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Making innovation work for good. T:@inspirechilli

Thursday 12 July 2012

Doing it, whichever way we can

Doing it Differently was my 12th annual Foyer Federation conference at Aston University, and reflected the progress made in the Foyer network over the last couple of years as Advantaged Thinking and Open Talent begin to be expressed in ever more exciting ways.  Whatever the very real impact of the economic recession on young people and frontline services, there is certainly no recession in ideas here.  Foyers are claiming their rightful place as the ‘militant optimists’ of the third sector.

 Watching Independent Futures use drama and performance to give the audience an insight into how their Open Talent ‘Connect Yourself’ programme had transformed the lives of young people and staff, seemed to me to capture the essence of the two days: not just ‘doing it differently’ but bringing the spirit of Open Talent into life. With passion, with confidence.

The conference innovation exhibition was the spirit of adventure to spot, develop and promote young people’s talents for the world of work ahead.

Our keynote speaker Nick Booth was the spirit of digital revolution, harnessing the power of social capital through social media.  

Young People in Governance was the spirit of young people’s influence, highlighting that something as essential as Foyer Accreditation was developed only because young people were given the platform to clarify its priority in the early days of the Foyer movement. 

Stephen Cox from Peter Cruddas Foundation was the spirit of positive fundraising, creating networks and relationships based around what we are good at, what we believe in, what we have to offer.

The evening entertainment was a spirited reminder that we could and should find a way for an intelligent use of comedy to ‘stand up’ to Disadvantage by exposing its stereotypes and absurdities.

Open Space and World Café sessions were the spirit of collaborative inquiry and dialogue, while the C'arl Miller show' was the spirit of energy to recharge and focus our vision.

My little magic routine was the spirit of creative dreaming, to find the advantaged thinkers and convert the disadvantaged thinkers so we can build an Open Talent team around the world.
Finally, the young person who took the microphone at the end of the conference and thanked everyone for the impact on her life, was the spirit of recognition and celebration.

When the speaking is done, when we return to the challenges that define us all, it is the spirit of Open Talent that remains our source for future solutions.  Doing it, whichever way we can. 
Where will you be in July 2013?

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