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Innovation & Transformation: book your place!

11 September 2012

13-14 November 2012 and 29 January 2013 : Prospero House, London

Our autumn/winter conference offers participants opportunities to engage with current change initiatives, network with others grappling with change, develop and refine new project ideas and discuss them with representatives of funders. It also brings together guest contributors who can unlock learning from innovation and efficiency in different sectors and unlock thinking about transformation and change. For more information on our featured workshops and posters visit

Here’s a first glimpse of Who’s who? amongst our guest contributors.

SpeakersProfessor Ian Diamond is principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Aberdeen and led UUK’s Efficiency and Modernisation Taskforce. His opening remarks he reflect on progress in efficiency initiatives since publication in September 2011 of ‘The Diamond Report’.

John Dunnion is a systems thinking consultant applying the Vanguard Method in a range of sectors, working recently with Leicester University to help improve the way they administer distance learning provision. He is a critic of ‘command and control’ thinking of which targets, functionalization of work, inspection, shared services and benchmarking are all common features. John provokes us to study organisations as ‘systems’ and change the way we think about the design and management of work – for better services at lower cost.

Sonia Sodha is head of strategy, policy and business engagement at the Social Research Unit, Dartington and was formerly a senior policy adviser to Ed Milliband. She has successfully lobbied MPs and ministers for progressive change to improve services, particularly those for young people and children. Sonia is a supporter of the use of ‘soft’ measures in impact measurement and voices her critique of other approaches in her blog ( She shares her views on using evidence to support innovation and change, and in not re-inventing wheels.

Matthew Taylor is chief executive of the RSA. Prior to his appointment in 2006, he was chief policy adviser on political strategy to the then Prime Minister Tony Blair. A frequent commentator on policy and political issues, and regular blogger ( he illustrates lessons learned from innovation and change initiatives – or the lack of them - with rich analogies that stimulate reflection on how we might approach change and generate innovation in our own environments.

Professor Damian Hughes is the founder of The LiquidThinker Ltd and a professor in organisational psychology and change at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the author of six best-selling books including Liquid Leadership, How to Change Absolutely Anything and The Survival Guide to Change. A sports psychologist and former Manchester United football coach, as HR director for Unilever, he led a turnaround in performance at the UK’s oldest manufacturing site at Port Sunlight, and has carried out similar work overseas. He inspires and energises participants to think about how they think, to generate new ideas and identify approaches for successful change environments and mindsets.

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