Engage Conference 2021: Shaping ideas for change

Join us for Engage Conference 2021 to consider and reshape the role of public engagement in the face of extraordinary global change. 

The Engage Conference will be online on the 1st and 2nd December 2021

This year we are calling on the engagement community to join us in shaping ideas for change, helping us to reframe the role of public engagement in the future of higher education and society. We will reflect on the issues we have collectively faced over the last 18 months - how the pandemic, tragedies, inequalities, movements and grass-roots activism of the last 18 months has disrupted the knowledge sectors significantly, but also opened up new opportunities to learn and re-focus the role of universities.

As well as a mix of inspirational plenaries, interactive workshops and networking opportunities, we will be running the Engage ‘Unconference’ for the first time – a plethora of activities, bringing our community together in the weeks leading up to Engage to workshop ideas for change. There will also be an opportunity to share engagement practice in the Engage Exhibition.

Ticket prices are £75 (+VAT) for Public Engagement Professional (PEP) Network Members and a £95 early bird cost (+VAT) for non-members. The ticket will grant you access to all the content over the two days. Find out more about our PEP Network and how to join. 

We will not be launching the programme until October but will be posting teasers over the next few months, as well as further calls to get involved in shaping the programme. Watch this space! 

Get your tickets for Engage 2021

The workshops and sessions were inspiring and made me think about new and different ways of engaging audiences. The conference has also offered me an opportunity to reflect on my practice
Engage 2020 Delegate

Help us to shape the themes, ideas and content

We are currently calling for ideas for themes to discuss and action. Themes need to be:

  • Based on a current opportunity, challenge or need, relatied to public engagement involving universities.
  • Actionable – have the potential to lead to useful action (on an individual, institutional, or sector wide basis).
  • Relevant to the current context.

Share, rate and discuss ideas for themes on the Engage padlet board
We will also be looking for people to support the Unconference including:

  • Theme leaders: are you happy to champion a theme, and be its spokesperson?
  • Facilitators: are you great at facilitating discussions, and ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to contribute? Are you great at supporting a process, ensuring it leads to effective outcomes?
  • Resource people: do you have expert knowledge of a topic that you would like to share? Do you have significant experience relating to the themes, and would you be prepared to be drawn on as a resource for the unconference groups?

We we be putting out a call for these roles once the final themes have been decided.

What to expect from Engage 2021

Engage 2021 has been inspired by feedback from previous delegates. We hope that we have a designed an approach that enables delegates to tailor a conference that meets their preferred ways to engage. Delegates can choose to:

  • Take time to explore a topic thoroughly, and explore actions that can be taken as a consequence of the discussions.
  • Learn from a diversity of practices, including things that haven’t gone so well.
  • Sit back and listen to provocative speakers, whose insights provide opportunities for reflection and new thinking. Join in by asking questions, or sit back and enjoy hearing what others are asking.
  • Network with new and old colleagues in a relaxed and informal way.
  • Share their work in the exhibition.

Still not sure what to expect from Engage 2021? Find out more in our blog and catch up on the highlights from last year's conference

Browse through a rich selection of engaging content including plenaries, live-streamed discussions, the Engage Watermark Awards, Open Mic Night, and special festival playlists, sharing a range of engagement stories, perspectives and practice.