Tag Archives: Joe Staton

Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz

LSE speaks with LSST about its crowdsourcing project inspiring millennials to shape Brexit

Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz

Students and young people per se don’t vote – or so they thought pre-Corbyn and the London voter turnout. Clearly, polling data from the 2017 UK General Election suggest an unprecedented youth turnout in comparison with the Brexit vote.

Photo source: Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz’s own
Article date: Tue 27 June 2017

The Generation Brexit crowdsourcing project is inspiring millennials in Britain and the EU to help shape the upcoming Brexit negotiations and has been launched by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Ali Jafar, LSST’s marketing and admissions director, and Kunal Chan Mehta, LSST’s marketing and public relations consultant, catch up with one of the Generation Brexit project leaders, Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz, from the London School of Economics and Political Science to find out more.

1.How can LSST’s student body gain any value from your crowdsourcing project?

The pan-European project seeks views from a whole cross section of millennials, including Leavers, Remainers, left and right-wingers, European federalists and nationalists. We aim to come up with millennial proposals for a mutually beneficial relationship, reflecting the diverse backgrounds in the UK and EU. We welcome all LSST to take part!

2. What is Generation Brexit?

Generation Brexit is an exciting new public engagement project, based at the LSE’s European Institute that aims to make young people’s voices heard in the Brexit negotiations. Generation Brexit will crowdsource a millennial cohort vision for the future relationship between the UK and the EU. It invites those aged 35 and under from across the UK and Europe to debate, decide, and draft policy proposals that will be sent to Parliaments in Westminster and Brussels throughout the negotiations.

It is especially keen to engage the forgotten, the apolitical and the apathetic – those for whom Brexit has become a moment of political awakening. The project translates academic research findings into impactful and policy-relevant arguments. Unlike other Brexit-related engagement initiatives, this project targets millennials in the UK and Europe alike.

The pan-European dimension captures the reality of the Brexit negotiations. It also underscores the necessity of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship for the future, built on shared ideas from that cohort of current voters who will live with them the longest. In the wake of the Brexit vote, which reinforced the generational divide over politics, and because of increased youth turnout in GE17, millennial political engagement is more vital than ever.

3. Do young voters not vote already?

Between 1992-2005, youth turnout in UK general elections fell from 66 per cent to 38 per cent, only slightly recovering in 2010. While young people may sign a petition or engage in some other form of political activism, they are happy to let their parents and grandparents choose the next government. Any political party that targets young voters is wasting its time. In an election, appealing to the grey vote is what really matters. This reality explains why Brexit is being negotiated by a few grey-haired men with an average age of 67! Democracy is, for all intents and purposes, a gerontocracy in which the old exercise power over the young.

4. What is the ‘youthquake’ about?

The UK has just experienced what pundits are calling a ‘youthquake’. Early polling data from the 2017 UK General Election suggested that turnout among 18-24-year-olds surged to between 66 and 72 per cent. Subsequent post-election analysis indicates that the true turnout may have been closer to 58 per cent. But even this revised figure is significantly higher than the 43 per cent turnout in the 2015 UK General Election. Even more remarkably, this increasing youth vote is not confined to the UK. Within the last twelve months, young voters have played a more important role in three major national elections. They had an impact on both the 2017 French presidential elections and the 2016 US presidential election. Millennials have finally woken up to the reality that real political change is only achieved through the ballot box.

5. Are young people an important subject of sociological study?

The idea that birth cohorts (generations) are an important reference point for understanding processes of social and political change has a long and distinguished academic pedigree. It can be traced back to ancient Greek philosophers (Nash’s ‘Greek Origins of Generational Thought’). Mannheim’s 1923 essay ‘The Problem of Generations’ introduced this concept into sociology. More recently, the generational approach was popularised by William Strauss and Neil Howe in their 1991 book Generations. All of these various studies share the belief that age cohort is a sociologically significant variable because it highlights ‘the relationship between personal and social change and the intersection of biography and history’ (Pilcher’s “Mannheim’s sociology of generations: an undervalued legacy”). Much like social class, the concept of a generation also allows us to interrogate commonalities and differences amongst a group of people of similar (in this case age defined) status. And such commonalities and differences are becoming increasingly salient.

6. What is the dividing line here exactly?

As YouGov has noted, ‘age seems to be the new dividing line in British politics’. Generational differences have been vividly revealed in recent British, French and US elections precisely because millennials in all three states believe their prospects are worse than those of their parents at a similar age. And they are right. As the Guardian pointed out in 2016: ‘A combination of debt, joblessness, globalisation, demographics and rising house prices is depressing the incomes and prospects of millions of young people across the developed world, resulting in unprecedented inequality between generations.’

