The Social Market Foundation (SMF) is an independent British political public policy think-tank based in Westminster, London. It is one of the 'Top 12 Think Tanks in Britain' and was named 'UK Think Tank of the Year' by Prospect in 2012. Its purpose is to "advance the education of the public in the economic, social and political sciences" and to "champion ideas that marry a pro-market orientation with concern for social justice". Policy ideas are based on the concept of the social market economy. Founded in 1989, the organisation was established by individuals close to David Owen's 'continuing' Social Democratic Party, which had itself been formed the year beforehand by those members of the original SDP who refused to accept that party's merger with the Liberals. Owen had made much use of the term 'social market' when describing the economic model he espoused as an alternative to Thatcherism, and upon the Foundation's establishment he was made a trustee. The Foundation's first executive director was the 'continuing' SDP peer Lord Kilmarnock, and its chairman from 1991 was Robert Skidelsky, Professor of Political Economy at Warwick University, who was responsible for much of the Owenite SDP's economic policy, having written a green paper on the social market economy for the party's first conference in September 1988. More information...

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