One of the many changes for our first all-digital Annual Conference, Impact 2021, held back in March, was the introduction of an Audience Award.

Votes were collected via the post-event survey and delegates’ top three contributions can now be revealed:

The Working Class: We need to confront the UK’s biggest unconscious bias

Featuring: Steven Lacey, Managing Director of The Outsiders

Have you met the UK’s largest diverse group, ’The Working Class’ - an audience that is often demonised, stereotyped and ignored by the marketing, communications and research community? Based on primary research, this session highlighted why this is the case and showcased the positives of this audience that marketers should not only acknowledge but also embrace in order to make research, communications and our country better.

A question of privilege: When older, white, middle-class researchers are not right for the job

Featuring: Sope Otulana, Head of Research at Youth Futures Foundation, and Marie-Claude Gervais, Co-Founder and Research Director of Versiti along with the project team: Cynthia Ko, Amarah Khan, Lucas Rehman and Shae Eccleston

Many young people from ethnic minority backgrounds are seeing their future blighted by COVID-19. Disclosing their experiences to researchers who seem to have so many privileges can add to the sense of exclusion. In this session Versiti reported on its work to train ethnic minority young people in qualitative research to understand ethnic inequalities in the impacts of COVID-19 and build capacity among ethnic minority young people. The project team and the client, Youth Futures Foundation, discussed experiences, lessons and key insights.

Stable genius: We need to stop talking about change

Featuring: Ben Page, CEO of Ipsos MORI

Why is there an obsession with ‘newness’? In this provocation, Ben Page asked how much is changing ­– and how much isn’t. It was a wide-ranging analysis of consumers and society over the last year – and the last 20 years – in which Ben asked whether Covid-19 has really changed ‘everything’.

To see why the audience chose these as their three top moments of Impact 2021, you can view full recording for free in the MRS video library here.

The rest of Impact 2021 is available to purchase to view on demand here.

The winner will be revealed at the MRS Excellence Awards on 17 September. Details here.

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