What you can expect from the HQN Innovation and Technology Network | News

The Innovation and Technology Network Strip

The Innovation and Technology Network


What you can expect from the HQN Innovation and Technology Network

By Chris Milborrow, Head of Operations & Marketing at DTL Creative

Since announcing the HQN Innovation and Technology Network back in the middle of January, DTL Creative’s Director of Innovation, Stewart Davison, and Lead Consultant on Partnerships and Collaboration, Dr Gaby Wolferink, have written about why the network was established and who should consider joining.

In this article, I’d like to set out some details relating to what members can expect from the network over the coming weeks and months. 

To introduce the network formally, and in the spirit of co-creation, we recently hosted three Introduction to the Innovation and Technology Network sessions (you can find the recording here and access the slides here).

What was encouraging was that the sessions were not only very well attended, but the short presentations were followed by lively debate and discussion among prospective members about what they’d like to see from the network.

This feedback demonstrated an appetite for the network and will help us refine the offer to ensure that it’s set up to deliver maximum value to members.

In these sessions, we also set out the core beliefs and goals behind establishing the network. These include:

  • Everyone who works with technology should feel empowered to ask their questions and share their ideas and opinions
  • Technology can and should be used for good, especially in social housing

To deliver on these goals, the network will include a comprehensive content programme across multiple platforms to provide opportunities for good practice sharing, encourage peer-to-peer networking, and facilitate knowledge transfer from technology experts. These platforms will include:

  • Webinars and events
  • Regular member meetup networking events
  • An annual Innovation and Technology Network conference
  • Best practice groups formed around key challenges and themes
  • Tech news and commentary
  • Opinion pieces and blogs
  • Q&A sessions with technology experts (you ask the question; we provide the experts)
  • Practical resources and toolkits

Alongside this content programme, the network will also include a training series (The Core Technology Series) which will focus on areas of innovative technology that are becoming prevalent within social housing.

Training relating to each of these areas of technology (beginning with the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and chatbots and virtual assistance) will be delivered over three levels, becoming progressively more detailed, involved and practical.

Here’s an overview of each of the levels:



Content Overview

1: An Introduction to…

A broad overview of the technology, how it works and examples/use cases across various sectors, including social housing.

2: Exploring the use of…in housing

A more in-depth assessment of how this tool can and is being applied in practice in a social housing context. This could include case studies, panel debates, and discussions, involving housing providers and/or technology suppliers for ‘critical friend’ style conversations and Q&As.  

3: Making the case for…

An intensive and practical session aimed to develop a business case for applying a certain approach or tool within your organisation. This will include return on Investment and value for money considerations.

This combination of training, content and events aims to provide a network that’s inclusive in its design and is relevant to expert technologists and tech-curious housing practitioners alike!

If you’re interested in becoming a member, find out more and join here.