Conferences. And why I love festivals

As I ready myself for NCASC 2019 in beautiful Bournemouth I’ve been thinking a lot about conferences.  I’ve been wondering whether it’s time to create a different environment for hosting  the most important conversations we need to have - conversations about creating a new social care future.

How about a festival? 

Festival are pretty ubiquitous these days. There are festivals of ideas, festivals that ‘let in the light’,  festivals with a focus on politics, on science, on comedy, on books ..and of course good old music festivals catering for all manner of tastes. Could the time be right for a Festival for Re-imagining Social Care?

There is a reason why festivals are so popular.  They are places of celebration; they inspire and excite. They feel genuinely inclusive where, for a little while, notions of hierarchy are vanquished. Good festivals ferment great ideas and propose solutions because they unleash creativity.  They enthuse you, not exhaust you. They put a spring in your step and get you looking ahead not railing against the past.  …. They create alternative futures.  They are alternative futures. 

And whilst it’s a truth universally acknowledged that social care is in crisis and must have more money, it is also acknowledged that more money on its own will not fix this crisis.  We need great ideas, great thinkers, brave and bold colleagues to grasp these ideas and offers of support to make  the great leap forward we are seeking.

We at TLAP will do our best to create a festival environment.  We’re delighted to be supporting an event at the Cumberland Hotel the night before NCASC where commissioners, citizens, and academics will discuss and debate the need for a radical approach to commissioning.  Alongside our partners, SCIE, we’ll be hosting a sub-plenary on Wednesday, 11.05 in Tregonwell Hall where we will be Re-imagining Social care and doing our damnedest to present an alternative future and inviting you to join that future.  

As is the TLAP way, you will hear from all parts of the sector and the session will be led by citizens. We’ll continue that conversation in our afternoon session, From the margins to the mainstream: learning about growing innovation with a new network session (4.30pm.)

And come along to our stand at A32. We won’t be giving away free pens, water bottles, or chargers.  There won’t be any sweets or chocolate fountains but there will be good ideas, suggestions, conversation and offers of support in abundance. 

So, here’s to a great conference/festival for everybody.  Bournemouth will be packed to the gills with great talent.  Let’s unleash it and harness it.  Let’s make it make a difference. And maybe next time… a festival…?


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