Introduction to the first session

The way we learn is changing fast. These discussion will help us make sense of what is happening, and maybe help shape the future of evidence, its production and application to public policy.

To make it concrete, the inputs to these sessions will be applied to your work. In particular, we will learn about place, and about scale. (Let us not dress these words up in jargon, let’s take a few sessions to begin to shape what the terms mean).

Before each session there will be some reading. At each session there will be some short inputs. There will also be plenty of discussion, building a shared understanding of how we learn. At most sessions there will be an expert from somewhere or other, sharing their experiences. Sometimes their ideas will be captured on a podcast.

We will write down notes on what happened at each session, and if the notes add up to anything useful we will summarise and publish them for others.

What is the point?

The point is to learn. As children we put our hands on the hot radiator. It burns. We learn not to do that again. We too are interested in learning to do things differently, to change the way we work, whether that be making grants, commissioning services, innovating for better human health and development, creating better public policy... If these meetings are to add up to anything useful, we will have lots of evidence of changed thinking and practice to show for it.