PraxisAuril: A new schedule of digital events and interactions

Dear PraxisAuril Friends and Colleagues,

What a month it has been!  I hope you and your teams at work and at home are staying well and adjusting to our new normal.  It’s been amazing to see the news of so many brilliant initiatives undertaken by PraxisAuril member organisations having such fundamental impact – this truly is a community of innovative, strategic and pragmatic thinkers and doers! 

We want to make sure that we are supporting you to the best of our ability at this time (and in readiness for a gradual transition to a post-lockdown world) so we’ve been busy planning for a schedule of digital events and interactions.  We’ll be releasing some communications tools and resources over the coming weeks that we anticipate will help you at a day-to-day practical level.  We’ll need you to tell us what you think about these developments and we’d be delighted to hear your suggestions about how we can harness the expertise and experience of our member network to best effect.

To kick start our new way of working I’m delighted to introduce a series of communications that will come over the next week or so from my colleagues at PraxisAuril: Tamsin Mann, Director of Policy and Communications; Alasdair Cameron, Director of Strategic Engagement; and Craig Kerr, Head of Finance and Operations.

Connecting Members.

A fundamentally important aim of all the F2F events that PraxisAuril usually runs is to enable individuals to consult and share ideas with their peers in other organisations.  Just because we can’t meet F2F at the moment, doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to connect with each other to compare perspectives and experiences.  PraxisAuril has always convened a number of online discussion groups – for Directors of offices, for volunteers as they plan and coordinate activities – and more recently for the CCFs and other specialist focus groups.  The interaction and insights that these groups generate have often been cited as one of the most valued aspects of their involvement with PraxisAuril.  Of course, there are many existing platforms that people can use to kick-start a conversation with colleagues but Alasdair Cameron, Director of Strategic Engagement at PraxisAuril, is going to be in touch next week about the launch of PraxisAuril’s new digital communications platform that all members (UK and international) will be able to use to communicate directly with each other – around general discussion themes and topics that will be of interest to the whole KE sector, or in special interest groups, whatever is needed.  This is a communications tool that will be led by you and supported by PraxisAuril providing direct access to experts as well as libraries of summary information that will become a rich resource for users.  We’re expecting that key sector stakeholder groups will also use the platform to communicate directly with KE practitioners.   




Showcasing success

We’re all a bit shy in the KE sector, it seems – and far too busy getting on with making the good stuff happen to remember to ‘flaunt’ our success.   Alasdair will also be providing an update about our planned virtual KE Awards in June.  We’ve had some great entries already – but we’d like more of you to shout about your achievements!  We know you’re busy, so we’ve extended the entry deadline until 1 May.  Thinking laterally about what a digital platform for the Awards enables, we’ve had some new ideas about how to maximise and sustain the profile opportunities over time for all those organisations who get involved.  It’s really important that Knowledge Exchange continues to be recognised as a fundamentally important contributor to society and the economy’s post-Covid19 recovery.


KE Policy, Business as usual?

Tamsin Mann, Director of Policy and Communications will be in touch later this week with one of her excellent updates on all things policy-related and summarising all the latest developments in relation to PraxisAuril’s stakeholder engagement activities.  She is preparing for a series of digital interviews with key policymakers and sector influencers over the coming weeks and Tamsin also has a plan for some interactive sessions.  These will enable you to ask questions and discuss together some of the latest policy developments, whether you are thinking you would like to take the opportunity to get more involved or simply wish to improve your understanding in this area.  Many of our stakeholder friends – in the UK and overseas – are doing some brilliant policy work to support and facilitate interactions between business and universities and other research organisations, as well as the NHS, of course, and we will continue to signpost these wherever we can.  

Tamsin is also working with Research England and UUK to convene consultation and working groups in relation to the KEF and the Concordat, as well as the HEIF review, and will explain more about how you can get involved with these later this week.  To ensure a coordinated effort with other key sector stakeholders, Tamsin is asking you to complete a quick survey about the challenges and successes you have been experiencing in the current environment.  We are expecting that this will identify further opportunities to work with policymakers on your behalf.

Complete the survey

Personal Professional Development

We’ve all been so preoccupied with navigating our way through this exceptional period, that we’re quite likely not to have been prioritizing our own personal professional development.  This said, it’s quite possible too that we’re all beginning to recognise some of the benefits of a less frenetic lifestyle.  Prioritising our own needs and focussing a bit of renewed attention on how we invest in our own self-improvement could actually be time well spent, especially as we each take stock of what a future working world might look like.  

Of course, we’re hoping to be able to proceed with our planned F2F training courses in the autumn - lockdown guidance permitting - but in the meantime, we’re also thinking very hard about the best way to make digitally available some of the vast reserves of expertise that PraxisAuril has garnered from expert KE practitioners from around the world over many years.  We also anticipate that individual perceptions of risk about coming into direct contact with other people, may vary significantly for the foreseeable future – so we want to make sure that we have available a mixed offer that will meet the needs of a wide range of individuals.

Alasdair will describe next week how he has been working with expert volunteers on the PraxisAuril Conference Committee and the Professional Development Committees to explore opportunities to ‘digitalize’ aspects of some of our postponed events and sessions – and this is about both ‘information’ and ‘interaction’ and how we repackage both of those in a way that can be put to immediate and ongoing good use by members.


Craig Kerr, Head of Finance and Operations will also be issuing a reminder later this week about event registrations, deferrals and refunds and he and his team are at your disposal for any information and assistance relating to the practicalities of your involvement with PraxisAuril.  

A huge thanks too, to all of our expert volunteers who continue to work behind the scenes to support the development and delivery of everything that PraxisAuril does – and to the entire exec team at PraxisAuril, who remain focussed, flexible and professional, as ever.

I encourage you to contact us with any of your own ideas and suggestions about how PraxisAuril can support you and your organisation and I look forward to hearing from– and hopefully seeing you – soon!


Take care and stay well.

Maxine Ficarra
CEO, PraxisAuril