Social innovation skills share

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 10:30am to 3:30pm

We are now fully booked for this event. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please get in touch with Lisa Adlington:

Realising social innovation through community-university collaboration

Do you have expertise in social innovation or experience of community-university partnerships? Or are you keen to learn more about these approaches?

Join the NCCPE on Thursday 31st May to explore ‘what works’ in this important but challenging area. The event will run from 10:30 to 15:30 at NCVO in London.

HEFCE Social Innovation pilot

An important backdrop for the event is a HEFCE funded pilot project (2016-17) to stimulate social innovation, which the NCCPE helped to coordinate. As this activity draws to a close, the NCCPE is keen to invite interested parties to join us to explore ‘what works’ in social innovation. 

Social innovation, universities and communities

Social innovation is a helpful way to describe what can happen when communities and universities work together to build powerful new knowledge and apply it for social good: combining expertise from different places, and valuing the importance of mutual benefit, the approach can create lasting change.

Approaches to developing community-university collaborations are many and varied, including creating networks; matchmaking processes; approaches to ‘incubating’ collaborations; the involvement of knowledge brokers, etc. There is a growing body of knowledge about the barriers to this kind of collaboration, including the difficulties of finding the right collaborators in the first place; the struggle to avoid ‘one-sidedness’ and realise genuine mutual benefit; the friction caused by delays due to complex university systems and processes; and the challenge of navigating very different professional cultures and identities.

With increasing pressures on universities to realise ‘impactful’ research that makes a difference and to demonstrate their commitment to social inclusion, and with austerity continuing to exert huge pressure on civil society, now is a good time to take stock of how these barriers can be addressed and how effective approaches can be ‘scaled up’ and shared.

Skills share event

This event will bring together a range of different projects which have developed effective approaches to share how they work, and to demonstrate some of the resources and tools they have created.

The event is aimed at people who are keen to learn about the different ways community-university partnerships can be developed to realise social innovation. You may be community partner keen to work more closely with universities; a public engagement professional working in a university setting; a researcher keen to explore new methods and ways of working; or a funder, keen to understand better how to invest in productive projects.

If you would like to attend the event, or have an approach that you would like to share, please complete the booking form.

Following the event we will publish a short guide that signposts people to useful resources and learning about ‘what works’.

For any enquiries, please contact