Solace Masterclass: Innovation and Commissioning - Whole Systems Thinking


6 Apr 2016


Offices of Places for People
80 Cheapside



This event was hosted by:

Places for People_logo



Aim of the event

Thanks to the Government's twin programmes of austerity and devolution, local government will have more of the system to play with, but less money. So how are we going to use our new freedoms to innovate, and how will we use our commissioning to address the root causes of demand - to solve problems rather than serve problems? How can we use data to better understand what is happening in systems and to sign smarter interventions? How do we work with the whole system so that the partners act together, realise benefits for one another and produce outcomes they could not produce acting alone? What do we need to do to collaborate in finding more intelligent, collective responses to the long-term challenges facing public service?

For answers to these questions - and more - join Solace's Innovation and Commissioning Network at this Masterclass where the Network will be launching the results of its research into how authorities are using whole systems thinking. If you are using whole system thinking in your authority, it's not too late to feature in the report, so contact if you can help out. To find out more, see the Network’s work programme and latest report, Towards Outside-in


(Subject to change)


Arrivals, Registration and Refreshments


Welcome and Introduction to the Masterclass
Chair: Sandy Hopkins, Chief Executive at East Hampshire & Havant Councils and Deputy Spokesperson of the Solace Innovation and Commissioning Network
Welcome from host:
Alan Heron, Head of Procurement, Places for People


Greater than the sum: Whole Systems Thinking

Max Wide will describe why whole systems thinking is needed and how it can be used to drive more creative interventions that tackle the root causes of demand; deliver better results; and drive down long-term costs. Eric Bohl will reveal the research's findings on how authorities are using whole systems thinking to commission new ways of tackling wicked problems and the lessons that can be learned.

Speakers: Max Wide, Strategic Director of Business Change, Bristol City Council and Solace Spokesperson of the Innovation and Commissioning Network, and
Eric Bohl, Director, Activist Group.

To download the presentations please click on the following:

Eric Bohl presentation and Solace Paper Outside In


Breaking the cycle and shaking up entrenched systems 
Simon White will describe the experience of taking a radical approach to intervening in systems that have become stuck and dysfunctional, drawing on his experience of leading change in children's services.

Speaker:Simon White, Director of Children, Families and Communities at Worcestershire County Council

To download the presentation please click here


Using intelligence to support integrated commissioning

Sarah Henry will describe how the use of intelligence has been key to Greater Manchester's devolution. The city's approach to commissioning joined-up interventions to tackle deep-seated social problems follow an investment in data and analytics that underpin the ability to understand communities and clearly articulate what works. These, in turn, enable investments that ensure accountable public services are sustainable.

Speaker: Sarah Henry, Head of Intelligence and Performance at Manchester City Council

To download the presentation please click here


Chair's Summary 


Masterclass ends