Event Summary



Date and Time

Friday 19 November 2021 (13:00 - 15:45)


£60.00 (£75.00 non-members)

How might our organisations be transformed if marginalised voices were truly heard? This networking session will explore the power of listening: the potential of tuning in, deeply, to people with lived experience of oppression. Listening to understand, rather than to reply, and listening with courage and compassion through the uncomfortable truths, are hard skills indeed.

This online network delivered via Zoom will be led by Vanessa Boon (Chartered Member CIPD and Lead Difference-Maker/Founder MD, Energise). The session will consider innovative tools to disrupt hierarchies so that lesser-heard voices are amplified. Practical examples and case studies will be shared via a variety of inputs:

  • Vanessa Boon will introduce the practice and benefits of ‘reverse mentoring’
  • Aaron Denton (Director of Student Experience and Pastoral Support, Derby College Group (DCG)) will share his experience of the Human Library at DCG
  • Dr Alison Scott (Lead Professional Development Advisor, Skills and Education Group) will describe the approach of The Listening Post, a recent research project that enabled a range of staff voices across the further education sector to be heard.

We know that collaboration is a powerful form of professional development, and our networks are designed to facilitate and encourage peer collaboration. Following inputs from our colleagues, there will also be time to exchange your own ideas and experiences with colleagues, ask questions, and gain support with the challenges you are navigating in the promotion of lesser-heard voices.

So, come and join us for this exciting network, to both share your own experiences and be inspired by new ideas and initiatives.


Key Speakers

Vanessa Boon

Difference-maker/Founder, Energise

Vanessa (she/her) is a passionate advocate of EDI and an experienced EDI specialist trainer; she is also involved in community gift work including Hope not Hate, youth mentoring and various social justice projects.

  • How to find us?

    Robins Wood House Training Centre is located in Aspley, about 2.5 miles to the north west of Nottingham city centre. It is easily accessible from the M1 (Junctions 25 & 26) and there are public transport links from the city centre. The nearest train station is Nottingham. Car parking at Robins Wood House is free.

    Please click here to find us on Google Maps.  Our postcode is NG8 3NH.

  • Would you like this session delivered directly to your staff?

    If you would like this, or a similar session, delivered to your staff within your organisation, please contact our Professional Development team to explore options.

  • Terms and Conditions

    Completion of the booking constitutes a contract between yourselves and the Skills and Education Group. In order to receive a refund, all cancellations must be made in writing at least 14 days prior to the event taking place. Non-attendance will result in the place being charged at full cost. Substitutions are welcome and can be made at any time. The Skills and Education Group reserves the right to cancel or alter the event for reasons beyond its control.