Programme

Across three days, this year's conference examines the next chapter of governance, taking into consideration the affects of COVID-19 on the sector and will draw on the experiences of a host of experts in the field. Topics for discussion include; boardroom ethics, effectiveness and what the future board looks like, changing corporate values and culture, the influence of shareholder activism, cyber security and AI on organisations, and much more.

Drag the navigation below to slide between each programme day.

12.30

Networking and Exhibition Hall open

13.00

Conference opens

Welcome and introduction

Keynote: The state of Britain in 2021

Ben Page will address the challenges facing business and society and what we can do about them.

13.25

The new top 10 of risks

The past 18 months have opened many organisations’ eyes to risks that were previously hidden or dismissed as unlikely – be they contractual or reputational risks, supply chain issues or employee mental health, to name but a few. In this session, we explore the top ten emerging risks for 2021 and reflect upon how organisations need to adapt over the next two years.

13.55

STRETCH BREAK

14.00 - A CHOICE OF STREAMS:

Is your board ready to embrace Artificial Intelligence?

AI, automation and algorithmic decision-making are being increasingly used by companies to support better decisions, reduce inefficiencies and enhance business performance. In a fast-evolving regulatory landscape with AI, boards need to review their risk strategies to cater for the new challenges. This session will discuss how organisations can safeguard themselves from reputation and financial risks and harness the opportunities that AI and big data can deliver.

OR:

Workshop - agile leadership new skills for a new era?

What new capabilities do leaders need as we move into a new era? After the problems of the last year especially, to build and lead an agile organisation, leaders must develop new mind-sets and capabilities to transform themselves, their teams and the organisation itself. So, what are those new abilities? Why are they going to be indispensable going forward? Crucially – how do you become an agile leader?

14.45

Sponsors roundtable and networking

Digital transformation in the boardroom and beyond

Organisations need their senior level executives to be agile and empowered to make smart decisions. Without the right tools, the speed of business and pace of change can introduce risks to the organisation – from how they collaborate to the efficiency of their governance processes. In our virtual world, legacy systems exacerbate these risks. This session will discuss issues faced in decision-making and delegates will be invited to share their different solutions to streamlining processes.

OR:

Board effectiveness in the age of stakeholder capitalism

This session will invite attendees to discuss their issues and experiences regarding the board’s position on stakeholder capitalism and what you can do to strengthen stakeholder relations to protect the company’s future and reputation.

  • James Beasley, Head of EMEA Board Engagement, Nasdaq
  • Byron Loflin, Global Head of Board Engagement, Nasdaq

15.15

Stretch break

15.30 - A CHOICE OF STREAMS:

A matter of principles: effective board evaluation

In January, The Chartered Governance Institute published a report commissioned by BEIS, reviewing the effectiveness of independent board evaluation. This session will discuss the principles of good practice for listed companies using external board reviewers, and our experts will provide guidance on reporting on board performance annual review and how to achieve greater transparency for the benefit of the organisation.

OR:

Workshop: developing toughness and resilience

Over the past year we have all needed a bit more fortitude in this new working environment. Distressing psychological events are a part of life, but they can be a means for people to find growth, to develop new strengths and build the resilience to survive in the face of adversity. In this session, we use the experiences of the last year to explore resilience in an otherwise hostile environment.

16.00

Building a more agile economy

In March, the Government announced a review led by Lord Hill into measures to encourage equity listings and public offers in the UK – a move ministers hope will contribute towards building a more agile economy. It is hoped reforms will attract the most innovative and successful firms, and help companies access the finance they need to grow. But what does it all mean from a governance perspective?

Consultation Paper

Press Release

Speaker

16.30

Closing Keynote: Government's priorities

16.45

Summary and day one closes

08.30

Networking, roundtables and Exhibition Hall open

09.00

Conference opens

09.05

Keynote address: The Government’s White Paper on Corporate Governance Reform

09.15

Audit reform: shaping companies' future

March saw publication of a Government white paper, Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance, the latest step in its response to the findings of the Brydon and Kingman reports on the audit market in the UK. In this session, we look at what’s proposed for directors, audit firms and shareholders alike, we consider the expanded role of the new regulator, the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA), and reflect upon the challenges ahead.

