Children born today will reach adulthood around 2040. What will life in the UK be like for them, according to current trajectories? What are the policy options we have now that can influence or change that trajectory for the better? We have launched UK 2040 Options with the Behavioural Insights Team to convene a range of experts and thinkers on some of the defining issues facing the country, identifying priorities any government will need to tackle, digging into the policy options and trade offs, and interrogating how to deliver effectively.
Regardless of who forms the next government, the UK is in need of a period of stable and open policy making. This means levelling with voters about choices and trade offs, building consensus on the big policy questions and what it takes to deliver effectively, building momentum and hope.
The project will be run by a team based at Nesta and will bring together experts from economics, health, education, net zero, power and place, wealth and inequality, technology and tax to assess the policy landscape. We will work with other independent organisations such as the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Resolution Foundation, Health Foundation and Education Policy Institute, among others, to distil the foundational facts about our policy areas, identify core policy priorities, dig into the policy options a next government could pursue and test and interrogate what it would take to deliver.
We want to support policymakers with fresh insights and a pragmatic future focus as they make choices about trade offs, what to prioritise and how to deliver on ideas that take us beyond immediate crises.
For each of the core policy areas listed above, we will:
- Convene experts and emerging voices to identify policy priorities and dig into policy options that might deliver better outcomes by 2040, both on areas of consensus and areas of greatest disagreement. Convening will take the form of workshops, seminars, events and deliberative exercises like delphis.
- Test and interrogate the policy options surfaced through this project, using digital and in-person deliberation tools, red-teaming exercises and workshops with those closest to delivery.
- Publish what we learn, hear and think, in ways that are useful and engaging for the people we're working with. Sometimes this will be reports or blogs, sometimes it will be interactive tools, data visualisations and graphics.