We're thrilled that our Conference and AGM will be back in person for 2023 and we have a jam packed agenda for you including:
- AI and the Charity Sector
- VONNE's strategic review
- VONNE's AGM - A key event for VONNE members to agree the finances of the previous year and vote in new trustees from those nominated to join the board.
Find out more about each of the themes below.
We'll be joined by expert speakers and panellists sharing their knowledge on how charities can use AI effectively within their organisation, and what digital trustees need to know about AI when governing an organisation. See the full agenda below - you don't want to miss it!
Torchbox: An Introduction to AI
Edd Baldry from Torchbox will be giving an overview of where the new wave of AI has come from, how charities are already using it an how you can take advantage of it. Torchbox have recently worked with charities including Mind, CRUK, RNIB and Oxfam and will talk about their experiences of AI.
Charity Finance Group: Thinking about ethics and AI from a charity perspective
Clare Mills is Director of Policy and Communications at Charity Finance Group (CFG). Clare has been leading on the development of CFG's policies around the use of AI, and the central starting point is one of ethics. How do we ensure that our thinking around new ways of working is in line with our values, as an organisation and as individuals? What does our approach say about how we treat people? How do we stay up to date with a really fast-developing field? And how can we ensure that the work product generated by AI meets the high standards we set ourselves?
Zoe Amar: AI Checklist for trustees and charity leaders
Zoe is the founder and director of Zoe Amar Digital and has a wealth of skills in both the charity sector and digital sector. Using her extensive knowledge and experience, she’ll talk through the essentials trustees and charity leaders need to be aware of when implementing AI.
Cast & AI: Cast and AI
David Scurr, Projects and Partnerships Lead at CAST will share how the team have been creating a space to learn about the opportunities and challenges of generative AI for their work, and introduce a couple of simple use cases.
Catch22: Practical use case of AI
Magid is Director of Evidence & Insight at Catch22 and has carved a niche in the data analytics and AI for the third sector by translating complex datasets into actionable insights. He will give a practical use case of AI models in frontline services, where things have worked well and where they haven’t.
Help First AI: Practical use case of AI
Andy Bell has spent his adult life building apps and sites: for the last 5 years, he has focused on helping charities and social impact organisations. Andy will discuss two AI-powered projects he's delivered for Citizens Advice Scotland - one of which won a handful of awards, the other of which is still in development. With both he starts from the user needs to think about the service design.
Salvia Mirza – Resonant Consulting: The Future of AI
Salvia Mirza is an AI strategist and experienced management consultant, who has dedicated a career to understanding and implementing AI across various business sectors. She will give an overview of AI, it’s current use and potential within charity organisations and be available for questions from the audience.
In addition to this incredible line up, we’ll also have a panel Q&A and two live AI demonstrations, focussing on ChatGPT and Canva to give you a flavour of how you can start using AI in your organisation straight away.
Our AI & the Charity Sector conference will be delivered by expert speakers, and real-life users of digital and AI technologies. Following the presentations, they'll take part in a panel discussion and Q&A. Find out more about our speakers through their bios below.
Director of Innovation, Torchbox
Edd Baldry works as Director of Innovation at Torchbox. For the last five years, Edd has been focusing on AI trying to find ways it can make lives better. Edd has worked with companies like Google and Dyson along with many of the UK's biggest charities.
Dr Clare Mills, Chart PR, MCIPR
Head of Policy and Communication, Charity Finance Group
Clare leads CFG’s Policy & Communications Team having spent her career in a range of policy, political and communications roles. Before moving into public affairs and comms as a freelancer in 2015, Clare worked for an MP in the north east of England for more than a decade, helping communities with issues from flooding to power supply. Previous to joining CFG, Clare was Head of Communications and External Relations for charity infrastructure body NAVCA.
Clare is a Chartered PR Practitioner and Member of the CIPR and has a long track record of volunteering. She's a passionate advocate for Northumberland and the north east, and people are often surprised she doesn't work in tourism. When she’s not working she can be found outside on her bike, running, walking or pretending the sea is not that cold, really.
