Updated Oct 2015


IPPR was the brainchild of Clive Hollick, who developed the idea for an independent progressive thinktank in 1986. With John Eatwell, Lord Hollick spent two years establishing the institute, which was publicly launched in 1988 with Tessa Blackstone as its first chair and the late James Cornford as its first director. IPPR was established as a charity with educational objectives, and from the beginning has involved trustees from varied political backgrounds.

One of our first reports recommended congestion charging for London and IPPR has been having real impact on policy at a national and local level ever since.

In the early 1990s, we published the highly influential report of the Commission on Social Justice, chaired by Sir Gordon Borrie and IPPR's then deputy director, Patricia Hewitt. It laid out an ambitious agenda of social policy reform that had a lasting impact on public policy debates.

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, IPPR led thinking on devolution, elected mayors, family-friendly working, asset-based welfare, and public service reform. IPPR North was established in 2004, with an office opening in Newcastle; a second office was opened in Manchester in 2012.

IPPR was the winner of the prestigious Prospect Thinktank of the Year award in 2001 and in 2007 became the first repeat winner.

Among the notable achievements of the late 2000s was the highly influential Commission on National Security for the 21st Century, chaired by Paddy Ashdown and George Robertson.

In 2009, IPPR turned 21 and won the Green Thinktank of the year award for its groundbreaking work on climate change.

In 2010, IPPR moved to its current London offices in Buckingham Street.In 2014, IPPR won the Social Policy Thinktank of the Year award, in recognition of the wide influence achieved by its landmark report, The Condition of Britain.

In 2015, IPPR won the Energy and Climate Change Thinktank of the Year award. Later in the year, in the wake of Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum and the transfer of new powers to the Scottish parliament, IPPR formed IPPR Scotland, our new dedicated thinktank for Scotland, based in offices in Edinburgh.

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