Episode 2: Behaviour Change Insiders

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In Episode Two, we speak to Chris Subbe, who explains the ‘Wee Wheel’ (pictured), introduced to reduce acute kidney injury for hospital patients (1.45 – 7.30 mins). Then, Olwen Williams speaks on the ‘Test no Talk’ approach to improve sexual health screening (8.00 – 21.30 mins). Have a listen below:

Links to resources mentioned in the podcast:

Chris Subbe blog, An audible patient voiceand 1000 Lives Wee Wheel page

1000 Lives Compendium of Outpatient Improvement, report by Olwen Williams on : Self triage innovation in sexual health services – Test no Talk.

 More details at the Wales Audit Office, Good Practice Exchange Podcast Page.

Episode 1: Behaviour Change Insiders

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In Episode One, we speak with Rupert Moon, on working with rugby players at Rugby Gogledd Cymru to develop behaviours that went beyond the playing field (01.30 – 15.20 mins). Then, Professor Judy Hutchings talks to us about the KiVa anti-bullying programme in schools. Learning from Finland on how taking a whole school approach can change behaviours and reduce bullying (15.25 – 27.10 mins). Have a listen below:
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More details about the podcasts are available on our Behaviour Change Insiders Podcast Page.

Links to resources mentioned:

Wales Audit Office, Good Practice Exchange Podcast Page.

Bangor University KiVa Programme

Rupert Moon on sport and improving well being

Episode 3: Behaviour Change Insiders

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In Episode Three, Rachel Lilley from Aberystwyth University talks about changing how people think about energy use at home with Ymlaen Ceredigion. (1.43 – 9.20 mins). Then, Matt Stowe from Cartrefi Conwy explains the environmental improvements at Parc Peulwys Housing Estate, and how they changed behaviours and help gain a Keep Wales Tidy Green Flag award. (10.30 – 25.30 mins). Have a listen below:

Links to resources mentioned in the Podcast:

National Energy Action Cymru details of working with Ymlaen Ceredigion in partnership with Ceredigion County Council and Aberystwyth University including a link to a report from Rachel Lilley.

Parc Peuwlys Management Plan 2015-2020, produced by Cartrefi Conwy.  Report from BBC Wales on Parc Peulwys acheving the Keep Wales Tidy Green Flag award.

More details are available at the Wales Audit Office, Good Practice Exchange Podcast Page

Episode 7: Behaviour Change Insiders

In this final, concluding episode of the Behaviour Change Insiders podcast series, Chris  meets with Clover Rodriguez from the Welsh Local Government Association, to talk about the key findings and messages to take home from the Behaviour Change Festivals.

This episode is ideal if you would like to hear a short summary about Behaviour Change science, whilst also hearing directly from Chris about the running of the events and shaping the programme.

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We’d love to hear your feedback on the podcasts, as this was a pilot project for us. We’re really enthusiastic about new ways of reaching out and sharing the learning. We would love to hear if you’ve learnt something new from these podcasts.

Episode 5: Behaviour Change Insiders

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In Episode Five, Barod challenged us to “Swansea’s Got Jargon Busters”. This was run by Barod at the Swansea Behaviour Change Festival. The aim was to change behaviour around how people communicate, by getting them to take part in a game show where you get ‘buzzed out’ for using jargon. This podcast has four parts:

Part 1: Alan from Barod explains how Jargon Busters was developed;

Part 2: Alan and Simon from Barod take Chris from the Good Practice Exchange through an example of Jargon Busters (Chris doesn’t do very well);

Part 3: Anne from Barod talks about the evaluation of Jargon Busters and the impact on the behaviour of the people she spoke to,

Part 4: Ena from the Good Practice Exchange talks about how the experience of Jargon Busters changed her behaviour.

Useful Links:

The Barod website: www.barod.org

Easy Read version of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

A blog post on the Party Blowers workshop that Barod ran at a Good Practice Exchange event in Cardiff

Holding up the mirror together

Ruth MarksAhead of our seminar ‘Working in partnership: Holding up the mirror’, Ruth Marks @wcvaruth, Chief Executive of WCVA, has blogged for us about the importance of working together to better support individuals and communities across Wales.

Looking at life from a different perspective is good for all of us.

Over the summer holidays we sometimes get the chance to visit different places, catch-up with family and friends and make new memories. We also look forward to the autumn and moving ahead with our plans and ambitions.

As Chief Executive of WCVA, one of my ambitions is to extend the meaningful and impactful links between charities and community groups (the third sector) with local government, health and Welsh Government.

