Whether we call it volunteering, social action or simply people helping people, we know that public services up and down the country are being transformed by using the skills and talents of the local community to augment public services.
Evidence suggests social action is changing lives. We don’t think this is a periphery activity, we think it’s at the heart of public service reform helping to improve outcomes and save money.
But what would public services look like if they were able to mobilise the latent talents and energy of the local community to solve problems? And what needs to happen to make the most of social action in the future?
Join us to explore how social action can play a bigger role in the design and delivery of public services with keynote inputs from:
Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta and former Head of the Strategy Unit
Alex Fox, Chief Executive, Shared Lives Plus
Clare Sutcliffe, Co-founder, Code Club
Joanna Killian, Chief Executive of Essex County Council
Philip Colligan, Deputy Cheif Executive, Nesta
David Knott, Head of Social Action, Office for Civil Society
Helen Stephenson, Director Office of Civil Society and Government Innovation Group, Cabinet Office
Charlie Leadbeater, social entrepreneur and thinker
Charlotte Hill, Chief Executive, Step up to Serve
Bobby Duffy, Managing Director, Public Affairs, Ipsos MORI
Graham Daly, Head of Partnerships, Transport for London
The day will also include panel and plenary sessions in the main hall, a ‘meet the innovator’ showcase and 8 interactive workshops featuring entrepreneurs, national and international speakers:
Commissioning social action in practice: overcoming the risks and challenge
The most promising models for scaling social action
Why peer support is the future of healthcare
Transforming tutoring: how social action is helping children excel
Pathways from volunteering to work: what’s really working?
Evidencing the impact volunteers make on outcomes
A service year – the new gap year or retirement plan?
New models of community action
This event would be perfect for policy makers, public service managers, commissioners and innovators in charities and social enterprises.
For the past twenty-five years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. Contemporary classics like The Omnivore’s Dilemma have established him as arguably the best-known and most influential writer in the US on the subject of food, farming and us. He has written sustained critiques of industrial agriculture and urged humanity to reconnect to the joys of growing, preparing and eating food. Jo Fidgen will interview Michael and take questions from the audience in a session to be recorded for an edition of Analysis on BBC Radio 4.
Aristotle was one of the greatest philosophers in the history of Western thought. But he was also a scientist — the first. More than 2,000 years ago, by the shores of a lagoon on a Greek island, he began to examine the natural world as no-one had before him, and so laid the foundations of biology. Join Armand Leroi, Professor of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, to explore Aristotle’s science — its genius, its errors and its lessons for 21st century science.
He’s jailed for 10 years now but how did a British conman sell bogus bomb detectors to Iraq for $85 million? A lack of skepticism cost the lives of an estimated 2,000 people in Baghdad. Meirion Jones tells, with the help of video clips and secret recordings, how Jim McCormick and his chums worked the scam around the world and how whistleblowers and a Newsnight team exposed the scandal. This is about multi-million-dollar bribes in Baghdad, and UK PLC turning a blind eye to boost exports, but this is also about the lethal consequences of not basing policy on evidence. Meirion will demonstrate two real bogus bomb detectors as sold by the hoaxers for up to $40,000 each and show you how to make one that works every bit as well for less than a pound.
Meirion Jones is a BBC producer who is in the unusual position of winning the 2013 Scoop of the Year award for a programme which was never broadcast – his exposure of Jimmy Savile as a paedophile. He also won the Daniel Pearl International Award for Investigative Journalism in 2010 for his reports on toxic waste dumping by Trafigura in Africa. He has exposed everything from the fixing of the 2000 US election, to how Britain helped Israel get the atom bomb, from corrupt politicians to the affair of Mark Stone and the undercover cops, as well as homeopaths and healers.
Speaker(s): Virginia Berridge, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
It is often forgotten that the First World War was a key formative period for both drug and alcohol control. The international drug control system which still operates today came about because of the war. The war also saw restrictions placed on drinking in the UK and elsewhere which had a significant impact on drinking cultures. This talk will examine those initiatives from the standpoint of their present day legacies.
Admission: Registration required.
What possible connection could there be between the English landscapes of John Constable and the austere abstracts of Piet Mondrian? This pioneer of abstraction, whose father and uncle were also painters, began making landscapes in the style of the Hague school which, in turn, was influenced by the French Barbizon school of painters. The French artists’ inspiration came from John Constable, an artist who admired the 17th-century Dutch masters.
