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 have called 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 and share practice.  

Read on to find out more and book tickets to 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

Join the Engage 2021 Unconference and Exhibition

Running from Thursday 11th October - Friday 12th November, the Engage Unconference is being led by the engagement community for the engagement community, with the aim of developing actionable outcomes that support meaningful change for the sector.

Join interactive workshops, thought-provoking discussions and live chats, and experience a diversity of practices through multimedia exhibits. The Unconference and Exhibition are centred around the themes our community have told us are important to them. These include equality, diversity and inclusion, redistribution of power, effective leadership, inclusive online engagement, civic engagement and moving beyond hero stories.

There are a wealth of topics, issues and formats available, tailored around how you like to engage – whether that’s really getting your teeth into a discussion, sharing your practice or sitting back to listen and reflect. 

Click the button below to view the Unconference programme. We will be announcing further dates shortly so do check back in.  

Explore the Unconference programme 

Our exhibition is available throughout the month so you can pop to explore whenever you like! We will also be hosting live sessions with some of the exhibitors every Wednesday from 27th October, more details coming shortly.

Experience the Exhibition: Part 1
Experience the Exhibition: Part 2

We hope you can join us to celebrate and learn from a diversity of engagement practices, and to create conversations and actions that will help to inform new directions for public engagement. 

Book your place for the Engage Conference

This year’s Engage Conference will provide the opportunity for all those invested in public engagement within a higher education context to come together and be inspired, challenged and encouraged to collectively shape ideas for change.

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. 

Get your tickets for Engage 2021

Ideas and outcomes developed during the Unconference will be shared as part of the Engage Conference, and we will be announcing the programme soon. Watch this space!

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.