Rethinking economics: It’s not business as usual

A group of people cannot climb a staircase because of missing steps while one man climbs ahead of them

5 Jul 2023

The Hall, The Whitworth, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER

Age Guidance: 14+, under 16s to be accompanied by an adult aged 18+
Running time: 60 minutes


Accessibility features available for this event: Captioning BSL Interpreting Wheelchair Access

Guardian Live brought together a panel of thinkers to explore new ideas and fairer systems in economics

Neoliberalism, which once promised uncontained growth under free-market capitalism, is now synonymous with austerity and privatisation. We’ve been told for decades that profit and growth are the only way but clearly, it is failing us. With huge changes already inevitable – thanks to Brexit, automation and the climate emergency – reimagining our economy is far from a left-wing fantasy. But what are the progressive ideas that can challenge the neoliberal status quo?

Economics the Blockbuster is a radical new exhibition at the Whitworth, which presents a selection of projects that operate as real-world economic systems. Responding to the themes of the show, our panel of experts – chaired by The Guardian's Zoe Williams and including leading inequality expert Faiza Shaheen, writer and economist Stewart Lansley and Andrew Simms, political economist, campaigner and co-author of the Green New Deal – held a positive conversation about some transformative ideas that could make our economies fairer, and practical examples that show them in action.

The discussion was livestreamed and the audience had the opportunity to put forward their own questions and comments.

MIF x Guardian Live

This event was one of a series of Guardian Live talks that took place at Manchester International Festival. Taking inspiration from key shows at the festival, each talk brought together Guardian journalists alongside the brightest thinkers, changemakers, writers and artists to discuss the issues that matter.

Other events in this series:

Thursday 6 July: Change starts here: How do we create a movement for mental health?

Access information

Here you can find access information about the venue, our access performances and advice on content. For more information about the different types of access performances we offer, please visit our Access page. If you have specific access needs that aren’t yet addressed, please email prior to the event and we’ll do our best to help.

The main entrance for The Whitworth is in front of the building. There is ramped and stepped access at this entrance and the doors open automatically.

The building also has an entrance located at the rear of the building. There is step free access at this entrance.

No doors inside the building have to be opened manually and there is step free access throughout the majority of the building, via lift. Wheelchairs are available for public use.

The Grand Hall, which hosts conferences, talks, and workshops is fitted with hearing loops

The Main reception is equipped with a portable hearing loop.

More information can be found on The Whitworth’s AccessAble guide.

You can view a venue map here.

Accessible toilets are available at The Whitworth. They are located in the shop (left on entering the via the main entrance), and on the lower ground floor (on the Oxford Road side) – access to these toilets is by lift.

Assisted toilets facilities are also available.

A key is not required for the accessible toilets

Assistance Dogs are welcome in the gallery.

BSL interpretation was available for those attending the talk in person at The Whitworth. The interpretation was provided by Andrew Ledson.

Livestream captioning was provided by Guardian Live for those joining online.

Travel information


The closest stations to The Whitworth are:

Manchester Oxford Road train station: 1.1 miles

St Peter’s Square tram: 1.4 miles

From the stations you can take a bus or a short taxi ride to The Whitworth.

Click on the links above to find detailed access information for each station.

The 15, 41, 42, 43, 140 , 141, 142 and 143, 147 buses stop near The Whitworth. Ask for the bus stop nearest to Manchester Royal Infirmary on Oxford Road. This is opposite The Whitworth.

Sheffield stands and lockers (£1 coin, refundable) are both available at the gallery.

Denmark Road is directly adjacent to the gallery and has step-free access to both the Park Side and Oxford Road entrances. There are a total of 5 disabled bays, 9 spaces for car/bus drop-off and 7 double yellow line areas, which can be used by blue badge holders along Denmark Road.

Find more information in The Whitworth’s Getting here section

Parkside Entrance: 3 gallery-designated disabled bays are directly beside the park entrance along Denmark road. A short step-free path from the park gates leads you to the Parkside entrance.

Oxford Road Entrance: There are an additional 2 disabled bays further along on Denmark Road for the surrounding buildings. If using these you can enter through the main gates (across the bicycle lanes) and up shallow gradient ramps leading to the main automatic doors, which open inwards.

If you need any assistance when arriving, please contact the Whitworth’s Visitor Team on 0161 275 7450.

Nearest car park Cecil Street (M15 6GD) – 0.3 miles distance from The Whitworth

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