09.40 - A CHOICE OF STREAMS:

Top tips for the coming reporting season

Covid-19 has left nothing untouched, and reporting is no exception. What’s changing in the regulatory landscape? What’s the latest from global efforts to create a single set of ESG standards? What are investors and other stakeholders looking for? And how do we factor all this into next year’s reporting? Our professionals will share their experiences of reporting through covid and what they’ll be taking into next year’s reporting and beyond.

OR:

ESG and the governance of climate change

This session will be a conversation with Alexander Stafford, Conservative MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Environmental and Social Governance. He is a champion for growing the understanding, assessment and implementation of ESG. Alex is also a member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee and prior to becoming an MP worked for the World Wildlife Fund and Shell.

10.10

Stretch break

10.15 - A CHOICE OF STREAMS:

The twelve elements of independent judgement

Exercising independent judgment is a skill, and one that is rarely straightforward. It’s a truism that in many organisations governance professionals and board members are the linchpin of independent judgment, drawing upon a range of knowledge, experience and personal qualities to make effective decisions. But what does good judgement even look like, and how can you improve your own?

OR:

Cybersecurity in the virtual boardroom

* This session will not be recorded

In this session, we explore the board’s oversight of data privacy, focusing particularly on strategy and reputational risks. Issues around privacy and effective cybersecurity should be managed together, and in this session our speakers look at how to manage privacy through new operational and organisational approaches.

10.45

Morning break

11.00 - A CHOICE OF STREAMS:

Driving globalisation centrally with strategic entity management and compliance practices

Where once the responsibilities of entity governance would be left to a local controller, the tide is now turning, as increasingly organisations are managing their obligations centrally. By centralising corporate information, organisations not only can ensure accuracy of compliance and cross-team collaboration, they can also enable governance teams to spot and influence company-wide decisions on such things as where to dissolve or create entities.

OR:

A stake in success - re-imagining employee share ownership

A recent report from the Social Market Foundation sets out the case for an expansion of employee share ownership in the UK, and for share ownership to form a key part of a “fair and strong economic recovery” narrative as we emerge from crisis. Indeed, says the report, the case for wider rates of employee share ownership is compelling. We look at the report findings and discuss what they mean.

11.30 - A CHOICE OF ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS:

Coaching for governance

Coaching at board level enables good governance by recognising the regulatory environment, the multiple roles which individuals are required to balance and the complex dynamics involved. Governance professionals provide value by enabling Directors to understand the impact which their beliefs, strategic decision-making and behaviour have on the organisations they lead. This participative discussion will explore how individuals build the ‘Situational Intelligence’ necessary to become a trusted coach to their board members.

OR:

Unlock your potential as a governance professional

What’s the single biggest issue holding you back from achieving your potential as a governance professional? This interactive session is aimed at early career professionals in governance who feel something is preventing them from achieving their full potential. In a small group, share your challenges, support others with ideas to help with theirs, and be signposted to further resources to help unlock your potential.

OR:

Tax Reforms and transparency initiatives

The pandemic has amplified inequalities in societies and economic forces are putting pressure on governments to raise revenues in order to address key issues whilst ensuring greater global tax compliance across the wealthiest individuals and companies. This session shares some regional insights which relate to ongoing tax reforms and the impact this may have on companies looking to protect their assets.

  • Shervin Binesh, Director, Sanne
  • Joe Betts, Director, Sanne
  • Lisa Aune, Lead Director, Sanne

12.00

Lunch break

Modern Governance solutions from Diligent – Q&A clinic

Want to understand more about the range of services Diligent provides, need to ask a direct question? Come to our exhibition stand where we will be answering a range of questions on our governance solutions and best practices for company secretaries.

