Mini Biog

Dr Hilary Cottam

Dr Hilary Cottam Hilary is social entrepreneur. Her career started with an international focus: working in Northern Ethiopia, followed by a period with Care International in Latin America and a stint as an urban poverty specialist at the World Bank.

Today Hilary is focused on reforming the British welfare state. Her mission Beveridge 4.0 starts where the great 20th century welfare designer Sir William Beveridge left off. Hilary challenges us to stop focusing on reforming out of date institutions and instead look at how modern services might start with people themselves and foster their capabilities and resilience.

Innovative, practical work: reforming prisons; designing services for older people; a new way to solve unemployment; a family led programme where those with multiple needs design their own way; has had an impact on the lives of many thousands.

Ultimately it’s all about relationships: Hilary’s work shows how we need to turn an industrial, transactional mind set on its head and build relationships and emotion into every aspect of social change programmes and services.

In 2005 Hilary was voted UK Designer of the Year for her groundbreaking work and in 2007 the World Economic Forum nominated Hilary as a Young Global Leader. Her work has been widely featured from Rolling Stone to Fast Company and in the UK national and international press. She comments widely on social issues in the media.

Hilary was educated at Oxford, Sussex and the Open Universities. She was awarded her PhD in 1999.

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