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Strategy

The Society’s current strategy is for the period 2024-2028. It was developed following a member consultation in the summer of 2023. It focuses on four strategic priorities, as follows:

Knowledge exchange is vital to any discipline and is particularly important in economics, where high quality research informs better policy decisions. We will bring together economists from different career stages, countries, areas of expertise and employment sectors to connect with and learn from each other. We will also work to connect economists with those who apply their research and enable our members to develop their own networks via our events and the RES member directory.

The RES Annual Conference is already a focal point for presenting research, exchanging ideas and building networks across our communities. Our conference will offer a sufficiently diverse range of economic approaches and ideas to attract broader participation, including from partner organisations and from overseas members.  Since economic research increasingly happens at the intersection with related disciplines, we will work with other learned societies to build connections between our respective members.

The Society’s publications have for decades facilitated knowledge exchange between thousands of economists globally, at different career stages, and from within and outside academia. We will explore new publishing possibilities to encourage a wider diversity of authors and outputs and provide more opportunities for our members to publish their work. As the business models of academic journals change, we will grow the number of articles our journals publish in order to remain financially sustainable.

A strong, well-resourced and diverse economics profession means better economic research and more informed public policy. Our work will include advocating for how economics is taught, assessed and funded in Higher Education, and for the importance of economics skills and research wherever economics is used in the public space. We will seek to amplify issues raised by RES members and will provide formal responses to public consultations.

The RES will continue to support Heads of Economics departments/units in UK universities via the CHUDE group.

We will continue our popular Annual Public Lecture and will endorse and encourage the work of others whose aims align with the Society’s charitable purpose.

Through our broad range of activities, we aim to raise the influence of the RES, its partners and collaborators, and economists and economics, in order to make a positive contribution to society.

Economics has the best chance of improving society and the world around us if those who conduct and apply economic research are drawn from diverse backgrounds and experiences. In recent years the RES has expanded its work to improve the diversity of the discipline (particularly via its Women’s Committee and Diversity Champion). We will continue to pursue this goal by focussing on initiatives which can deliver the most impact within our means, with a particular emphasis on diversifying participation along various dimensions including people’s ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and accessibility needs.

In our previous strategy we put in place mechanisms to improve the way the profession functions, including a code of conduct and Standards of Conduct committee. We will explore and develop other practical ways in which we can recognise and promote good professional conduct.

Investing in future economists is vital to advancing the discipline and to ensuring that economics continues to contribute to a better world. The Society has a proud history of supporting doctoral students in the United Kingdom. At a time when spending in higher education is challenged, we consider it vital that such students continue to be supported. We will work with relevant funders to advocate for the needs of economics doctoral students and will provide opportunities for these students to receive training and job market advice, build their networks and present their research.

The RES already has a history of schools outreach work, encouraging young people to consider pursuing an undergraduate degree in economics at university. Our Discover Economics campaign will continue its work to attract more students from underrepresented groups. We will continue to support calls for changes to the school curriculum to ensure that more young people develop an understanding of economics during their secondary education.  In partnership with other organisations, we will also help support the professional development of economics educators in UK universities.