  • Andy Whitehead, Regional Sales Director, Diligent

13.00

Keynote: Mapping your journey to success - How to lead in disruptive and turbulent times

13.15

The emerging boardroom ethics

As the pandemic has continued, organisations of all stripes have found themselves having to adapt a new environment, one in which physical premises are shut, people work remotely, and the temptation for misbehaviour is great. So, what does it mean to be an ethical organisation in the post-pandemic world? Are new attitudes towards ethical matters emerging – and if so, what do those look like?

13.40 - A CHOICE OF STREAMS:

Thought leadership: How to transform governance for your organisation

Significant shifts in legislation, business environment and organisational wide transformation, mean that governance functions are having to adapt and change in order to respond to the new demands made of their stakeholders. In this session, our speakers discuss how to successfully transform a company’s governance infrastructure to enable a business to respond to the challenges faced by strategic, legislative and cultural change.

OR:

D&O insurance in the wake of COVID-19

In a post pandemic landscape, the risks associated with directors and officers (D&O) liability have been thrown into sharp relief and it has become increasingly hard for organisations to secure adequate cover. Questions about how top teams are fulfilling their fiduciary and other duties, about the accuracy of disclosures in such a fluid environment, and reputational risks from the pandemic itself have all raised the stakes. We look at the challenges organisations are facing on this front.

14.10

Stretch break

14.15

Fighting fit: what next for the UK corporate governance code?

In May 2021, the Financial Reporting Council released its latest revision to the UK Corporate Governance Code. In this session, we hear from the regulator who will address the Code’s principle of forging strong relationships with key stakeholders. They will focus on the issue of workforce engagement, a relatively rare but increasingly used practice in the UK.

14.35

The next generation boardroom

Building diversity into succession planning in the boardroom is increasingly seen as being “mission critical”. And yet, the same pitfalls, the same biases are seen again and again. How can boards really make a difference and bring more women, LGBT and BAME people into top roles? We hear the views of some who have made it to the top, the challenges they faced – and the impact they have made.

15.15

Summary and day two session closes

08.30

Networking and Exhibition Hall open

09.00

Conference opens

09.05

Keynote: Boosting socio-economic diversity at senior levels

09.15

New values and culture, fit for the next chapter!

Handled well, corporate purpose is one of the pillars of good governance, and many companies are responding to the 10 principles outlined in the UN global compact and transitioning to a new set of values. At the same time, the pandemic has brought many challenges which have driven companies to reassess their culture. In this session, we hear from two companies: one which set out to transform its corporate values, the another which reshaped its culture.

09.50

Stretch break

09.55 - A CHOICE OF STREAMS:

The effects of shareholder activism

Stakeholder activism is putting increasing pressure on organisations to phase out their support of fossil fuels. Last year’s shareholder action against a major high street bank was the first of its kind, but it won't be the last. As Cop 26 approaches, corporate action to tackle climate change is coming under scrutiny. We discuss where the conversations between businesses, their investors and activists are leading to.

OR:

Companies House transformation

Companies House is about to implement some of the most important changes since the register was created in 1844. More than just an exercise in tidying up the accuracy of their data, the aim is to act against the ‘abuse of personal information on the register, [and] the misuse of UK registered entities as vehicles for economic and other crime’. So what will the changes be, and how will they affect your organisation?

10.25 - A CHOICE OF ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS (repeat sessions):

Coaching for governance

Coaching at board level enables good governance by recognising the regulatory environment, the multiple roles which individuals are required to balance and the complex dynamics involved. Governance professionals provide value by enabling Directors to understand the impact which their beliefs, strategic decision-making and behaviour have on the organisations they lead. This participative discussion will explore how individuals build the ‘Situational Intelligence’ necessary to become a trusted coach to their board members.

OR:

Unlock your potential as a governance professional

What’s the single biggest issue holding you back from achieving your potential as a governance professional? This interactive session is aimed at early career professionals in governance who feel something is preventing them from achieving their full potential. In a small group, share your challenges, support others with ideas to help with theirs, and be signposted to further resources to help unlock your potential.

