital Age’.

Jason’s labour of love is working with community leaders, local politicians and executives on regeneration projects. As part of this work he has recently been appointed Chair of Onside Grimsby, a charity in his hometown that provides state of the art youth facilities in post industrial towns through a combination public and private funding.

He is also the co-owner and Chair of Grimsby Town Football Club.

Dasein Billy

Billy Dasein
Chief Executive Officer, East Marsh United

Billy has worked in education for much of his adult life, as a lecturer, educational technologist and teacher of English in Oman and Poland. He’s passionately interested in what makes for a good life, how we organise ourselves so that we humans can flourish and live the best lives we can.

He has been doing work with for the last few years and you can read his doctoral thesis 'Freedom to learn for the 21st century (education as if people mattered)' here:

Josie Moon for blog post

Josie Moon
Arts Practitioner, East Marsh United

Josie is a writer, educator and arts practitioner based in North East Lincolnshire. Over the past ten years, Josie has produced original work across arts disciplines including a number of music, story-telling, creative writing and theatre projects in partnership with the NEL Music Hub, Grimsby Jazz Projects, Lincs Inspire, New Perspectives Theatre Company, and others. In addition, Josie mentors and supports young artists in the area, helping them shape and develop their work. Josie also works with East Marsh United developing and delivering innovative grassroots community arts projects with and for the East Marsh community.

In 2017 Josie established La Luna Publishing which has produced a range of publications for adults and children and collections of writing by young writers in North East Lincolnshire.

Josie is a poet and performer and has toured nationally with the Alan Barnes Octet performing Fish Tales in 2017 and A Requiem in 2019. These works can be found here: Josie wrote the poetry element of these two jazz and spoken word collaborations. The work was commissioned and managed by Gill Wilde at Grimsby Jazz Projects and funded by Arts Council England.

Josie is also working with Emily Bolton and GTFC on a range of exciting projects to reimagine the future of the aear and to inspire and engage children and young people.

Paul Collier

Professor Sir Paul Collier (Chair)
Director, Oxford Martin Initiative on Regional Levelling-up

Sir Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and a Professorial Fellow of St Antony’s College. He is also a member of the UK Government's Levelling Up Advisory Council.

From 1998–2003 he took a five-year Public Service leave during which he was Director of the Research Development Department of the World Bank. He is currently a Professeur invité at Sciences Po and a Director of the International Growth Centre.

He has written for the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. His research covers the causes and consequences of civil war; the effects of aid and the problems of democracy in low-income and natural resources rich societies; urbanisation in low-income countries; private investment in African infrastructure and changing organisational cultures.

Paul has authored numerous books, including The Bottom Billion (Oxford University Press, 2007) which in 2008 won the Lionel Gelber, Arthur Ross and Corine prizes and in May 2009 was the joint winner of the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book prize; Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places (Vintage Books, 2009); The Plundered Planet: How to reconcile prosperity with nature (Oxford University Press, 2010); Exodus: How migration is changing our world (Oxford University Press, 2013); and The Future of Capitalism: Facing The New Anxieties (Penguin Books, 2018).

His latest book, co-authored with John Kay, is Greed is Dead: Politics After Individualism (Penguin Books, 2020).

In 2014, Paul received a knighthood for services to promoting research and policy change in Africa.