7. Do millennials have different voting preferences than those of older cohorts?

In the 2016 EU referendum, the youngest voters (18-24) were 73 per cent in favour of Remain – in stark contrast with over-65s, who voted 60 per cent to Leave. A year later, in the 2017 UK General Election, grandchildren were overwhelmingly pro-Labour while their grandparents were equally keen on the Conservatives. Labour was 47 percentage points ahead amongst first-time voters (18-19-year-olds), while the Conservatives had a lead of 50 percentage points among those aged over 70. The lesson here is clear: young people are an important political constituency. Older generations, including most politicians, ignore them at their peril.

In this respect, we could all learn a thing or two from what Jeremy Corbyn did right – and, perhaps even more importantly, from what Theresa May did wrong.

Young people have a voice. Young people have a vote. Young people must be listened to. Gerontocracy is not democracy.

The project can be accessed at www.generationbrexit.org and all updates will be available on Twitter @genbrexit and @lsebrexitvote with the hashtag #GenBrexit, and on facebook.com/GenBrexit For more details, contact Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz from LSE’s European Institute at r.t.dunin-wasowicz@lse.ac.uk

Note from the Deputy CEO:

I wish to personally thank Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz from LSE’s research-conscious European Institute for his kind time and for acknowledging LSST’s proud partnership with the University of West London and London Metropolitan University.

The work of his team is commended and I trust the Generation Brexit crowdsourcing project will be a great success and assist in the body of research knowledge. I invite LSST’s students to participate and find out more about the project using the weblinks above.

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Please email the author of this article kunal.mehta@lsst.ac for any questions or comments.

Personal and Professional Development at LSST by Jonathan Green

After 8 years of assisting professionals from all different backgrounds on their career development journey, it has been my pleasure to work at LSST to enhance the personal and professional development of its students.

I have seen vast amounts of students from diverse backgrounds come to LSST, many sharing a common goal, to further their careers or to start their own businesses. When I come to speak to the students at the start of their journey I know, all have the capacity to succeed both academically and professionally.

So many have shown us that success is attainable despite seemingly insurmountable challenges. Alan Sugar, Richard Branson and James Caan have inspired us to believe that anything is possible. It is important to note that though many have trodden the path of success to show that anything is possible, the experience of others reaffirms that a wish alone often isn’t enough.

Through my experience and that of internationally renowned author and public speaker Brian Tracy achieving clarity is a major milestone to achieving success:

“Achieving clarity is a major milestone to achieving success.”

Clarity is the quality of being clear, clear of perceived limitations and clear on what a student or professional would want to achieve. Many students I have worked with have allowed not knowing what career or industry they want to work in, to hinder them from progressing. This stage is not to be ignored, as what once seemed frustrating, can become an exhilarating time of discovering the opportunities available and the skills students possess to enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding career.

Stephen Covey , author of the 7 habits of highly effective people created and taught the P/PC model which describes the balance of P (production) and PC (production capacity) the ability to produce. In applying this model to the student aim, Steven Covey states we should balance the focus and effort we put into creating our desired outcome whether it be starting a business or progressing in a person’s career with enhancing our PC as our ability to produce.

For the student this equates to putting the effort into producing a high standard of work and achieving their desired qualification (production). The student would balance this with enhancing their study skills, writing skills and research skills to increase their capacity to produce high standards of work.

The aspiring professional would focus their energy on excelling in their chosen field and producing great work in their role. Whilst improving their PC would be focusing on getting a better understanding of their industry, networking with high achievers, developing relevant skills and improving their health.

The beauty of the P/PC balance is it means that it doesn’t matter how far you have to go but how committed you are to getting there. The P/PC balance also teaches us to maintain our own well-being whilst shooting for success.

“It doesn’t matter how far you have to go but how committed you are to getting there”

The boldness of embarking on a journey of personal and professional development despite someone’s past, age, gender, race or perceived limitations includes setting clear goals that stretch us to be greater than we have ever been. In doing this, we come to the understanding that we are only limited by the extent to which we are willing to develop ourselves and not by past events.

I have seen this with my own eyes, that regardless of what mistakes or failures I have experienced in the past my ability to produce phenomenal results right now, is forever enhanced by getting clearer on my personal vision and by letting go of perceived limitations.

What could you achieve if you got clear on what you wanted and let go of your limitations?

Jonathan Green is a public speaker, former sales leadership and management trainer and part of the student support team at LSST.

