Tickets are now on sale for NAVCA's annual conference and AGM, 6th/7th December 2018

Upcoming events

Forging Community 2018

6-7 December 2018



We live in an extraordinary age. These are times of stunning technological, economic and societal changes. It is an age of big data, automation and the ability to connect to anyone, anywhere, at any time. One in which technology brings a world of possibility, allowing us to do more, know more and reach further and wider than ever. The very nature of work is changing, with remote working, the gig economy and platform organisations allowing more freedom and flexibility. Social movements can spring from anywhere and spread across continents in a matter of hours or days.

 In such a hyper connected world, some would say that people never been more divided and isolated. And so, civil society has never been more important, nor more challenged. The way forward must be community, putting people, place and purpose at the heart of all we do. 

Join us in our home city of Sheffield for two days of debate, learning and collaboration, all about community.  We’ll ask and explore: what is community? How do people and communities reshape our society for all? How do we rebalance the power from the few to the many? What is our role and how do we equip ourselves to play our part? 

With a fantastic line up of revolutionaries, provocateurs and pirates we promise an event that will leave you buzzing with ideas and inspiration, as well as the tools to put them into practice.  We will explore data and digital, philanthropy, funding and commissioning, diversity, leadership and more.


Forging Community 2018 will be a showcase of community creations in Sheffield and the surrounding areas. We will spend two days in a wonderful community run venue, St Mary’s Church, and we will be served a delicious three course dinner by a local social enterprise. And, to wash down our food, beer from the UK’s only independent community brewery.

So, as well as workshops, panel discussion, a fantastic line-up of speakers, networking and the opportunity to meet our new Chair, Forging Community is a chance to do good, have fun and celebrate all that community is!

Book your tickets now.

People, place and purpose. With all three we can change the world.

Interested in exhibiting or sponsoring Forging Community 2018? Find out more here.


Dr Asif Afridi

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, brap

Dr Asif Afridi is Deputy CEO at brap, a UK-based equality and human rights charity. brap adopts an inclusive and rights-based approach to equality, drawing on its twenty years of practical experience promoting social justice. Asif is Chair of the Equality and Diversity Forum (a national network of equality and human rights charities) and a panel member of the Independent Inquiry into the future of Civil Society. Asif is a published researcher and previously worked in the field of international human rights protection.


Baroness Tina Stowell

 Chair of the Charity Commission

Baroness Stowell will be joining us during the afternoon of Friday 7 December to deliver a keynote speech on leadership in the sector. Appointed Chair of the Charity Commission in February 2018, Baroness Stowell has previously held roles as Leader of the House of Lords, the Lord Privy Seal and has also worked in the media as the BBC’s Head of Corporate Affairs. In her first speech as Chair of the Commission, Baroness Stowell said that she looked forward to working with the sector as a “partner in a shared, vital mission to rebuild public trust in what charity does and has the real potential to help our society achieve.”


Magid Magid

Lord Mayor of Sheffield


Magid Magid is the 122nd Lord Mayor of Sheffield. Aged 28, he is the youngest ever, and the first Green Councillor to hold the post of Lord Mayor of Sheffield.

Magid came to Sheffield aged five with his family from Somalia. He attended the University of Hull where Magid found his love for activism. After becoming involved in his Students’ Union, he was elected as President.

Magid has a wide pallet of experience from running his own digital marketing business, working for housing charity Shelter, to being self-employed. As well as being an anti-racism social justice campaigner, Magid wanted to play a more active role in his community and decided to stand as a Green Party Councillor for the ward ‘Broomhill & Sharrow Vale’ where he was elected in 2016. 


Sir Stuart Etherington

  Chief Executive, NCVO

Sir Stuart Etherington has been the chief executive of NCVO since 1994. Prior to this he was chief executive of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, and is also a member of the Economic and Social Committee of the European Union and the Chair of London United.

Throughout his career Sir Stuart has been involved in the leadership of voluntary organisations and policies surrounding them. 

His government appointments have included the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit and he has served on the Cabinet Office Performance and Innovation Unit's Advisory Board on the Voluntary Sector and HM Treasury's Cross Cutting Review on the role of the voluntary sector.  Stuart was knighted in 2010 for services to the voluntary sector. 


Nathan Yeowell

 Head of Policy and External Affairs, New Philanthropy Capital (NPC)

Nathan has overall responsibility for NPC’s policy output including wider engagement across the charity, social enterprise and voluntary & community sectors. His particular policy interests include diversity and empowerment; the reputation and impact of the social sector; and new models of place partnership, leadership and public service transformation. 

