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3rd – 5th July 2017
The Barbican

Innovation: not (just) beanbags and wacky ideas

: Klara Wertheim

Klara Wertheim, Innovation Development Manager, NSPCC explains why innovation is about more than just beanbags - and how you can use research, insight, strategy and new processes.

Back in 2015, when I announced that I was moving away from events to work in innovation, the responses ranged from, “what exactly is innovation?” to “I can totally imagine you sitting on beanbags coming up with crazy ideas.”

After vehemently denying that the latter had anything to do with innovation, three months down the line and an invitation to my first induction at the NSPCC came through on email – ‘Location: 4th floor beanbags’. 

But whilst there have been meetings and idea generation sessions over the last year which have involved a beanbag or two, I can stick firmly to my original line - that people sitting around coming up with ideas is only a really small part of what innovation actually means day to day. Many of you who work in fundraising organisations are aware of this, of course, but it’s still not always clear how innovation can really have an impact for your organisation.

I’m leading a session at this year’s Fundraising Convention which is about exactly that – what innovation really is and how to make it work in real life, at charities of all shapes and sizes. Matt Smith from Marie Curie and Lily Elizabeth Davies from Chickenshed will be my experienced co-speakers for this interactive session, and we’d love you to come and get involved to see how innovation can help you achieve fundraising excellence.

What can you expect? Well, idea-generation techniques will be in there, of course – great ideas are gold dust! But we’ll also cover other vital areas such as research and insight, strategy, the new product development process, stakeholder management and moving ideas to launch. We’ve got some suggestions on how you can embed a culture of innovation at your organisation, and how to avoid some classic pitfalls.

This is in the final slot of the convention on Wednesday afternoon, so rather than an hour of us speakers chatting at you from the stage, you can expect to get involved in some frank discussions about everyone’s experiences and perceptions of innovation too.

All in all, we hope the session helps you end the convention on a high, feeling inspired and armed with new tools as you go back to work the next day – whether you’re going back to a desk, a beanbag or something else. See you there!

Klara Wertheim, Innovation Development Manager, NSPCC


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