The Social Change Project: Events

The Social Change Project is hosting a series of events to address the ‘burning issues’ identified by our community of practice.

We want to bring together people with an interest in or experience of the theme to explore emerging questions, their implications and to make recommendations for the future.

If you are interested in joining an event please contact

Current events

Tuesday 27th February, 16:30 – 18:30

We have been running a series of events on our ‘burning issues’, which range from digital tools, to governance or creativity for social change. Our final event in this series focuses on the role of young people in social change. We want to invite you to explore the following questions with us:

  1. How engaged are young people in social change currently?
  2. To what extent do organisations facilitate young people’s engagement in social change effectively, or do they get in the way?
  3. To what extent are young people engaging in social change in new or different ways?
  4. How can we better ensure that young people’s voices are heard?
  5. What can we learn from young people about the future of social change?

We hope to have a balance of both young people (aged 16-25) and those working with young people at the event, for a wide-ranging discussion.

Places are limited so if you would like to attend, get in touch:

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 50 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB

Previous events

Through our summer workshops we identified a need for further interrogation of digital tools and social change. We do not have a fixed idea of how the conversation will develop on the day, but we are mindful of questions such as:

What is the current state of play with digital tools and social change?

How have digital tools impacted the work of social change?

What is the future of digital tools for social change?

What part do human relationships and connection play in today’s digitally enabled world?

To what extent has digital technology changed everything?

The Social Change Project acknowledges how powerful creativity can be in engaging audiences and in shifting attitudes. One example, The Craftivist Collective use craft to change the world with deliberate, thoughtful actions to great effect with notable success including the M&S Living Wage campaign.

Event hosts Cardboard Citizens tell stories through theatre and, as well as creating personal change for the most vulnerable in society through performing arts, uses ‘Forum Theatre’ to drive attitudinal and social change. Their recent tour ‘CATHY’ took audiences ideas for laws to the House of Lords and Labour Party Conference, and they were part of the coalition which helped to see the successful passage of the Homelessness Reduction Bill into law.

In this event, we intend to explore the role of creativity in social change. With sharings from Cardboard Citizens’ member performers (all with their own experience of homelessness).

Many successful instances of social change are not the result of one person or entity – it is the result of efforts across people and groups. Whether formal coalitions or informal collaborations working together can bring about change. We intend to dig deeper into this issue to look at questions such as:

  • What role can different sorts of organisations play in the social change eco-system?
  • What does it mean to be a partner in a ’white-labelled’ campaign?
  • How can organisations work together towards common goals without expending too much energy just maintaining the partnerships?
  • What does this mean for attribution, satisfying funders and protecting fundraising efforts?

Legal changes have the potential generate major social and cultural transformations. Our aim at this event is to bring together key thinkers and actors with a particular interest in using the law to bring about social change to explore emerging issues and their implications. This will be an opportunity to share your experiences and contribute to current thinking on this topic with opening remarks by Jolyon Maugham QC. We do not have a fixed idea of how the conversation will develop on the day, but we are mindful of questions such as:

  • How might better use of the law and human rights lead to social change?
  • How are we currently making use of the law?
  • What does the future use of the law look like for social change?

Through our summer workshops we identified a need for more discussion on ethics and social change. We do not have a fixed idea of how the conversation will develop on the day, but we are mindful of questions such as:

The role of ethics and values in driving change – our sense of right and wrong and moral purpose.

Fake news and data manipulation – what are the ethical limits we should observe in campaigns? And how do we ensure others comply?

How do we ensure inclusivity and integrity in our work?

Accountability – how do campaigning organisations want to be held accountable for their ethics?

Through our summer workshops we identified a need a closer look at how governance models and organisational structures and help and hinder the change-making process. We do not have a fixed idea of how the conversation will develop on the day, but we are mindful of questions such as:

Do our structures and cultures allow us to be as effective as we can be?

Which organisational and governance models best support effective change-making?

What difference do different legal entities make to how we think and act?

Are our organisations fit for purpose? Is the charity a model fit for the future?

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SMK TeamThe Social Change Project: Events