In this talk James Heard will examine the visual language that connects traditional landscapes with the modernist imagery of Mondrian.
In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the cognitive, agricultural and scientific revolutions.
Harari invites us to not only connect past developments with present challenges, but to question our basic narratives of the world; and to imagine how humankind will use its power to create in the decades to come.
Speaker: Yuval Noah Harari, lecturer in world history, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Chair: Tom Feilden, science & environment correspondent, BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
With little certainty about which party will win the 2015 General Election many companies and public sector organisations operating in the UK are unsure about the regulatory and economic environment they will be operating in over the next five years. On September 9th 2014 Ipsos MORI is holding an event to discuss the issues that MPs themselves think will define the next parliamentary term, such as:
- Maintaining good relationships with the House of Commons and the future of lobbying in the UK
- The state of the economy and attitudes to business
- The prospect of further cuts to public spending, and whether the public is ready to accept them
- Public trust in politicians and politics
This event will provide you with valuable insight into the thoughts of politicians and a forum to discuss the findings with your peers.
In July 2011, revelations that journalists from The News of the World hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler created public outrage. But we were soon to learn this was just the tip of the iceberg. The revelations that followed revealed a scandal that has since engulfed Fleet Street, Scotland Yard and Downing Street.
The man behind that story, and the years of investigative work that came before it, was Nick Davies. In his new book Hack Attack: How The Truth Caught Up With Rupert Murdoch, Davies recounts his painstaking investigation and exposes the inside story of what went on in the newsrooms and the corridors of power.
Nick Davies will be joining us in conversation with Stewart Purvis, to talk about the investigation, the revelations and the future of press regulation. We will be asking how the press have changed in a post-Leveson world and whether they have really reformed.
Nick Davies writes investigative stories for The Guardian, and has been named Journalist of the Year, Reporter of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year in British Press Awards. He has written five books: White Lies, Murder on Ward Four, Dark Heart, School Report and Flat Earth News.
Stewart Purvis is professor of television journalism at City University. He is a former editor-in-chief and CEO of ITN, Ofcom’s Partner for Content and Standards, and author of When Reporters Cross The Line: The Heroes, the Villains, the Hackers and the Spies.
Award-winning writer/director Dan Clifton presents his new short film ‘PATIENT 39′, about a soldier who wakes from a coma with no idea of his identity or his past.
Join a panel of experts as they discuss the reliability of memory, and how important it is to consciousness and our sense of self – questions at the heart of modern neuroscience.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will expire in 2015, with mixed results. This conference takes a social and political perspective on why development fails, and how local knowledge might inform a post-MDG environment more sensitive to those structurally disadvantaged by the global economy. Within mainstream debates there has been little room for the developmental alternatives lived by people in conditions of poverty and thus no space for exploring more critical and alternative paradigms of development to the orthodox neoliberal-MDG paradigm. This conference brings together leading critical scholars on development, and activists from the global anti-poverty, buen vivir and degrowth movements.
Our ways of life, our daily routines, are not just habits of thinking and doing the same things in the same way. We embed our ways of life in the places where we do our living and we surround ourselves with others, our tribes, who act as mirrors to remind us who we are and what we are like.
It takes a lot to get us out of that, a compelling call, an overwhelming imperative. But sometimes something interrupts our routine lives. Heightened arousal and attention are the hallmarks of these times of transition, putting us under constant internal pressure to get back to normal, a new normal, as quickly as possible. During such difficult times it is often easier to fall back on the consolation of old habits, even though these will not get the job of change done.
Drawing on a variety of resources, from the wisdom literature to modern evidence-based psychotherapy, from ‘Rebecca’ to ‘The Matrix’, health psychologist Vincent Deary illuminates and explores the way habit structures and runs our daily lives, counting the necessary challenges and costs of change.
Speaker: Vincent Deary, health psychologist, Northumbria University.
With everyone talking about the future of journalism, it’s easy to forget what’s happening now. Do paywalls work? Is the industry still in crisis? Is it still too white and middle class? And where are the jobs?
Grapevine events will be inviting some of the country’s top editors for a night of questions – and answers.
