Plenary Speakers and Panelists

More speakers will be announced in 2022 !

SESSION: How to create meaningful synergies? We’ve asked Kate Morris and Rowinda Appelman to share their experiences and inspire us. Sophie Duncan will guide us through a discussion with them.


Kate Morris, Campus Engage National Coordinator, Ireland

Kate leads Campus Engage, which is based within the Irish Universities Association. Campus Engage is dedicated to supporting Irish higher education institutions to embed, scale and promote civic and community engagement across staff and student teaching, learning and research. Kate will speak about the collaborative effort that makes Campus Engage.

Kate Morris

Campus Engage aims at supporting Community-based Teaching and Learning; Engaged Research and Innovation for Societal Impact; Student Volunteering and building a national Framework for measuring and evaluating the positive social impact of higher education civic and community engagement.

Kate has over 15 years’ experience in stakeholder engagement for policy and practice change. She has much experience in working with policy makers, funding agencies, research staff, practitioners and the public in Ireland, France, and UK. Prior to joining the IUA Kate worked at the Centre for Effective Public Services, the French National Institute for Demographic Studies, and UNESCO NI.

Rowinda Appelman, programme manager City Deal Kennis Maken, Netherlands

Rowinda is the programme manager of the Dutch “City Deal Kennis Maken” and she will speak on how to get a variety of organizations to work together on generating knowledge to help tackle wicked societal issues. In Dutch, “Kennis Maken” has a double meaning: “Making Knowledge” and “Getting Acquainted”. This exactly what this programme of the National Research Council facilitates. The focus of this City Deal is primarily on involving students, researchers and teachers in urban challenges in rich learning environments. It aims to involve students at all levels, from vocational schools, to universities of applied sciences and research universities. Therefore, in the official English translation it is called the City Deal on Education.

Rowinda Appelman

After doing a Social Innovation Fellowship at the U.S. State Department, as one of the first seven Europeans, Rowinda is now responsible for the design and implementation of the City Deal Kennis Maken-programme, which funds collaborations in the 19 largest knowledge cities of The Netherlands. She runs the national network, oversees the strategic collaboration with ministries, umbrella organizations and main partners, and discusses the programme’s progress with the Ministers of Research, Internal Affairs and the leadership of involved partners. Finally, she is responsible for the knowledge exchange and collective learning among partners and coordinates the national events of the network. Rowinda is an education pioneer and social entrepreneur, and holds degrees in Political Sciences and Communication and Information Sciences.

Sophie Duncan, co-director National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), UK

Sophie Duncan

Sophie co-directs the NCCPE. Established in 2008, the NCCPE supports universities to develop their engagement work. Since its early days the NCCPE have sought to provide tools and resources to the sector, to cultivate the conditions where engagement can thrive. Sophie regularly supports university leaders to understand the value of engagement to their work, and develop practical approaches to supporting their staff to engage in mutually beneficial ways with others.

A physicist by training, Sophie has worked in engagement throughout her career including at the Science Museum, NESTA and the BBC, where she led national engagement campaigns including Breathing Places, a campaign to improve biodiversity in the UK. She sits on several advisory panels, including STFC’s Advisory Panel for Public Engagement. She has published a range of papers on evaluation, culture change, and engagement.
As co-editor of Research for All, Sophie is particularly interested in the evidence base for effective public and community engagement, and what this looks like across different disciplines. She has expertise in evaluation, evidencing impact, and partnership working, leading programmes to support mutually beneficial partnerships between university staff and a range of different partners including community organisations; cultural organisations; and schools.