Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2015
What have you been doing these past few months Emily?
It's been a busy but very productive few months with some exciting developments, not least getting married!
I went on some fantastic training with Citizens UK, with new insights into power, relationships and working with others. The Athenians vs Melians role play, where poor negotiation lead to certain death, and the poignant and impactful cross faith action to house Syrian refugees are both well worth remembering!
I've also been putting more of my leadership skills and learnings into practice, including working with and through others, to achieve impact while living to tell the tale.
I developed a new approach to Age UK's Influencing Conference for local partners – co-producing this as a learning exchange with a strategic local and national approach, strengthening the network. I am also managing the development of resources to support local influencing, which is of growing importance in the context of greater localism and devolution, and piloting a scheme to promote dialogue and engage local leaders.
I'm using learning from my visits to Washington DC in June (read my blog here), and a memorable visit to HOPE neighbourhood network in my grandfather's former parish in Leeds to inform my thinking on the importance of attitudes, relationships and a positive approach to all things.
What has been your greatest challenge?
The pace of activity, learning, opportunity, challenge and change has been pretty overwhelming, and it isn’t over yet!
To conclude the year, I am spending part of my secondment with the Government Office of Science Foresight team on The Future of Ageing Society. It has been hugely challenging to juggle other commitments and deadlines to make this opportunity work, but a wonderful chance to understand the evidence, trends and decision making processes, and to consider more fully the implications for living well.
As 2016 approaches, I look forward to developing my thinking and research on ageing equally - learning more about neighbourhood networks, asset based community enablers and thinking outside the box on new technologies and design with the potential to enable and enrich lives.
As I say goodbye to a momentous year, I take away some rich learning to guide me through the next:
- Pay attention to relationships - they are key to our impact and wellbeing. Build alliances with likeminded people and engage in nourishing networks.
- Take the rough with the smooth - even the most challenging experiences and environments help build character, empathy and are rich in learning for leaders.
- Stay true, trust your gut - follow your passions, face your fears and flex your style to the situation and audience while remaining authentic and values driven.
- Do something fun, creative and kind (for yourself as well as others) every day, it helps!
Current principal role: Local Influencing Adviser
Current principal organisation: Age UK
Other leadership role 1: Secretariat
Other organisation 1: Age Action Alliance
Research: Elder-friendly communities & social inclusion