IGHI Demo Day: Bringing IGHI staff together to connect and share knowledge


IGHI staff coming together for our Demo Day event

IGHI staff coming together for our Demo Day event

Our Demo Day brought together staff across the Institute of Global Health Innovation to connect, share knowledge, and celebrate our impactful work.

The Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) hosted a Demo Day on Wednesday 27 March, giving a chance for colleagues across our centres and teams at IGHI to come together and celebrate their fantastic work at the Institute.

Our Demo Day event aimed to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and information about ongoing projects, foster connections across different teams, and cultivate a sense of community within IGHI. 

I loved the sense of community on the day, getting to know about the amazing work across IGHI, sharing ideas with people I don't directly work with on a day-to-day basis, and making new connections. IGHI staff Demo Day attendee

Over a full day at the Queens Tower Rooms on South Kensington Campus, this first-of-its kind internal event included a series of short talks from representatives of each team, followed by Q&A sessions, speed networking, demos and stands. Professor Ara Darzi delivered a speech outlining the principles of IGHI and the themes explored within our various workstreams, specifically prevention and early detection, healthcare delivery, safety and quality, and emerging global challenges. The Demo Day concluded with an unconference.

Rapid fire talks

The morning started with members from each IGHI team delivering fast-paced “Pecha Kucha” talks. These talks consisted of 20 slides, each advancing automatically every 20 seconds. The challenge of speaking about topics so succinctly and to a strict time-limit brought some levity to the talks.

Speakers focused their presentation content on current projects, highlighting recent and past achievements, challenges and future plans. The attendees had the opportunity to better understand the overall scope and breadth of each team’s work, as well as learn about specific projects they are working on. 


Firstly, the Education team gave a summary of their short courses, MSc programmes (e.g. Health Policy,Healthcare and Design), Digital Health Leadership programme. They also talked about collaborative teaching, highlighting the Helix Design Dash project, an example of the blend between theory and practice where students learn what design research is, and how to approach it in practical terms.

Climate Cares Centre

Then, the Climate Cares Centre team – the newest IGHI centre – discussed the global impacts of climate change on community and mental health, as well as the benefits of climate actions. They are generating research to influence policy and practice, and co-design effective interventions and educational resources.


The Operations team described their work, projects, and challenges. The Communications team encouraged staff to contact them when they have upcoming research publications, events, programmes, or any updates to share and promote widely.

Hamlyn centre

The Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery focused their presentation on specific projects they are working on, including details of optical sensing and diagnostics, microrobotics, self-propelled soft robotic endoscopes (ROBOGAST), diagnostic sensors for minimally invasive interventions. They also shared more about this year’s Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics and the Surgical Robot Challenge 2023.

Centre for Health Policy

The Centre for Health Policy (CHP) team started the second session of talks by discussing their projects spanning three key areas of focus - digital, patient safety and the use of analytics to inform policy. These include Big Data and Analytical Unit, The Networked Data Lab, the partnership with Mental Health Innovations and the Shout text messaging support service, Policy Reports on Patient Safety.

Patient Safety Research Collaboration

The NIHR funded North West London Patient Safety Research Collaboration (PSRC) delivers high-impact research in patient safety. The team described how their work focuses on four themes: influencing patient and healthcare worker behaviours to optimise safety and minimise risk, developing and testing technologies that enhance medication safety, using integrated care data to address patient safety challenge, and evaluating and integrating patient safety in the design of new service delivery models. 

Artificial intelligence in mammography screening

Next, the team representing the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Mammography Screening (AIMS) project presented how they are working to improve the NHS Breast Screening Programme by helping to identify breast cancers in x-ray images (mammograms) of the breast. The potential benefits of this system, such as reducing radiologist workload and improving accuracy of results, were emphasised.

Helix centre

The Helix Centre staff covered various types of projects in their presentation aimed to improve healthcare. Examples include building technologies to support individuals living with dementia at home – such as detecting frailty risks (Healthy Ageing Pilot), analysing sleep in dementia patients using sensors (InSleep46 study), as well as developing urinaty tract infection diagnostic devices and platforms to track arm movement to aid rehabilitation using wearable devices (OnTrack platform). They also mentioned how they are supporting researchers to conduct meaningful public involvement in their work.