The panel of editors will include:
Amol Rajan, editor of the The Independent.
Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye.
Emma Tucker, deputy editor of The Times.
Alex Miller, editor-in-chief of VICE.
Sarah Sands, editor of the Evening Standard.
This event is primarily for young journalists, who will get priority tickets. If you fall into a different category please email Maxwell Benwell and you will be put on a waiting list for tickets and given first priority once ticket sales are opened to everyone.
This event is the third in a series organised by Grapevine events.
The manufacturing of everyday products requires the use of finite resources and rare earth elements, many of which are running out.
Indium, key to the manufacture process of LCD screens and solar cells, has been reported to have little as 10-15 years left of material that is feasible to extract.
Other rare earth elements are being monopolised by Chinese companies, while materials that originate from areas of conflict are increasingly regulated, further destabilising supply chains.
There are bottle-necks in these supply chains, where one company can be responsible for the supply of as much as 75 per cent of a material, which creates high levels of risk. After use the majority of these resources are simply discarded or badly re-processed.
Reuse, Repair, Remanufacture and Recycling; the principals of the Circular Economy, provide a way to manage supply and design out the notion of waste.
For this system to work efficiently, these principals need to form part of a products life, right from the design stage – where are our products sourced from? How do we inform better design? How can we repair products? How can we disassemble them to carry out better quality recycling?
Sharing information between the different stages of design, production, use and recycling will be crucial to making the circular economy possible.
But how open can and should this data be? How can we ensure the information is accessible but also protect the processes and institutional expertise of private companies?
Please join us and our specialist panel including:
Matthew Polaine (Lead Researcher, The Circular Economy, British Telecommunications)
Nick Cliffe (Marketing Manager, Closed Loop Recycling)
Dominic Hog (Chairman, Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd)
David Gardener (Senior Project Manager, C-Tech Innovation)
This event is being organized in partnership with Rob Maslin, director of We All Design and Mark Shayler, director of Ape.
Registration opens at 9.00am with the event starting promptly at 9.30am. A networking lunch will follow the event.
Artist, filmmaker and writer Sophia Al-Maria discusses her latest body of work, Virgin with a Memory, with Omar Kholeif, curator of Fox Reading Room exhibition Whose Gaze is it Anyway?
Sophia Al-Maria rose to fame with her memoir The Girl Who Fell to Earth (Harper Collins, 2012). Both paying homage to cult cinema and a call to arms, Al-Maria’s latest project evokes a culture of B-list horror movies and rape revenge thrillers, exploring the manipulation of the Arab male gaze through video and installation.
This talk marks Al-Maria’s new commission for Whose Gaze Is It Anyway? and the launch of her new book, Virgin with a Memory: The Exhibition Tie-in (Cornerhouse and The Third Line, 2014).
Sophia Al-Maria (born in Tacoma) is an artist, writer, and filmmaker who currently lives and works in Doha, Qatar and London, UK. For the past few years, she has been carrying out research around the concept of Gulf Futurism. Her primary interests lie in the isolation of individuals via technology and reactionary Islam, the corrosive elements of consumerism and industry, and the erasure of history. Her work has been exhibited at the Gwangju Biennale, the New Museum in New York, and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Triple Canopy and Bidoun. She studied comparative literature at the American University in Cairo, and aural and visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Omar Kholeif is a writer and curator whose work focuses on issues of narrative, expanded geography and political satire for a post 9/11 world. He is Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, Senior Visiting Curator at Cornerhouse and HOME, Manchester, and Senior Editor of Ibraaz Publishing. Previously, he headed up art and media at SPACE, London and was Curator at FACT, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool. In 2012, he was a co-curator of the Liverpool Biennial. His most recent books are respectively, You Are Here: Art After the Internet, Virgin with a Memory (for Sophia Al-Maria), and Jeddah Childhood circa 1994, all published in 2014. Omar is almost a doctor, a part-time insomniac, a failed dietician, and aspires for worldwide musical domination with Lulu Abu Hamdan, with whom he will eventually record an album.
This event is part of Safar: The Festival of Popular Arab Cinema (19 – 25 Sep 2014)
Focus in on one painting with our talks in the Gallery, or explore wider themes in the collection at our in-depth theatre talks.