Being able to do this in partnership with the Wales Audit Office’s Good Practice Exchange and Academi Wales is a great opportunity.

On the 19 and 27 September there are two events in Cardiff and Llanrwst where partners can come together to look at how we can work together to better focus our efforts on supporting individuals and communities across Wales.

I imagine that there will be some key messages around a common language, respect, processes, tensions and resources. I think the most important aspect is to continue to not only hold up the mirror, but to polish it and make sure we are looking at ourselves and each other with fresh eyes, renewed energy and ambition to do the best we possibly can.

blog imageBy working together, respecting each other’s strengths, collaborating fairly, recognising the real value of volunteers, and understanding the legal responsibilities of charity trustees, we should be able to deliver better services.

From libraries, childcare, GP surgeries, schools, bin collection, swimming pools and hospital treatment – services are provided for all of us and we are all likely to need some type of public service in the future.

Who provides these services, on what basis and in what arrangements needs constant thought, discussion and regular review with the people who use them.

These seminars will be an invaluable opportunity to hold up the mirror – together.

A short history of the Food Group of the Wales Regional Centre for Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship

In September and November this year, we are working in partnership with Bangor University’s Sustainability Lab on the RCE Cymru event – ‘It’s good to share’, held in Bangor and Cardiff. Ahead of the event, Jane Powell has blogged about her experience of Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE) and the interesting history of the Food Group.

It’s fascinating to hear how this research has evolved over the years and has helped to shape the Food Manifesto for Wales along with the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. I am excited about the prospect that our young people in Wales are helping to shape the food system for the better.

Here’s Jane Powell sharing her project…

When I first came across the idea of a Regional Centre for Expertise for sustainability education – and RCE – for Wales, in 2008, I was sceptical about the latest acronym. It sounded so bureaucratic. But then I heard Julie Bromilow of the Centre for Alternative Technology talking about an RCE she’d visited in Japan, and the possibility of being part of a global network to solve a global problem seemed very appealing.

At the time, I was the Information Officer at Organic Centre Wales in Aberystwyth, organising school visits to farms and locally sourced school meals alongside my regular editorial duties. It was rewarding, but I longed to be part of something bigger, to compare our work with what others were doing, and to see how far we could take it. Above all I wondered what exactly we were doing. How were farm visits supposed to change anything? Why were the school meal projects so powerful, while running a stand at an event could sometimes be very tedious?

Perhaps the RCE could be a way of shaking things up, I thought. So I jumped at the chance to join a subgroup that would look at food education, along with Julie, Dr Jane Claricoates from the RCE secretariat at Swansea University and Dr David Skydmore of Glyndŵr University. Our first task, in 2011, was to write a topic paper, which explored what ‘transformative education’ might mean in the context of food and drew on our respective experiences as well as the research literature.

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Next, we organised an event at Coleg Powys at which we used reflection and leisurely discussion to investigate how students, lecturers and local food producers related to the food chain. This was intended to give an idea of how food education could be effective, by connecting with people’s existing understanding and values. It also revealed the richness of the human experience that lies behind the facts and figures of the food system.

After that, although we attracted some new members and continued to meet for a year or two, the group began to disperse. Illness and job changes were part of that, and maybe the RCE was too peripheral to our various job descriptions to get the attention it deserved. However, the central concept of collaboration between higher education and practitioners turned out to be very durable, as did our question about what makes food education transformative. The Food Group morphed into an enquiry held by a loose network.

In 2014 funding from the Welsh Rural Development Programme to Organic Centre Wales allowed us to take this to a new level with an action research project we called Food Values. This took research from social psychology and applied it to food education, and it turned out to be a powerful approach which brought fresh insights to many of us involved with food education. It later became the basis for the Wales Food Manifesto which holds a vision for a Welsh food system that is held together by shared values of care, fairness and equality.

Food Values exemplified the ethos of the RCE, even if it wasn’t technically part of it. It was a collaboration between higher education, in the shape of Dr Sophie Wynne-Jones and her colleagues first at Aberystwyth University, then Bangor, and the wider community, exemplified by the Public Interest Research Centre, Organic Centre Wales and a host of NGOs and individuals, from Age Concern in Gwynedd to the United Reform Synagogue in Cardiff. It enabled a very rich and inspiring exchange between academia and practitioners that benefited both sides.

