Chain Reaction 2009: Connect, Collaborate, Commit

Chain Reaction 2009 will take place at Canary Wharf on 12 November 2009 


Why are we bringing people together this year?


In the past year we reacted to a crisis. Now is our chance to move on, making new ideas for social change real. New ideas to build stronger economies and stronger communities across the UK. These Chain Reactions will start with you, on November 12th.  They will involve government, business, charity, and ordinary people. Our speakers have a lot of great ideas, and you’ll have even more.


Chain Reactions happen all around us. A bank collapses and a year later people are still losing their jobs.   Or a film maker dreams about a day of international peace, and with support from business and grass roots campaigners he meets with international government and Peace One Day(link) is born.


After the financial crisis we have an unprecedented chance to rebuild our economy in a way that puts people and communities at its heart. 


Chain Reaction is about building connections between people who want to make a difference,  fuelling new collaborations and committing to new ideas.


Chain Reactions bring big changes, and the biggest involve everyone – government, business, charity, and people - which is why we’ve invited them all to Chain Reaction 2009.


What is Chain Reaction 2009?

Chain Reaction is a unique chance to bring along your new ideas, hear those of others, and then begin to make them real.  There will be thought provoking speeches from activists and business leaders and insights from senior Cabinet Ministers etc etc.  But it’s not really about the speeches, it’s about the workshops, the group discussions, the connection over coffee. You’ll leave with new ideas for change, new people to help you, and a set of concrete commitments to doing something differently.


Chain Reaction is unique in that it brings together people from business, from government, from voluntary and community organisations, from the world of arts and of technology, from the UK and beyond, and from all age groups.  Chain Reaction creates spaces and processes where people are able to connect with each other,collaborate on developing new ideas, and commit to taking change forward.


What will happen this year:

Key themes for Chain Reaction 2009 include:


New ideas for engaging communities

Face to face, side by side, online or on the doorstep, there are plenty of new ways to engage people in changing society. .From digital inclusion, to scaling up employee volunteering, we need to unlock the skills, experience and energy from every member of our communities to address the huge local and global challenges we face.  Engaged and connected communities enable sustainable solutions to intractable issues to be established and shared. 


Hear from Tessa Jowell MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Olympics and London and Paymaster General , and Martha Lane Fox, Chair of the Digital Inclusion Task Force, as well as experts from organisations such as National Talent Bank, the RSA, English Secondary Students Association, and UK Online Centres.  Find out more, share what you are doing, and develop new  ideas, at Chain Reaction. 


New ideas for financing social change

We are all feeling the impact of recession.  Budgets are under increasing pressure and traditional sources of funding are drying up, but there are plenty of new ideas out there. .  Philanthrocapitalism demonstrates altnernative ways to give, the Social Impact Bond promises to change the way in which we invest in long term change.  Economic health is no longer just measured in terms of money – recently the French government have announced plans to count happiness in the country’s GDP.   


Hear from Angela Smith MP, Minister for the Third Sector, Michael Green, co-author of Philanthrocapitalism, and Shaks Ghosh, Chief Executive, Private Equity Foundation, among other experts from the worlds of finance and micro credit, and find out more, share what you are doing, and develop new ideas, at Chain Reaction.  


New ideas for delivering public services

The free market has become the accepted model for the public sector.  And so, in the UK and elsewhere, there's been massive investment in public sector 'improvement', 'customer choice' has been increased and new targets have been set and refined.  Changes to the public sector impact on all of us (the NHS alone is the third largest employer in the world) and in the coming years, pressure on public budgets will lead to cuts.  So how can we do more with less, and transform public services - more human, more empowering, contributing to stronger communiteis, delivering better outcomes for service users?

Hear from Liam Byrne MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Matthew Smerdon, Deputy Director at the Baring Foundation, the Everyday Innovators, as well as experts in public sector reform and find out more, share what you are doing, and develop new  ideas, at Chain Reaction. 


New ideas for organising the business of social change

The old divisions and boundaries between sectors (government, business, charity) are blurring and people are developing new ways to organise. From new ways of doing business to worker co-operatives from utilising empty shops and offices for community projects, to ‘organising without organisation’, find out more at Chain Reaction


Hear from Mikel Lezamiz, Director of Co-operative Dissemination, Mondragon Co-operative, Guy Watson, Founder of Riverford Organics, Sophi Tranchell, CEO of Divine Chocolate plus many more! Find out more, share what you are doing, and develop new  ideas, at Chain Reaction. 


Chain Reaction also offers the Connect, Collaborate, Commit process to support attendees to connect to the people they want to meet, collaborate to develop ideas and commit to taking action together.  In our open space area you will be able to hold your own meetings and discuss your ideas and issues pertinent to you.   


Who should attend?


People working in every sector, young people, older people, people with ideas, people working on innovative projects who want more support.  People with open minds.  People who can make change happen.  Innovators, activists and entrepreneurs.  Communicators, innovators and philanthropists. People who will spread the word. People like you?


How much does it cost?


We are charging a flat rate of £149 (plus VAT) for everyone attending the event.  A percentage of every ticket booked and paid for goes towards providing free tickets for young people and people who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to attend, but can make a valuable contribution to their community.


These bursary tickets will be made available on a weekly basis on the Chain Reaction website. 


Find out more at

You can also:

Follow us on Twitter (the event hashtag is #cr09)

Meet other attendees on the Network

Find us on Facebook


Name Sales End Price Fee
Standard Rate £149 + VAT   Ended £171.35 £
Free (under 21 rate)   Ended Free
Bursary - Donation   Ended Free

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