Belonging 2022: Book your tickets now!

Booking is now open for our annual conference, Belonging 2022: Leading on Social Cohesion taking place on Friday 2 December.


Book your tickets here – free in person tickets for Belong Network Standard, Advanced and Founder Members*. Tickets are likely to sell out quickly so we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.

View the conference schedule here.

*Three free tickets per organisation for Founder members; Two free tickets per organisation for Advanced members; One free ticket per organisation for Standard Members. Thereafter charges apply. Please select the ticket which best describes your organisation or employer – contact if you are unsure. And please don’t forget to share this event with anyone else you think may be interested!

Confirmed speakers and panellists: 

Prof john a powell, Director, Othering and Belonging Institute

Dame Sara Khan, Independent Adviser for Social Cohesion and Resilience to Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities 

Prof Ted Cantle CBE, Chair of Trustees, Belong – The Cohesion and Integration Network 

Cllr Joanna Midgley, Deputy Leader, Manchester City Council

Jon Yates, Executive Director, Youth Endowment Fund


Sunder Katwala, Director, British Future

Rosie Carter, Senior Policy Officer, Hope not Hate

Prof Dominic Abrams, Director of the Centre for the Study of Group Processes in the School of Psychology, University of Kent

Zahra Niazi, Strategic Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Wellbeing Board, Bradford Council

Robin Tuddenham, Chief Executive, Calderdale Council

Nizam Uddin OBE, Chief Strategy Officer, Algbra

Viveen Taylor, Director for Equality Diversity & Inclusion, Sport England

Hitesh Patel, Executive Director, Sport for Development Coalition



Dr Allison Smith, Head of Strategy and Development, Royal Voluntary Service

Jill Rutter, Associate Fellow, British Future

Julie Robbins, Head of Inclusion, Youth Sport Trust

Irena Hergottova, Head of Community, Equality and Cohesion, Walsall Council

Mark Lawrie, Chief Executive, StreetGames 

Tim Robertson, Chief Executive, Anne Frank Trust

Ruth Hollis, Chief Executive, Spirit of 2012

Liz Firth, Secondary Advisory Teacher, The Linking Network


Richard Harries, Associate Director, Institute for Community Studies

Shaheen Bi, Director of Research and Projects, Sporting Equals

Laura Butterworth, Interim Director of Community Safety and Resilience, London Borough of Waltham Forest

Kaneez Khan MBE, Co-ordinator, Near Neighbours

Nancy Hey, Executive Director, What Works Centre for Wellbeing

Evgeniya Gorbatsevich, Social Researcher, The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Paul Reddish, Chief Executive, Volunteering Matters

Rebecca Friel, Chief Executive, Odd Arts

Louise Pyne-Jones, Head of Programmes and Policy, Faith and Belief Forum

Ali Amla, Youth and Partnerships Director, Solutions Not Sides

Samiya Butt, Prevent and Community Cohesion Coordinator, Manchester City Council

Barry Cusack, Project Officer and Intercultural Cities Coordinator, Bradford Council


What’s happening on the day?

Two plenary sessions each with a keynote speaker, panel discussion and audience Q&A:

Morning: Resilience, Connection and Trust – the value of social cohesion

The UK continues to experience a succession of events that are having a profound impact on communities, and on our societal relationships. Events such as Brexit, the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis can exacerbate existing divisions in British society and create new ones, or alternatively galvanise people to come together. Often they do both.

Afternoon: Looking Forward Together

How can we build a story of a socially cohesive UK where places and communities retain a strong identity whilst recognising our interdependence across regions, nations, and between different groups and communities? How can we facilitate less polarising debate and more positive contact to help communities find common ground? Where do we have cause for optimism and on what issues do we have more in common?


Plus, a virtual keynote address from Professor john a. powell:

Reflections on bridging and belonging

Professor john a. powell, Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, is an internationally recognised expert in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy. At Belonging 2022, Prof powell will be joining us virtually to discuss what we can learn from work to bridge divides and develop an inclusive sense of belonging – and how we can prevent ‘othering’ and allow for constructive disagreement without harming the underlying social fabric. You can find out more about his work here.

Break-out sessions covering:

  • Local Government approaches to building cohesion
  • Measurement and evaluation techniques for assessing cohesion approaches
  • Bringing people together through sport
  • Tackling hate crime
  • Volunteering and its role in building social connection
  • The role of the business sector in fostering social cohesion

You can find out more about each breakout session in our conference schedule

Who’s invited?

Everyone! Belonging 2022 is open to both Belong Network members and non-members – anyone with an interest in social cohesion and fostering connection and community resilience across charity, academic, private, public and civil sectors will find it of interest.

We look forward to seeing you on 2 December!