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The First Learned Society of Wales International Symposium: Economic policies for peripheral economies

Monday 13 April 2015 - Wednesday 15 April 2015

Academic luminaries and key economics analysts descended on Portmeirion in North Wales in April to discuss how regions can best develop their economic futures.

The three-day Symposium, hosted by the Learned Society of Wales (LSW) and supported by Bangor University, examined the scope for regional economic development in a globalised economy where government policies may be restricted.

The event comprised a series of sessions led by various academic leaders in their fields, before opening up involving a chaired discussion forum to debate each session’s viewpoints. Professor Ron Martin of the University of Cambridge  opened the event on the afternoon of 13 April with an overview of recent developments in regional development.

In a first for Wales, Professor Ricardo Hausmann, Director of the Center for International Development and a Professor of the Practice of Economic Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University opened the second day of the symposium with a session exploring which economic policies work, and how regions can best refine their understanding of working within wider parameters.

Other sessions  examined the transfer of fiscal powers, the required skill sets for a successful economy, policy implications and the role entrepreneurship can play in regional growth. The final session considered the outcomes of the discussions, and lessons for Wales.

Other speakers included Professor AnnaLee Saxenian of the School of Information, University of California, Berkeley, Professor Ron Boschma of Utrecht University, Professor John Kay, Professor Colin Mason of the University of Glasgow, Bridget Rosewell of Volterra Partners, and Professor Ken Mayhew of the University of Oxford.

Sir Emyr Jones Parry, President of the Learned Society of Wales, said: “This Symposium will bring together some of the academic world’s most prolific thinkers to review and discuss pressing issues affecting small regions around the globe, but most importantly, issues that are affecting us here in Wales. We are grateful to our sponsor, Bangor University for its continued support and commitment to Welsh development.”

Professor Jerry Hunter from Bangor University commented: “The ongoing development of Wales within national and international circles is of primary importance to Bangor University. Our world-leading research has made an impact not only on Wales and its people, but has also served to benefit other countries for many years.

Professor Gerry Holtham, the programme convenor of the event added “Regional development and growth is of particular importance to Wales following a legacy of reliance on industries such as mining, now largely defunct. To host such inspiring thinkers and economists on home soil is a real coup for the Learned Society and Wales not least because we have the chance to learn from international viewpoints and take away lessons that can be applied to Wales.”


Event Details
Monday 13 April 2015
Wednesday 15 April 2015