In 2020/21, around one in five people in the UK (20%) were in poverty - that's 13.4 million people.
Join our panellists as they discuss the importance of imagination and hope in supporting a transition away from an economic model in which poverty continues to rise.
Our panel will discuss: How can we respond to the urgent challenges of our time and support opportunities for communities and leaders to reflect, dream and hope for a better world? Who gets to imagine the future? How can we work to centre voices which are furthest from traditional power and have less of a vested interest in maintaining the status quo?
Presented in collaboration with The Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
About the speakers
Lukus Robbins is a Bristol-based creative producer and socially-engaged artist. Environment, community and participation are foundational pillars in his practice. He designs and delivers large and small scale cultural events, community arts projects, youth engagement programmes and multi-platform digital projects.
Roseanna Dias is a Bristol-based producer, curator, facilitator, artist and researcher interested in creativity and social change. She co-creates action research, engagement programmes and events with creatives aged 18-30, BIPOC artists and those in creative tech.
Lukus and Roseanna are Co-lead and Co-Creative producers at UnEarthed, a community-rooted initiative created to imagine alternative future relationships between our rural communities and nature. Following a UK-wide tour in 2022, the UnEarthed team developed an experimental workshop process that embraced breadth and depth work together with local communities. They aimed to imagine hopeful and well-grounded futures. UnEarthed focuses on deep listening, conversation and play, collectively imagining with communities to form real ideas and seek capacity for tangible change whilst being conscious of the realities of the everyday.
Amahra Spence is a cultural worker and spatial practitioner, exploring transformation in the context of liberation. Guided by lineages of Black imagination, spatial justice and more-than-human accountabilities, Amahra is particularly interested in how transformation is practiced through narrative, design, space, systems, strategy and governance. Amahra is the Founding Director of MAIA, an organisation that works with artists to collectively worldbuild and rehearse liberation into being. MAIA prototype life-affirming infrastructures across three mission strands: 'Sites of Imagination', 'Resourcing the Movement' and 'Culture x Liberation'. Amahra is also Organiser for the Black Land and Spatial Justice Project, and currently Visiting Lecturer at Birmingham City University, exploring 'Architectures of Abolition' with architecture and design students.
Stephen Arnott AKA Redeyefeenix is Hip-Hop emcee from Hull and has played live gigs for 20+ years around the UK. Redeyefeenix was internationally signed in 2014 and made history in his city of Hull. He then went on to win an award from the official Zulu nation for his community work and his workshops. He has recorded 4 albums - 3 solo and one with his crew, Projekt Feenix, who sadly split in 2009.
Redeyefeenix's proudest moment was supporting the legend that is Big Daddy Kane in Leeds, and it was an inspirational night, with Big Daddy Kane inviting him to join him on stage.
'Still Representing Hull' was internationally released in 2016 and, since then, he has gone on to be the protagonist in Sean McCallister’s documentary 'A Northern Soul' that was screened by Sir Michael Sheen at the BAFTAs and won a career achievement Award from BIFF Festival in Turin, Italy.
Steve is also the founder and CEO of Beats Bus Records, a record label and not-for-profit charitable organisation that has a mobile recording studio for outreach work discovering young talent and used to teach Hip-Hop to communities in and around Yorkshire and the Humber that are more deprived than others and struggle to access the Arts, giving young people hope and aspirations whilst teaching them the values and elements of Hip-Hop alongside some learning and development and confidence-building classes.
Beats Bus Records are now an award-winning community organisation that teach the elements, values and true history of Hip-Hop. To date, they have won 9 awards for their community work, the latest being 'Music Tutoring Business 2022' from Yorkshire prestige awards for the second year running.
Since 2018, Beats Bus Records have successfully run a free mentorship scheme for young people aged 8-30, and currently mentor 12 young people supported by Tudor Trust, local celebrities and their succesful go fund me campaign.
Sophia Parker is Director of Emerging Futures at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). Sophia was formerly CEO of Little Village, a London-based charity founded in 2016 to fight child poverty. Previously, Sophia has held senior roles at think tanks including the Resolution Foundation and Demos. As well as roles in central government, Sophia has been a Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School and set up Kent’s pioneering Innovation Lab. Sophia brings a track record in policy, research and designing community-based solutions to social challenges. She is based in York.
Connect with Sophia and JRF online: