NPC event attendees

NPC Ignites 2024 – Full programme

NPC Ignites 2024 is set to be another fantastic year, debating the hottest topics and hearing from the sectors leading industry figures.

On 15 October, we’ll meet in-person or online. We’ll kick off proceedings with a keynote presentation from Dr Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive of New Economics Foundation (NEF), on taking a systemic approach. Later, Paul Johnson, Director of Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), will look at what the data tells as about the future of the UK economy and what this means for the social sector. 

In the afternoon we’ll bring you a Q&A panel session with Beatrice Butsana-Sita, Chief Executive of the British Red Cross; Fozia Irfan, Director of Impact and Influence at BBC Children in Need; and Sir Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCCWe will be closing with Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be.

All times given are British Summer Time. More speakers to be confirmed.

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Tuesday 15th October

Morning sessions

npc ignites attendee

9.30am: Welcome 

We kick things off with our chair, who will set out the big themes for the day.

9.35am: Opening presentation – Taking a systemic approach 

We are delighted to be joined by Dr Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO at New Economics Foundation (NEF) for our opening presentation. Danny has worked across the social sector including roles as Director General of the Commonwealth Foundation, Secretary General of the global civil society alliance CIVICUS, and CEO of Oxfam. In this keynote presentation he shares a leader’s perspective on why a systemic approach to change is essential.   

10.00am: Where is the economy heading? 

Is the cost of living crisis likely to ease? What are the prospects for future government funding? In this keynote presentation Paul Johnson, Director of Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) will look at what the data tells us about the future of the UK economy and what that means for the social sector.  

10.25am: How to increase your impact by taking a long-term, systemic approach  

The panel explores the ways a systems perspective can help us tackle our biggest issues, from environmental crises to inequalities. They’ll also discuss how a longer-term view can unlock new possibilities, from collaboration to new technology.   

Speakers: Benaifer Bhandari, CEO, Hopscotch Women’s Centre; Alistair Fernie, Chief Executive, The Elders; and Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive, Mind.

11.15am: Where have we got to on the impact agenda?

In his last NPC Ignites speech, before he steps down as NPC’s CEO, Dan Corry will reflect on where we have got to on the impact agenda. We will hear his thoughts on evaluation methods, data, the use of lived experience, system approaches and creating impact as well as advocacy and campaigning. 

11.30am: Break and networking

11.50am: Breakout sessions

Charities and the new government  

The panel will discuss how to work with, and persuade, the new government that the sector can be a valuable partner for delivery.

How charities and foundations can undertake impact investing from their endowments

Exploring the journey from grantmaking to making social investments to considering an impact investment portfolio. The session will discuss potential approaches, practical tips, challenges and lessons that could be helpful for other organisations with their journey. We will be joined by Jonathan Brinsden, Founder Trustee and Chairman, Monday Charitable Trust. 

Where next for centring lived experience? 

The movement for including lived experience in the sector is growing. What’s next? This session explores the opportunities and barriers on the horizon.

12.50pm: Lunch and networking

Afternoon sessions

Dan Corry at Ignites 2019

1.50pm: Breakout sessions

How to practically work in a systemic way 

Do you want to take a systemic approach in your work, but are unclear how? This practical breakout session will walk you through how to use systems practice and evaluate it in your everyday work. 

How should funders evaluate and learn? 

In recent years, trust-based approaches to grant-making have gained traction. However, this raises questions for evaluation and learning practices. In this session we will be exploring how funders can evaluate and learn whilst also maintaining a proportionate approach to accountability. 

Social charities and the environment 

Now more than ever social and environmental charities must operate systemically and collaborate to achieve impact for people and planet. We will be exploring what this means in practice.

2.55pm: Break and networking

3.05pm: Working with the new government

Following this summer’s general election what role is there for charities?

3.30pm: Can AI help us take a more systemic approach?

At the moment AI is attracting a lot of hype– and a lot of fear. What is its real potential to change our work? Tris Lumley, Director of Innovation and Development, NPC will explore the opportunities and dangers.  

3.50pm: Question Time

This session is lead by your questions. We’re assembling a panel of big hitters – what’s on your mind? Don’t be afraid to get controversial. 

You can submit your question:
– in advance by emailing
– on social media using #NPCIgnites
– or just put your hand up in the session.

Panel members include: Beatrice Butsana-Sita, Chief Executive, British Red Cross, Fozia Irfan OBE, Director of Impact and Influence, BBC Children in Need, Peter Wanless, Chief Executive, NSPCC.

4.35pm: Taking a systemic approach: reflections 

We conclude the day with a keynote presentation from Catherine Roche, Chief Executive, Place2Be. Catherine will share her reflections on our conference theme. 

5pm: Chair’s close 

Thank you to our event sponsors SmartyGrants

SmartyGrants is a hosted end-to-end grants management solution that integrates modern grantmaking practices into an intuitive, affordable platform. Funders and their grantees love using SmartyGrants because it simplifies their work and improves their outcomes.


Ignites was a journey of discovery, an open and inclusive space to reflect on the sector challenges and explore the possibility and need for change in collaboration with knowledgeable and like-minded individuals

2023 Delegate

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