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When you regularly teach groups and organise community events, as I do, it’s easy to get burnt out and demotivated. The connection with researchers can bring a fresh perspective that allows us to go deeper into our practice, and to take more satisfaction from what we are doing well. For academics, I imagine, it must be rewarding to be involved in projects that have an immediate benefit and show theoretical principles at work in everyday life. And although we didn’t manage to make any connections with the global RCE network, that would obviously add yet more value to the process.

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The Food Group is dormant now, but its work lives on, and there is so much more we could do.  As Welsh schools prepare for a major reform of the curriculum and the Well-Being of Future Generations Act starts to take effect, the opportunities are huge. Could RCE Cymru in its new guise offer the opportunity for another round of collaboration on food education? Read our blog and get in touch with Jane Powell.

Jane Powell worked for Organic Centre Wales from 2000 to 2015 and is now a freelance education consultant and writer. She is Wales coordinator for LEAF Education, a member of the Dyfi Biosphere Education Group, and editor of the Wales Food Manifesto. Based in Aberystwyth she is active in community food projects, including a garden at the university. Her website is www.foodsociety.wales.

Circular Economy in Wales

circular economyThe Good Practice Exchange is always looking out for innovation and interesting ways of working, so when we found out about the Circular Economy Research Group’s work, we were keen to share.

Dr Gavin Bunting is an Associate Professor and Deputy Director for Innovation and Engagement in the College of Engineering at Swansea University He has written a blog ahead of the RCE Cymru ‘Good To Share’ event we are working in partnership with, to be held in Bangor and Cardiff.

The group has been involved in some really interesting research on how we can reduce waste in Wales, and create a circular economy, which could see Wales benefiting by £2 billion a year. It’s ideas like this that are going to shape Wales for future generations, with sustainable development at the heart of their work. Have a read of his blog below to learn how the Circular Economy Research and Innovation Group for Wales have worked collaboratively, making strides towards achieving the goals of the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015


The UK generates 200 million tonnes of waste ever year with almost a quarter of that going to landfill, whilst many of the resources needed for critical applications such as power generation, communications and medical equipment are becoming more scarce.

In addition, most of us have come across the scenario where it’s cheaper to buy a new printer, washing machine, phone, etc than it is to repair or upgrade it. Why should this be the case?

One solution to tackle this excess waste and obsolescence is to move to a circular economy where products are designed:

  • To last longer
  • To be upgraded, repaired and re-used
  • To enable easy recovery and recycling of constituent materials they contain at the end of the product’s life

The potential economic benefits to Wales of operating a circular economy have been estimated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to be £2bn annually, for the two sectors of: medium-lived complex goods, e.g. automobile, electronic equipment and machinery; and fast moving consumer goods, e.g. food and beverages, clothing and personal care.

Moving towards a circular economy requires a multi-disciplinary approach, encompassing research and innovation into areas such as: designing products for refurbishment and re-use; developing new materials and extracting useful resources from natural materials; developing new business models that incentivise the manufacturer to design a product for longevity; and investigating how can we communicate the opportunities and challenge perceptions of circular economy.

We have a lot of this expertise in Welsh universities and by working together we can address circular economy challenges. I therefore worked with with colleagues in the Higher Education for Future Generations Group, Wales, the Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Wales, the Welsh Government and Swansea University to set up the ‘Circular Economy Research and Innovation Group for Wales’.

I therefore worked with with colleagues in the Higher Education for Future Generations Group, Wales, the Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Wales, the Welsh Government and Swansea University to set up the ‘Circular Economy Research and Innovation Group for Wales’.

The proposed aim of the group is to connect complementary expertise and experiences to facilitate circular economy innovation and research in Wales, achieved through the following objectives:

  • Provide a forum to share good practice and facilitate knowledge exchange between academia, business and policy makers.
  • Through collaboration, increase circular economy research capacity in Welsh institutions.
  • Engage with industry to develop industry led research.
  • Provide evidence to inform Government policy and programmes.
  • Develop an online forum to facilitate exchange of good practice, funding opportunities, news and events.
  • Showcase the network’s circular economy outputs internationally, thus supporting the development of international partnerships.
  • Collaborate on curriculum development and training.
  • Work with the Global Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) network (acknowledged by the United Nations University) to share learning and good practice at regional, national and international levels.

I chaired the inaugural meeting of the group on the 8th June, where we had representatives from: Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, South Wales, Swansea, and Trinity Saint David universities. Dr Andy Rees, Head of Waste, Welsh Government, set the scene providing some useful statistics and outlining Welsh Government policy instruments for innovation in the circular economy.

