Reflecting on our Festival of Learning

Over the course of two weeks in May 2021, almost 900 attendees from across the funding and civil society sectors came together to take part in London Funders’ first Festival of Learning.
Broken down into five themes (collaboration, community, equity, leadership and process), this booklet breaks down the insightful conversations, presentations and questions that were covered over the two week event. The wide diversity of topics discussed at the Festival included lessons from leaving leaders, facilitating collaboration through uncertain times, and how funders can prioritise equity in their grantmaking.
And sessions took place in a variety of different formats – from ‘learning lairs’ to interactive seminars, from panel debates to informal conversations, we made sure to give attendees the chance to contribute, consider and collate the information that they need to understand developments in best practice in the funding sector, and the challenges and opportunities ahead for civil society.
To ensure that we captured everything that was talked about at the Festival of Learning, London Funders commissioned independent consultants Dinah Lamming and Sarah Sandford to attend and write-up the key findings from every session. As well as providing summaries of presentations, they have pulled out the big questions for funders to consider as we move from recovery planning to substantial action.
As we enter the autumn term (so to speak), we’re bringing the lessons from the Festival of Learning back to the fore. The London Funders team is keen to ensure that all of the positive changes in funding ‘stick’ and that we look to the future with renewed confidence and ambition. As you read through the session notes, you will find out more from fantastic case studies of both organisations and funders delivering differently during the most unprecedented of circumstances, and see key points for how we can maintain this momentum.
We hope that you enjoy the recaps provided in the pages ahead – which we have arranged thematically for you to easily focus in on the areas of most interest – and if you would like to pick up the points raised in any of the sessions, do not hesitate to get in touch with the London Funders team.
Click here to read the report in full.