Speaker(s): Rosalind Stanwell-Smith, Hon. Senior Lecturer, Centre for History in Public Health
Histories of public health tend to date our modern practice to the reorganization of national and international systems following World War II. But this was only possible because of the lessons learned in previous wars, in particular the global impact of WWI. The tragic experiences of this ‘war to end all wars’ provided a major impetus to improved welfare and housing and to increasing involvement of the State in managing population health. It’s no accident that public health and military share a common vocabulary, such as campaigns, officers, surveillance, strategies – and the occasional victory. The personnel in both fields share a respect for protocols and hierarchical service – also the application of new technology. For WWI, this included rapid communications via field telephones, mobile triage and treatment units, improved water and sanitation, blood transfusion, immunisation and more efficient, although not always effective, methods of controlling the spread of infectious disease. Use of media for health promotion became widespread – and there was also the social effect of the high death toll, first use of rationing for food shortages, the increasing role of women in the workforce and a focus on the health of children and factory workers. Some of the lessons were too painful to be analysed at the time, for example the inability to control the influenza pandemic of 1918-19, because they did not fit with the rhetoric of an ever more triumphant application of public health to disease and wellbeing.
Packed with images and highlights from the military and civilian front, this lecture aims to show how contemporary public health has echoes both of the gained knowledge of this eventful period, as well as its lost innocence.
Poet in the City presents a celebration of the life and work of C.P. Cavafy.
Exploring some of the fascinating themes arising from his poetry, from the erotic to the historic, this event will celebrate a unique poetic voice. Cavafy was widely regarded as one of the most important poets of the modern age, bringing a bold honesty to the pursuit of pleasure.
Poet and translator David Constantine is joined by author and poet Louis de Bernières, in an event which features live poetry and sheds fresh light on the world of C.P. Cavafy.
Presented by Poet in the City
The seventeenth century mathematician Pierre de Fermat is mainly remembered for contributions to number theory even though he often stated his results without proof and published very little. He is particularly remembered for his ‘last theorem’ which was only proved in the mid-1990s by Andrew Wiles. He also stated other influential results, in particular Fermat’s ‘Little Theorem’ about certain large numbers which can be divided by primes. His ‘Little Theorem’ is the basis of important recent work in cryptography and internet security.
Chief Economics Commentator of the Financial Times Martin Wolf gives an insightful and timely analysis of why the financial crisis occurred, and of the radical reforms needed if we are to avoid a future repeat. At this event he will be in conversation with Adair Turner.
This event marks the publication of The Shifts and The Shocks.
Martin Wolf (@martinwolf_) is Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times, London. He has been visiting professor of Oxford and Nottingham Universities, a fellow of the World Economic Forum in Davos, and a member of the UK’s Vickers Commission on Banking, which reported in 2011. He is an honorary graduate of LSE.
Adair Turner has combined careers in business, public policy and academia. He became Chairman of the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority as the financial crisis broke in September 2008. He is now a Senior Fellow of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, and at the Centre for Financial Studies in Frankfurt. Lord Turner became a cross-bench member of the House of Lords in 2005.
This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.
Focus in on one painting with our talks in the Gallery, or explore wider themes in the collection at our in-depth theatre talks.
From bio-pics to science fiction, cinema has had a long and distinguished interest in science and scientists. But what does it take to turn scientific subject matter into a compelling film? And how do you turn scientists into compelling on-screen characters? A panel of screenwriters and directors with a track record of working with scientific themes talk about the challenges of adapting science for the screen.
In the field of influence and persuasion, Robert Cialdini is the world’s most cited living social psychologist, and the author of the seminal work ‘Influence’.
He returns to the RSA to reveal the small changes that make the biggest impact when persuading others; and to consider how we make best use of this knowledge to create positive change across organisations and industries.
Speaker: Dr Robert Cialdini, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing, Arizona State University.
The economic and political importance of central banks has been much enhanced recently. With governments unwilling or unable to use countercyclical fiscal policy, monetary policy, conventional and unconventional often is the only stabilisation tool in town.
Much of the enhanced significance of central banks is due, however, to their lender of last resort and market maker of last resort roles for financial institutions and sovereigns.
The (quasi-) fiscal roles played by central banks have also grown materially.
