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Sophia Lecture: The role of place in recovering from the crisis: what have universities got to do it with it? by Dame Julia Unwin

Dame Julia Unwin, Chair of the Independent Inquiry on the Future of Civil Society

Date/Time: Tuesday 8 March 2022, 5.30pm

Venue: This is an online event

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Sophia Lecture

Hosted by Jane Robinson, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Engagement and Place

The second decade of the century is proving to be a disruptive and confusing one. What is the role of place in shaping our new future, contributing to a sustainable recovery, building confidence and healing across the divides? Civil society – including universities – has a vital role in enabling a positive, just and resilient future. Community leadership, networks and movements, along with long established institutions, are central to planning our future.


Dame Julia Unwin was the Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation from 2007 until the end of 2016. Previously, she ran a consultancy business for 15 years and has served at various times as a Charity Commissioner, member of the Board of the Housing Corporation, Chair of the Refugee Council and Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency. She was a member of the Council of the University of York and pro Chancellor until 2017. In 2017 she launched and chaired the Independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society in England, which reported in November 2018, and held a fellowship with Carnegie UK Trust 2017/18 considering the role of kindness in public policy. In 2010 Dame Julia was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award in the Charity Awards and has received honorary doctorates from three universities. In the 2020 New Year Honours she received a DBE.

Live Q&A:

The lecture will be followed by a live Q&A with the speaker. You can submit a question in advance by sending an email to or during the event using YouTube Live Chat or via Twitter @InsightsNCL.

This event will be hosted on YouTube, registration is not required.