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Onward develops bold and practical ideas for the next generation of centre right thinkers and leaders

REPORT
Off Course

The risks of the Growth and Skills Levy

REPORT
Smiles All Round

Liberalising dentistry to improve access and cut costs

REPORT
A Conservative Economy

Building a fairer and more productive nation

REPORT
Off Course

The risks of the Growth and Skills Levy

REPORT
Smiles All Round

Liberalising dentistry to improve access and cut costs

REPORT
A Conservative Economy

Building a fairer and more productive nation

Onward develops bold and practical ideas for the next generation of centre right thinkers and leaders

Onward’s mission is to develop bold and practical ideas to boost economic opportunity, build national resilience, and strengthen communities across all parts of the United Kingdom. Our vision is to address the needs of the whole country: young and old, urban and rural, for all communities across the UK – particularly places that have too often felt neglected or ignored by Westminster. 

We believe in an optimistic conservatism that is truly national – one that recognises the value of markets, supported by a streamlined state that is active not absent. We are unapologetic about standing up to vested interests, putting power closer to people, and supporting the hardworking and aspirational.

We do so by developing practical policies grounded in evidence. Our team has worked at high levels across Westminster and Whitehall. We know how to produce big ideas that resonate with policymakers, the media and the wider public. We work closely with policymakers of all parties to build coalitions of support. Most importantly, we engage ordinary people across the country and work with them to make our ideas a reality.

"There was a space on the centre right that we all knew existed but couldn't quite size, couldn't quite articulate. And then Onward came along and spoke to us about a change in politics that had been happening right under our noses. Some truths hidden in plain sight. Onward has always let the quality of its work sound the loudest. And we have all heard it."
Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP
7 June 2022
"Into the arena, Onward stepped. The in-flight refueller. The next modernising thinktank. The engine which ensured that just as the process of government might be wearing thin, the Conservative Party was able to renew and refurbish its message, its personnel, its appeal and its coalition.”
Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
14 January 2020
“Thinktanks are expected to think the unthinkable but I don’t want us to think the unworkable. We have to think things that work politically, that is that pay some attention to whether people support them, where the costs fall and whether they work in practice."
Lord Finkelstein, Chairman of Onward
2018
“The question is how we forge an open-feeling, forward-looking conservatism that speaks equally to all. And I believe Onward is exactly what we need.”
Baroness Davidson, Former Leader of the Scottish Conservatives and Member of the House of Lords
2018
"I admire what you are doing here and we need more of it. Because what you are doing is leading an effort to rethink the meaning of conservatism and you are doing it in a way that is inviting social democrats to rethink their mission too. I think this is desperately needed."
Professor Michael Sandel, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government Theory at Harvard University Law School
24 May 2022
"One thing that struck us that was informed by the work of Onward was that to make success of levelling up we need to build the economic foundations - the good jobs and businesses that tie up productivity and innovation. But as importantly, we need also to build those social foundations, buttressing and replenishing social capital and rebuilding social infrastructure...That’s why we had quite an expansive set of medium-term missions in the White Paper spanning both economic and social missions."
Andy Haldane, Permanent Secretary for Levelling Up at the Cabinet Office
27th May 2022

Our work is focused on the most pressing issues facing the United Kingdom today. Our five programmes are:

Reducing economic disparities between places
A practical policy programme to transform science and innovation in the UK
Making it easier to start and support a family

Our work is regularly featured in print, broadcast and online media, including through op-eds and broadcast interviews from the Onward team.

Nick Timothy wrote about why Britain needs to reindustrialise in the Daily Telegraph. 

Onward's philanthropy Giving Back Better was used by the Culture Sec Lucy Frazer to encourage them to streamline Gift Aid.

Onward Director Sebastian Payne wrote in the i about what should be in the Budget next week.

Deputy Director Adam Hawksbee made the case for more neighbourhood policing in The New Statesman. 

Senior Researcher Shivani H Menon writes for the Local Government Association on how local leaders can unlock philanthropy in their communities.

Onward's Deputy Director, Adam Hawksbee outlines how we can avoid another cost of living crisis in City AM.

Nick Timothy wrote about why Britain needs to reindustrialise in the Daily Telegraph. 

Onward's philanthropy Giving Back Better was used by the Culture Sec Lucy Frazer to encourage them to streamline Gift Aid.

Onward Director Sebastian Payne wrote in the i about what should be in the Budget next week.