For over a decade, the world has been experiencing a range of inter-related crises. Financial instability, widening inequalities and climate and environmental breakdown have been brought into sharper focus by the global coronavirus pandemic.
There is now a growing consensus among a broad range of people that fundamental changes are needed to our economic model.
ECU works with a wide variety of individuals and groups – including policymakers, business and civil society leaders, academics, campaigners, journalists and opinion formers – to increase understanding of new economic ideas and to promote economic change.
Anna is a specialist in economic systems change and leadership for social and environmental justice. From 2015-20 she was CEO of the Finance Innovation Lab, a pioneering charity seeking to build a financial system that serves people and planet. She has worked in strategy, communications, research and impact assessment in a variety of sectors, including sustainable finance, academia, international development, campaigning and community development. She is a Trustee of the New Economics Foundation, a Co-optee at the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Senior Associate at Cohere Partners, an Associate of the Institute for Social Banking, and a Fellow of the RSA. She has previously served as a Trustee of the Just Finance Foundation and New Economy Organisers Network, and as an Associate of the St Paul’s Institute. Anna is also a leadership coach, trained in organisation and relationship systems coaching.
Sarah joined ECU in March 2021. She was formerly Director of Jubilee Debt Campaign, a UK charity working to stop debt causing poverty and inequality in the UK and globally. Before that, she led policy development, campaigns and coalition-building on climate change, corporate accountability and trade for Friends of the Earth UK and Friends of the Earth International. She has a BA in geography from the University of Oxford and a Masters in international politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She is a founding board member of Tax Justice UK, and a trustee of Transparency International and the Barry Amiel Norman Melburn Trust.
Michael Jacobs is Professor of Political Economy at the University of Sheffield. He was formerly a member of the Council of Economic Advisers at the Treasury, and from 2007–2010 Special Adviser to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He has also been general secretary of the Fabian Society, managing director of economic and environmental consultancy CAG Consultants, and co-editor of The Political Quarterly. He was a founder and senior adviser to the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, and Director of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice. His books include The Green Economy: Environment, Sustainable Development and the Politics of the Future (Pluto Press, 1991), Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth (edited with Mariana Mazzucato, Wiley Blackwell 2016) and Prosperity and Justice: A Plan for the New Economy (the final report of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, IPPR / Polity, 2018).
Michael joined ECU in April 2019. Before that he had helped establish the Progressive Economy Forum as its founding coordinator, after initial incubation within the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS). He had previously spent two years working as a researcher for the economic historian and peer Robert Skidelsky, editing and providing research for Lord Skidelsky’s book on the history of economic thought and post-crash macroeconomic policy and supporting his various parliamentary, journalistic and academic output. Originally from Blackburn in Lancashire, Michael holds a first class BA in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford.
George became Programme Officer at ECU in January 2021, having originally joined as an intern. George previously worked as a researcher for the Centre for Local Economic Strategies. Originally from the Wirral on Merseyside, George holds a first class BA in philosophy, politics and economics and an MA in social and political thought, both from the University of Leeds.