It was a productive meeting, where we discussed ideas on how we could collaborate on research, teaching, knowledge transfer and informing government policy. When it came to research it was thought that that we shouldn’t just focus on circular economy specific calls for research funding – there are opportunities for circular economy to add novelty to a wide range of research areas. It was also highlighted that we need to look at how we improve communication of the circular economy to industry and public in order to encourage innovation and change. In particular, linking to competitiveness when communicating with industry is important, as well as focusing on sectors important to the Welsh economy.  The British Standard for Circular Economy, BS-8001, could provide a useful lever to engage with companies and existing academia-industry networks such as ASTUTE can provide an established route for knowledge transfer.

A core aim of the group is to encourage collaboration; this will initially be facilitated by providing a directory of expertise, so members can easily identify potential collaborators for research. In addition, we will also set up a regular email bulletin and a forum for members to discuss areas of interest. To keep a group such as this working needs good secretariat support, which Ann Stevenson from Cardiff University, has kindly offered to provide.

Moving forward, we will hold another meeting of the group in the autumn and will run sessions at the RCE Cymru Conference on the 8th November 2018, in Cardiff, where we hope to have some inspirational and productive discussions.
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If you are interested in being part of the Group, or would like to find out more please contact Dr Gavin Bunting on g.t.m.bunting@swansea.ac.uk, 01792 602802.

 

 

 

 

It’s good to talk – Universities joining forces to put the Well-being of Future Generations Act into practice

Part of the role of the Good Practice Exchange team is to build relationships with a wide range of organisations and to share some innovative or interesting knowledge. We have been working with the Higher Education Future Generations Group (HEFGG) for a few years now.  They are very keen to work collaboratively with the wider public services and want to share their knowledge they have gained to benefit public services and ultimately the people of Wales.

When the idea of this event emerged it made complete sense for us to work in partnership. Particularly in relation to their approaches of how they are contributing to the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.

To explain a little more about the upcoming event, here’s Dr Einir Young, the chair of the group, sharing her aspiration of the day… 

My name is Einir Young, I’m Director of Sustainability at Bangor University and I also chair Wales’ Higher Education Future Generations Group (HEFGG), representing every HE in Wales[1]. On behalf of the group I’d like to introduce our new joint venture and invite you to get involved. This is the first in a series of blogs leading up to two conferences coming up, one in Bangor in September and another in Cardiff in November – plenty of time and information to decide whether you want in or not.

Having worked together as a group for some time we decided that it was time to put the theories of the WFGA into practice, in particular the five ways of working, asking ourselves the following questions:

  • What is the long term contribution of the group? What’s the point of us meeting every so often, and exchanging our ideas? What happens to those ideas? What can we show for our efforts?
  • Just meeting to tick a box is not a worthwhile activity so how can we prevent inertia and stagnation and make our group relevant?
  • Collaboration is something that we aspire to but too often our institutions are in competition with each other and as someone said ‘collaboration is the suspension of mutual loathing in search of further funding’. That produced a laugh, because we all recognised a grain of truth. How could we then truly collaborate.
  • Integration is another aspiration – integrating what we do rather than pursue our own goals in silos. How could we do better?
  • Involvement is another word that carries a lot of weight but is difficult to achieve. Who should be involved? Who should do what? When? Where?

As we were pondering these questions as a group at the Wales Audit Office’s Behaviour Change Conference in Aberystwyth in April 2017, Yvonne Jones from Swansea University, the last person standing from the secretariat of the original RCE Wales challenged us to revive and revitalise the RCE to reflect our new thinking and the thinking behind the WFGA. And here we are, 18 months later about to re-launch RCE Cymru in its new guise, ready to contribute actively to an international network of more than 160 similar groups who are busy putting global sustainability objectives into a local community context, with an emphasis on the well-being of current and future generations.

The RCE networks have rules of engagement and the two golden rules are that i) an RCE has to be led by a University and ii) it must engage with the wider community. So we have brought together a tiny group of three people to act as a Secretariat to deal with reporting but the rest is fluid and open to suggestions.

Currently we’re developing several circles of interest and are looking for interested participants. So far the following groups have emerged:

  • The circular economy (co-ordinated by Dr Gavin Bunting, Swansea University)
  • Healthy Universities and Colleges (co-ordinated by Chris Deacy, Cardiff Met)
  • Regeneration (co-ordinated by Dr Sheena Carlisle and Tim Palazon, Cardiff Met)
  • Teaching and Learning (co-ordinated by Dr Caroline Hayles, UWTSD)
  • Communication is a cross-cutting theme and is co-ordinated by my team in Bangor.

