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St Mary’s Prof Francis Davis discusses public innovation with business and civic leaders

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St Mary’s Prof Francis Davis discusses public innovation with business and civic leaders

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School of Management and Social Sciences


St Mary’s academic Prof Francis Davis was in Reading earlier this month to address a gathering of the Local Strategic Partnership, and leading private, voluntary and social enterprise sector leaders.

Prof Davis, who is currently developing and leading research at St Mary’s focused on public leadership, led a team to explore leadership and public innovation, where he was welcomed by Reading Borough Council leader Jo Lovelock.

Reflecting on policy challenges for after the election, Prof Davis focused on innovation potential within:

  • NHS Sustainability and transformation plans, especially in Berkshire where local authority and civil society involvement has been low to date 
  • New models of finance and social investment 
  • The Government's new industrial strategy and the chance to unlock entrepreneurship at the bottom of the economic pyramid 

Looking specifically at how organisations could do more with less, and he discussed how they could be more creative and innovative during a time of social and economic change. 

Reflecting on his visit, Prof Davis commented, “'I was delighted to meet council leaders and those leading across public service in the government, business and civic sectors to show case some of the best practice globally and test out fresh ideas locally.

“Like many other areas, Berkshire faces huge challenges with forthcoming health and social care reforms, and of wealthy neighbourhoods nestling next door to those facing significant social risks. This is all set within the context of a high-tech, high-talent Thames Valley Economy.

“I look forward to the next phase of our conversations and future collaborations.”

After the main meeting, Prof Davis had a private meeting with local faith leaders to explore Faith Based Social Innovation and the potential for the Thames Valley faith communities to meet pressing social needs, specifically exploring how the towns faith communities might unlock new social finance, property assets and talent networks to crate new jobs and inclusive opportunities for enterprise. 

A Professor of Social Justice and Innovation at St Mary's, Prof Francis Davis was recently appointed by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Morduant MP, to increase the use of social enterprise as a way to improve employment opportunities for disabled people. In this role, he will work with the Office for Disability Issues and the Work and Health Unit on progressing the commitment made in Improving Lives: The Work, Health and Disability Green Paper for the public sector to lead by example and explore how public procurement can deliver wider objectives as well as value for money.         

A graduate of Warwick Business School, London (SOAS), Durham and Southampton Universities, Prof Francis Davis is an international authority on social justice, enterprise.

A Professor of Social Justice and Innovation at St Mary's, Prof Francis Davis was recently appointed by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Morduant MP, to increase the use of social enterprise as a way to improve employment opportunities for disabled people. In this role, he will work with the Office for Disability Issues and the Work and Health Unit on progressing the commitment made in Improving Lives: The Work, Health and Disability Green Paper for the public sector to lead by example and explore how public procurement can deliver wider objectives as well as value for money.         

 A graduate of Warwick Business School, London (SOAS), Durham and Southampton Universities, Prof Francis Davis is an international authority on social justice, enterprise and public innovations research, innovation, and leadership.

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