Good health has value for individuals, society, and the economy. As we seek to rebuild after the pandemic, and ‘level-up’ UK regions, there is an opportunity to create more inclusive economies geared towards reducing inequalities and improving health.

Join the RSA and the Health Foundation to celebrate the launch of Economies for Healthier Lives – our funding programme strengthening relationships between economic development and health. 

Andy Haldane (Chief Executive, RSA), Jo Bibby (Director of Health, the Health Foundation) and colleagues will discuss how economic development and public health strategies can bring positive change for communities facing health inequalities.

Also, we’ll hear from the programme’s four project teams – in Glasgow City Region, Havant Borough Council, Leeds City Council and Liverpool City Region – on their learnings so far. 

This work will be of particular interest to those working in local and regional government, national, regional and local policy leads interested in how to address health inequalities, local third and private sector stakeholders, as well as public health and economic development practitioners. 


Jo is responsible for leading the Foundation’s Healthy Lives strategy to create the opportunities for everyone to lead a healthy life.

Joining the Foundation in November 2007, Jo initially led the Foundation’s influential portfolio of work in patient safety and person-centred care.  

Jo has worked in health care at local and national level for 25 years, including 10 years at the Department of Health. As Head of NHS Performance, she oversaw the implementation of the policy agenda set out in the NHS Plan. At the NHS Modernisation Agency, Jo led an international quality improvement initiative – Pursuing Perfection.

Before joining the Foundation, Jo was the Director for the Calderdale and Kirklees Integrated Service Strategy where she led a major service reconfiguration programme to deliver improvements in quality, safety and patient experience.

She is a trustee at the Centre for Homelessness Impact and from June 2021 a non-executive director at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.

Jo has a PhD in Medical Biophysics.

Jo Bibby, Director of Health at the Health Foundation

Andrew was formerly Chief Economist at the Bank of England and a member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee. Among other positions, he is Honorary Professor at the Universities of Nottingham and Manchester, Visiting Professor at King’s College, London, a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Social Sciences. He has authored around 200 articles and 4 books. 

Andrew is Founder of the charity Pro Bono Economics, Vice-Chair of the charity National Numeracy, Co-Chair of the City of London Task-Force on Social Mobility and Chair of the National Numeracy Leadership Council.

Andy Haldane headshot


Joanna is responsible for championing how design for social innovation is applied across the RSA community and programmes to create a better future.

Joanna is a leading social designer with four hats: practitioner, researcher, thought leader, and educator; with 15 years of experience in the UK and Lebanon. Prior to joining the RSA, Joanna was Health Director at FutureGov, and had spent 10 years leading Uscreates – a pioneering design agency for health and wellbeing – through growth and onto acquisition, alongside co-founders Zoe Stanton and Mary Cook. In 2015, Joanna completed a PhD on design for social integration at the University of the Arts London. Alongside research and practice, Joanna is a supervisor and visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art,  the University of the Arts London, Ravensbourne University and Kingston University. She is also a Mega Mentor, and founder of micro-social enterprise Design My Family Tree.

Joanna Choukeir headshot

Further reading


Economies for Healthier Lives


A new funding programme to strengthen relationships between economic development and health


Introducing Economies for Healthier Lives

3 November 2021

How will our four projects, led by partners in Glasgow, Havant, Leeds and Liverpool, deliver...

Research report

Using economic development to improve health and reduce health inequalities

September 2020
Research report

This report sets out how economic development can be used to improve people’s health and reduce...

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