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What Active London theme, Innovation, means to London Sport staff

Blog post   •   Jul 17, 2019 12:46 BST

Innovation is defined as the introduction of new things, ideas or ways of doing something.

It is a topic that delegates at Active London will be delving into this September as our partner engagement event investigates how innovation can help everyone in their work in physical activity and sport.

London Sport will bring together global, national and regional examples of innovation in practice on 10 September to ensure the sector remains on the cutting edge of new ideas and methodologies.

With just one week left to get early bird tickets for Active London (deadline Wednesday 23 July), we’ve spoken to three London Sport staff members to see what innovation means to them and their work.

Specialist Advisor - Children and Young People Gary Palmer said:

“For me, innovation is about doing things differently and doing different things. It’s important because if we are looking to make long-term, cultural or behavioural change then we must start to look for different solutions.

“Thinking outside the box is crucial to this. We must forget about what we’ve always done and focus on the outcome we are trying to achieve. It is also vital to consult with people we haven’t previously engaged so that we hear fresh ideas that we haven’t influenced.”

Strategic Relationship Manager Lorna Leach said:

“Everyone always thinks of innovation as something new, big and shiny, but I think of it as the small changes that put the individual Londoners at the heart of the opportunity.

“Done well incremental innovations create adaptable, impactful programmes, products, and campaigns that turn something generic into something personal.

“Working with communities and local organisations, innovation can be helping them shape an idea or concept that already exists into something relevant to them, in their locality. It’s not original, but in this space it’s both new to the Londoners it’s now serving, and an iteration on the original.

“Innovation for me is taking great existing interventions and tweaking them to work better for less active Londoners.”

Specialist Advisor - Physical Activity for Health Barry Kelly said:

“The health sector is often quite risk averse when it comes to innovating and embracing new technology – for obvious reasons.

“Even on the technology front, a recent report by the Kings Fund highlighted the difficulties start-ups have in scaling up their technologies in the healthcare sector, usually from lack of appetite for change and limited resources.

“However, innovation is not limited to large scale technological shifts it often comes from simple changes that have been made to improve patient or user experience.” 

A full agenda and speaker line-up for Active London 2019, which will explore the ways that innovative approaches to physical activity and sport can improve the lives of Londoners, will be released in the coming weeks. 

To buy your early bird ticket to Active London 2019 click here.

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