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7. All About Engagement – Digital, Virtual, Community


1a. The Move to Digital: How to engage post COVID-19 – Sarah Wheale-Smith, Pleydell Smithyman Limited
An overview of new approaches to digital engagement post the COVID-19 pandemic. Explore new techniques and tools that could be utilised to engage communities virtually, identify barriers and learn how best to overcome them.

1b. Connecting Diverse Communities with Virtual Co-Design – Dr Noha Nasser, Mela Social Enterprise
The pandemic has highlighted gross inequalities surrounding culturally diverse communities; access to gardens and quality green space, over-crowded housing, food poverty and more. In this session, understand areas of potential intervention and uncover how co-design can foster meaningful engagement.

1c. Campaigning for Equality in Nature – Helena Craig, Black2Nature
Helena will discuss the importance of equal access to nature, imparting practical advice on access barriers for BAME communities, how to overcome these barriers, and the best ways to implement positive change.

1d. Panel discussion: Engaging the Disenfranchised
In this panel discussion, the session speakers will reconvene to exchange ideas on how to best engage disenfranchised communities.

Sarah Wheale-Smith, Dr Noha Nasser, Helena Craig

Sarah Wheale-Smith, Pleydell Smithyman Limited

Sarah Wheale-Smith is an Associate of Pleydell Smithyman Limited. Sarah has over 10 years’ experience in the design, management and delivery of community engagement and consultation studies. Stakeholder engagement ranges from pre-school children, to chief executives, to the socially excluded. In her current role, Sarah has embedded her engagement experience into programmes, resulting in a new range of clients and significant levels of repeat business for the firm.

Dr Noha Nasser, Mela Social Enterprise

Dr Noha Nasser is Founding Director of MELA Social Enterprise. Also an urban designer, academic and social entrepreneur, she specialises in co design in superdiverse neighbourhoods. Noha is also an Intercultural Cities Expert for the Council of Europe and Chair of the Association of Collaborative Design. She authored the book ‘Bridging Cultures: a guide to social innovation in cosmopolitan cities’.

Helena Craig, Black2Nature

Helena Craig is Chair of Black2Nature, an organisation which aims to make access to nature more ethnically diverse. Previously a Partner of a large Bristol law firm, Helena channelled her passion for race equality to tackle white elitism, successfully turning her department into a diverse one of 30% Black Minority Ethnic staff. Since retiring, Helena has been involved in conservation, namely supporting her daughter Mya-Rose Craig (AKA Birdgirl) with the Black2Nature initiative, Camp Avalons events and Race Equality in Nature Conference.

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