Anna Lawrence-Jones from the Helix Centre discussing her team’s work. Credits: Holly Merton/IGHI.
Anna Lawrence-Jones from the Helix Centre discussing her team’s work

Fleming initiative

Last but not least, The Fleming Initiative team introduced the vision of an upcoming centre dedicated to tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through the co-location of clinicians, researchers, policy makers, and the public. They also announced the launch of a new media network that will unite clinician creators and communications experts in the fight against AMR. CHAIN will inspire behavioural changes across society through online video content, supported by YouTube Health. 

The Fleming Initiative team delivering a Pecha Kucha talk. Credits: Holly Merton/IGHI
The Fleming Initiative team delivering a Pecha Kucha talk

Interactive stands & speed networking

Over lunch IGHI colleagues were able to interact with different stands and demos showcasing the work of each IGHI centre. They could ask questions and learn more about each centre’s ongoing and future projects, therefore better understanding the diverse.

The stands were led by centre representatives, and included a variety of displays ranging from banners, robots, leaflets and project examples, to interactive demonstrations to engage the public in an effective way.

Hamlyn Centre stand displaying specific tools and systems. Credits: Holly Merton/IGHI
Hamlyn Centre stand displaying specific tools and systems

Next, we hosted a 30-minute speed networking session for all staff at IGHI to get to know each other better.  Staff members were encouraged to engage in conversations with people from other teams and switch partners every three minutes, fostering interactions across different centres. They enjoyed the session, feeling a stronger sense of community and identifying potential collaboration opportunities across IGHI. 

IGHI staff socialising as part of the speed networking session. Credits: Holly Merton/IGHI
IGHI staff socialising as part of the speed networking session


Unlike traditional conferences, an unconference is a participant-driven meeting where the attendees decide on the agenda or discussion topics. This flexible and informal approach allows participants to propose specific topics of their own interest and choose sessions accordingly, helping to increase engagement levels among the audience.

IGHI staff pitched their unconference ideas in front of the audience, and attendees voted for their preference.The results were displayed on the big screen in real time using the interactive presentation software, Mentimeter.

In two parallel rooms, attendees chose the sessions they wanted to join:

  • New imperial brand changes (proposed and presented by Dr Laura-Maria Horga, IGHI Communications team)
  • Student mental health and wellbeing (by Julien le Jeune d'Allegeershecque, Education team)
  • Data privacy and preventive healthcare ethics (by Matthew Harrison, Helix Centre)
  • Education best practices (by Jason Lawson, Education team)
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (by Jodie Chan, Helix Centre)
  • Representation of patient needs in the presence of expert patients (by Anna Lawrence-Jones, PSRC).
Roberto Fernandez Crespo from the Centre of Health Policy team sharing his thoughts during the unconference session. Credits: Holly Merton/IGHI
Roberto Fernandez Crespo from the Centre of Health Policy team sharing his thoughts during the unconference session.

The sessions sparked stimulating conversations among groups of people who may only rarely get the chance to meet, and generated feedback and ideas that could benefit attendees in their respective work.


The feedback from Demo Day was overwhelmingly positive. According to our survey, 80-89% of attendees found the event engaging, informative about other IGHI centres’ work, and meeting or exceeding their expectations. Additionally, it inspired them for potential future collaborations.

The Pecha Kucha talks session was the favourite among the audience, followed by speed networking, the unconference, and then the demos and stands. Participants expressed enthusiasm for having more of such events in the future:

‘’First opportunity to get a sense of all the different bits of work going on at IGHI. I especially enjoyed the unconference sessions and learning from each other. I valued the interactions, potential collaborations, and the lessons learned.’’

‘’I loved the sense of community on the day, getting to know about the amazing work across IGHI, sharing ideas with people I don't directly work with on a day-to-day basis, and making new connections.’’

‘’We need to do more events like this. The speed networking session, in particular, was a great way to know what other people do.’’

IGHI staff group photo. Credits: Holly Merton/IGHI
IGHI staff group photo

Photo credits: Holly Merton / IGHI


Dr Laura-Maria Horga

Dr Laura-Maria Horga
Institute of Global Health Innovation

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Contact details

Email: l.horga@imperial.ac.uk

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Strategy-collaboration, Imperial-Innovations, Health-policy, Surgery, Mental-health, Climate-change, Events, Education
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