Because more equal societies work better for everyone

Invite a Speaker

To invite a representative from the Trust to speak at your event, please contact jo.wittams@equalitytrust.org.uk.

Speaker Biographies

Bill Kerry

Bill is a co-founder of The Equality Trust and works part-time as Supporter & Local Groups Manager. He has written and blogged for various organisations including Oxfam and the pressure group Compass. Prior to the launch of the Trust, Bill worked as a Company Secretary across the private, charitable and social enterprise sectors.

Richard Wilkinson

Richard has played a formative role in international research on the social determinants of health and on the societal effects of income inequality. He studied economic history at LSE before training in epidemiology. He is Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School, Honorary Professor at UCL and a Visiting Professor at the University of York. Richard co-wrote The Spirit Level with Kate Pickett which won the 2011 Political Studies Association Publication of the Year Award and the 2010 Bristol Festival of Ideas Prize. Richard is also a co-founder of The Equality Trust.

Additional Information

The Equality Trust

The Equality Trust is an independent, evidence based campaign working to reduce income inequality in order to improve the quality of life in the UK.

UK income inequality is among the highest in the developed world and evidence shows that this is bad for almost everyone. People in more equal societies live longer, have better mental health and are more socially mobile. Community life is stronger where the income gap is narrower, children do better at school and they are less likely to become teenage parents. When inequality is reduced people trust each other more, there is less violence and rates of imprisonment are lower.

If we want to build a better society, it is essential we take action now to reduce the gap between rich and poor. The Equality Trust is working with others to build a social movement for change. We analyse and disseminate the latest research, promote robust evidence-based arguments and support a dynamic network of campaign groups across the country.

Travel Expenses & Fees

Bill lives just outside London, Richard lives in York. All speakers in the network are happy to travel to events if their travel expenses (and accommodation expenses where necessary) can be refunded.

They do not charge a set fee for speaking but request that, where possible, a donation is made to The Equality Trust in lieu of this.

Suggested Title for Talks

The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone.

Abstract

Comparing life expectancy, mental health, levels of violence, teenage birth rates, drug abuse, child wellbeing, obesity rates, levels of trust, the educational performance of school children, or the strength of community life among rich countries, it is clear that societies which tend to do well on one of these measures tend to do well on all of them, and the ones which do badly, do badly on all of them. What accounts for the difference?

The key is the amount of inequality in each society. The picture is consistent whether we compare rich countries or the 50 states of the USA. The more unequal a society is, the more ill health and social problems it has.

Inequality has always been regarded as divisive and socially corrosive. The data show that even small differences in the amount of inequality matter. Material inequality serves as a determinant of the scale and importance of social stratification. It increases status insecurity and competition and the prevalence of all the problems associated with relative deprivation. Particularly important are effects mediated by social status, friendship and early childhood experience. However, although the amount of inequality has its greatest effect on rates of problems among the poor, its influence extends to almost all income groups: too much inequality reduces levels of well-being among the vast majority of the population. 

Powerpoint Slides

Due to the number of speaking engagements undertaken, we are unable to provide a copy of any powerpoint presentation in advance. If you wish to look at the basic collection of slides which may be used, these can be downloaded here.

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