Change Convention 2019

By 8th May 2019 April 28th, 2020 Events, News
Corra Foundation’s 2019 Change Convention took place on Thursday 28th March in Edinburgh. The event focussed on those using their voice as a tool to challenge systems, power and highlight the possibilities of people led social change. The conversations continued over on social media with the hashtag #LetsChangeThat, the highlights from the day are captured here

              • The event was free to attend and open to those with an interest in social change.The Change Convention was supported by


              a social enterprise run by Corra with a commitment to reinvesting surplus back into the voluntary sector.


      Corra Foundation is committed to making a difference to people and communities in Scotland. Following The Change Convention participants were invited to complete an evaluation form to help Corra learn and develop future events.


What worked well…

What can be improved…

  • Be more ambitious with the conversations, challenging participants to consider ‘how’ change can be created rather than ‘what’ needs to change.
  • Increase the diversity of participants attending on the day. For instance, greater representation from private sector networks and minority groups.
  • Provide more opportunities for discussion, allowing all participants to be part of the challenging conversations.
  • Practical tools, tangible resources and inspiring actions that people can take away from an event and inform their every day work are important.

Continuing the conversation

“I think it is the kind of event I will continue to think back to. We all need to continue to have conversations about changing life in Scotland for the better.” (Change Convention 2019, evaluation survey response).

Corra Foundation will be exploring ways to continue the conversation around the ideas that emerged from the day. Key to these, was the importance of enabling people-led social change, challenging language that hinders inclusion and rethinking systems. The below comments were gathered as part of the post event evaluation, these will help to inform the areas where Corra could look to explore further and deepen the conversation.


People led social change.

‘Move our campaign for social change more into the civic space rather than government space.’

‘Be the change – if we wait around for others, it simply is not going to happen.

Language, power and stigma.

‘Let the young people our organisation works with define themselves and not the other way around.’

‘Challenging the language used in the workplace to promote greater inclusion.’ 

‘Changing how we frame the story so as not to add to the stigma.’

Systems change.

‘Think outside the norm & not just accept things have ‘always been like this.’

‘Moving from a needs to a strength development mindset.’ 


Change Convention participants share their thoughts on the day



The 2019 Change Convention connected with the idea that for real change to happen we must be prepared to listen, hear challenges and be willing to change as a result.

The event opened with Challenge to Change panel conversations delivered by three groups of speakers to a diverse panel representing different sectors.

Jane Bruce, Deputy CEO Social Bite
Katie Kelly, Deputy Chief Executive East Ayrshire Councils
Lesley Fraser, Director for Housing and Social Justice, Scottish Government
Ruth Ibegbuna, Founder of youth leadership charity RECLAIM and The Roots programme
Adam Lang, Head of NESTA Scotland
Fiona Duncan, Chief Executive of Corra Foundation and Chair of the Independent Care Review


Ruth Ibegbuna, Closing Key note 

Founder of award winning youth leadership charity RECLAIM and The Roots programme, Ruth Ibegbuna joined the Change Convention as a panellist and closing key note speaker.

Ruth has built a career on advocating for compassionate people led social change and works to amplify the voices of young people and communities. Click here to read more about Ruth’s career as a change maker.


Change Maker Workshops 

Maryhill Integration Network led a discussion on how and why we should provide a platform for diversity so that minority voices become part of the majority dialogue to create positive social change.

To view the slides for Maryhill Integration Network’s change Maker workshop please click here.  


Children’s Parliament 

How can children and adult changemakers work together to make Scotland a country where all children grow up happy, healthy, safe and loved? Members of Children’s Parliament from across Scotland delivered a creative, participatory session challenging participants to think differently and empower them to take forward their calls to action.


Sheila McKechnie Foundation 

The Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK) is the UK’s leading provider of support to people and organisations seeking to bring positive social change. Our approach is based on our market-leading analysis of how change happens. Our pioneering work on ‘social power’ identifies what civil society and individual change-makers can achieve if they work to their full potential.

Drawing on ‘Social Power’, the report from SMK’s social change project, this workshop looked at how social change happens, and the twelve habits of effective change-makers’.

To view the slides from Sheila McKechnie Foundation’s Change Maker workshop click here. 

(Please credit Sheila McKechnie Foundation when sharing).


Max French, Northumbria University

It is increasingly apparent public finances will continue to worsen whilst public services are overwhelmed by the complexity of social problems. The drive for market-based approaches to service provision are failing, however is there an alternative?

Drawing from joint work with charitable foundations such as Lankelly Chase, third sector partners and a range of public service professionals, this workshop explored practical examples of practitioners, managers and commissioners operating in a complexity-informed way through immersive real world examples.


Max French workshop slides

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