Founder and Director, Zoe Amar Digital
Zoe Amar is founder and director of Zoe Amar Digital, a social enterprise and digital agency who help charities lead change with confidence, developing strategies which increase their resilience, income and influence. She is chair of The Charity Digital Code of Practice, and blogs for Third Sector and others. Zoe is the co-author of The Charity Digital Skills Report and co-host of the leadership podcast Starts at the Top. She has 15 years’ experience of sitting on charity boards. She is currently a trustee of Charity Digital Trust. She is a previous winner of an Inspiring Communicator award from Charitycomms and was named Changemaker of the Year at The Pros Awards.
Programme and Partnerships Lead, CAST
David is Programme and Partnerships Lead at CAST, a charity which helps organisations use technology for social good. He has over 15 years of experience developing support networks in the social impact space, at both grassroots and international level.
His work at CAST currently focuses on designing and delivering cross-sector support programmes to help UK not-for-profits improve their digital capability. He’s also supported hundreds of local charities through Tech for Good Brighton - a volunteer-led community initiative he set up to bring together the local social and tech sectors - and is a founding member of the Tech for Good UK Organisers’ Network.
A passionate advocate of digital inclusion, he has experience in running successful digital inclusion partnerships and sits on the Community Board of the Digital Poverty Alliance.
When not working, you can usually find him by (or in!) the sea with his young family.
Magid El Amin
Director of Data and Evidence, Catch 22
There are billions of data points being generated in our sector everyday, shouldn’t we start to make sense of all the numbers? With over a decade’s experience in the third sector, Magid has carved a niche in the data analytics and AI, by translating complex datasets into actionable and tangible insights. As the Director of Evidence & Insight at Catch22 (a progressive social enterprise delivering public services) Magid is at the forefront of innovation, dedicated to bringing cutting edge analytics to frontline services.
With expertise in analytics, strategy building, and forming high performance data teams, Magid has honed his skill across various charities, including NSPCC, Comic Relief and The Children’s Society. On a mission to make data accessible, Magid's strength lies in disseminating the right information, with precision, turning complex datasets into easy-to-grasp insights. Magid also serves as a trustee for Refugees at Home, the UK’s largest independent hosting charity
CEO and Founder, Help First AI
Andy Bell has spent his adult life building apps and sites: for the last 5 years, he has focused on helping charities and social impact organisations. He helped build VONNE's Going Green Together website. He's currently focused on building machine learning systems to identify and prioritise vulnerable customers at HelpFirst.ai.
AI Strategist and Management Consultant, Resonant Consulting
As an AI strategist and experienced management consultant, I’ve dedicated my career to understanding and implementing AI across various business sectors. My journey in consulting, marketing, operations, HR, and business development has given me a broad perspective, which I now apply to the dynamic field of AI. My current focus is on developing AI strategies and training programs, along with implementing Microsoft’s AI maturity model, to help organizations navigate the evolving landscape of technology.
What drives me is the belief that AI is not just another tech trend, but the cornerstone of our future - a generalist tool reshaping every facet of how we work and live. My commitment is to offer AI solutions that are not only innovative but also practical and accessible. Whether working with individuals or large corporations, I strive to make AI understandable and usable, ensuring that it serves as a powerful ally in their quest for efficiency and growth.
We're in the process of reviewing and developing our current strategic aims to ensure they're fit for purpose for 2024 - 2027. Following surveys with our members, stakeholders, staff and board we'll be taking time to workshop the emerging themes from the survey to inform our future work.
Read more about our strategy work to day in Carol's blog.
Our 24th AGM will take place within the conference and is an important opportunity for our members to come together and use voting rights to ensure VONNE's voice is accountable and representative of the sector.
You'll have the opportunity to vote in new board members from the list of nominees, agree last years financial accounts and approve the minutes from last year's AGM.