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The Future of Lived Experience: a conference hosted by the Institute of Community Reporters

Everyone has a story to tell – we know this wholeheartedly, but right now, it also feels like everyone is asking for our stories and there is a risk of storytelling fatigue setting in.

  • How do we ensure that people who share their lived experiences are valued and that those experiences are treated as a valid form of data in their own right?
  • How does society, institutions and organisations – ourselves included – to get better a working with stories and using them to create change in communities across the UK and Europe?
  • How do we mainstream storytelling as a way of sharing learning, building relationships and bridging divides?

For the third annual Institute of Community Reporters (ICR) conference, we want to explore these questions further and open-up a conversation about the future of lived experience storytelling.

For our 2021 conference, we are going ‘hybrid’ with a mixture of livestreams, Zooms and small-scale, offline workshops will take place. As an organisation and movement rooted in storytelling, we want to listen, learn and develop ourselves. We want to amplify the conversations that take place at the conference and the ideas that people have within the spaces that we work and work alongside our partners to ensure that lived experience storytelling is valued as a tool for learning, dialogue and ultimately to address inequalities and systemic issues in society.

On the 2nd June, different speakers, facilitators and change-makers will be exploring topics such as:

  • How we and other organisations can work better with stories and the people who share them
  • The types of spaces that are secure enough for authentic storytelling to take place
  • The role of lived experience in achieving social justice

We’re looking for people like you, Community Reporters, grassroots change-makers, community workers, researchers, public service workers, policy makers, artists and creatives, health and social care providers, philosophers and educators and trainers to attend these and contribute their experiences and ideas to the conversations on the day. We hope to create a dialogue of different perspectives, challenge and provoke one another’s thinking, and sow the seeds of new connections between people.

Agenda for the conference

9:15am – 10:00 am / Morning Mixer Zoom

Join the People’s Voice Media team for a little hello and chinwag before we start the day. Here we can also help anyone with any technical issues or last minute ‘where do I click to go to…?’ or ‘how do I use…?’ questions. Bring a cuppa and croissant along for that offline conference feel!

10:00am – 11:00am / The Future of Lived Experience Storytelling – Livestream 1

We are going to start the day with an online chat show about the future of lived experience storytelling. We will be inviting guests onto this show who have different perspectives on the future of lived experience storytelling to start the day’s conversation. There’ll be opportunities to interact in the chat too. When you sign-up for the conference, you’ll get a YouTube link to where you can watch the livestream.

Details of guests coming soon!

11:30am – 12:30pm / Getting better at working with lived experience manifesto Online Workshop

Earlier in the year we worked with some people to explore ‘the dark side’ of storytelling and why people can be reluctant to share their lived experiences. This conversation highlighted 4 key reasons:

  • People’s experiences not being valued
  • Expectations of what will change not being met
  • The environment that the storytelling takes place in
  • The agenda of the storytelling

We want to continue this conversation and bring in more voices, and begin to explore what does good lived experience storytelling practice look like? We are hoping to get together a manifesto of sorts that we can bring into practice here at People’s Voice Media as part of our work on the EUARENAS project and influence others to adopt too. This will be an online workshop on Zoom and the link will be sent to people upon registration for the conference.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 959420.

1:30pm – 3:00pm / Co-creating a ‘Day of Action’ Online Ideas Generation Session

For next year’s conference, we are hoping to be in a physical space with some online elements too, but because we know not everyone can get to our conference when we host it in the offline world we have had the idea of creating a ‘day of action’ around storytelling on the day of the conference itself so that everyone – regardless of location – can get involved. We don’t know what this will look like and we are hoping you’ll join us for this online session to help shape it!

A Zoom link to this session will be sent to people upon registration for the conference.

4:00pm – 5:00pm / The Future of Lived Experience Storytelling – Livestream 2

To wrap-up the conference we are heading back to YouTube for our second livestream of the day. This time we will be bringing in the folk who have been delivering workshops throughout the day to share with us some of their discussion and ideas. When you register for the conference you will get a YouTube link to the livestream so you can join in this feedback round.

Details of contributors coming soon!

5:00pm – 6:00pm / The After-Party

Join the People’s Voice Media team and our partners on Zoom for a little ‘after party’. It’s a bring your own drinks and food style of affair, and will be a space in which conversations from the conference can continue and people have a bit of giggle together. Upon registration, you’ll get a Zoom link for the conference and this will bring you to the after-party.

See you there!

Click here to book your place: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-future-of-lived-experience-icr-conference-2021-tickets-150081392485

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