We organise a range of events for our staff, registered friends and the wider public throughout the year.

Previous events



A 'pledginar' is a public seminar designed to generate reflection and discussion but also secure a commitment (or pledge) from those attending that they will do what they can to address the issues raised by our guest speakers and discussants.

We host quarterly early evening public pledginars in GCU and we subsequently follow up to find what action has been taken in to fulfil each pledge.

Our pledginars stimulate innovative and practical thinking on important aspects of poverty and inequality.


Lunchtime round tables

We also run monthly reading and writing groups. These are usually held during teaching trimesters and aimed mainly at GCU and Poverty Alliance staff. These events provide an informal opportunity for colleagues to discuss issues of shared interest (such as recently published academic publications and research reports), present their own work-in-progress in a supportive environment and develop potential collaborative research projects.

Previous events

October 2019

SPIRU hosted the annual Challenge Poverty Week lecture in October, which is now in its fifth year. Further details will be announced and publicised on the Poverty Alliance and Challenge Poverty Week website.

September 2019

National Conference on Local Action to Tackle Child Poverty 

We hosted this national conference at GCU on 11 September 2019. This was an invitation-only event for community planning officials and other key stakeholders involved in delivering the Every Child, Every Chance Child Poverty Delivery Strategy. Among the keynote speakers were Aileen Campbell MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government and Bill Scott, Chair of the Poverty and Inequality Commission.

May 2019

SPIRU held a research networking workshop as part of GCU’s annual Research Day on 31 May 2019.

March 2019

SPIRU held an event at GCU in partnership with the Poverty Alliance on 29 March 2019 as part of the Get Heard Scotland project to analyse how transport systems could be improved to reduce poverty. 

January 2019

SPIRU hosted two seminars in January 2019 to disseminate findings from the Poverty Alliance’s Reinvest project funded by the European Union - Rebuilding an Inclusive Value Based Europe of Solidarity and Trust

October 2018

Professor Kate Pickett, co-author of The Spirit Level, delivered the 2018 Challenge Poverty Week annual lecture at SPIRU on 1 October 2018 - outlining The Need for a Wellbeing Economy in Scotland.

May 2018

Dr Ruth Patrick from the University of York delivered the first SPIRU Pledginar on 15 May 2018, drawing upon the research in her recent book which examines the effects of welfare conditionality: For Whose Benefit?: The Everyday Realities of Welfare Reform.

February 2018

SPIRU hosted a seminar and book launch in February 2018. This brought together findings from the Big Lottery Fund Menu for Change project (run jointly by Oxfam, the Poverty Alliance, the CPAG and Nourish Scotland) with the authors of Foodsaving in Europe: at the Crossroads of Social Innovation to discuss the nature of and responses to food poverty.