Thursday, 12 January 2017

APPLICATIONS OF SYSTEMS THINKING

THIRD SECTOR SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP

APPLICATIONS OF SYSTEMS THINKING

Friday 17th March 2017, 14.00-17.00
(Arrival/registration/tea and coffee from 13.30)
CAN-Mezzanine 7-14 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YR

Systems thinking is a powerful way of understanding the world, and accordingly, systems approaches can be powerful ways of addressing real-world problems. This half-day event is an opportunity to hear from people who are using systems approaches to address community and social issues, and to discuss the potential and the challenges of such approaches.

Speakers include Gerald Midgley, Professor of Systems Thinking at Hull University Business School, talking about resolving stakeholder conflict in a range of community settings; Miles Weaver from Edinburgh Napier University on how systems approaches have helped identify better ways for communities and socially responsible businesses to buil value; and Penny Lawrence, Deputy Director of Oxfam, on applying systems thinking to Oxfam’s change programme.

The event should be of interest to third sector managers interested in how systems thinking can be applied to their own challenges; to OR professionals interested in learning about different systems methodologies and their applications; and to anybody interested in how systems thinking can help us to drive change.

To book: The event is free to attend but we expect this to be a very popular event and space is limited, so places must be booked in advance, by visiting: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/or-society-third-sector-sig-applications-of-systems-thinking-tickets-31120017811

For further information please contact:   felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com

Provisional timetable
2.00-2.05           Introduction/welcome
2.05-2.45           Gerald Midgley
2.45-3.15            Miles Weaver
3.15-3.30           break
3.30-4.00           Penny Lawrence
4.00-4.30           further speaker tbc
4.30-5.00           discussion, informal networking


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Four Pro Bono projects requiring volunteers

Please find details of four projects below with Home-Start (Hampshire), Inclusion North (Leeds/Remote), Fulham Good Neighbours (Fulham), Partnership for Young London (Remote working

Please feel free to pass on the anyone who might be interested.  

Home-Start
Project summary:
Project: Mapping the gaps: to explore available data on the needs of parents and children and on service provision.
Time commitment: approx. 5 days. There is almost certainly scope for more if the volunteer wants to do more, so the volunteer should confirm scope, deliverables and time commitment at the initial meeting.
Location: Hampshire RG24 8AG. Mix of onsite and remote working
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 18th January.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
The Home-Start in Hampshire consortium, in common with all individual Home-Start schemes, believes that children need a happy and secure childhood and that parents play a key role in giving their children the best possible start in life and in helping them to achieve their full potential.
Main activities of the organisation: 
·         Communicating in a variety of ways to individual schemes and to all schemes in Hampshire about external and internal developments
·         Assessing the changing needs of families and children in communities across Hampshire  
·         Fundraising
·         Monitoring
·         Planning and considering strategic options
·         Marketing and promotion

Inclusion North
Project summary:
Project: Support Northern-based learning disability charity to monitor and report progress against business plan objectives.
Time commitment: approx. 3 days, although though this will need to be checked by the volunteer(s) in the light of information gathered at the first meeting
Location:  Remote working would be preferred, but may be beneficial if volunteer can attend annual away day on Thursday 2nd February 2017 at Wortley Hall near Barnsley.
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 18th January.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
We promote the inclusion of people with learning disabilities, their families and carers. We want people with learning disabilities to have good lives. We support our Members in helping people to get the lives they want.

Fulham Good Neighbours
Project summary:
Project: Assessing the impact of Fulham Good Neighbours
Time commitment: approx. 5 days, though this will need to be checked by the volunteer(s) in the light of information gathered at their first meeting.
Location: Fulham, SW6 7QT.
Please read project scope and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 18th January.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
Our aims are to enable elderly, disabled and vulnerable people to:
-          Live independently and to contribute to society,
-          Help overcome isolation and loneliness,
-          Be at the heart of the local community.
Main activities of the organisation: 


Fulham Good Neighbours support mainly older people, including those with dementia, with practical tasks at home such as basic DIY, gardening, and decorating. We do what any good neighbour would: collect medication, escort to appointments, accompany shopping and take care of pets to name just a few of our free services delivered by over 50 volunteers, many of whom are older people.

Partnership for Young London
Project summary:
Project: Vision for Young Londoners: To develop a brief for a data modeling exercise of the needs and issues of young people across London, looking at both existing and projected trends aiming to influence regional youth policy in the future.
Time commitment: approx. 10-15 days, although though this will need to be checked by the volunteer(s) in the light of information gathered at the first meeting
Location:  This project can be carried out remotely however desk space is available is preferred.
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 18th January.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
We promote the inclusion of people with learning disabilities, their families and carers. We want people with learning disabilities to have good lives. We support our Members in helping people to get the lives they want.

If you would like to volunteer on a project but are not able to commit to the full time requirement please let me know as it may be possible to pair you up with another analyst.  

Lastly if you would like to work on a project as part of a pair or with the support of a mentor please indicate on your application and we try to facilitate this. 

look forward to hearing from you and once again thank you for your help and support.

For further information about the scheme please visit: http://www.theorsociety.com/Probono  





Some interesting reading


Happy New Year to all my readers.  

To start of the year I thought I'd share with you a couple of interesting articles I've come across.