 Prior to joining NPC, Nathan was Strategic Policy Adviser at the London Borough of Sutton, responsible for the development and promotion of The Sutton Plan. He has also worked at Cardiff University; in Parliament; for BBC News in Westminster; and as the Head of the Labour Group Office at the Local Government Association.


Ian Burbidge

 Associate Director, Public Services and Communities, RSA


Ian’s role at the RSA is to develop programmes of research and analysis focused on policy and practice across the public services and communities sector.

Ian has a background in public policy and partnership working and prior to joining the RSA, he worked within local government where his work was focused on engaging communities in place-shaping and problem-solving with the statutory sector.

Ian is particularly interested in how to cultivate innovation within public services and bring new approaches to old problems.


Kathy Evans

 Chief Executive Officer, Children England

Kathy has led Children England, the membership body for children’s charities, voluntary and community sector organisations in England, since May 2010. In 2014, she spearheaded the successful campaign to ban profit-making companies from running outsourced child protection services, and continues to lead collaborative voluntary sector campaigns for change. During her career Kathy has been the Chair of the Standing Committee for Youth Justice, a Trustee of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, a member of the ACMD Hidden Harm implementation group and DCSF Care Matters advisory group.


Rhodri Davies

 Head of Policy, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)

Alongside Rhodri’s role as Head of Policy, he also leads Giving Thought – CAF’s in-house think tank focussing on current and future issues affecting philanthropy and civil society. He is the author of Public Good by Private Means: How philanthropy shapes Britain and beyond this has researched, written and presented on a wide range of topics – from social investment and civic philanthropy to the charitable applications of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Rhodri is much in demand as an adviser to governments, businesses, charities and philanthropists.


Dan Ebanks

Firesouls, co-founder


Dan is a co-founder of Firesouls, a social innovation studio based in Somerset House in London. Firesouls creates digital products that support the delivery of local services and grow community capacity. 

Firesouls has built the Social Value Exchange, which matches government suppliers and local projects to get more resources into communities. 

Firesouls is part of the Bethnal Green Ventures tech start up accelerator, backed by the Cabinet Office, Nesta and Innovate UK.


Sam Conniff Allende

Social entrepreneur 

Sam is a multi-award-winning serial entrepreneur, with 10 successful start-ups to his name, including the Bafta Winning content agency; Don’t Panic, the genre defining interactive TV Series Dubplate Drama; and the industry leading Creative Youth Network; Livity.

He is also the best selling author of Be More Pirate, out on Penguin in the UK, and Simon&Schuster in the US. He’s a consultant to brands from Red Bull to Roald Dahl as well as Governments, think tanks and policy makers.

Sam has been a mentor to thousands of young entrepreneurs and is now a sought after public speaker on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Leadership and Youth.


Vicky Browning

 Chief Executive, ACEVO  


Vicky joined ACEVO as CEO in January 2017 after nearly seven years as director at CharityComms, the membership network for communications professionals in UK charities.

A former magazine journalist, editor and publisher, Vicky worked at Haymarket Publishing, the UK's largest privately owned publishing company for 16 years during the nineties and noughties. She was publishing director of a host of business titles including Third Sector and ad-industry bible Campaign, as well as spending two years in New York heading the launch team of internet marketing title Revolution US. Vicky then enjoyed six years as an independent publishing consultant.

Vicky’s role is to work with the ACEVO team and trustees to support, empower and encourage our sector leaders in their ambition to create change.


Sarah Hughes

Chief Executive, Centre for Mental Health


Sarah has worked in mental health and criminal justice for 27 years. Initially trained as a social worker, Sarah has managed a range of innovative community and secure services, most recently at Mind in Cambridgeshire. She also led the research and evaluation of the pioneering First Night in Custody project in Holloway Prison which saw the roll out of these principles across the prison estate supported by the Cabinet Office.  Sarah is undertaking a professional doctorate with the Tavistock and Portman Centre studying Women, Resilience and Leadership. She writes a blog and has written many guest pieces for various platforms. 

Passionate about the mental health of the nation, Sarah believes it is possible to achieve parity of esteem by drawing on the amazing work already being undertaken across the country. 


Sue Tibballs OBE

 Chief Executive, The Sheila McKechnie Foundation  


Sue Tibballs has over twenty five years’ experience working at the forefront of the social change sector in the UK. Previous roles include CEO Women in Sport, Projects Director of The Future Foundation, and Women’s Affairs Campaigner at The Body Shop. 

