Dr Rod Dacombe
Rod is Lecturer in Politics in the Department of Political Economy, King’s College, London. A political scientist with an interdisciplinary background, his work focuses on civic participation and its importance to both democracy and effective public policy. He address the problems caused by inequalities in civic life, and follows a research programme that aims to understand the ways in which social problems can be resolved through connecting the expertise and commitment of the public together with stakeholders and decision-makers from across public agencies, the market and the voluntary and community sector.
Michelle Lawrence: Link Up (UK)
Michelle started her career in marketing, then moved into the voluntary sector in 1996, first of all working for Centrepoint – the youth homelessness charity – in charge of their corporate and community fundraising team. From this she worked as a freelance consultant, during which time she successfully capacity built and developed income streams for a number of charities.
Since 2005, she has focused her attentions on issues around interfaith and citizenship, running programmes to build bridges between different community groups. In 2012 she set up Link Up (UK) a charity working to combat racism and prejudice, which is developing a range of initiatives that look at providing innovative solutions to overcoming misconceptions and prejudice towards different minority groups.
Katy Vanden: Cap-a-Pie
Katy is a Producer at Cap-a-Pie, an organisation which brings together theatre makers and communities to co-create performances, and foster learning and thinking through a democratic creative process. The company has been working in participatory contexts with communities and making professional work for audiences in the North East of England and beyond since 1996. Since 2012 Cap-a-Pie has been partnering and co-creating with academic researchers, audiences and communities to embed theatre and the creative arts within all stages of the research process to enable community and public participation.
Dr Louise Brown: University of Bath
Louise Brown is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Bath. She has extensive experience of researching, teaching, publishing and experimenting with social innovation in the field of health and social care. Over the last ten years Louise has worked specifically on the implementation of social innovation, exploring key challenges within this process such as; how to select which ideas are most likely to succeed, how organisation’s manage risk whilst experimenting, what methods of evaluation work best to generate evidence at different stages of the innovation cycle, how to evidence or measure social impact, how to scale up an innovation beyond the pilot phase and how to manage local or cultural contexts when innovations transfer from one place or country to another? She is currently working in China assisting the Chinese government and Save the Children with the development and implementation of innovative models of practice in the field of child protection. She holds the position of Visiting Scholar at Sun Yat-sen University. She has published extensively in this field and has recently been commissioned by Hefce to assist with the evaluation of their Social Innovation programme.