Few of us who work in the charity world would argue that more often than not our sector can be an exciting and inspiring place to be. The problem is though that we can all be so busy trying to get things done that it can feel like we don’t always get the time to just stop and appreciate the great things happening around us.
That’s why the CharityComms team challenged themselves to each think about a sector event that really challenged, inspired or just plain stuck with them this year in order to appreciate the goodness around us and share it with you. So here we go….
Creating an inclusive culture in the workplace relies on having an understanding of the complexity of the underlying issues that prevent change and a set of tools to make it a reality. This introductory workshop used a participative and experiential approach to show how unconscious bias and social conditioning profoundly shape our own identity and interactions with others. Sobering and fascinating in equal measure – it helped transform the concept of “intersectionality” from theory to lived experience. I won’t give away the detail because the element of surprise is crucial, instead I urge others to try it for themselves. It’s the start of an important journey.
Adeela Warley, CEO
Probono economics is an organisation that helps charities understand how to measure and understand their contribution to society in economic terms, by matching them with economist volunteers. Their anniversary lecture was a motivating reminder that among other things the third sector is also a significant contributor to the economy and society through employment and engagement of a wide sector of the population and should be recognised as such. Given how easily government and businesses overlook the value charities add because the social capital they offer are not easily captured in ‘conventional measures of economic activity’ this event was a refreshing opportunity to think about how we can work towards making sure charity value is not overlooked in future.
Christine Fleming, digital content editor
Groundswell’s Women and Homelessness Action Day event
Groundswell is a remarkable and determined small frontline charity that has been making strides to support people experiencing homelessness through its Homeless Health Peer Advocacy programme. Groundswell ran a short but effective campaign event on Women and Homelessness Action Day, in collaboration with The Pavement magazine to commemorate International Women’s Day earlier this year. This event focused on art, poetry and speeches delivered by an array of women who had both worked with and experienced homelessness, including Solace Women’s Aid and Latin American Women’s Aid, followed by a panel discussion centred on solutions that need to be made to protect such vulnerable women effectively, quickly and sustainably.
Hanna-Mariam Chowdhury, events officer
There were so many great things about this conference it’s hard to know where to start. I particularly liked the way they championed representing communities in a way that encourages societal support with Abhina Aher sharing that when ‘day-to-day’ visibility can put individuals at risk, there is an importance of platforming positive role-models from those communities. On the same note Tanni Grey-Thompson added that to support marginalised individuals, societal support needs to exist in tandem with protective legislation, which should be reflected in our comms, as well as the way in how our organisations treat marginalised communities internally. Another key issue discussed at the conference was how to Present new stories and seek opportunities for change. Speaker Thomas Coombes pressed that instead of fighting negative narratives (and thus giving them power and attention) it was beneficial to show new stories which show the future you’re working towards.
Molly Clarke, digital content officer
Salesforce’s Ohana floor opening
Salesforce recently opened a new Ohana Floor at Salesforce Tower London, a hospitality space where non-profit and community organisations are able to host events for free. The floor was opened by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, but the star of the morning was a local 15-year old student who inspired everyone there with her enthusiasm for programmes such as Future Ready, which aim to give everyone – regardless of background or circumstance – access to high-quality education and career opportunities.
Sarah Clarke, head of membership
What works to support women’s careers – King’s College London’s Global Institute for Women’s Leadership
Earlier this year King’s College London’s Global Institute for Women’s Leadership hosted a talk on What works to support women’s careers. This talk was part of the Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Sciences, and looked at why guesswork or good intentions simply aren’t enough to tackle the gender divide at work, and how we can take a scientific approach to women’s career progression. Despite billions of dollars spent globally on diversity and inclusion initiatives, and countless hours of staff time dedicated to administering them, there is limited evidence that they actually work – and some may actively be causing harm. Drawing on the forthcoming research by the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership for the Government Equalities Office it was a frank and honest discussion on supporting women in the private sector. A great mix of speakers and lots of food for thought, I only wish they would have included a charity perspective too!
Vanessa Weddell, head of events
Photo: Joe Yates on Unsplash
If reading this has put you in the mood for booking yourself onto some events for 2020 check out the CharityComms events calendar.