She is politically experienced including twice serving as a retained Ministerial Advisor. She is an excellent advocate and spokesperson regularly asked to give comment in the media. Sue was awarded an OBE for ‘services to sport’ in the 2014 New Year’s Honour’s list and has an Honorary Degree from Liverpool Edge Hill University for ‘services to women’s health’. She has served as a Trustee and Chair of Fawcett and is currently Patron of Crystal Palace Ladies’ Football Club. 


Matthew Baqueriza-Jackson

  Independent Policy Advisor

Matthew provides incisive support and analysis to the European Union, local authorities, and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. Prior to becoming independent  this year, Matthew spent 13 years working for the think-tank and research organisation, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES). Matthew was instrumental in developing CLES’ work around local wealth building. Currently, Matthew is the Network Expert for a European Funded Network focusing on progressing procurement practices across seven cities, he also represents the URBACT Programme on the EU Urban Agenda Partnership for Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement. In a UK context, Matthew is currently working in Manchester, Birmingham, Preston, and Wakefield and is the Chair of the Greater Manchester Social Value Network.

@mattjackson170 ‏ 

Carol Akiwumi

Social entrepreneur, consultant and trainer

Carol Akiwumi is a social entrepreneur, consultant and trainer with a passion for helping people unlock their purpose as well as develop their gifts and talents.

She is CEO of RAA Solutions (a business development and training consultancy), a fellow and trustee of the UK Institute of Fundraising, and immediate past chair of Black Fundraisers UK.

Carol is the founder of Money4Youth™, a movement that empowers individuals and transforms communities with financial literacy education and entrepreneurial skills.

With a sharp business acumen acquired from over two decades of working in financial services and the third sector, she is able to able to inspire and create innovative and enhanced propositions to acquire or increase funding from a wide variety of income streams. 


Eileen Browne

Directory for Social Change

Years of interacting with external customers and all levels of internal management including the London Board, at companies including Royal Mail and Parcel Force has helped Eileen to develop a keen interest in human behaviour, development and improvement.

After some freelance training Eileen moved into the Third Sector in 2005, vowing now never to leave it. Eileen continued to grow her sales and development skills working within the commercial teams of charities and a social enterprise. Eileen then joined Directory of Social Change in January 2018 becoming a member of the Business Development Team dedicated to supporting clients both current and new in accessing the varied and excellent products and services DSC provides. 


Caron Bradshaw

 CEO, Charity Finance Group

Caron joined CFG in June 2010 from the ICAEW, where she was Head of the Charity and Voluntary Sector. In addition to supporting a number of small charities and community organisations Caron is a member of the NCVO’s National Assembly, sits on the Charities SORP Committee, on a number of government working parties, is a member of the BBC Charity Appeals Advisory Committee, and is Chair of the Board of the Directory of Social Change. She is named in the top 30 UK social influencers in Risk, Compliance and Regtech 2017. 

Caron is a trained Barrister and has a wide array of experience across charity, regulation/law, policy, member support, and professional ethics.  In 2015 she was named Charity Principal of the Year at the Charity Times Awards.  In 2016 she received the Association Excellence Award for Leadership.  Caron is an avidly ‘social’ CEO and was been named in the top 30 social CEOs in 2013, 2014 and 2015 before joining the judging panel in 2016. 


Zoe Amar

  Digital expert

Zoe Amar is widely regarded as one of the charity sector’s leading digital experts. She founded digital agency and social enterprise Zoe Amar Digital in 2013. Their clients have included NSPCC, Anglia Ruskin University and The School for Social Entrepreneurs. Zoe  is Chair of The Charity Digital Code of Practice. She writes for Third Sector about charities and digital issues and co-founded the Social CEOs awards . Zoe and her team produce an annual barometer of how charities across the UK are using digital, The Charity Digital Skills Report. Zoe is a trustee for Future Care Capital and sits on the Board Audit and Risk Sub-Committee at the Samaritans as their digital expert. She recently won an Inspiring Communicator award from Charitycomms.


Tim Brazier

Good Things Foundation

 As the Head of Service Design at Good Things Foundation, Tim spends a lot of time with people to understand the problems they face and then work with them to design solutions that work for them. Tim's job is to understand the tools, interactions and behaviours involved in completing a task and then use this insight to design new interventions to improve their experience. 


Tom French

 Good Things Foundation

 As part of Good Things Foundation's Research Team, Tom looks at how data can be used to support our work both within the organisation and across our network of community partners. Mainly he's the go-to research guy for our NHS Widening Digital Participation project with NHS England and the development of Learn My Way. Although he studied mathematics at University, he is a big advocate of being creative with data to ensure that it's as useful as possible to people 'on the ground'. 




Previous events

Missed our Future Forward conference? Catch up on all our fantastic speakers here!