CHASM Conference 2020: Financial Wellbeing: Risk and Reward in Contemporary Society

Thursday 2 July 2020 (10:30-16:30)

The CHASM ten year anniversary conference was held online on Thursday 2nd July 2020, 10.30-16.30.

We celebrated ten years of rigorous and insightful research in the financial wellbeing, inclusion and capability sectors. The conference primarily focused on the future, exploring where key research needs to be applied over the next 10 years.  The three conference presentations comprised of:  


10.30-12.00: Developing financial resilience in individuals, communities and economies

Danielle Walker Palmour, Director of Friends Provident Foundation

What do we know about how greater resilience can be developed to support the ability of individuals, communities and economies to withstand shocks to their financial wellbeing? The Friends Provident Foundation has been exploring the challenges of how the economy can serve society better as a major focus of its work for many years.  Danielle will share some insights arising from the Foundation programme and explore the characteristics of a more resilient economy that would be better configured to meet future challenges facing British society. 

YouTube Link: 

13.00-14.30: Valuing contributions in our modern society - moral and economic perspectives

David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted a long standing mismatch in our society, between how people are rewarded for their contribution, and the risks (financial and other) they take in their roles. While rewards for the roles in society have dimensions that are more than just financial, having a suitable financial reward is a key indicator of the value we place on these roles as a society. David explores how we might rethink the way we address value in roles, in a fuller sense, to reward labour and risk taking and the support we provide to each other across our society. 

YouTube link:

15.00-16.30: Understanding and addressing racial wealth inequality - lessons from the USA

Professor Thomas Shapiro

Drawing on a large body of research undertaken over many years, Tom will explore the significant challenges in addressing racial wealth inequality across the world. He will highlight, in particular, proposals recently developed for a synergistic policy solution of a combination of cash transfers and savings accounts for children.  This policy creates a universal basic income-like provision and supports the development of an asset base to begin to break down systemic racial wealth inequality. 

YouTube link:

Speaker Biographies

Danielle Walker Palmour

Director of Friends Provident Foundation

Danielle Walker PalmourDanielle has been Director of Friends Provident Foundation since November 2004, following six years as Director of Policy and Practice at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Danielle has previously occupied senior policy and research roles throughout the non-governmental sector including the Head of Policy of what is now The Big Lottery Fund, the Commission for Racial Equality and the Law Society of England and Wales.

She has been a member of the Treasury’s Financial Inclusion Taskforce, the Civil Society Advisory Body of the Cabinet Office and the Financial Services Authority Financial Capability Steering Group. She currently holds non-executive roles at Big Society Capital and publishers Civil Society Media; she is a member of the University Court of the University of York as well as a trustee of local Yorkshire charities. 

The Right Reverend David Urquhart KCMG, Hon DD

Lord Bishop of Birmingham

The Right Reverend David UrquhartBishop David became Anglican Bishop of Birmingham in 2006 and has an equal focus on the church and the wider world.  He is actively involved with social cohesion, economic justice, and education. Bishop David co-ordinated Birmingham’s Social Inclusion Process 2010–2015, chaired the University of Birmingham’s Wealth Distribution Commission in 2013 and was Vice-Chair of the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Board 2010-2019.

Bishop David also has a significant interest in global politics and international relations. Chair of the Church Mission Society from 1993 to 2008, he maintains close links with DR Congo, Uganda and Malawi. He is currently Chair of the Mining Faiths Reflection Initiative, with a focus on South Africa and Brazil.

He is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Envoy to China, a Church Commissioner, and Prelate to the Order of St Michael and St George. He has been a member of the UK Banking Standards Board since 2015. As a member of the House of Lords, where he is Convenor of the Lords Spiritual, he comments regularly on finance, business and the constitution.  He is Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Inclusive Growth.

Professor Thomas Shapiro

David R. Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy, Brandeis University, USA

Professor Thomas ShapiroThomas Shapiro is the Director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University. His primary interest is in racial inequality and public policy. Thomas is a leader in the wealth and race field with a particular focus on closing the racial wealth gap.  With Dr. Melvin Oliver, he wrote the award-winning Black Wealth/White Wealth, which received the 1997 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association. The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality, 2004, was widely reviewed. He co-authored a groundbreaking study, The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide. In 2011 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study the wealth gap in South Africa.

Thomas’ most recent book ‘Toxic Inequality: How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, & Threatens Our Future’ was released in 2017. He has been interviewed by and his work discussed in major media outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, CNN, ABC, BBC, MSNBC, NPR.