19th May 2011

The Open University Business School, Milton Keynes , United Kingdom

Around 30 people attended the VSSN Day Conference hosted by The Open University Business School in Milton Keynes. Despite a chilly start with some overactive air conditioning, there was plenty of discussion resulting from the morning’s presentations by Rob Paton on Civil society: some gaps in the maps (and why they matter) and Colin Rochester on ‘It has never been like this and now it is exactly the same again’: Problems in sustaining policy innovations: The case of the Compact.

After lunch, we heard two presentations relating to the theme of new forms of voluntary action and focusing on the role of paid and unpaid internships and volunteer managers. These papers generated much debate particularly around the issue of whether these roles presented new opportunities or exploitation. Martha Caddell and Rosemarie McIlwhan talked about Internships in the Third Sector: Encouraging new forms of engagement or papering over the funding gaps? and Nick Ockenden presented Voluntary volunteer management – ‘new form’ or return to the roots of voluntary action.

Thanks to Pete Alcock and Rob Macmillan for chairing the sessions and all those who attended and participated in the lively discussions. Also thanks to Sonia Liff and Veronique Jochum for organizing things at VSSN and our colleagues at the Open University Business School for organising lunches, the room, paperwork and buses to and from Milton Keynes station.