Luton Mayor visits LSST’s Luton Campus

Luton Mayor

The Luton Mayor, Cllr Tahir Khan, visited LSST’s Luton Campus to assure students and staff of his personal support for their positive contribution to the community.

Photo source: LSST Luton

The Mayor, outlining his responsibilities, addressed LSST Luton students and staff: ‘I am a great believer in education as one of life’s great stepping stones. We are always learning, so it’s never too late to learn.’ The Mayor went on to say: ‘I congratulate LSST for providing exemplary support platforms for its students.’

LSST Luton students learned about the importance and value of education from the Mayor. There was also advice on the upkeep of a sustained strong community spirit within the LSST Luton Campus. The Mayor, after a keynote presentation, took questions from students and went on to spend time with LSST Luton staff.

Mr Aqeel Syed, LSST Luton’s Associate Dean, said: ‘The Mayor’s visit is a tribute to the hard work of our students. The Mayor’s motivational message of community-cohesion has left a lasting sense of raised solidarity between our students and staff.’

Mr Ali Hamadani, LSST Luton’s Operations Manager, said: ‘The students really engaged with the Mayor and valued his kind support. Thus, events like this are very useful for our students because they develop into a useful network.’

Councillor Tahir Khan has been member of Luton Borough Council for over 10 years and has, upon his election, become the first Mayor of Luton from a Bangladeshi heritage. He is also on the Board of Directors at London Luton Airport Limited and has served as a school governor for over 15 years. His special interests include young people’s issues and providing opportunities for them to partake in positive activities.

Note from the Deputy CEO:

I express my sincerest thanks to the Luton Mayor, Cllr Tahir Khan, for visiting our Luton campus (Wed 15 March 2017). The Mayor’s encouraging words have left a lasting positive mark on LSST Luton and we look forward to future visits and strengthening our association.

The Mayor’s visit will not go in vain. I urge LSST Luton staff and students to take full heed in the advice and become a beacon of Higher Education within the Luton community.

I especially congratulate both students and staff for being such organised and welcoming hosts to the Mayor.

I applaud Mr Ali Jafar, LSST’s director of marketing and admissions, and his team for coordinating and supporting this event.

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Follow the Mayor of Luton: https://twitter.com/khantahir67?lang=en

Link with the Mayor of Luton: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tahir-khan-51b93729

Please email the author of this article kunal.mehta@lsst.ac for any questions or comments.

GfK expert discusses GB Inflation Watch with LSST students


Inflation and its ‘uncertainty’ are the topics of term for LSST’s business and management students. The effects of the Brexit vote and resultant inconsistencies with academics, politicians and industry experts has seen one of the greatest ‘what’s next’ debates of modern times.

Joe Staton, a leading consumer trends expert at global market research firm GfK, helps global brands understand their consumers today and anticipate the future. Joe gained his experience at leading agencies including JWT, Leo Burnett, Interpublic Group and Havas, and is now at GfK. His background means he is ideally placed to discuss the future consumer and what impact they will have on brands. You will find Joe regularly quoted on the BBC News, Sky News, The Daily Telegraph, FT, The Times, The Guardian and The Economist.

Photo source: Joe Staton’s own

To further assist student research, debate and development, Mr Ali Jafar, LSST’s marketing and admissions director, presents Joe with a series of challenging questions from LSST’s students:


1. Why have you created your GB Inflation Watch research product?

Inflation has become very topical. Many of us are wondering why inflation is rising? We want to know how quickly it’s happening? More importantly, how do we think inflation will behave in the future? Will it slow down, reverse or race ahead?

2. What did your survey about consumer perceptions of inflation find?

It’s not a separate survey as such. We routinely capture perceptions of past and future inflation in Britain through our Consumer Confidence Barometer that we have run for the EU since 1974. As inflation has become so topical since last summer’s EU Referendum, we decided to publish the findings on this topic.

Our findings were that nearly three out of four GB consumers (74%) surveyed in January 2017 think prices have risen over the past 12 months. This is 22 percentage points higher than a year ago. The same percentage (74%) expect prices to rise in the coming 12 months, with this figure up 19 percentage points compared to January 2016.

More than one in three people surveyed (34%) said they expect future consumer price increases will happen “more rapidly” than the past 12 months. This is more than three times as many as the 11% that thought this in January 2016.

3. Does inflation matter to people in the street?

Yes, there’s no question about that. Inflation impacts everyone everywhere regardless of age, income, gender or address. We all buy food, we all need to eat and we all need transport of one kind or another.

