Our annual conference: Exchange for the Future 2009

Arrows picture for Exchange 2009

NCVO Third Sector Foresight Exchange 2009

I'm afraid you've missed your chance to get an early bird discount now but...to help you in this recession time, we are offering bursaries as well as multiple person discounts....contact Kathryn Cook to find out details.

19 May 2009

Come together...

... for insight, interaction and involvement.

Unlock the potential of the future at this unique event where you can pick up practical tips and skills to guide your organisation confidently into the future and also explore overarching trends in new and inspiring ways.

This conference will give you time and space to explore a wide range of trends influencing the sector, sparked off by key thinkers in their fields such as Adam Gordon, author of Future Savvy: Identifying Trends to Make Better Decisions, Manage Uncertainty, and Profit from Change.

You'll be able to raise issues relevant to your organisation with the experts with innovative session formats of pecha kucha and fishbowl.
What's a fishbowl when it's in a conference? picture of a fishbowlHave a look at Natalie's comment below!


Bounce your ideas off your peers and share the knowledge in the room so that you can take home insights and tips to strengthen your strategic decisions and your organisation.

This is a day when social media and new conference techniques will be used to bring the issues alive and maximise the ways in which you can learn from each other.


This flagship conference will also:

  • provide unparalleled networking and knowledge sharing opportunities, with twittering stations and innovative session formats
  • present you with unique access to experts from the worlds of foresight and the voluntary and community sector
  • open your eyes to trends shaping the VCS and what can you do with this knowledge
  • give you many tips and skills in the workshops
  • let you test out the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt from the day at our Tools Nursery.  Refined and improved after its debut in 2008, this is an interactive space where you can try out different strategy tools and games along with other participants and most importantly, win chocolate! 
  • offer cutting-edge thinking on how to approach and prepare for the future.

At times of turmoil such as these, it is more important than ever to come together, share insights and build knowledge on how the future may impact upon our sector. In studying such contexts, NCVO Foresight events have proved both useful and inspirational.

David Emerson,

Chief Executive, Association of Charitable Foundations

Book a place now

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Kathryn, the Third Sector Foresight Events, Communications and Administration assistant.


Last updated at 12:53 Wed 29/Apr/09.

Recent discussion

How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?Join the discussion!

Author Comment
Kathryn's picture


Third Sector Foresight

Have you ever felt you’re having one of those days where everything goes wrong? When you feel like you might as well scrap all your best laid plans?

A friend’s last-minute holiday planning disaster has reminded me of a Hebrew saying:“Man plans and God laughs”.

I think it perfectly captures the way in which you can prepare yourself for the future and then something can come up which throws all your plans off course. With the recession I think there’s a lot of people out there feeling that.

Which makes me even keener to hear what Adam Gordon will have to say at our Foresight exchange. Author of Future Savvy, he recognises that any forecasting is only a best guess attempt but emphasises the need to try this, and to feed your forecast with the best possible information.

The author of a book reviewed as ‘brilliant’ ‘very very interesting’ and other similar reviews will be an interesting man to speak to!

Natalie's picture


Third Sector Foresight

The benefits of being a fish

I think this Foresight event could potentially contribute to shifts in the way people work with each other; not just in the way they run meetings but also in terms of opening up thinking about how meetings could be run. In times such as a recession there is a danger that people will batten down the hatches and limit their thinking to tried and tested ways of doing things. Whilst there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, it can mean people are also closing down their thinking and that can mean they miss opportunities. Much is said of the innovation that can come out of tight times – we’ve often discussed on this site the resourcefulness that is seen in developing countries, where innovative uses are found for everyday objects.

The Foresight Exchange will support people in seeing the potential in the future and making sure their organisation is ready for it. One of the ways we’re doing this is by rethinking the conference format. At first glance, it’s pretty standard: opening and closing main sessions, workshops morning and afternoon but dig a little deeper and you uncover the world of pecha kucha and fishbowls.

You may already be familiar with these – in which case I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts! But if not, read on! They are both ways which break down the barriers between the speakers and the audience and draw on the knowledge of those attending.

With a fishbowl event, any member of the audience can go up and occupy a seat whereby they have the same right to speak as a ‘keynote speaker’. The idea is that there is a spare seat in the row, which must always be maintained. So if someone from our audience joins in, then someone from the row of seats has to join in the audience. This means there will always be a flow of individuals between the audience and those speaking.

Previous participants have described the fish bowl format as “an interesting and effective way of running a forum in a large group” -see here for more information.

Do you think this sounds interesting? Have you come across anything like this before?

Sarah's picture


Third Sector Foresight

Tight budget? Don’t forget there are bursaries available for small organisations and trustees. Book now!

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