These quintessentially political growing roles have not been matched by greater accountability, both formal and substantive, of central banks. Possible remedies are discussed.
About the Speaker:
Willem Buiter is Chief Economist at Citi since 2010. He taught at the LSE, and the universities of Princeton, Yale, Cambridge and Bristol. He was an external MPC member from 1997 till 2000 and Chief Economist at the EBRD from 2000 till 2005.
Money was linked historically to the value of commodities such as gold in order to help preserve its value and encourage its wide and ongoing use. There are many examples of countries temporarily delinking from commodity standards. This lecture will explore the consequences of tying monetary value to commodities and why there are better choices for a government than a commodity standard.
No reservation required
You do not need to register for this free public event. It will be run on a “first come, first served” basis, so please feel free to arrive a little early to ensure that you can get a seat. Doors will be opened half an hour before the start of the event.
RSA Bossom Event on Architecture and Society
Rising from Roman and medieval streets, London rocketed into the 21st century with an iconic skyline of towering buildings. Former chief planner Professor Peter Wynne Rees will describe the transformation and rejuvenation of the City of London following the deregulation of financial services in the mid-eighties. The City of 1985 was a drab business centre, deserted in the evenings and at weekends. In 2014 it has become a vibrant place in which to do business and an attractive destination for leisure and tourism. Three decades of strategic city planning have put the “place” back into “workplace”.
Jonathan Schifferes, research lead for the RSA’s City Growth Commission will engage Professor Rees in conversation, asking whether the value created by London’s growth trickles down to residents and out to other parts of the UK – how do we reconcile the demands of the property industry with a range of issues in the public interest?
This talk will look at the impact of the First World war on the lives and research careers of some members of the Lister Institute and the Pathological Society of Great Britain. It will reveal how careers and research trajectories were temporarily diverted by war, how some were changed forever, and how some if not all of the knowledge acquired as part of the war effort developed into outcomes with solid benefits for human health.
Admission: Registration required.
Speaker(s): Gareth Millward, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
When disabled people came together to form the Disablement Income Group in 1965, they demanded better services for “the civilian disabled”. This reflected the long-standing relationship between injured war veterans and disability policy in the United Kingdom. This talk begins to explain how, from the late nineteenth century, war and disability policy have been inextricably linked; and how this had knock-on effects for those who were not directly physically or mentally scarred by conflict.
Admission: Registration required, see url below
A journey through the official emergency responses to a chemical terrorist attack
Imagine the unimaginable. A terrorist releases a nerve gas in a crowded place in your city. What would you do? What would you expect our uniformed services to do? Would you expect to see such scenes? Would you know what is going on?
If you want to find out more, we would like to invite you to join us for a public workshop organised by experts from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London that answers these and other questions.
Specifically, in the course of the workshop, we will
Talk about the risk that such an incident may actually happen in England
Discuss the different stages of the emergency response
Introduce the organisations and uniforms involved in the emergency response
Inform you about the efficacy of response measures
The event is informed by novel research about public responses to chemical, biological, radiological and/or nuclear (CBRN) emergencies undertaken by King’s College London. The research included an extensive collection of feedback by members of the public about what their main concerns would be and what they would like to know and hear from police, firefighters, ambulances and other responders in such situations. The event will present video and photographic material from an emergency exercise held in August 2013 in Birmingham, as well as include a presentation and Q&A session with a senior emergency response professional from Public Health England.
Speakers: Dr Kristian Krieger & Dr Brooke Rogers, King’s College London, Department of War Studies; Dr Richard Amlôt, Public Health England, Emergency Response Department
Sandwiches and refreshments will be provided.
When Isaac Newton died in 1727, he left behind more than ten million written words on religion, alchemy and church history. Unseen by almost anyone else during his lifetime, these private writings had the potential to undermine not just Newton’s reputation but science itself.
In this lecture, the nearly 300 year history of these papers, which have been suppressed, scattered and painstakingly reconstructed by scholars, will be shared. Full of surprising and eccentric characters, from the co-discoverer of Neptune to a Jewish Biblical scholar to renowned economist John Maynard Keynes, the story of Newton’s papers is also the story of changing attitudes towards the private and public lives of scientists, the relationship between science and religion, and the role of science in society.
Attending this event
This event, part of Open House Weekend, is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12.30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.