Supporting the Network for Economic and Social Trends

The past several decades have been marked by many important social and economic trends, including a slowdown in economic growth, rising inequality, and increasing ethnic diversity. As a result, Canada and the United States are at a cross-road in terms of their social and economic prospects. New research is needed to develop policies and practices that will support sustainability, well-being and economic growth in the twenty-first century.

Starting in September 2018, NEST, the Network for Economic and Social Trends, will produce world-class research of relevance to social and economic policy to promote economic security and growth. Housed in the Faculty of Social Science, NEST is a think-tank that will be the centerpiece of interdisciplinary research in the Faculty of Social Science. NEST brings together experts from the university and beyond, to produce policy research to promote economic security and growth. We endeavour to be among the best places in Canada for social and economic policy research and outreach.

The goals of NEST are to use advanced data creation, management, and analytic techniques to provide theoretically driven and evidenced-based research that will inform social and economic policy. Our research will focus on issues related to educational attainment, poverty, inequality, immigration, diversity, population change, local government, urban affairs, and community development.

The Faculty of Social Science is the largest faculty at Western University. As of June 2016, it has more than 180 tenured or tenure-track professors, and 627 Graduate students, including 320 PhD candidates, in nine departments. Positioned at the centre of advanced policy research in the Faculty, NEST will be a knowledge leader—bringing together our best researchers by creating a space to facilitate collaboration and foster synergies between research teams. NEST will also serve as a resource for information on research and funding opportunities, research, training and additional activities relevant to its members.

NEST will form an umbrella under which four existing Centres will fall:

  • Centre for Human Capital and Productivity
  • Centre for Research on Social Inequality (formerly the Centre for Population, Health and Aging)
  • Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations
  • Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance

Through conferences, working papers, policy briefs, newsletters and events, NEST will reach policy makers, think tanks, academics and influence media personnel with interest in social and economic policy. 

  • You can support different initiatives within NEST:Endowed Post-Doctoral research positions
  • A Distinguished Speaker Series for NEST
  • Distinguished Visitors program, bringing in academics or policy makers
  • Annual conferences
  • Naming or sponsorship opportunities