For many decades, social mobility and doing better in life than your parents was the dream. But that dream has faded. How did we lose the dream of social mobility and how can we get it back?

Social mobility has stalled – and sometimes gone into reverse – especially for young people. What role has education, work and housing played in this? This was the topic explored at this event on 17th October 2023, at the Watershed, in partnership with Bristol Ideas.

Discussions centred around what we need to do to ensure that social mobility is enhanced and thrives over the coming decades – and what cities can do to help facilitate this. The panelists for the evening were:

  • Poku Osei, Founder & CEO, Babbasa
  • Annabel Smith, Head of Place and Practice, Centre for Progressive Policy
  • Hashi Mohamed, Barrister and Author, Landmark Chambers
  • Professor Lee Elliot-Major OBE, Professor of Social Mobility, Exeter University

They discussed the impact of education, work, and housing before opening the floor to questions.

Also providing their thoughts on this topic were three young people who have been supported by Babbasa: Ituno and Kushal, who both took part in this year’s Challenge programme, and Amy, who is currently interning with Aardman Animations as part of the OurCity2030 Pathway into Creative & Tech, in partnership with Bristol Creative Industries.

These young people spoke to the room about their own lived experiences and challenges that they faced in their early careers. Their powerful testimonials serve as a reminder to push for change in Bristol and continue to strive towards creating more opportunities for young people from underrepresented groups.

With Bristol ranking as the 7th worst of 348 districts in England & and Wales for black and ethnic minority communities to live and thrive in there is clearly work to do, but Babbasa are leading the way on this.

Due to the growing economic gap faced by young people in Bristol’s low-income and ethnically diverse communities, in November 2022, Babbasa launched the OurCity2030 initiative, in partnership with the One City office. This bold ambition aims to support 2030 young people from low-income households, starting from inner city Bristol, to secure a median salary role by 2030. To find out more please visit the OurCity2030 website.