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The Warwick Commission

In creating a Commission that had an independent academic base, the University has presented the cultural and creative worlds with an opportunity that occurs only once in a generation. We are enormously grateful to you and your colleagues for placing this resource at our service. Thanks to your support at a crucial moment, we shall hope to foster an even stronger creative and cultural dimension in the economy and in the lives of everyone in this country.

Sir Nicholas Serota, Commissioner (Future of Cultural Value); Director, Tate


*NEWS: Report Launch*

On 17th February the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value will launch its report, Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth. The report is the result of a one-year investigation undertaken by a diverse group of cultural leaders, supported by academics from the University of Warwick.

The report will be available on the Commission's website from 10am on Tuesday 17th Feburary, including audio and British Sign Language versions.

The Warwick Commission 2015

Chancellor’s Commission on the place of Warwick in the region into the University’s second half century.Sir Richard Lambert

Lord Rootes chaired the Committee which led to the foundation of a new university for Coventry and Warwickshire, a university with a particular vision for the forging academic links with business and industry across the Midlands.

The University of Warwick was created on a 400 acre farmland site spanning both Coventry and Warwickshire, admitting its first undergraduates in 1965. Lord Rootes, well-known Coventry motor manufacturer, was intended to be the University’s first Chancellor but sadly died in 1964 before he was installed. However, his foresight and legacy is clear.

Five decades on, The University of Warwick has become the most highly ranked university in the Midlands, one of the most distinctive voices within British higher education and, increasingly, a force to be reckoned with on the global stage. The University’s impact on its home region is substantial. In 2011/12 an independent impact study estimated that the University contributes £520 million annually to the West Midlands region (£251 million of which is in Coventry and Warwickshire) and supports 15,500 jobs across the region.

Now, as the University of Warwick marks its fiftieth anniversary, a Warwick Commission, to be chaired by current Chancellor Sir Richard Lambert, will consider the future role of the University of Warwick in Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider region. Sir Richard will lead a panel drawn from business, faith and third sectors, as well as politics and the local community, to formulate recommendations to ensure that the University’s considerable links in the Midlands remain strong and continue to deliver a return on the original investment of five decades ago.

The Commission will be assisted by three task forces, each one challenged to consult widely with the local community to formulate recommendations where the University could add considerable economic, social and cultural impact. Each task force will be led by one of the Commissioners with support of University staff.

Following consultation with existing agencies a one day “summit” will be held for Commissioners to engage with local stakeholders.

The Commission will generate a report, with recommendations, to be published no later than December 2015.


December 2014   Sir Richard Lambert to announce the Commission and invite nominations for Commissioners and participants
March 2015   Commission Membership to be announced
First Commission meeting to take place to reflect on terms of reference and lines of inquiry

April - June 2015

  Task Force leads consult with agencies and sectoral and community leaders
July 2015   Commission reconvenes to consider observations from local consultation
September 2015   200 representatives meet for a day long summit to help shape ideas and recommendations being considered by the Commission
October 2015   Commission reconvenes to reflect on feedback from the summit and agree content of the final report
December 2015   Commission Report and Recommendations to be launched

What is the Warwick Commission?

The Warwick Commission was established by the University of Warwick in 2007 with the aim of drawing on the scholarly expertise of Warwick academics as well as practitioners and policy makers to address issues of global importance.

In the best traditions of intellectual discovery, the Warwick Commissions are charged with carrying out independent analysis of a particular issue with the goal of making practical and realistic recommendations about how to move it forward.

The aim of the Commissions is to make thought provoking contributions to the debate thereby assisting policymakers to find solutions to sometimes seemingly intractable problems. The activities of the Commission and its Reports are intended as an exercise in public policy informed by rigorous scholarly and analytical thinking. It is an excellent demonstration of the importance of good multidisciplinary social science to public policy.

Current Commission:

In November 2013 the University of Warwick launched the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value. The University saw it as a legacy of the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics which so successfully realised the role that arts, industry and public service play in making British culture a source of national pride.

The Commission was led by Vikki Heywood CBE, Chairman of the RSA, and brought together a group of high-profile artists, policy-makers, business leaders, opinion-influencers and economists to serve as Commissioners. Unlike other work on cultural value we wanted to take a truly holistic view. Warwick’s ambition is that the Commission will influence all sectors of UK society to understand how our culture is made and to engage positively with the arts. We intend that the Commission’s work should offer an authoritative and constructive contribution to policy discussions and public attitudes in relation to arts and culture in the lead-up to the General Election in 2015.

The Warwick Business School and the Faculty of Arts, with their strong track record of research and policy development within the cultural industries, led the Commission which was funded and hosted by the University of Warwick.

The Directors of Studies were Professor Jonothan Neelands, Associate Dean of Creativity at Warwick Business School, and Dr Eleonora Belfiore, a high profile researcher in the area of the social impact of the arts in the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies at Warwick. They contributed specialist expertise and experience in the areas of cultural policy and value; evaluation; and skills and talent development in the cultural sector, and provided intellectual support for the work of the Commission.

The findings of the project were published in February 2015 in the Commission's final report, Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth.

Previous Commissions

Warwick Commission on Elected Mayors and City Leadership

cover_image.jpg The previous Warwick Commission was on the subject of Elected Mayors and City Leadership. With the Localism Act now passed into law, the Commission set out the challenges and opportunities presented by the government's proposals to introduce elected mayors in core cities in England over the next two years.

The Localism Act makes provision for the creation of directly elected mayors, subject to confirmatory referendums, in England’s largest cities. Referendums in some or all of those cities are likely to take place in May 2012. Where the outcome is a ‘yes’ vote, elections could begin to take place in November 2012.

The Commission will answer the key question: “What is the role of elected mayors in providing strategic leadership to cities?” The purpose of the Warwick Commission on Elected Mayors and City Leadership is not to judge whether directly elected Mayors are the right system of democratic governance as this will be a matter for electors. Rather, the Commission will consider the optimal scale and structure for the offices of elected mayor if one or more city votes to adopt the system. The Commission is strictly party and candidate neutral and will open its work and deliberations to any stakeholder with an interest in the subject of elected mayors, city leadership and governance including those running referenda campaigns.

In Praise of Unlevel Playing Fields


In a pathbreaking report on reforming the international financial system in the wake of the global crisis, an international commission makes five key recommendations that they believe will enhance financial stability.

The current international financial crisis asks us to rethink our answer to an important question: what are our financial systems for? The Warwick Commission on International Financial Reform provides an answer by bringing together a range of world-class economists, political scientists, and lawyers to explore how we can best enhance international financial stability through regulation that is sensitive to variations in what countries want from their financial systems. The Commission has identified key reforms for a well-regulated financial system. Among these reforms is a stress on dealing with boom-bust cycles, introducing macro-prudential regulation, recognising the need for a better allocation of risks among financial institutions, dealing with issues of regulatory capture, and bolstering national rules with international coordination to promote international financial stability.

The Multilateral Trade Regime: Which Way Forward?


This Report examines how the multilateral trade regime can better serve the global community.

It does so by asking if the sustained and uneven transformation of the global economy, with the associated rise of new powers, heightened aspirations, and considerable pockets of societal discontent, require a reconsideration of the principles and practices that currently guide the multilateral trade regime, the core of which is the World Trade Organization (WTO). Having considered this question, the Warwick Commission sees five challenges facing the multilateral trade regime – challenges that can be addressed more effectively than at present if the steps proposed here are taken. Our approach is guided as much by the practical realities of the contemporary trading regime as it is informed by analyses of long-term trends and national and regional circumstances.