OR:

Company Secretaries and the flow of power

What can company secretaries do to promote a healthier flow of power in the boardroom? In this session we will draw on findings from the Mindful Exclusion report and insights from seasoned company secretaries to discuss a few key levers that can be used to drive meaningful change.

OR:

Leveraging automation to build a competitive advantage

Whilst many governance teams have centralised their corporate information and compliance practices, they are still weighed with low-value repetitive tasks which hold them back from getting involved in the more strategic side of the business. This becomes more of an issue as organisations grow and governance becomes both a box-ticking and reactive exercise. We discuss the role of governance professionals in leveraging automation to allow more time for strategic initiatives, advising the board.

OR:

Shareholder Voice: how to make the most of your engagement

The voice of the shareholder has never been so loud. With the huge increase in the number of organisations holding virtual or hybrid AGMs, it has never been easier for a shareholder to have their say. What are the rights of the shareholder to be “heard” or “seen”? We will explore the technology solutions available to facilitate this, and look at some user cases, as well as the best practice guidance in dealing with Q&A.

  • Pete Fowler, UK Managing Director, Lumi

10.55

Morning break

11.10 - A CHOICE OF STREAMS:

Mental health: working in a hybrid world

In this session we explore the link between effective governance and the need for organisations to support employees in a hybrid or remote working environment. Is the board leading on mental health issues? Is it purely an HR matter or is it a consultant responsibility? How, as an organisation, do you provide stability and support to your employees and drive that from the very top?

OR:

How does exclusion happen in your boardroom?

The Institute and the Centre for Synchronous Leadership have collaborated on a ground-breaking report on mindful exclusion, following a study of over 300 governance professionals, directors and executive committee members. What issues don’t make it onto the board agenda? What information is not shared amongst colleagues? Which groups of people are not selected to join? And are these decisions guided by your organisations’ values, vision and strategic objectives or by mindless automated responses?

11.40

Stretch break

11.45

Is your committees structure fit for the future?

As priorities change, boards are having to cope with greater scope and complexity than they were a decade ago. Much of that is due to heightened regulatory requirements, shifting investor expectations and transformative global changes. Are boards’ committee structures appropriate to meeting those expectations? Do boards familiar themselves with how their peers are addressing their oversight responsibilities? And how can board evaluations help address the issue?

12.15

Keynote: What the future holds

12.30

Closing address

FREE ACCESS - New for the Governance 2021 - The Knowledge Hub

The Knowledge Hub is a free access area within the annual conference which will offer extra content and extended networking opportunities for those attending the annual conference as well as those in the wider governance community.

The Knowledge Hub is open from:

  • 9am to 12 noon on 5 July 2021 - Registrations are now closed
  • 1pm to 4pm on 7 July 2021 - Registrations will close at 5pm on Tuesday 6 July

The Knowledge Hub is free to access and is filled with bite sized pieces of learning and more chances to network with, and learn from, your peers in governance.

Access is granted with a special ticket so please make sure you register here. If you have already registered for the conference, you will automatically be granted access to The Knowledge Hub.

The Hub will offer short sessions and cover a variety of topics, including:

5th July

09.20 

Leadership analogy to an Orchestra

The session with provide an analogy of each role on a Board to the roles within an orchestra and how effective leadership will deliver harmony and not cacophony. We will consider the critical role of the Chair in the effective delivery of engagement with the organisation, its stakeholders and importantly the Board team. Delivered as a short presentation with examples taken from board engagements. Session will end with Q and A.
Sharon Constançon, CEO
Genius Boards

09.40

Charity boards behaving badly

What are some of the board behaviours which lead to poor charity governance and what can we do to correct them?
Penny Wilson, CEO, Getting on Board

10.00

How to develop a sustainability strategy (presentation)

A well-considered sustainability strategy can add huge value to your stakeholders and your business, but how do you make sure you’re implementing the right things to deliver the right outcomes? We guide you through the step-by-step process of developing a sustainability strategy.
Caroline Johnstone, Managing Director, Rawstone Consulting

NEDs for smaller organisations

Having Non Executive Directors (NEDs) on your board  often make a considerable contribution to the growth an organization as well as the delivery of its missions statement. How do you appoint a NED? What do you need to look for and how do you onboard them. This sessions will highlight why you need a NED and the key considerations when looking to recruit and onboard.

