Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2015
Sophia Parker is an experienced social policy professional with a long-standing affinity for the disciplines of anthropology and design.
In 2001, in her first serious job as a policy adviser in the Cabinet Office, Sophia was asked to manage a government consultation. She realised then that there had to be better ways of connecting the messy reality of people's lives to the way policy gets developed across government. Since then her career has taken a varied route as she has experimented with new ways of involving people and communities more meaningfully in politics and decision-making.
Highlights include working as the Deputy Director at the thinktank Demos where she pioneered new work on public service design, and three roller coaster years at Kent County Council where she set up their unique social innovation lab - the first of its kind in the UK. She has also been Director of the Resolution Foundation where she played a part in building the agenda around the 'squeezed middle' we hear so much about today.
Sophia returned from a year-long adventure in the US in 2011, where she combined a Harvard Fellowship - publishing a book about declining living standards - with cycling, walking and kayaking her way around New England. The Squeezed Middle was one of the Policy Press best-sellers last year. Since then she has been focused mainly on being a mother to her two small children. However that hasn't stopped her standing for election as a local councillor, or continuing with her work as a non-executive director for research agency ESRO.
Current principal role: Director
Current principal organisation: The Point People
Other leadership role 1: Non-Executive Director
Other organisation 1: Pop Up Parks
Research: Co-produced childcare: An alternative route to affordable, high quality provision in the UK?
Secondment host: Family Drug and Alcohol Court