Back to top

The Unusual Suspects Festival: About the Event

Published Date: 2 September 2014

The Unusual Suspects Festival brought together the ‘unusual suspects’ – individuals and organisations from youth clubs to ‘do tanks’ to multinational corporations- who are making real social change happen by working together in new and different ways. The Festival was curated by SIX, Collaborate and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and blended international expertise and innovation with local thinking and practice from across the UK. The festival featured a collection of interlinked events that drew out the ways in which collaboration and social innovation can work in sync – and asked how this can help address some of the most difficult challenges we face in society today.

The Unusual Suspects Festival featured 4 days of exciting events across London that explored how unlikely connections can create real social change. More than 35 different organisations came together to host 28 unique events during September 2-5, 2014 and saw over 1,000 people from 15 different countries participate and engage in the Festival.

The events ranged from a walk around Elephant & Castle exploring community engagement with redevelopment, to an event in the Houses of Parliament on how to create a movement for change, to a collaborative lunch that explored how Europe is using food to solve social divisions. Every session was unique and diverse and played to the strengths of our hosts, but all the sessions were designed to show the value of collaborating with different organisations. To see all of the sessions, see the programme booklet here.