Birmingham, 5-6th February

Talk to Me

Theme: Relationships

You say losing control, we say letting go

Fun Palaces started off as a small idea for a one-off celebration of community-led culture in 2014. Then it changed. To date there have been 934 Fun Palaces made by approximately 33,000 local people with 450,000 hands-on participants in 15 nations. Learn how a tiny team of three part time people who spend the majority of their time saying ‘yes’ to total strangers, let go from the beginning to spark a national movement for community at the heart of culture and culture at the heart of community, led by, for and with local people.

Theme: Relationships

Wisdom from the street: everything you thought you knew about tackling homelessness is wrong

In 2011, the Mayday Trust decided to do something new. They listened to people’s experiences and feelings about homelessness services and as a result Mayday have transformed every aspect of its work and mission from a traditional supported housing charity, to a national influencer for systemic change for people going through tough times. 

The Personal Transition Services (PTS) is a radically new approach that is spreading across the UK – tackling homelessness and other tough times, such as leaving care, coming off drugs or alcohol, coming out of prison or psychiatric hospital.  So what is PTS and how does it work? How did they do it? More importantly, how can you?

Paula Harriott
Head of Prisoner Involvement, Prison Reform Trust

Kevin Heffernan
North Midlands Health & Justice Team, NHS England

Sameer Iqbal
Prison Liaison Service

Jay Arnold
Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health, NHS Foundation

Theme: Power

Why employment of those with lived experience is the only way to really shift power: and how we did it

Coproduction can easily become consultation and never truly challenge the power dynamic. It may even reinforce it by ticking the box of ’service user involvement’. In the North Midlands NHS England Health and Justice Team they weren’t prepared to let that happen. So, they started employing ex-prisoners and progressing them up the ranks not because of their professional skills but because of the value of their lived experience, with exciting results. It goes without saying it wasn’t easy, not least because it truly challenged the established culture, structure and set of processes. What were these challenges and how did they overcome them? What were the results? What can you learn and apply from their experience?

Andre Anderson
Freedom & Balance

Theme: Relationships

How to use fiction thinking in activism

This session looks at how to connect to a reality that is yet to exist. Walk with Andre through a 90 minute journey to help you step into the future using your imagination and personal experience.

Ian Borges
SEMCO Style Institute

Theme: Power

Organising wisely around humans instead of smartly around structures and procedures.

Semco Partners is a large Brazilian company best known for scaled, rapid growth attributed to its radical form of industrial democracy – an arrangement which involves workers making decisions and having the final, decisive say over all the big decisions including organisational design and hierarchy. The Semco Style Institute was created to share its learning and philosophy to others. This is the place to learn some of the practicalities of the Semco Style and about how you might organise wisely around humans instead of smartly around structures and procedures

Help Me

Theme: Power

Mission before preservation: taking a chainsaw to traditional models of governance to unleash a movement

Camerados is a movement of people that believe the answer to our problems is each other. It started with a simple but powerful idea: that friendships (however loosely defined) and a sense of purpose could help us all beat tough times; that isolation and loneliness underlie the big hairy problems in society (poor mental and physical health, addiction, homelessness, community tension).  The Association of Camerados is the tiny team powering the global movement.  They are exploring a radical new approach to accountability, one that is designed to put mission before preservation, that challenges the traditional power dynamic of the organisation over the people it serves, that is led by core principles not in opposition to them.  They’re on this journey already, they want to tell you all about it and then they need your help, challenge and ideas to take it further.

Theme: Power

From Rochdale, to Rwanda, to … redundant?

175 years ago we forged a community lead movement based on values of self-help, equality, honest and solidarity. It spread all over the globe touching the lives of billions. But something has gone wrong in the Birthplace of the co-operative movement. We are still starting co-ops in diverse sectors from community shops to creative industries but few of these are in the very communities that gave birth to us, to meet their needs. This session will be scary… for us… We want to share with you what we do, crucially, we want you to critique us, challenge us and ultimately change us so we can reconnect to the working class communities like Rochdale where we belong.

Teach Me

Guy Pattison
CEO, Stronger Stories

Theme: Relationships

Whose Story is it Anyway?

We’re hardwired to use stories to make sense of the world, share ideas and find new ways to work together. But today, storytelling power is held by the 1% and overwhelmingly used to promote ideas that are bad for us. Join Stronger Stories – a movement of storytellers excited about the abundance of good ideas that can have a positive impact on the world – to learn a new and free way to get your good idea the attention it deserves. 

Plenary Sessions

To Be Announced Soon-watch this space