Who/What is Policy-UK?
Policy-UK launched in May 2015 in the week of the General Election. We are a team of 6 who love politics and passionately believe that policymaking benefits from open discussion and from hearing all points of view.
We create conferences, forums and roundtables on pertinent public policy issues to facilitate discussion between policymakers, those from industry, charities, academics and other opinion formers.
We have no political affiliation but we do have an opinion. We have a robust internal editorial process to ensure that all perspectives are given equal standing at our events and that no one is excluded from our discussions.
We are not affiliated with any other events company, lobbing organisation or other commercial interest.
Are you part of Government?
We are not connected to Government in any way.
We do, from time to time, meet and discuss our events with senior officials from Central Government and local authorities. They assist us in making sure our agendas and may be kind enough to give us a steer on interesting issues as well as the appropriate time to hold the event so that we may be of maximum benefit to the policymaking process.
At all times what is actually discussed at the event is up to us and we would rather forsake having Government involvement then have our editorial independence compromised in any way.
How are you funded?
We are funded through the sale of tickets and from sponsorship.
We love and welcome sponsors but all decisions on the agenda – from who is invited to speak to the areas for discussion – are ours. We will always try to invite sponsors to participate if space is available and if they are relevant to the discussions (if they are willing to support the event they probably have something relevant to say).
Do I qualify for a reduced or free place and how do I apply?
Policy-UK seeks always to be open and inclusive. We believe strongly that our events and the discussions that take place therein are enriched by diversity and a variety of individuals in the room.
Free places are reserved for those with a genuine inability to pay – this generally means small charities, unfunded academics or individuals without a supporting organisation – but we are happy to negotiate discounts for organisations with a modest budget. We try very hard to get everyone who wants to attend in the room.
It is not an exact science and we don’t have an infinite number of spaces but we guarantee to give every request serious consideration but please note it is only by asking those who can pay, that we are able to support those who cannot.
It may not always be possible but we promise to always be fair.
How do you get to speak?
Decisions on who speaks are left to the individual programme managers organising the event. They create the agenda and through research, offers and recommendations they attempt to collect speakers with insight and who will enrich the event.
We are always keen to hear from prospective speakers (but please be aware that we are not always able to say yes).
So that you are aware, personal invitations are sent to relevant individuals and organisations and we never discriminate on any grounds. Our agendas can sometimes find themselves with an imbalance – be it gender, ethnicity or age – but it is something that we are unable to counter without actively discriminating on the grounds of gender, ethnicity and age. Our priority is to get an interesting speaker able to enrich the event and inform our delegates.
It is the nature of the world that sometimes people have other commitments so we are grateful when they are kind enough to pass along our invitations to colleagues. Please remember that the person speaking on the stage may have been nominated by the individual you are disappointed we ‘didn’t’ invite.
How did you get my details?
Although we wish there was a better story (one involving subterfuge and intrigue) the reality is less remarkable. During the research process for the events our Programme Managers keep a running tab of interesting individuals and organisations who keep coming up (news article, previous speeches, references in journals or organisations who are doing something interesting) – they’ll then mark them down as people who may like to attend and set our team of researchers the task of finding their details.
We are somewhat in a Catch 22 – we have been criticised for ‘excluding people’ from important discussions by not inviting them to come along with the next email down in our inbox someone accusing us of sending ‘unsolicited mail’.
We take great care to only contact individuals that we genuinely believe will have an interest (but we’ll be the first to admit we are fallable). Honestly, why would we contact anyone else?
Why do you hold all your events in London?
We do hold events across the country however we are somewhat bound on certain subjects because Parliamentarians and senior Officials from many Government departments are usually in London during the week. We also have to be sure that if we hold an event on a subject the audience is not collectively catching a the same train from London to Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds etc when we could have held it 10 minutes from their offices.
We’d love to travel more but not all of our delegates do (or can).