Ben Phillips is the Kellogg Institute’s Hewlett Fellow for Public Policy for the spring of 2019. He is co-founder of the Fight Inequality Alliance, an international coalition uniting major non-governmental organizations, unions and social movements to build collective power and press for action to tackle inequality. His current research addresses building more equal societies and inclusive economies by building power from below and by building solidarity across organizations and borders.
Phillips was a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Resident Fellow on inequality in 2017 and is a member of the Civil Society Advisory Committee of the United Nations Development Programme.
Based in Nairobi, he has lived and worked in more than a dozen cities around the world, leading programs and campaign teams for Oxfam, ActionAid, Save the Children, the Children’s Society, the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, and the Global Campaign for Education.
His work has included overseeing large-scale development programs and major humanitarian responses; heading research, advocacy, external relations, communications, and coalition building; and organizational leadership, institution building, strategy development, and change.
He began his development work in a township in South Africa, where he lived and worked as a teacher and activist, just after the end of apartheid in 1994.
He is a regular columnist for the international affairs blog Global Dashboard and has written on development issues for media including the Financial Times, the Guardian, Reuters, Inter Press Service, Huffington Post, and Global Policy. He is also a regular guest on international TV and radio programs.
While at the Kellogg Institute, he will study how the fight against inequality can be won, exploring the political economy of the inequality cycle in which power and wealth in many countries is concentrated in the hands of a few. His work will address how rising inequality has previously been reversed, and the roles of groups including international NGOs, social movements, and faith-based organizations in effecting change. Phillips and Visiting Fellows Victoria Paniagua and Diego Sanchez-Ancochea are organizing a spring conference on inequality at the Institute.
Phillips received an MA in development studies from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, and a BA from New College, Oxford University.
Read Ben's Global Dashboard piece here: What do we need to do to win the fight against inequality? An activist-researcher seeks your advice.