The History and Political Economy (HYPE) of Business and Finance is a research cluster based in The Open University Business School. It brings together scholars who aim at developing a critical approach to business and financial theory.
This event is part of a series focused on interdisciplinary research using insights from political economy and history.
The webinar is an occasion to discuss examples of employees’ agency in shaping the future of businesses in different contexts of deindustrialization within the constraints and opportunities of the energy transition. The speakers will be presenting two interesting examples of proposals in this sense. The first is the Lucas Plan, formed in the late 1970s by Lucas Aerospace Shop Steward's Combine Committee against the risk of redundancies, which presented a significant alternative to how industry and work were organised. The second is the case of the GKN factory in Florence, Italy. Since 9 July 2021, the workers have been fighting against its closure and relocation. By forming alliances with ecological movements and seeking the contribution of a group of university researchers, the GKN workers were able to put forward a plan to reindustrialise the factory to make it an industrial hub for just transition in the country.
16:00 - 16:05: Introduction
16:05 - 16:25: Ed Atkins - “The structural power of workers in influencing a just transition: Lessons from the Lucas Plan”
16:25 - 16:45: Lorenzo Cresti and Angelo Moro - “Resisting relocation by demanding a just transition: the case of the reindustrialisation plan of the GKN factory in Florence”
16:45 - 16:55: Guendalina Anzolin – discussant
16:55 - 17:30: General discussion
Ed Atkins is a Senior Lecturer working on energy transitions and energy justice at the University of Bristol (UK). His research broadly explores how localised, democratic, and place-based approaches might allow for more equitable climate action. His book A Just Energy Transition will be published in July 2023.
Lorenzo Cresti is a PhD candidate in economics at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa (Italy) and a research associate at the Enrico Fermi Research Center in Rome (Italy). His thesis addresses topics related to input-output analysis, global value chains and employment dynamics. His research interests span also industrial policy and economic development. He was part of the group of researchers who helped draw up the reindustrialisation plan for the former GKN factory in Florence.
Angelo Moro is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Burgundy (France) and a research associate in economic sociology at the Institute of Economics of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa (Italy). His main research interests concern work organisation, industrial relations, and the ecological transition within the automotive sector. He was part of the group of researchers who helped draw up the reindustrialisation plan for the former GKN factory in Florence.
Guendalina Anzolin is a Research Associate at the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge (UK). She has a PhD in Industrial Economics from the University of Urbino (Italy) and an MSc in Global Economic Governance and Policy from SOAS University of London. Her main research interests are industrial economics and technological change, adopting a political economy perspective and considering the state's role in the structural change process. She has been working as a consultant for international organisations such as the European Commission, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), and Interamerican Development Bank.