New think tank will study charity sector in Essex

Published: 27 March 2017 at 11:00

The Lord Ashcroft Building on Anglia Ruskin's Chelmsford campus

Thinking on Purpose launches at Anglia Ruskin with talk on innovation and change

Anglia Ruskin University’s Faculty of Business and Law is launching a new think tank this week to study the future of the third sector in Essex.

The Thinking on Purpose think tank will run a series of eight events between now and May 2018 aimed at anyone involved with charities, community action and the voluntary sector.

Thinking on Purpose is organised by Anglia Ruskin’s 3rd Sector Futures department and the Essex Community Foundation, and the meetings will offer attendees the opportunity to examine “bigger picture” issues, solve strategic problems, and develop knowledge across the sector.

The first event, on Friday, 31 March (10am-1pm) at Anglia Ruskin’s Chelmsford campus, will see Charlie Leadbeater, a leading authority on innovation and creativity, and Dan Corry, Chief Executive of New Philanthropy Capital, discuss “What does the future have in store?”

Andrew Brady, Director of 3rd Sector Futures at Anglia Ruskin, said: 

“The rapid pace of change in business and society shows no sign of letting up.  Technological, demographic and political disruption seems to be the new normal.

“Only last week, PwC released a report which estimated that up to 30% of UK jobs would be lost as a direct result of technology, including around half of the jobs in transport and just under half in retail, both sectors which feature strongly in the Essex economy.

“However, according to Charlie Leadbeater, who has written and spoken about innovation and society for almost 30 years, we have a bigger part to play in our own futures than it may sometimes seem.

“As part of our project, we aim to pick apart the implications of this in human terms.  How can Essex ensure it has the skills to take on the new jobs which automation might create, and deal with other changes including an ageing population, housing shortages and the rise of health problems such as obesity?”

A research strand will focus on briefing the attendees before sessions and capturing the outcomes afterwards, with a summary distributed to a wider audience.  Future events will cover the Essex economy, skills in the county, and the local environment.