CHASM recently hosted a group of leading academics from the United States to discuss the future of asset-based policies. The visiting academics included: William Darity (Duke University); Tom Shapiro (Brandeis University); Margaret Sherraden (University of Missouri, St Louis); and Michael Sherraden (Washington University in St Louis).

Three events were arranged generating high levels of interest and attracting a wide range of participants from government departments, policy think-tanks, funding bodies, the voluntary sector, academia and students. The events provided opportunities for UK audiences to listen, share and discuss ideas around the opportunities and challenges facing the academic and policy communities in both countries and across other parts of the world in developing asset-based policies since the demise of initiatives such as Child Trust Fund and Saving Gateway.

The first event was a high profile National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) Forum launch event in London on 7 March held at The Royal Mint, attended by over 100 people. Talks were given by Steve Webb, MP (Minister for Pensions), Tim Jones (CEO, NEST), Simeon Brown (CEO HSBC), Otto Thoresen (ABI Director General), Baroness Drake of Shene (Former member of the Pensions Committee), leading pension experts, practitioners, academics and policymakers.

The second event (The future of asset-based policies in the US and UK) held at NCVO on 8 March, attended by over 60 people, featured contributions from Julian Le Grand and John Hills (LSE) and Phillip Blond (ResPublica).

The final Birmingham event (Assets and inclusion: class, ethnicity and inter-generational inequality), held on 9 March was attended by over 50 people and featured additional contributions from Anne Price, Director of the US-based policy network, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap and Omar Khan (Runnymede Trust).

The CHASM team are currently developing ideas to develop longer-term international collaboration with our US partners and institutions. The events were funded through the University's North America Travel Fund and the CoSS Advanced Social Science Collaborative (ASSC) Visiting Fellows Scheme.