Expression of Interest

Tell us about YOUR contribution


The People ARE the North.  This event IS the North!

Please join in and offer up an idea

We’re looking for content from 7 minutes to one hour.  Our aim is to showcase inspiring work, ideas and real action in the North.  This is for all sections of the community including local people, voluntary, community, the public sector, civic leaders and businesses – small and large.

Confirmed Contributors, speakers, facilitators:

  • Dr Kate Fox, stand up poet, Northerner, writer

  • Councillor Graeme Miller, Leader, Sunderland Council

  • Edna Robinson, Chair, People’s Powerhouse, Big Life Group, Trafford Housing Trust

  • Dr Nicola Headlam, BEIS

  • Nazir Afzal OBE, Lawyer, international adviser, NGO Chair, former Chief Prosecutor

  • Carol Botten, CEO, VONNE

  • Neil McInroy, Chief Executive, CLES

  • Emma Scarr and Michael Barrass, The Cultural Spring, Sunderland and South Tyneside

  • Mike Hawking, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

  • Olivia Lee, Contact Theatre Manchester and People’s Powerhouse Young Ambassador

  • Vidhya Alekson, CEO, Power to Change

  • Patrick Melia, CEO, Sunderland Council

  • Tracy Fishwick, Transform Lives Company and People’s Powerhouse

  • Ed Cox, Director, RSA

  • Arianna Giovannini, Interim Director, IPPR North and De Montfort University

  • Chris Marsh, Doncaster Council

  • Sue Potts, Heart of Glass, St Helens.

  • Amaragita Pearse, Extinction Rebellion

Attending the Convention

We are unable to offer complimentary places to all speakers.  We can offer one free place per session.  Please contact us if this is a problem.  This is because we encourage lots of speakers and we hope you will all stay for the whole day, including lunch, in effect being both a delegate and speaker.  If you are selected we will send you the registration information.

We expect to be over-subscribed; if you are not successful this time, there will be ample networking time to share in other ways.  We will also keep hold of your information.  There will be follow on opportunities.

Supported by:


Collaborate. Debate. Network. Share. Inspire!


This is the North

19 November 2019 - Beacon of Light, Stadium Park,
Sunderland SR5 1SN  9.30am – 4.30pm

Together we can inspire and lead change in the North.  Our mission is to create a place where you can work together on one day, whether you are a community group, young person, practitioner, policy maker, opinion former, business or politician. YOU ARE the North!

By sharing platforms with each other, having a collaborative, diverse, inclusive sessions we will better understand the issues that affect us all and find new solutions that work for more people. 


Your contribution can be:

  • Something you are doing, which is already working brilliantly, and more people need to know about it
  • A new and untested idea or ‘hunch’, a theory or provocation
  • Good practice you can share for others to learn from
  • Something you’ve done that others can replicate or with help, which could be scaled to have more impact in Northern communities
  • An idea you are trialling

Closing date is Midday Monday 9 September 2019.

We are looking for 2 types of contributions. You choose:

Firstly, you might decide to talk from a soapbox for 7 minutes about something you are doing, something you want to challenge, or an idea you need support with.  Just give it a go!

Secondly, you might decide you/with colleagues would like to run a more in-depth, hour-long interactive session in our break-out rooms, breakout rooms can hold between 25 – 70 people.  We would prefer these to be more discussion-based and less ‘chalk and talk’

  • Offers to us can include challenge questions, ideas, case studies, solutions, research and or policy updates relevant to this agenda, but must be linked to a theme on the Charter. We are looking for contributions which are topical, real, current and interesting to a wide range of people.

  • Please select the Charter theme your contribution will best fit in to and whether you want to run a longer workshop (with partners for example) or deliver a 7-minute Inspiration:


Please click here to find out about applying for a bursary to run your own People’s Powerhouse event in your area

We know your work may overlap in multiple areas.  Don’t worry, choose the most relevant box to help us manage the ideas coming through.  You can read more about the Charter here.

Who you will present to? We expect to attract +250 people including local people, those from all levels of government, policy makers, funders, voluntary and community organisations, public sector, private businesses.  Sessions will accommodate between 25-70 people and we will curate rooms once we’ve shortlisted all ideas.  The short sessions will be delivered to the entire audience.

Tell us what your session will add to the debate, knowledge base – make sure it’s do-able in the time allocation you have chosen:

We especially welcome presentations that are interactive and don’t require IT support.

Our address

The People's Powerhouse
Jenny Sanderson Suite,
Blackburne House, Hope Street,
Liverpool L8 7PE 

07769 670 753 / 07590 112 912

Social Media

Join our active discussions on Social Media.  If you agree with our objectives add YOUR voice!

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