Time well spent

It's always hard to justify time away from the endless stream of catch up activities, especially when you are in a particularly busy period, but it has to be said that the trip to Newcastle was well worth it. A busy day and every minute was made to count. Strong key note speakers and subjects, well managed workshops with useful case studies and thought provoking content. 

Two highlights

I really enjoyed Jenni Field's IC session linking neuroscience and communications. The content offered coherent explanation around behaviours at work, how we can be more persuasive when presenting argument and why we need to do that, and challenged the effectiveness of some of the things that we think improve our working environment, such as open plan working. The four horsemen of procrastination resonated with a lot of us!


The stand out key note was Paul Irwin of TryLife TV. Paul shared his fascinating and remarkable story in a very matter of fact and modest way. Given the complexity and the challenging nature of his subject material and the difficulties of engaging with young people, often who see themselves as marginalised within their own communities what Paul and his small team have, and continue to achieve, is nothing short of astounding.

We often hear talk of initiatives to tackle issues, large sums of money being ploughed into schemes aimed, with the best of intentions, to make significant and lasting change. All too often those initiatives are short-lived and limited in their impact. In Paul there is an individual who with an idea and few resources available to him recognised the power within those young people directly engaged with and affected by the issues. Paul and his small team gave them the means to confront issues on their terms and in doing so offered the opportunity to create the alternative solutions they recognised they needed. It is a lesson in a community centred approach where many of the answers come from within. Paul's story is a great example of how when those affected by a problem take ownership of it, rather than expecting or having a solution visited upon them, is a far better way to get results and lasting meaningful change. Yes, the social media stats are staggering, but what is far more important is the difference it is making.

Thanks to CIPR NE

Finally, it was great to catch up with colleagues and friends in the North East group and a massive thanks to the CIPR North East committee for putting on such a worthwhile and well run event.

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