Board member news

Forward thinking innovation and engagement

It was wonderful to see so many staff at Main Building yesterday for the internal launch of our flagship engagement projects. Some of you were simply finding out more about our plans to help transform communities in Wales and further afield, while others wanted to know how they could get involved. The five projects aim to improve health, improve education and wellbeing, reduce inequality and tackle poverty, among other goals. Read more about how you can help the flagship projects to succeed. These projects were highlighted at the National engagement conference – Engage 2014 – in Bristol earlier this month (3-4 December). The CAER Heritage project was one of the first key note speeches with a joint presentation from Dr Dave Wyatt (SHARE) and his community partner ACE (Action in Caerau and Ely) and a local resident celebrating their success at winning the overall award from the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement Award this year. Workshops for this, the RCUK funded Schools Engagement project and the five flagship engagement projects were also reported as being full to overflowing due to the interest in our work. It was also interesting to hear about HEFCE’s presentation by their Chief Executive, Madeline Atkins who highlighted the direction of travel for universities in England to be anchors of the communities and as developers of societal and economic benefits as ‘place-makers’. She stressed the importance of grand challenges in driving the agenda around public engagement and how HEFCE’s funding is forcing change in this area. She encouraged universities to work with local schools, around the local skills agenda, thinking about social innovation and social enterprise and local economic growth. In fact, she could have been talking about Cardiff University’s work within the Innovation System and the flagship engagement projects. To top it all, she referenced Cardiff University’s work on CAER and the Social Sciences Park as being forward thinking and Wales being ahead of the game compared to England. Cardiff University definitely made its mark.