Building a healthy, impact literate culture; talk for the University of Auckland “Impact through Culture Change” webinar series

These notes accompany a talk given by Dr Julie Bayley on 1st November 2021 (2nd November in New Zealand)

Speaking as part of the “Impact through Culture Change” webinar series run by Faith Welch (University of Auckland), Julie delivered a session entitled “Building a healthy, impact literate culture”.

Focusing on impact literacy, Julie reflected on the sector challenges around impact, especially learning from those in the UK during REF), and look to how we might (re)establish healthier and more meaning-led approaches across the sector.

In the first part of the talk, Julie discussed what impact is, and – notwithstanding the positives of elevating the standing of impact through national assessment – some of the ‘damage’ the sector has experienced. She reflected on how the efforts, or the industry associated with assessment can be too easily ignored, compounded by the competitive sport of hunting for fantastical impact unicorns, and hidden by shiny stories of effect.

In the second part she turned attention to collectively repairing the sector, rebalancing our focus in favour of healthier and meaningful approaches, and more accurately reflecting the efforts and realities of impact. She explained how LILI has been established to directly support these principles, particularly driving impact literacy and institutional health across the sector. As part of this, Julie described some of LILI’s work in partnership with the sector, including:

The talk concluded with thoughts on how, by working together, we can (re)centre impact on people and meaning.