Birmingham cityscape

The second Open Philanthropy panels

‘Inspired’, ‘motivated’ and ‘humbled’ were just a few of the words used to sum up how our panel members felt at the end of two days in Birmingham, interacting and coming together to make some key decisions around the priorities for this funding.  

It was such a privilege to see everyone in action and feel the energy and collaboration in the room on both days! 


Key reflections on the process 

Panel B – 20th October 

  • Panel B met on the first day – and bore the brunt of the train delays – this meant that we started later and took a shorter lunch break.  
  • A whole day, or at least a longer session would have eased that time pressure and provided more time for individuals to network in breaks.   
  • On the upside, Panel B did benefit from facilitator Jen’s Mars Bar cake!  
  • There were some incredible conversations, and great feedback around being heard. 
  • Fewer decisions were made in person, however they reached consensus in a follow up survey.

Panel A – 21st October 

  • Less train delays and we started on time, those who arrived a little later were able to join the first exercise. 
  • We switched up the slides to tackle the smaller decisions first, which helped the flow and eased tackling the larger ones – meaning this panel made more decisions than the previous day. 
  • We were able to have a longer lunch break (although torrential rain meant not many of us braved going outside) 
  • We were also able to close with an exercise that captured people’s feelings, as there was a little more time. 

Both panels 

  • Whilst there were many benefits to meeting up in person, and everyone enjoyed it, the travel can be anxiety inducing at the best of times and train delays added pressure to some panel members.  
  • We have therefore taken the decision to create the final panel session as a virtual session. We will offer a follow up learning/evaluation session in person, so there will be a chance to connect again. 
  • The sketchnotes from both days are a great resource!  
  • Whilst both panels made slightly different decisions on priorities, they both agreed to extend the time frame that the funds will be open, to improve accessibility. 

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