Other circles are starting to brew:

  • Social Prescribing (co-ordinated by Nina Ruddle, Glyndŵr)
  • Language and Culture (co-ordinators to be confirmed)
  • Sounding boards for the Public Service Boards (Nina Ruddle and Dr Einir Young – in the north of Wales initially)

So to answer our original five questions, this is where we’re at:

Our long term vision is to create a truly collaborative structure (we think the RCE set up will facilitate this) to provide ‘thinking space’ for circles of interest to explore their theme-specific challenges, in their own time and their own way. It is up to each group to decide how they organise themselves and measure success.

The circles of interest will provide a two way dialogue between the core RCE group and the circles generating a constant flow of new ideas and providing opportunities for cross-fertilisation of ideas between the circles. The meetings will be organised as required by the participants thus aiming to avoid ‘meeting fatigue’.

Collaboration has to be based on trust and this is an opportunity to explore, with no strings attached, how the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts. There is no funding to squabble over, there are no targets to dispute. There is no pressure to join and no shame in failing – we are here to learn together.

There are many initiatives associated with all the circles of interest and many attempts to force institutions to work together before the necessary foundation of mutual trust has been built. We hope that the voluntary nature of the RCE Cymru relationships emerging through the HEFGG will facilitate greater integration and sharing of ideas breaking down the protectionist ‘us v them’ barriers.

The good news is that anyone and everyone can be involved if you want to. This is not an exclusive club. The main requirement of involvement is an open mind, a can-do attitude, creative thinking a willingness to take risks (where failing might be an option) and a commitment to have a go.

Watch this space for the forthcoming blogs explaining the aspirations of each of the circles of interest in turn.

I am ready and waiting for comments and feedback to flow like a Tsumani. Let the fun begin!

[1] Originally the group was called the Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship group but morphed into our new form in response to the Welsh Government’s Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015 which became law in April 2016.

About the author:
Einir YoungDr Einir Young is Bangor University’s Director of Sustainability. Her Sustainability Lab team are centrally located in the University’s Department of Planning and Governance reflecting Bangor’s commitment to sustainability and well-being of future generations.

She has extensive experience of collaborating with business and institutions who are disillusioned with a ‘one size fits all’ approach. She relishes the challenge of finding effective solutions to complex ‘sustainability’ issues, focusing on generating prosperity through respecting people and living within the resource boundaries of the planet. In her opinion the days of ‘old power values’ with its top down command and control style are over and welcomes the fluidity and energy offered by ‘new power values’ of crowd-sourcing, radical transparency and trusting people.

In her spare time she is passionate about walking. Current projects include the Wales Coastal Path and the Snowdonia Slate Trail; she recently walked around Malta – every destination is judged by the quality of its walks. Wales wins.

How ambitious could you be?

data_speechAlice Turner @YLabWales has blogged for us following our latest Digital seminar ‘Inspiring public services to deliver independence and wellbeing through digital ambition’. Read on to find out more about her experience of the day and how Y Lab can help support you if you were inspired by our event…

We spent the morning at #WAODigital18, learning and sharing from organisations in Wales that want to bring more digital innovation to their delivery of public services.

Shirley Ayres @shirleyayres from Connected Care Network said ‘No one sector has all the answers to the wicked problems. Public services should be leading the way.’

It was inspiring to hear stories and examples from different sectors, with lots of common challenges identified. As Shirley said, this is the start of the journey, so what is the next step?

Y Lab is the public services innovation lab for Wales – we develop capacity for innovation, support new ideas and research how and why public services innovation happens.

If you were inspired by the seminar and left full of ideas, we are currently accepting applications to Innovate to Save, a £5.8m programme of blended finance and tailored support to organisations that want to try something new.

Over the last year, we have supported eight organisations (including Innovate Trust, who were part of the plenary panel speakers and presented a workshop at the event) to test and research their idea to see if it worked. The next stage for those projects is now underway, with an interest-free loan to scale and implement their idea.

What would you try? If you have an idea that might create cashable savings and deliver better services, we encourage you to get in touch and talk to us about it. Come along to a talk and see what else is out there. The programme is open to all organisations delivering a public service, including local government and third sector organisations. How ambitious could you be?

In June and July, we are hosting a number of free talks aross Wales from innovators including Futuregov, Behavioural Insights Team, Welsh Government and Citymart, who will demonstrate and explore best practice and new developments in the delivery of public services. Why not join us?