First Trans-Atlantic Lab on Social Inequity Launches this Month
Boston, Massachusetts and Athens, Greece selected as pilot cities
WASHINGTON, DC - The German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Bertelsmann Foundation are leading the first-ever trans-Atlantic lab to evaluate and address key factors driving social inequity in the United States and Europe, with generous support from the Open Society Foundations. Boston, Massachusetts and Athens, Greece are pilot cities for the Transatlantic Policy Lab (the Lab), which begins this month.
Together with the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, the Lab will convene a diverse group of American and European policymakers, practitioners and thought leaders to pursue innovative approaches to reducing social inequity. Experts from local government, nongovernmental organizations, business and academia will assess, analyze and propose policy recommendations to improve access to education, technology and labor markets.
The Lab will host its first session in Boston in February 2016 and in mid-2016 in Athens, Greece. Lab participants will hear presentations from local leaders and nongovernmental organizations, and tour neighborhoods to better understand drivers and implications of social inequity in each city.
The Lab is a results-driven exercise, aimed at not only facilitating a trans-Atlantic dialogue on social inequity, but also to develop locally relevant, effective policy tools that can be applied to cities around the world.
“Meaningful transatlantic exchange can unlock new ideas to unstick local challenges. With the Lab’s unique mix of community engagement, expert analysis, and peer learning, we hope to create a robust set of ideas to support Boston and Athens’ goal of closing gaps in social inequality,” said Geraldine Gardner, director of urban and regional policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and co-chair of the Lab.
“It is a distinct honor to partner with the world-class 100 Resilient Cities, dedicated city mayors and their communities to consider the root causes of inequity that they face. We want to develop actionable recommendations that can be replicated in other cities so as to fight social inequity and improve people’s lives,” said Aart De Geus, Bertelsmann Foundation president and CEO.
Often governments have sought to address social inequity through national macroeconomic policies. However, the success of more-localized approaches show that they are needed to effectively improve access to opportunity for all.
The German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Urban and Regional Policy Program is working side-by-side with the Bertelsmann Foundation to host the Lab in Boston and Athens.