Highlights of Ignites

By Tom Collinge 27 September 2018

NPC Ignites is just two weeks away and excitement is building here at NPC towers. I grabbed two members of staff to ask them what they most want to watch at the conference.

Tris Lumley, Director of Innovation and Development

Anyone who knows me will know I’m all about pushing the social sector into the future, whether that’s with data and digital, new models of investment or even exploring the wackier end of things like blockchain. So, there’s a couple of session in particular I’m very excited about at this year’s Ignites.

First up, Geoff Mulgan the Chief Executive of Nesta is giving one of the afternoon keynotes. Nesta I’m sure need no introduction as one of the most innovative and interesting organisations out there, and Geoff is a fascinating guy. He’s worked in UK government, the social sector, journalism and holds lots of exciting roles outside of Nesta, at places like the World Economic Forum. He’s talking to us about the changing nature of power in the modern world and whether charities can harness the wave of people power which seems to be sweeping the globe.

Second, in the morning there’s a breakout session called Whose data is it anyway. Full disclosure, I’m chairing this one so I’ve got a vested interest, but I think the issue of how we, as charities, use people’s personal information is going to be crucial over the coming years. It’s about much more than GDPR and fundraising, as Baillie Aaron who is on the panel recently explained on our blog. We can’t just use data on our beneficiaries, we must respect their right and wishes and involve them. That way we can have better, more inclusive services and achieve more.

Rachel Tait, Senior Consultant

I work in the measurement and evaluation team here at NPC, as well as coordinating our involvement in Inspiring Impact so it’s fair to say I’m keen on helping organisations improve their activities and share what works. With that in mind, here are two sessions that I think will be useful for attendees, whatever stage they are at on their impact journey.

In the afternoon we’ve got a breakout titled Are we learning from evaluation? Which addresses the ever-thorny question of what we measure, and what we do once we’ve measured something. There’s no single answer to this, and every organisation has to think for itself, but I think the advice of the stellar panel, which includes the Money Advice Service, the Centre for Youth Impact and SafeLives will be useful no matter what size or shape organisation you are.

‘Impact’, despite how we tend to talk about it, is not really one ‘thing’. Making it happen requires hard work and measuring it can be very process driven, but we shouldn’t forget that it’s ultimately about working with people to find creative and innovative solutions to problems. That’s why I’m excited about the panel How is the charity sector working creatively to achieve change? With speakers from, The Art Room, Scouts, and Friends Provident Foundation we’ll learn about new approaches in charities and foundations large and small.

This is just a selection of the events, speeches and breakouts happening at Ignites this year, including a keynote speech from Charities Minister, Tracey Crouch. Book now!