X Close

UCL Public Engagement Blog



Co-creating our strategy: get involved!

By Lizzie, on 22 June 2020

As a community, we’ve been co-producing the development of the UCL Centre for Co-production in Health Research since 2017. Most of this has been through our co-creation sessions, but we’re now ready to try some different methods alongside these, starting with the process of co-creating our strategy.

Whether you’re brand new to co-production, have been part of the Centre since the start, or are somewhere in between, please get involved! Read on to find out more. 

Hold on there – what is a strategy and why do we need one?

Good question! A strategy is a statement of who we are, why we exist, and what we’re working towards. It covers our core purpose, what makes us distinctive and where we fit in the wider world. The process of developing the strategy is as important as the strategy itself; we’re taking time to stop and ask ourselves some big questions – What are we trying to achieve? How will we get there? – and co-create the answers. It’s the right time to do this as we’re planning to launch the Centre in October, so having our strategy ready to go will help us set a clear direction. Our Wellcome Trust funding also comes to an end in 2021, so we are planning a two year strategy (2020-2022) to cover this period as we work towards becoming financially sustainable. A strategy will help us make decisions, communicate our strengths, and secure funding.

Our strategy will help set our direction (c. Javier Allegue Barros, Unsplash)

Haven’t there already been some co-creation sessions?

Yep – since 2017 we’ve had loads of them! And everything we’ve co-created so far has informed our activity up to now (e.g. funding pilot projects), and will continue to do so as we move forward. All this co-creation work is also contributing to the strategy process, along with two strategy-specific co-creation sessions which took place earlier this month.

In those sessions, we worked through different aspects which will be included in the final strategy, including thinking far ahead into the future (2035), then a little closer (2022), then to the present day, and starting to join the dots in between those scenarios.

In the first session, we used different activities to start answering the following questions:

  • Our vision – how do we want the world to be? – what will the world be like in 2035 if our work has been successful?
  • Our mission – how will we get there? – what progress do we want to make by 2022?

Then in the second session, we worked through these questions in order:

  • What are we already doing well?
  • What more needs to happen?
  • How can we make this happen?

You can read more reflections on the sessions here. We have lots of ideas and are definitely making progress, but we want to open up the process so that more of you can share your thoughts and build on the work so far.

Interesting… how can I get involved now then?

We used a platform called Miro, which is like a giant virtual whiteboard, to put our ideas together.  We have opened up the board so that anyone with the link can go in and read what’s there, and add their own comments. You can access the board here (although it will be easier if you read the HOW TO guide before you dive in!).

The board is split into two sections. Section 1 shows you all the other relevant work that’s taken place since 2017 and will be feeding into the strategy development process. As you’ll see, there’s a lot! It’s for you to read, if you’re interested and in case it’s useful to inform your co-creation, but don’t worry if you don’t have time.

Overview of our Miro board

An overview of all the information on our Miro board

Section 2 displays the outputs from the two strategy-specific co-creation sessions and three ‘actions’ where you can build on that work and co-create with us.

  1. Which vision statements stand out to you?
    Which TWO statements do you think are most important for the Centre to work towards in the longer term? We’re limiting it to two because (as much as we’d like to!) we can’t include everything and need to prioritise. The other information won’t be lost though, it will feed into the wider strategy.
  2. What do you want to see by 2022?
    Tell us which of the ideas you think are most important for us to work towards in the shorter term.
  3. How are we going to get there?
    Add your thoughts, reflections and ideas, responding to the questions:

    1. What are we already doing well?
    2. What more needs to happen?
    3. How can we make this happen?

There are more detailed instructions about how to get into Miro, how to move around, and how to co-create in this HOW TO guide. Please read this first!

We’re asking everyone to contribute by Monday 6th July at the latest, so we can start working on the next phase of the strategy based on your co-creation.

The co-creation section on our Miro board

What if I don’t want to contribute online, or I can’t?

That’s not a problem at all. You can just look at the Miro board and then email us or we can arrange a call to share your thoughts, instead of commenting on the page. If Miro isn’t for you, then please drop us an email (coproduction@ucl.ac.uk), message us on Twitter, or give us a call, and we can arrange to either email or post documents for you to read however you’d prefer.

What will happen next?

There will be another co-creation session later this summer, where we’ll present a draft version of the strategy based on everyone’s contributions. We’ll refine that together, before sharing another version in the same way we’re doing here, for those not in the session. Finally, we’ll put some finishing touches on it and get it ready for the big launch in October!

This work is part of a bigger package of Centre activity in the run-up to the launch, so there will be more co-creation opportunities coming soon too. In the meantime, if you fancy it please join us for a Co-pro Cuppa session (info on how to join is enclosed) to mark #CoProductionWeekEngland2020 – we look forward to a natter with you!

Ok, I’m ready!

Great! Here is the HOW TO guide again – please read this first!

Here is the link to Miro where you can read and comment to your heart’s content!

Please do get in touch if you want to access the content differently, need help, or would prefer to talk through your reflections with us.

Finally, don’t forget – we need your responses by Monday 6th July at the latest. Thank you!

Ooh, one last thing – what if I have another question?

You know where we are! Email coproduction@ucl.ac.uk and Rory, Niccola or Lizzie will get back you as soon as possible.

Leave a Reply