Big Change | Quarterly Big 5
Project Partners and Prize Fund: We launched a funding round earlier this year to ensure we continue securing new Project Partners whilst our Prize Fund gets off the ground. We’re proud to announce our newest Project Partner Rethinking Assessment, working to recognise the strengths of every young person. In June, they launched their learner profiles, demonstrating an alternative to the current assessment system. We have also completed the initial draft of our Big Change Prize Fund design, in partnership with global prize expert Constance Agyeman, which will be launching this autumn.
Subject to Change (UK) – our national partnership project empowering young people and the public to set a new direction for learning: Our Project Council is up and running! This dynamic group of 25 young people aged 11-18 years old from across England come from diverse backgrounds and educational experiences. They meet monthly either online or in-person and have been involved in sessions focused on getting to know each other and understanding the project, as well as shaping the new website and social channels with our new comms partner Stand Agency. We are also delighted to announce our first place partner: Right to Succeed in Blackpool who we will work alongside as they deliver a 10-year education strategy launching in September.
A New Education Story: three drivers to transform education systems (Global): Following a successful webinar in January with young leaders Aliyah Irabor-York (Pupil Power) and Jesse Williams (Rekindle School) and experts including Andreas Schleicher (OECD) and Charles Leadbeater, global engagement in our research on transforming education systems continues to grow. In March, we partnered with Salzburg Global Seminar, Microsoft and Lego Foundation to co-design and deliver a 4-day programme for education leaders and changemakers: Education Futures: Shaping a new education story. We published a wrap-up blog and also the Salzburg Statement on Education Transformation which was shared with Education Ministers who gathered at the Education World Forum in May.
Marketing and Communications: Over the quarter we’ve been shining a light on some of our Project Partners and their pioneering leaders in a series of video interviews. We spoke to Emmanuel Akpan-Inwang of the Lighthouse Pedagogy Trust about their journey to opening their first children’s home, and to Owen Carter of ImpactEd about their work helping schools evaluate their impact. Look out for our upcoming video with the Chartered College of Teaching.
We’ve continued to convene key thinkers, doers and funders from across the sector to explore complex challenges and learn together. We started the quarter with a series of interactive events, examining what young people ‘leading the way’ really looks like. These were followed by bespoke engagements for our next generation philanthropist network in May and June, with a breakfast event sharing the key questions facing next gens at the outset of their philanthropic careers, and a final life design workshop with our inaugural Next Gen Catalyst Circle cohort. In June, we hosted an intimate dinner with special guest Gregg Behr and his team at Remake Learning, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Partners and peers came together to hear Gregg and the team share insights on how to transform learning opportunities and outcomes in a place.
We’ve formed two significant new funding partnerships. Virgin Unite has committed to support the Prize Fund in its inaugural year, and Paul Hamlyn Foundation has agreed to co-fund Subject to Change. We welcome Paul Hamlyn Foundation to the family and, as always, are hugely grateful to Virgin Unite for their continuing support.
OPERATIONS AND TEAM
The financial news coming out of Big Change’s recently closed 2021 audit was positive: the organisation posted a small surplus of £112,000 for the year, as compared to a deficit of £535,000 in Covid-impacted 2020. Excitingly, Big Change will invest heavily (£1.8m) in its impact work in 2022 and 2023 as two major workstreams come on-line, Subject to Change and The Prize Fund, and our Global work (the New Education Story and the Big Education Conversation) gains even more momentum.
We’re pleased to introduce Eva Keffenheim, our Associate (consultant) working on A New Education Story engagement and activation. Essie, our CEO, is now on maternity leave. Noah Bernstein has stepped in as interim CEO until early next year.