'The rise of the arm chair volunteer' was published by Nesta.  Being able to offer more flexible volunteering opportunities that can be carried out remotely is something more charities are realising the benefit of.  88% of UK adults have internet access at home and most are likely to have a personal laptop or tablet from which they could carry out voluntary work.  Additionally the number of people working from home is increasing and is a trend that shows no signs of slowing.  Taking all this into account charities can benefit by tapping into this rise of  'arm chair volunteering'.

Here at Pro Bono O.R. we always look to identify if projects or parts of projects can be carried out remotely.  We have found this increases the volunteer pool, as volunteers are able to support charities not in their locality or even in their own country in some cases.


Centre for Aging Better have published a report looking at what the scientific evidence says about the effects of volunteering for those in later life - defined variously as 50+, 55+ or 60+ depending on which research paper is being reviewed.

There are many ways in which you can volunteer your time, 'Other Pro Bono Support' on our website lists a variety of organisations which offer pro bono support and who require volunteers.  Additionally if you have analytical/operation research skills and would like to volunteer your time to Pro Bono O.R., please do get in touch.

 

Friday, 16 December 2016

Pro Bono O.R. Christmas message

As the end of 2016 draws near, we are writing to thank you for being a Pro Bono Volunteer. Whatever level you have been involved at - whether you have completed a Pro Bono project, or put your name forward but not been selected, or are still waiting for a suitable project to come along - we appreciate your willingness to volunteer your time and expertise. The OR Society’s Pro Bono initiative is only possible because you and others like you offer your commitment.

Over the last year, we have completed 24 projects, representing a total of 135 person days, for charities as varied as Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive: for example “the volunteers were very dedicated and committed to the project skills gap in our team so added great value for data/insight-driven decisions” and “the work has allowed us to step back and take a bold decision in the way forward. One that we hadn't anticipated.” And we know that the volunteers who have been involved have generally been excited and inspired by the experience.

The scheme has been beneficial not just for the charities who have benefited directly, and for those volunteers who have had the chance to take part, but also for the visibility of O.R. itself. The Pro Bono O.R. initiative has been publicised widely in third sector discussion fora, publications, and by word of mouth. It is visible not just to charities, but to their trustees and other supporters whose day job is in other sectors of the economy, and to other specialist volunteers through our collaboration  with organisations such as DatakindUK (an equivalent initiative in the Data Science area) and the Government Statistical Service. And we are particularly proud that in this last year, we have spawned similar initiatives from INFORMS and APDIO, our US and Portuguese sister societies, respectively.

So whatever your involvement has been so far, we do hope that you will continue to stay involved during the coming year, and to keep in touch with Pro Bono’s successes and opportunities.
Wishing you a very merry festive season, and all the best for the New Year

Ruth Kaufman (OR Society President) & Felicity (Pro Bono O.R. Project Manager)


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

New projects with Sense, Home Start and Inclusion North #Volunteers required


Please find details of three new projects below with Home-Start Hampshire, Sense (London) and Inclusion North (Leeds). I have provided a brief summary and then attached a detailed project scope.  

Home-Start
Project summary:
Project: Mapping the gaps: to explore available data on the needs of parents and children and on service provision.
Time commitment: approx. 5 days. There is almost certainly scope for more if the volunteer wants to do more, so the volunteer should confirm scope, deliverables and time commitment at the initial meeting.
Location: Hampshire RG24 8AG. Mix of onsite and remote working
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 4th January.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
The Home-Start in Hampshire consortium, in common with all individual Home-Start schemes, believes that children need a happy and secure childhood and that parents play a key role in giving their children the best possible start in life and in helping them to achieve their full potential.
Main activities of the organisation: 
·         Communicating in a variety of ways to individual schemes and to all schemes in Hampshire about external and internal developments
·         Assessing the changing needs of families and children in communities across Hampshire  
·         Fundraising
·         Monitoring
·         Planning and considering strategic options
·         Marketing and promotion

Sense
Project summary:
Project: Estimates of the population who have a combined sight and hearing impairment by local authority and CCG

Time commitment: approx. 10 days, though this will need to be checked by the volunteer(s) in the light of information gathered at their first meeting.
Location: This project can be carried out remotely.
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 4th January.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
Sense is a national charity that supports people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, to enjoy more independent lives.
Main activities of the organisation: 


We provide information and advice, offer a wide range of flexible services and campaign passionately for the rights of the people we serve.


Inclusion North
Project summary:
Project: Support Northern-based learning disability charity to monitor and report progress against business plan objectives.
Time commitment: approx. 3 days, although though this will need to be checked by the volunteer(s) in the light of information gathered at the first meeting
Location:  Remote working would be preferred, but may be beneficial if volunteer can attend annual away day on Thursday 2nd February 2017 at Wortley Hall near Barnsley.
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 4th January.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
We promote the inclusion of people with learning disabilities, their families and carers. We want people with learning disabilities to have good lives. We support our Members in helping people to get the lives they want.

If you would like to volunteer on a project but are not able to commit to the full time requirement please let me know as it may be possible to pair you up with another analyst.  Lastly if you would like to work on a project as part of a pair or with the support of a mentor please indicate on your application and we try to facilitate this. 

I look forward to hearing from you and once again thank you for your help and support.
For further information about the scheme please visit: http://www.theorsociety.com/Probono