Stephen Bennett 13-05-2019


Art in policy-making: theory and practice

Stephen will describe a series of micro case studies of how he has used creative and artistic approaches to drive macro social outcomes, including innovation, engagement with data, and empathy in policy-making. He will give his view on how interdisciplinary methodologies derived from the arts can be transferred to the world of politics to achieve better public policy outcomes. He will reflect on his experiences, share lessons and consider what next steps may be. He will underpin his examples with a sense of theory, derived from his MFA, and a sense of practice, based on his 14 years experience working in Government. Finally, Stephen will describe some of the art projects he has recently produced, including Microscopic, Macroscopic, his film from the CERN particle collider in Geneva, which uses subatomic particles to inform how society views science.



SRG Bennett is a multimedia artist and policymaker working at the intersection of art, science and politics.
Stephen works in the Policy Lab team in the UK Cabinet Office. Stephen experiments with innovative approaches to making policy, including using design methodologies, ethnography, systems theory and fine art techniques. Stephen has employed user-centred design to improve the development of streets in England; used ethnography to improve welfare provision for those with long term mental or physical illness; and incorporated participatory art techniques to help understand how critical national infrastructure is dependent upon satellite services.

Stephen has a MFA from Central Saint Martins, where he specialised in Art and Science. Stephen has collaborated with Nesta to create an art installation in Tobacco Dock showing health inequality across the UK, undertaken a residency at CERN particle collider in Geneva, and exhibited in the Tate Exchange, Imperial College and the Royal Society.