Skip navigation

CAKE 38: Responsible Innovation

Online via Zoom


Book NowResponsible Innovation: Creatively (re)defining positive change in the North East.

Join us to take a radical look at innovation as we ask: what do you want to abolish? What would you prefer instead?

Event Summary

Date: Thursday 27th May 2021
Time: 10am – 11:30am
Platform: Zoom

Innovation is entirely about change. Innovation can create radical new directions. Innovation can often have unintended outcomes. Responsible innovation is about not only understanding the positive benefits of change, but also comprehending the potential for unintentional consequences. In other words, it is “innovation with a social conscience”.

Innovating responsibly challenges us to zoom out and consider broadly the stubborn issues in the world around us, to zoom in to focus on how we can address these with new thinking, and what this will mean for individual citizens and society at large. It is interested in responding to complexity and uncertainty, but also revealing positive new directions. Responsible innovation can empower us to influence the radical changes that we most want to see.

The design-led innovation team at Northumbria School of Design specialise in applying creative thinking to stubborn and complex situations; to shake off constraints, shift perspectives and inspire new thinking. Our mission is to help others build the creative confidence to suggest and effect positive change within their circle of influence. Together, small nudges in the right direction can stimulate positive chain reactions.

CAKE 38 will open with a motivating panel discussion centred around the provocation: what would you like to see abolished and with what would you replace it?

We then invite all guests creatively to explore this provocation from their own point of view through energising interactive breakout rooms. Facilitated by experts from Northumbria School of Design, we will use our design-led approach to stimulate discussion around how innovation can drive positive change in the North East.

Collaborate with us in this creatively invigorating CAKE to highlight the issues and challenges you feel are most in need of new thinking, and also to draw attention to the things that make the North East a great region in which to live, work and thrive. Places are limited… register today!


Dr Alana James, Senior Lecturer in Fashion, Northumbria University

Alana James is an experienced fashion designer, educator and researcher focused on creating sustainable change in the future of the fashion industry. She believes that garments should not be beautiful at the expense of people and the planet and through innovative design approaches aims to embed responsible values throughout the fashion product lifecycle.
Approaching complex issues from a multi-stakeholder approach, Alana’s research explores responsible social and environmental practices in the fashion supply chain from a design perspective. Working closely with key players, in particular fashion consumers and brands, her work investigates how a collaborative approach can aid in moving the industry forward to a more sustainable future.
In her role as a lecturer, she works to position responsibility at the core of fashion education, helping students to understand the environmental and social impact of their decisions throughout the creative design process. Alana encourages students to think differently, away from traditional materials and methods utilised in the fashion industry to create ambitious sustainable solutions suitable for the future.

Helen Urwin, Founder of Xanobia

Helen Urwin is the creator of Full Potential Branding™ and the founder of Xanobia™ – a business that takes an unconventional approach to delivering exceptional transformation and results.
Xanobia has partnered with some of the world’s most iconic brands, alongside some of the world’s most renowned agencies, on projects that have reshaped, reinvigorated, and redirected categories and markets. Helen brings all of her varied experiences to bear on each individual project. This enables her to identify similarities, universal themes and specific challenges, making the connections that spark powerful transformations.
Facilitating powerful, strategic conversations in these transformational times means working with a diverse range of leaders around the world in many different businesses. However, they all share some core characteristics, which identify them as leaders, successfully ensuring their business and brands are not only performing and profitable, but also making a difference in the world:

They are leaders who believe that business and brands can be a force for good in the world and want to lead their organisations into a prosperous future.

They are leaders who know that it is people who build brands and businesses. To grow their businesses they know they need to grow their people.

They are leaders who want to create and build something extraordinary, leaders who are rethinking and redefining the way business needs to be conducted in the 21st Century.

Paul Bott, Chief Executive, SJOG

Paul is the Chief Executive of SJOG, a national charity based in Darlington. He has worked for a range of charities across the past 25 years, and has designed, developed and delivered evidence-based programmes across the four nations of the UK.
When Paul arrived at SJOG the charity was 12 months from closure. The turnaround of SJOG and its transformation into a growing, sustainable and award-winning charity has been recognised as the Charity Change Project of the Year.
Paul is also Chair of Sleep Scotland, a Director of Community Enterprise in Scotland and is a Trustee of NTSU. He is the recipient of the Markel Leadership Award for 2020.


Whatever your professional background, this event is designed to support potential by inspiring new conversations and allowing introductions to take place that will enable collaboration. The event will take place on Zoom, the video conferencing platform. You don’t need to have an account but we recommend that you sign up for a free account and use the desktop app.

Register your place here.

About CAKE

CAKE (Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange) is Creative Fuse North East’s monthly networking event, bringing together businesses, freelancers, academics, charities and creative practitioners from across the Creative, Digital and IT sectors and wider economy. Each themed CAKE event has expert speakers delivering short presentations that explore opportunities and innovation challenges. The events generate debate, explorative discussion and stimulate new innovative ideas by looking at each event’s theme from a variety of different perspectives – in keeping with the event name, attendees enjoy a slice of delicious cake while they network.*

“Not only was the event interesting and enjoyable but, for my company, it was an opportunity to make new connections. It has created new opportunities for Living Archive Limited, at a time in the company’s development where such opportunities are crucial for survival… The CAKE event was a chance to step back for a moment and focus on the bigger picture, and this has been very valuable to me.”

[Dr. Nick Williams Founder, Living Archive Limited]

*[when we return safely to in-person events]

Event Details

Online via Zoom


a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

NU World

Explore NU World

Find out what life here is all about. From studying to socialising, term time to downtime, we’ve got it covered.

Latest News and Features

Robin Ferris Founder Bankuet Hon Grad-12
Caroline Theobald. Picture credit Simon Veit-Wilson.
Michael Brodie CBE, CEO of the NHS Business Services Authority and honorary graduate
Insights North East
Ozcan Essen
Assistant Professor Charlotte Gordon at the Diabetes Nursing Awards with certificate of achievement
Dr Dawn Branley-Bell
Antarctica expedition
More events

Upcoming events

Back to top