University College London Union

Creating Connections

Creating Connections 9
Thursday 5th February 6 - 8pm, UCL Main Quad Events Venue, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT

Nearest Tube Stations: Euston Square / Euston / Warren Street


Creating Connections is our regular networking event that brings together university staff and postgraduate students with representatives from community organisations, charities, residents’ groups, social enterprises and statutory organisations. The evening is a mixture of themed discussions in small groups with more informal hob-nobbing; the aim is to find areas of common interest and collaborative working.

Our February event will have a particular focus on the commissioning of public services. It will be of value to anyone interested in how the higher education and the voluntary & community sectors can:

  • Develop new ideas for public services
  • Work together to bid for contracts
  • Devise ways to evaluate their work and show its value to funders
  • Learn from each other about involvement of  service users and the wider public in their work
  • Discuss social entrepreneurship and its role in developing new services
  • Think about the politics and economics of commissioning

Our themes will include:

  1. Criminal Justice / Rights & Advice services
  2. Health
  3. Education
  4. Innovation
  5. Social Enterprise
  6. The changing face of commissioning

Note that the event is a short networking event for people interested in these issues – a starting point for finding like-minded people you might want to collaborate with. It’s intended for experts, beginners and everyone in between. It’s not a conference and there won’t be long plenary speeches or workshops!

Light refreshments will be provided.

If you’ve any questions or comments about the event, contact  John Braime at UCLU Volunteering Services Unit (j.braime@ucl.ac.uk)

Creating Connections 9 is organised by UCL’s Public Engagement Unit, UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit, UCL Business and Camden Shares.

The event is in collaboration with The London Social Innovation Collective, a UCL, King’s College London and London Business School network supported by UnLtd HEFCE SEE Change programme. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/LondonSocialInnovationCollective and feel free to follow @LondonSIC on Twitter.  

Creating Connections 9 logos

Our next Creating Connections East will take place in April or May.

What people said about the previous Creating Connections:

‘Creating Connections fills a very important need, making UCL more accessible to our local communities and helping staff and students to connect to people with real needs for research and analysis. The events are professionally organised but feel friendly and informal. As a result of meeting people at Creative Connections I have become part of a network of community groups who are working to improve sustainability in Camden.’
Dr. Sarah Bell, UCL Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering

‘I always find Creating Connections events to be a fun and stimulating way of meeting new people with similar interests in a wide range of topics.  Bringing practitioners and researchers together is all too rare, but worthwhile.  The connections I’ve made aren’t always what I expected, but have always been useful.’
Kevin Nunan, Office Manager, Volunteer Action Camden

‘I have been to almost  all of the Creating Connections events. It is a great platform to continue to nurture existing networks and relationships as well as to create new ones. For me, it is about building a learning community, encouraging trust and mutual support and rewarding collaborative innovations to obtain greater synergistic outcomes over time.’
Dr. Marina Chang, UCL Advances

‘The Creating Connections event was an inspired approach to opening up differing worlds to the opportunities to be found within collaboration and partnership working. It was definitely worth my time in attending and I would recommend it to colleagues.’
Sarah Elie, Executive Director, Somers Town Community Association

Creating connection events have facilitated invaluable and inspiring encounters with the Camden community in the widest sense. My work has benefitted hugely from the insights of organisations and individuals from very diverse backgrounds who I would have never met otherwise. John and his colleagues manage to set the mood for very productive yet fun networking events discussing themes that are always perfectly chosen and pertinent to issues that really matter.’
Shaparak Rahimi, Camden Borough Council

Having attended the Creating Connections event in more than one capacity (as someone working for an external infrastructure organisation attending so as to make links with UCL and others, then from inside UCL for the reverse reason) I can say it’s the most effective and well organised networking event that I’ve been to. The well organised format, the effort put into communications before and after the event, the format of the evening, the follow-up and the supply of bio’s for attendees along with contact information, all go to make this the most efficient time spent networking in this sector. A universally positive and effective opportunity created entirely because of the effort and expertise of the staff at the VSU.’
Jack Wratten, UCL Advances and Citrus Saturdays

‘Creating Connections provided a great forum to meet with community representatives, third sector organisations and like-minded academics. The connections I made were really useful in honing down which community organisations might be interested in partnering with our research and thinking about how to involve particular groups in different aspects of our research programme.’
Dr Helen Chatterjee, Deputy Director , UCL Museums & Collections

‘The event allowed UCL researchers to learn more about the needs of Camden and opened new relationships to turn ideas into high impact projects. It was the first step of a fascinating journey to match UCL resources to the needs of the community.’ Bernardo Alvares, PhD Student, Department of Immunology.

‘The Creating Connections event was instrumental in putting our group in contact with Camden community centres.  In this way, we exchanged contact addresses and were able to set up visits.  So far we have visited three centres:  St. Pancras, Somers Town, and Mary Ward. Each reaches different segments of the community and will require different sorts of engagement, and we are in the process of designing and developing small workshops and ‘learning packages’ that will serve as ‘tasters’ to give us feedback concerning what works best, where.’ Professor Elizabeth Graham, Professor of Mesoamerican Archaeology, UCL

Follow Creating Connections on Twitter