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Millennium Point in Birmingham
15 November 2017

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IET London
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The Royal Society, London
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Ettington Chase Hotel, Stratford
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Lancaster University
11 - 13 September 2018

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Extending the Impacts of O.R. in Public Policy

An Agenda for a New Special Interest Group of the Society

LSE’s Rosebery Hall Conference Centre,
90 Rosebery Avenue, LONDON EC1R 4TY

Thursday, 26 JUNE 2014, 14.00 to 17.00

Chair: Professor Stewart Robinson, President of the OR Society

Registration and refreshments from 13.30

This open half-day event offers an opportunity to review the prospects for extending the already significant contributions of the operational research community to the development of public policies, with particular emphasis on approaches to policy design and stakeholder engagement. 

In Europe and other continents, processes of policy development at national, local and other levels have already been widely influenced by the contributions of UK OR workers; not least by the innovations in theory and practice pioneered by staff of the former Institute for Operational Research [IOR], which was launched fifty years ago as a joint venture of the then councils of the OR Society and London’s Tavistock Institute of Human Relations.

  • The programme will open with a review of the widening influence of OR on public policy by veterans of the IOR initiative, including John Friend, who played a leading role throughout and has recently been responsible for an OR Society charitable project on the Future Policy Influence of OR.  This will be followed by a report on a joint event on June 5 addressed in particular to policy professionals in Whitehall.
  • This introduction will be followed by a period of interactive problem structuring in facilitated groups.  In this, participants will be invited to engage in exploration of alternatives for future investment in the three key areas of skills for shaping public policies; research in public policy processes; and technologies to support the development of public policies.
  • The programme will conclude with contributions from OR scientists and others in the government service, academia and consulting who are now taking a lead in the launch of a new OR Society Special interest Group on Public Policy, dedicated to the extension of OR’s influence in public policy processes in the UK and worldwide.

This event follows a special invitational event at the Royal Society on 5 June on the related theme of shaping choices in public policy, sponsored jointly by the OR Society; the Cabinet Office’s Policy Profession Support Group; and the Cambridge University Centre for Science and Policy.  The present open event will provide an opportunity for threads from this that preceding event to be picked up and pursued further, to help in building a wider momentum in the future public policy influence of OR.