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UCL Public Engagement Blog



Co-creating our strategy: making our minds up!

By Lizzie, on 6 August 2020

We’ve got one final stage of co-creation left before we finalise our strategy and we’d love for you to get involved. Whether you’re new to the Centre or a veteran co-producer, read on to find out how you can contribute to shaping our direction for the next two years. 

As a community, we’ve been co-producing the development of the UCL Centre for Co-production in Health Research since 2017. Earlier this year we began the process of co-creating our first strategy and are now in the final stage – we’re ready to make our minds up!

If you’d like to catch-up on the work we’ve done so far, as well as a reminder about what a strategy is and why we think we need one, take a look at our blog from June.

The contributions from that phase of co-creation were brought together and developed again in our final strategy co-creation session on 28 July. In that session, we also continued to develop ideas around the activity the Centre should be prioritising over the length of the strategy (2020-2022).

Now we have a draft strategy document ready for one last stage of co-creation – and we need your thoughts!

The building blocks of our strategy are in place but still need assembling…. c. Markus Spiske, Unsplash

What’s in the draft strategy document?

The draft strategy is split up into five sections, explained below:

Our Vision

A statement explaining what we’re ultimately working towards – how we want the world to be.

Our Mission

A statement explaining our contribution to realising that vision – our purpose and what we do.

What co-production means to us

Our ‘definition’ of co-production.

Our Core Values

A series of values which set out how we work and act – a distilled version of our Principles to Live By.

Our Themes and Goals for 2020-2022

Our Themes are the broad, high level areas of work we will focus on for the duration of this strategy. Our Goals are more detailed aims for us to work towards, which relate to and cut across the different themes. They will be our priorities to deliver in the next two years, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be the only activity we will do.

A snapshot of one of the virtual platforms we’ve been using to co-create our strategy

It’s important to emphasise that this is a very high level strategy which provides us with a direction to follow, rather than a detailed roadmap. This means that we can’t include everything we might like to. It also needs to be broad enough to encompass our whole community, including researchers, patients, carers and practitioners. However, no contributions or ideas have been or will be lost! All the co-creation work will be collated and used to inform the more detailed planning that will take place once the high level strategy is finalised.

Finally, it’s also important to highlight that this is our two year ‘starter’ strategy, which covers the period in which our Wellcome Trust funding comes to an end and we work to become financially sustainable.  We’re seeing it very much as a living document, which will change as and when we do – nothing is set in stone, as the last few months have taught us! But co-creating the strategy now will guide us through the next two years, giving us a strong foundation to communicate our strengths, make decisions and build our community.

 How can I get involved?

We need your help to finalise the strategy and turn it from a draft into a reality!

You can do this via a word document, a document in the post, or via a phone conversation with us – whatever works best for you.

If you’d like to comment via a word document, then please download the draft strategy here and give it a read. You will see that each of the five sections has related questions or activities and opportunities for you to contribute your own thoughts. There’s also a final section at the end for general comments.

Once you’ve added everything you want to, please email your completed document back to us at coproduction@ucl.ac.uk

If you have any questions, or would prefer to do this offline or over the phone, that’s no problem at all – just get in touch and let us know, and we’ll sort this out for you.

 Please send us your response by Friday 21 August at the latest. Thank you!

What happens next?

Once we’ve received all the responses, we’ll consolidate them and produce a final version of the strategy, ready to be designed up in time for our launch in October.

We’ll hopefully have our name, brand and the beginnings of our website ready to unveil then too. Don’t forget you can get involved in this co-creation work as well – find out more about those opportunities here.

Keep your eyes peeled for more information about what the launch will involve – we’re starting to get very excited….

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