IFF’s seminar series shines a light on the key issues facing the research sector, bringing together some of the industry’s brightest minds to discuss the role and purpose of research in an open and interactive way.

We’ve seen confidence in all aspects of the research industry 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 have an important role to play in helping people, governments and businesses to better understand the world they exist in and to make better decisions about how they want to exist in it.

Together we have a wealth of knowledge that can help identify the opportunities of uncertainty.

Our Next Event: Creative Problem Solving in Research

We live in challenging times. We are experiencing big problems like climate change, inequality and falling social mobility. These complex issues do not have straightforward or uncontentious solutions.

In our day-to-day working lives, we face budgetary constraints and tight timeframes. We are challenged to maintain independence and integrity and to achieve impact in what we do.

These challenges – large and small – have a common thread. They require creativity and non-linear thinking to get beyond the ‘same old’ and deliver solutions that can handle messiness and account for complexity.

We might think of creativity as an innate ability. But the thinking process that underpins creativity is a skill that can be learned and it is a skill that we are already using. Interpreting data, identifying new patterns, making links between the not-so-obvious associations; these are all creative skills that we employ daily.

At this event, we will hear from expert speakers how we can develop our skills in creative thinking, and about how they have taken a creative approach to their work, as well as the positives and pitfalls of working in this way.

Confirmed Speakers

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 at the English Institute of Sport over the past decade. Pete will speak about how to ‘clean a problem’, and how to approach problem solving to allow us to be more insightful, productive and impactful when dealing with challenges, even in complex times.

Naomi Shearon, Strategy Lead, Sport England – Naomi will be sharing 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 will be sharing his learning from the innovative Rent-Flex pilot scheme in social housing. The scheme enables tenants to personalise rent payments month-by-month, reducing need for credit at common financial pinch points, such as over the school holidays. This creative solution has seen reductions in debt and use of credit, improvements in mental and physical health and better relationships between tenants and housing providers.

27th November 2019, 16.30-18.30, followed by a drinks reception

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Past Events

Dividing Lines - The Role Of Evidence In Reducing Social Inequality: November 2018

The fifth event in IFF’s series ‘Dividing Lines – The Role Of Evidence In Reducing Social Inequality ’ took place on Thursday 22nd November at IFF Research, 5th Floor, St Magnus House, 3 Lower Thames Street, London. The event explored how we can use evidence to reduce inequality by examining the new divisions in society, the current challenges and how we can maximise the value of research.

Speakers:

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

Chair:

Matt Barnes – Director, IFF Research.

For full details read our event write up here

The Truth About Research – How to uncover what people really think?: July 2018

The fourth event in IFF’s series ‘The Truth About Research – How to uncover what people really think?’ took place on Thursday 5th July at IFF Research, 5th Floor, St Magnus House, 3 Lower Thames Street, London. The event explored the truth about research; in doing what we do, in the way we do it are we uncovering “the truth”, the partial truth or everything but the truth?

Speakers:

  • Caspar Berry (Professional Poker Player) shares insights into how and why people lie and how to detect the truth.
  • Nick Chater (Professor of Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School) considers methods to encourage truthfulness.
  • Alex Gordon (CEO, Sign Salad) explores how people’s attitudes, beliefs and truths are influenced by culture, signs and symbols.
  • Katie Oldfield (Director at IFF Research) further interprets the practical implications for research design and delivery.

Chair:

Rowan Foster – Director, IFF Research.

For full details read our event write up here

The Future is Closer Than You Think – What Technology Means for Research: Nov 2017

The Future is closer than you think – what technology means for research, took place on Thursday 23rd November at Skills Matter, Moorgate, the UK’s largest venue dedicated to technology events. It was an appropriate setting for a gathering of professionals from across research to discuss the technological revolution we have all found ourselves a part of, and more importantly what impact it will have on our future.

Keynote speaker:

  • Daniel Susskind – Fellow in Economics at Balliol College, Oxford University and author of the best-selling book The Future of the Profession.

Panel:

  • 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.

Chair:

  • Rowan Foster – Director, IFF Research.

For full details read our event write up here

Evidence Matters: A Matter of Facts - The Art of Translating Evidence: May 2017

On the 11th of May 2017 we gathered an audience of users and producers of evidence at the House of Illustration to discuss how we could use storytelling techniques and data visualisation to better engage with our audiences. The seminar featured talks from a host of leading industry experts.

Our speakers:

  • Patrick Worrall (Channel 4 Fact Check)
  • Robert Holtom (Narrative coach, writer and trainer)
  • Caroline Florence – Founder, Insight Narrator

Evidence Matters: The Role of Evidence in Uncertainty: November 2016

On the 17th of November 2016 we gathered an audience of users and producers of evidence at RSA House to discuss how we could use our influence to make progress in the face of uncertainty. The seminar featured talks from a host of leading industry experts.

Our speakers:

  • Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive, RSA)
  • Richard Bartholomew (SRA journal editor and former Joint Head of Government Social Research)
  • Izabella Kaminska (Journalist, Financial Times)
  • Jonathan Breckon (Alliance for Useful Evidence)