Lesley Stephenson, Governance

10.20

Behaviour Scuppers Effectiveness - Case Study

The session shares Board examples of behaviour impacts on a Board’s performance, its ability to focus on what is important and to remain strategic, visionary and delivering the right culture in which the organisation can flourish. We will consider the subtle, less visible behavioural activities we see play out in Boardrooms and discuss the more obvious “bad behaviours” often present. Delivered as case study – described and then discussed with involvement of the group.
Sharon Constançon, CEO
Genius Boards

10.40

How to diversify your charity board

Top practical tips on how to diversify charity boards. All welcome.

Penny Wilson, CEO, Getting on Board

10.40

Shareholder Voice: how to make the most of your engagement

The voice of the shareholder has never been so loud. With the huge increase in the number of organisations holding virtual or hybrid AGMs, it has never been easier for a shareholder to have their say. What are the rights of the shareholder to be “heard” or “seen”? We will explore the technology solutions available to facilitate this, and look at some user cases, as well as the best practice guidance in dealing with Q&A.

Peter Fowler, UK Managing Director, Lumi

11.00

Minute taking training in a virtual world

People frequently find themselves called upon to take minutes, with little guidance on how they are expected to produce an accurate record of what took place. Ambiguous agreements, a vague agenda, interruptions and a poor chairperson, are just some of the factors that can make this a daunting task. As the world continues to wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic, businesses face having to create, at least in the short-term, their ‘new normal’. Virtual meetings pose many challenges for minute takers. For those who are prone to disengage at the best of times, the virtual world presents an array of opportunities. Now a participant can happily blank the video and enter the meeting at their preferred point during the overall proceedings or exit the meeting completely; and confidently blame all of this on ‘a technological malfunction’. So, how can Minute Takers step up to the plate and take effective minutes in a virtual world?

Phil Davies, Managing Director, TMF Training

Communication and employee engagement

Hear from Chrissie Davis, founder of Eximia – as a Fellow governance professional turned communications and employee engagement pro, she’ll offer up some tips on harnessing the power of communication and maximising employee engagement to strengthen governance. In particular:

  1. From framework to policies – breathing life into them and communicating to build a culture of good governance and compliance
  2. What ESG, DEI, wellbeing and Reward all have in common...
  3. More than 250 UK employees? Engage authentically and the content for reporting on employee engagement becomes a breeze

Chrissie Davis, Founder and MD, Eximia Communications

11.20

Bias and Influence

Metacognitive bias – the worst of all, believing we are not biased. A dangerous point of departure, but often the stance of many senior Directors. An understanding on how as humans we are influenced by our own experiences and knowledge providing our reference points. We will share the work by Genius to define the key seven business bias influences that will help Directors become more mindful of remaining independent and objective. The session will be broken into key discussion points with audience interaction in each of the sections.

Sharon Constançon, CEO
Genius Boards

11.40

REFLECTING ON GOVERNANCE IN THE LONG-LOST YEAR AND HOW WE LEAD THE WAY FROM HERE

The Governance Academy co-founders Chrissie Davis and Kerry Round explore a few key areas of governance which have adapted to our changing world and how we best manage them going forwards…

  1. managing effective hybrid board and committee meeting dynamics
  2. writing and producing a compelling annual report in the new world
  3. things to consider when managing subsidiary governance

Kerry Round, Co-founder, The Governance Academy
Chrissie Davis, Co-founder, The Governance Academy

What do trustees do and how do I become one?

A whistle stop tour of what charity trustees do and how to secure a trustee position. All welcome, particularly if you haven't been a trustee before. 

