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The Spark Forum’s first year: Connecting and Collaborating for Impact

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Communications and Partnership Manager for Bristol Green Capital Partnership, Claire Jacob, reflects on the first year of the Spark Forum following the release of the Impact Report. The next Spark Forum event is taking place on 23rd March from 2pm at the Trinity Centre, sponsored by Bristol Water. 

Being involved in the creation of the Spark Forum has been one of the highlights of my time at Bristol Green Capital Partnership. The Spark Forum encapsulates what the Partnership is here to do – connecting people who have innovative ideas for making Bristol more sustainable with others in the city who have the skills, expertise and passion to help make them a reality.

So far we have held three events, with a fourth due to take place later this month (now open for booking). Each one has been hugely inspiring and full of positivity, demonstrating the energy and will that exists to make the city a healthier and more sustainable place to live.

We have been privileged to hear from three excellent keynote speakers – Natalie Fee, Jasper Thompson and Ben Moss – each with their own inspiring tale of turning a simple idea into tangible impact. I’m really looking forward to hearing from Naseem Talukdar later this month!

Seventeen excellent pitchers were heard at the three events. Partnership members with ideas or projects that are in need of support are given 3 minutes to explain their idea and how other members can help. The diversity of the ideas pitched has highlighted the wealth of innovation in Bristol – it’s no surprise that so many successful environmental organisations and initiatives start their life here!

Watching connections happen with those that have pitched and during the ‘speed networking’ session is my favourite part of the events. You can literally see the sparks fly, and I’m confident that the outcomes we’ve recorded only scratches the surface of the impact these connections have had. We now spend so much time behind screens or in meetings with the same faces, and yet there is so much to be gained from meeting new people and exploring how you might be able to work together. I’m really glad the Spark Forum can provide that space.

In order for the events to be as impactful as possible, we need a variety of skills in the room. So whether you’re a lawyer, an accountant, a website designer or a social media whizz, do come along and see if any of the pitches inspire you to get involved. We can also promise cake at the next event!

The development and running of the Spark Forum has been overseen by the Spark Committee, a dedicated group of volunteers from the membership. The Spark Form has also been generously hosted and supported by many others, including Burges Salmon, We The Curious, Triodos Bank, Greenhouse PR and Yoke. Again, this is what the Partnership is meant to be about – members working together to help make Bristol a better place.

A huge thank you to everyone involved, and if you or your organisation would be interested in hosting or sponsoring an event, or joining the Spark Committee, please get in touch.

Read more about the first year of the Spark Forum in the Impact Report.

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