Our policy impact
The Challenge raises awareness of the social and economic risks associated with social segregation. We influence policy decisions impacting on levels of social integration in modern Britain.
Without greater integration, the danger grows that when faced with complex challenges, instead of asking ‘how can we solve this together?’, the people of Britain will ask ‘who can we blame?’. We believe that, through reforming and growing institutions and practices in small but intelligent ways, policymakers and social entrepreneurs could substantially increase integration between people from different ethnic, age and class groups.
In order to highlight the benefits of and barriers to social integration, we have partnered with polling firms, leading academics and think tanks, and contribute regularly to academic and policy publications. The Challenge is committed to carrying forward this work and to advancing policy ideas to forge a more integrated Britain.
If you would like to work with us on research that highlights the benefits to be gained from more socially integrated communities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Together Now
Drawing on our experience of designing, delivering and rapidly growing social integration programmes which have brought 175,000 young people together to meet, mix and connect, this report explores our nine Design Principles for Meaningful Mixing. These are the techniques and practices which we believe sit at the heart of impactful initiatives aimed at creating positive and powerful social mixing experiences.
We believe that there is significant scope for these methods and ideas to be embedded within our civic institutions and public services – in the places where we come together now or might in future. These principles were summarised within the government’s recently published Integrated Communities Strategy green paper, but the release of All Together Now marks the first occasion on which we’ve set out this thinking in detail.
Rebuilding our Common Life
Ahead of the 2017 General Election, this short report sets out a number of suggestions as to how policymakers might create more opportunities and incentives for Britons from all backgrounds to meet, mix and meaningfully connect.
Creating new civic institutions which bring together people in common cause across social faultlines is at the heart of The Challenge’s work. This three-point plan outlines how the UK’s political leaders might draw on our experience in this regard in order to promote active participation in community life and strengthen the ties that bind our nation together.
Understanding School Segregation in England: 2011 to 2016
The Challenge carried out research looking at segregation by income and ethnicity in England’s schools, working with the iCoCo (Institute of Community Cohesion) Foundation and education data analytics company, SchoolDash.
The study covers all of England’s 20,000+ registered state schools and found that thousands of schools across England are segregated along ethnic and socio-economic lines.
British Integration Survey
We commissioned research which surveyed over 4,000 individuals and asked about the people they most recently socialised with. Our aim was to add to our knowledge of social interactions and raise questions for further research.
The research found growing segregation in cities up and down the country. Overall, Britons of all ethnicities are socialising less with people from other ethnicities than in the past.
A Sense of Belonging
The Challenge has published a collection of essays on the topic of building a more integrated society in partnership with the Fabian Society and the Bright Blue think tanks.
This cross-party collection, entitled A Sense of Belonging, includes contributions from Louise Casey, Jon Yates, APPG on Social Integration Chair Chuka Umunna and Lord James O’Shaughnessy as well as other policy experts.
London has become more and more diverse, and Londoners lives have become less and less uniform. This diversity is one of the things Londoners most rate about living here – but research indicates that contact between people from different backgrounds isn’t keeping pace with growing diversity.
This matters. When people from different backgrounds don’t meet and mix, there are negative impacts on health, wellbeing, and prejudice. Our new policy report, Integration City, examines these issues and their solutions in more detail.
Social Integration Commission
Throughout 2014 and early 2015, The Challenge provided the secretariat to The Social Integration Commission.
This Commission, which was chaired by RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor, sought to explore some fundamental questions about how people from different ethnic, age and income groups relate to one another in modern Britain. It also made a series of practical recommendations as to what government, businesses, civil society organisations and individuals could do to create a more integrated and socially cohesive society.
The Commission’s programme of work – which included survey research conducted in partnership with IPSOS Mori and extensive consultation with experts in a range of policy areas – resulted in the publication of three reports. These explore the extent of social segregation in the UK, why social integration matters from both a social and an economic standpoint and what could be done to increase levels of integration. You can download these reports below and read more about the Commission’s work here.