Back to the Future Part 1 or Part 2? Research and Higher Learning in the Mid-Twenty-First Century

Professor Karl Dayson
Thursday, 20 May 2021 - 6:30pm

The Percival Lecture — Members only


The notion of Industry 4.0 is permeating all aspects of the global economy, creating a narrative rooted in more intensive automation of work and globalisation. Yet, recent years have witnessed a return to the nation state as the primary actor of socio-economic change. This challenges the notions of ‘megatrends’ and the associated assumptions that have underpinned much thought on the future of our societies, including research and higher education. In this talk Prof Karl Dayson, PVC Research and Innovation at the University of Salford, critically explores how research and higher education will have to navigate these tensions and the future outcomes that could result.

Every year the Lit & Phil holds a ‘Percival Lecture’ hosted in turn, very kindly, by the University of Manchester, the University of Salford, and Manchester Metropolitan University. It is an arrangement which started in 1947, with the aim of ‘bridging the gap’ between academics and the general population of Manchester, and to allow both established and new professors the opportunity to reach out to a wider audience within the community. Thomas Percival himself was a founder member of the Lit & Phil back in 1781, and a key figure in medical science and specifically medical ethics, much of which still lies at the heart of the profession today. You can find out more about Thomas Percival on our website.


About the speaker

Having previously been Associate Dean (Research and  Innovation) in the School of Arts and Media, Karl was promoted to Dean of  Research in May 2017. Karl’s role incorporates the strategic direction of  research at Salford, the Research Excellence Framework submission, and  development of a successful and vibrant postgraduate research community. He  also manages the Research and Knowledge Exchange team.

An economic sociologist, Karl’s research has  focused on alternative forms of finance and issues related to financial  inclusion. His PhD was on the paradox of the simultaneous demutualisation of  building societies and mutualisation of financial inclusion, which led to the  creation of Community Finance Solutions (CFS), a research and development  unit within the university. Much of his early work was around community owned  finance bodies and the creation of a dozen Community Development Finance  Institutions in England.

In 2008, with Pål Vik, he won the European  Microfinance Networks, Research Paper of the Year for their research on  sustainability of microfinance institutions. This led to work for the  European Commission on the future of microcredit across the continent and the  production of the ‘European Code of Conduct for Microcredit Providers in  Europe’ in 2011 and subsequent work on the methodology and implementation of  the Code. Today, Karl sits on the Code’s Steering Committee along with  colleagues from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank.

Karl’s current research focuses on the role of  technology in address financial inclusion and the creation of Fintech community finance institutions.



NB Members or invited guests only

Important information about booking

**Please note that booking closes at 17:30 on the day of the event, and we are not able to process registration requests after that time.  If you believe you have sent a registration request but have not received a confirmation email with joining instructions, then please contact the office as soon as possible.  Enquiries regarding bookings sent to the office after 17:30 on the day of the event may not be answered.**


Photographic portrait of Prof. Karl Dayson courtesy of the University of Salford

Event image: collage of two images - The Peel Building (L) and Ebergy House (R)