Hilary is a social entrepreneur. Her first job was with a guerrilla army in Northern Ethiopia. Since then she has spent extended periods living in a Latin American barrio, started five social enterprises and worked as an urban poverty specialist at the World Bank.
Today Hilary is focused on reforming the British welfare state. Innovative, practical work includes: a 21st century prison design to reduce reoffending; a radical apoach to supporting older people in the community; a family led programme where those with multiple needs design their own futures and ground breaking work on unemployment and health care. Her work has had an impact on thousands of lives.
In 2005 Hilary was voted UK Designer of the Year for her groundbreaking work and in 2007 the World Economic Forum nominated Hilary as a Young Global Leader. Her work has been widely featured in print media from the New York Times to Fast Company, in international exhibitions at the Smithsonian and MAK Vienna and in the UK national and international press. She comments widely on social issues and has been a speaker on several occasions at Davos and at TEDGlobal.
Hilary’s first book, RADICAL HELP: How We Can Remake the Relationships Between Us and Revolutionise the Welfare State, was published by Virago in June 2018.
Hilary was educated at Oxford, Sussex and the Open Universities. She was awarded her PhD in 1999.
You can follow Hilary on Twitter @HilaryCottam