Inflation was triggered on this occasion by the fall in the value of the pound sterling since the Brexit vote. Immediately after the vote, there was speculation among both business leaders and consumers alike that we will see accelerated price inflation filter through to Britain’s high streets this year. Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that consumers have already been hit by higher food and energy prices because the weakness of sterling is raising prices and reducing consumer spending power.

This has affected a range of typical purchases from Marmite to Majorca summer holidays. A third (34%) of GB shoppers anticipate rapid rises across a wider range of goods will impact spending, making us all even savvier in comparing prices for every day purchase decisions. This is good news for brands that represent value-for-money in consumers’ hearts, wallets and minds, but does it mean tough times ahead for everyone else?

4. Does your GB Inflation Watch look at regional variations?

Yes, and there were some interesting differences. Nationally, 34% of all respondents expect consumer prices to increase “more rapidly” over the next year. But in London, a much larger total of 45% believe this whereas in the North the total is lower at 30%.

5. How are the inflation perceptions changing over time?

The idea that we are in for more rapid inflation in the future has picked up over the past 12 months. Only 18% in London thought this was likely in January 2016 but the total a year later is a hefty 27 percentage points higher at 45%. In Scotland, only 5% in January 2016 thought inflation would be more rapid over the next year. But there has been a huge increase since then of 36 percentage points to 41% as of January 2017.

GfK GB Inflation Watch: regional variations
January 2017 January 2016
LONDON 45% 18%
SOUTH 34% 13%
MIDLANDS 34% 12%
NORTH 30% 7%
SCOTLAND 39% 10%
WALES 41% 5%
Source: GfK GB Inflation Watch

6. Will inflation stop us going to the shops or treating ourselves when we can afford to do so?

We’ll all notice the price changes. But consumers can be remarkably inflexible if they wish. As market researchers, we know from experience that when there is any kind of economic uncertainty or especially when inflation rears its head that shoppers are loathe to compromise on their quality of life. So, those who can afford to spend will continue doing so. For companies, if they can find ways to help consumers avoid cut-backs then they will win consumer approval.

Note from the Deputy CEO:

On behalf of our students and staff, I personally thank Joe and his research team for such a detailed narrative on inflation. Not only has Joe answered the challenging and stimulating student questions with first-rate expertise – he further justifies them with his seminal research from GB Inflation Watch.

I would like students and staff to really think about how inflation impacts the UK economy and society in the pre/post-Brexit era. I especially encourage students to find out more about GfK’s careers and its research (see hyperlinks below).

May I also congratulate Mr Ali Jafar, LSST’s marketing and admissions director, for supporting our students in such a creative way and hope to see more of such work in the near future.

To take part in future interviews with senior managers, editors and company executives please email kunal.mehta@lsst.ac.

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Find out more about GfK: http://www.gfk.com/

Careers with GfK: http://www.gfk.com/careers/overview/

GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence Barometer: http://www.gfk.com/en-gb/insights/press-release/uk-consumer-confidence-creeps-up-two-points/

Office for National Statistics (ONS): https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices

Please email the author of this article kunal.mehta@lsst.ac for any questions or comments.

Brexit means Brexit – but what does it mean for students and private colleges?

Ian Valentine

Five months after the shock Brexit referendum result, it is still far from certain what the result means for ‘alternative education provider’ colleges like LSST and their EU-based students.

There are unlikely to be immediate problems in the next 4 – 5 years for students, given the typical two year life-cycle and that Brexit negotiations can take up to two years after triggering Article 50. In October 2016 the government confirmed that student funding will continue as before for the 2017-2018 academic year and will be honoured throughout the duration of applicants’ courses.

The uncertainty, however, around the funding arrangements continued membership of grant and exchange programs such as Erasmus Plus, and visa requirements once the UK leaves the EU (which could be as early as 2018) poses an immediate problem for providers, particularly those alternative education providers that rely heavily on EU students.

The possibility of increased tuition fees and withdrawal of loans funding for EU students, and the UK no longer being seen as a gateway to Europe for international students, is likely to affect both EU and non-EU international student numbers. It is important therefore for such colleges to begin to adapt, even before triggering of Article 50, to the challenges of the post-Brexit higher education market.

This could be done either by increasingly targeting their offering at niches within the home student market (as LSST recently done), by focusing on the increasingly regulated and unprofitable Tier 4 student market, or by exporting education to international students via online platforms.

The focus now, more than ever, must be on promoting the standalone value of British education and British expertise in such areas as the service industries, entrepreneurship, law, and technology.

Ian Valentine, FCILEx, Head of LSST Legal Services