Bridging the gap between theory and application is frequently a challenge, whether we find ourselves in universities or organisations. At LSE we attest to the importance of both understanding the causes of things and impacting the real world ‘out there’. To bridge this gap two of the department’s PhD students, Mark Noort and Brett Heasman, organised the first trial session of their Impact Challenge workshops – an opportunity to bring together MSc students from the department and guest speakers from private and public sectors to engage and discuss real-life issues.

On 18th November 2016, Dustin Eno, a Crisis Response Manager at Navigate Response, presented the ‘Magic Pipe’ scenario, an on-going problem he faces as crisis communication expert in the maritime industry. Two groups of students were asked to present a concise, evidence-based and applicable solution that addressed the issue of off-shore illegal waste dumping. After hearing two very good proposals that integrated social psychological theory into an applicable solution, the best proposal was offered the opportunity to feature in an industry magazine.

As the first trial session proved to be a good intellectual and fun exercise the Impact Challenge will return for more sessions in Lent term!