Continuity and change in an era of instability: developing a shared agenda for voluntary action research and practice

This workshop will bring together leading academics, policymakers, practitioners and funding bodies to share learning and thinking around major trends and developments affecting voluntary action now and in the future. It will explore these issues at the national and local level, across the voluntary sector as a whole and within specific fields of activity. The day will be informed by cross-cutting findings distilled from the past ten years of TSRC’s extensive research portfolio and key insights from national and regional representatives.

We will ask all participants to critically reflect on the day’s themes in light of their own experiences. Discussion-based sessions will draw on this collective expertise to explore how existing research evidence could help navigate current challenges and identify the research needs of the future. This is a chance to take stock, a space for reflection, and an opportunity to shape a new shared agenda for voluntary sector research and practice.

Confirmed speakers include: 

  • Professor John Mohan, Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Angela Ellis Paine, Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham
  • Angus McCabe, Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Rob Macmillan, Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Professor Paul Montgomery, Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham
  • Dr James Rees, Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership, Open University

Researchers and practitioners will lead participatory workshops on the following themes:

  • Advocacy and influence
  • Community development and place-based change
  • Evaluation and impact
  • Partnerships and networks
  • Volunteering

An expert panel of regional voluntary sector stakeholders will respond to the day’s discussions and offer concluding reflections on future directions for research and practice.