In December, University of Salford attended Engage Online Conference 2022 organised by National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). It was a great opportunity for our new Public and Community Engagement Officer to connect with people in similar roles nationally to find out more about the current contexts for engagement, share and celebrate practice and explore common challenges. The programme was full of opportunities to connect through thought-provoking plenaries, interactive workshops, and virtual networking.
It was interesting to explore some of the policies and approaches that are setting directions for the future of engagement involving universities. Taking part in the Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement – Skills and Recognition workshop was a great way to explore our collective understanding of the skills these roles require and how they can be recognised. This session took the Praxis Auril KE Skills Framework as its starting point.
Over lunch it was inspiring to explore the online poster party which presented an over view of exciting engagement projects from various other University engagement teams taking part in the conference. They are available for you to take a look here: Engage Padlet board
The day was rounded up with a plenary session from David Sweeney, Professor of Research Policy at University of Birmingham, and former chief executive of Research England, and who led the development of the Research Excellence Framework, championed impact and engagement, and navigated the intensely turbulent waters at the interface between government, funding bodies, universities and wider society.
Another important part of the Engage Online 2022, was the opportunity for delegates to explore current the topics and challenges that mattered to them. You can explore the topics in the link below. Delegates voted to decide which ones were discussed and the proposers chaired break out groups to explore the topic in more depth. Explore the Padlet board here.
You can catch up with the final plenary session from Engage Live which features challenging and provocative perspectives on the future of engagement and knowledge creation. Steven Hill (Research England) and Nick Ishmael-Perkins (The International Science Council) help us to reimagine our practice in rapidly changing and uncertain times. Stream it here.
We are already looking forward to attending the next Engage conference and other events run by NCCPE this year. Find out more about their great work here: NCCPE (publicengagement.ac.uk).