Research Events

Confidence in the research industry has been undermined in recent years through the failure of polls and through pronouncements on “the death of the expert”. But we believe that evidence-based insight continues to play an important role in helping people, governments and businesses to better understand the world we live in, and to make better decisions about how they act. And that, by sharing ideas and working together, we can help identify opportunities and overcome uncertainty.

IFF’s seminar series was designed with that thinking in mind. Since 2016 we’ve been running regular cross-sector events bringing together our clients and partners to discuss shared challenges in an open and interactive way.

If you’d like to join us at our next event you can register here.

Previous Events

Ensuring Representation in Research

The #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movements which came to the fore in 2020 galvanised so many of us to take stock and address the inequalities we observe and enable. And while representation matters in all walks of life, it is even more critical within research, due to the role we play in shaping policy development and business decisions.

In our most recent event we brought together an audience of research commissioners from the private, public and voluntary sectors to discuss: why equality, diversity and inclusion are so critical to the research industry, the barriers to creating inclusive workplaces and work practices, and practical ways we can influence inclusion and diversity within our organisations.

With a range of speakers bringing different perspectives to the conversation:

  • Jane Frost, CEO of  the Market Research Society
  • Vicky Cummings, Senior Research Officer at the ONS
  • Lisa Jobson, Director at diversity and inclusion consultancy EW Group
  • Jan Shury, MD of IFF Research

Read more

Representation in Research

Solving Research & Policy Problems Creatively

We live in challenging times. With big problems like climate change, inequality and stagnating social mobility, creative thinking has never been more critical.

Read more, or watch the presentations below.

Pete Lindsay, Performance Psychologist

Pete is one of the country’s leading sports psychologists, working in Premier League football as well as GB Boxing and British Gymnastics over the past decade. Pete spoke about the importance of adaptability, and the factors which impact it.

Naomi Shearon, Strategy Lead, Sport England

Naomi shared her experience of leading Sport England’s Local Delivery Pilots. These 12 pilots are challenging the system and doing it differently with a goal of getting their communities more active.

Damon Gibbons, Director, Centre for Responsible Credit

Damon shared learning from the innovative Rent-Flex pilot scheme in social housing. The scheme enables tenants to flex rent payments, reducing need for credit at common pinch points and bringing reductions in debt, improvements in wellbeing and better relationships between tenants and landlords.

Dividing Lines – The Role of Evidence in Reducing Social Inequality

Neither inequality nor the debate over how to narrow the gap are new concepts. However, societal gaps and the perceptions surrounding them change over time, and the 2016 referendum result highlighted changes from the traditional class-led divisions that have long been a fixture of UK society. Whichever the political persuasion of a government, it is clear that evidence-led policy will be key in narrowing gaps in equality within our society.

Speakers and topics covered:

  • Polly Toynbee, Guardian columnist, discussed a brief history of inequality and comments on some of the high-quality research available
  • Matthew Whittaker, Deputy Director at the Resolution Foundation, spoke about the lived experience of inequality and our approaches of squeezing together and growing apart
  • Alistair Kuechel, Director at IFF Research, discussed the poverty premium, and the role financial capability can play in addressing social inequality

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The Truth About Research – How to uncover what people really think?

“The trouble with research is that people don’t think how they feel, they don’t say what they think and they don’t do what they say.”

David Ogilvy

Trying to understand what people really think and how they behave goes to the very heart of research and analysis.

Speakers and topics covered:

  • Professional Poker Player, Caspar Berry, shared insights into how and why people lie and how to detect the truth
  • Nick Chater, Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School considered methods to encourage truthfulness
  • Alex Gordon, CEO at Sign Salad explored how people’s attitudes, beliefs and truths are influenced by culture, signs and symbols

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The Future is closer than you think – what technology means for research

As we move deeper into the digital age we are presented with a unique set of challenges, as well as exciting opportunities to harness technology to improve efficiency and reduce time, cost and burden. But the flipside is that technology not only enhances what we do but also displaces it.

Discussing the technological revolution and the impact it will have on our future in research were speakers:

  • Daniel Susskind, Fellow in Economics at Balliol College, Oxford University and author of the best-selling book The Future of the Profession
  • Mark Carrigan, SRA trustee and Digital Fellow at The Sociological Review Foundation
  • Katie Metzler, Head of Research Methods Innovation at SAGE Publishing
  • Olivier Legris, Head of Strategy at Future Platforms

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