A welcome new conversation #IFC2017

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

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As the dust (sand, really) settles from IFC 2017, a surge of energy has swept across Open.


Despite our digitally connected world, nothing beats being in the same space as our peers from across the world to share, listen and debate.


The theme was ‘A New Conversation’ and Jeremy Heimans’ opening plenary hit the mark with his progressive thinking about building movements with impact. If you weren’t there you can watch it back here.


We also loved Zack Exley and Kenneth Pennington’s Big Room Session News from the Resistance: Big Organising and Beyond. At their session last year no one would have believed what we’ve since seen in American politics. But in that time we’ve been privileged to work with the ACLU, fighting back, and it was great to see Michelle Ehrhardt (Deputy Director of Membership) up on the stage with them discussing a vision for a post-Trump world. Check out their joint grassroots movement People Power here.


Finally Jo Wolfe teamed up with Paul de Gregorio to run a Masterclass and two workshops about Open and Breast Cancer Care’s experience of using mobile strategically in fundraising. 2017 felt like the right year to converge our conversations about mobile and digital – and as Paul keeps saying…


Mobile is Digital, Digital is Mobile.


There really is no distinction. Drop Paul a note if you’re interested to hear more.




No Tain, no gain

Thursday, October 12th, 2017



In case you didn’t know, the role of planning in any ad agency is “to embrace the consumer as partners in the process of developing advertising*”.


I think it’s fair to say that as the giving public becomes more diverse, more demanding and have more choice the art and science of outstanding planning in our sector requires even more skilled people.


And great planners are hard to find.


Which is why I’m over the moon that Tain Joliffe recently joined Open as a Strategy Director.


Tain has been working in the charity sector for fourteen years, for a diverse range of organisations and an equally diverse number of causes.


Organisations such as the Save the Children, RSPCA, The Labour Party, LLDC, NSPCC, and Unicef have benefited from her problem-solving, people-centred and creative strategising.


And as you’ll see if you get to meet her, she’s awesome.


If you want to learn more about Tain, and her thinking, have a read of this month’s Fundraising Magazine – she’s the agent provocateur.




* Truth, lies & advertising, The art of account planning, Jon Steel, 1998

Catch up with PDG at this year’s IFC…

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Classroom qna


A few weeks ago I sat in a room at Amnesty International’s office near Exmouth Market and attended my first IFC Advisory Panel meeting. I’d been asked to join the panel to help shape the theme, content and direction of IFC 2018. It’s a real privilege to join that group and I hope I will do a good job. If you have any ideas or opinions about the conference you’d like to share with me – drop me an email with IFC in the subject line.


It won’t be long to this year’s conference. It runs from the 16th to 21st October in a wonderful location in Holland.


I’m running a masterclass with Jo Wolfe this year. The theme of our masterclass is mobile and how charities can maximise the opportunity that mobile provides. We’re hoping it will be a great session for the delegates coming from all over the planet. I can already see that we will have attendees from as far afield as Brazil and South Korea. All the details are here if you’re going to be there. We’re also running a workshop in the main conference programme.


And if you fancy coming to the conference – there are still a few tickets available.


Hope to see you there!


Paul de Gregorio