Penny Wilson, CEO, Getting on Board

7th July

13.00

Decision Making

Why is it so difficult for a group of people to make an effective decision. We are all different, think differently and need different supports to reach our conclusions. We have different experiences and knowledge, we engage in conversation according to our characters and have different capabilities to express and share. The importance is the ability to chair such a conversation that the loudest or most influenced does not sway reaching what is in the interests of the long term sustainability of the organisation. We shall consider tricks to protect attaining the right outcomes. The session will be delivered as a presentation and then a series of debate questions for the attendees to share their insights.

Sharon Constançon, CEO
Genius Boards

High Impact Board Packs

Boards need high quality information. Yet, 63% of board members classify their papers as weak or poor, and 64% say they don’t help the conversation. In this Board Intelligence workshop, we’ll share some tips to help you build board packs that cut through the noise and laser-focus your meetings.

Anna Humphreys, Manager, Board Intelligence

13.20

Which carbon target? (roundtable)

Carbon neutral, carbon net zero, carbon positive and/or science-based targets. What do they mean and what targets are you using?

Caroline Johnstone, Managing Director, Rawstone Consulting

14.00

Genius Ten Capability Quotients

Kakabadse has raised 5 Leadership Quotients. Building on these 5, Genius has mapped the “hard” and “soft” Leadership and Capability Quotients that drive the behaviour, capability and engagement of a Director. The session will cover each of the ten quotients within the four quadrants, understanding how each of the ten quotients interact to create a Board Director. Though the session examples will be shared of how each quotient plays out in a Director and in the Board, questions and interaction through the session will be encourages and time will be provided for Q and A.

Sharon Constançon, CEO
Genius Boards

14.20

Getting started with TCFD (presentation)

Climate change presents a financial risk to most businesses. The Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) was created to improve and increase reporting of climate-related financial information. Many companies are now, or will soon be, required to report in accordance with these recommendations. This session will cover what TCFD is, who it applies to and practical steps on how to meet the requirements.

Caroline Johnstone, Managing Director
Rawstone Consulting

So what is governance?

If you’re part of an organisation, regardless of what it is they do, support, sell, make or protect, the chances are your organisation has a governance framework in place. The question is, is it an effective one? Join Kerry as she breaks down the meaning of a governance framework and provides straightforward guidance and useful tips on ensuring your organisation’s governance framework can contribute to your organisation's success.

Kerry Round, Founding Director, Round Governance Services

14.40

Smarter Networking - essential skill for career success

The art of networking is an essential skill for career success. Put simply, it is about building up a strong network of contacts who understand you, your expertise/experience and your products/services, and are able to recommend you when the moment arises. This session will go back to basics – how does networking actually work, and focus on three key aspects to ensure smarter networking be it virtually or face to face – how will you be remembered, what is my value and what is my message

Heather White, CEO, Smarter Networking Ltd

15.00

Value drivers of a Board Evaluation

If a board evaluation was totally voluntary, why would you consider spending the money? What would you want to get for the time and effort investment? What will be your attitude to the constructive insights and how will you respond to seeing the light through another lens? Will you take the recommendations on board, as an individual and as a team? We will share examples of board engagement outcomes and how boards have re-engineered their effectiveness for long term gain. This will take the form of a presentation followed by Q and A.

Sharon Constançon, CEO
Genius Boards

15.40

NEDs for smaller organisations

Having Non Executive Directors (NEDs) on your board  often make a considerable contribution to the growth an organization as well as the delivery of its missions statement. How do you appoint a NED? What do you need to look for and how do you onboard them.   This sessions will highlight why you need a NED and the key considerations when looking to recruit and onboard.

Lesley Stephenson, Governance

This is a great chance for those attending our flag ship event to get even more out of the conference, as well as providing an opportunity for those who are looking to learn more about the fundamentals of governance to take part.

How to get involved:

  • Register for your ticket.
  • Follow the instructions that will be sent to you by email on how to access the platform and login on the day.
  • Join live sessions on the day.


*The Knowledge Hub programme will be posted here in advance of the event and is evolving and subject to change.

Join us

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the 2022 Annual Conference.

Be sure to mark your calendar and join us on 5 and 6 July 2022.

If you need any help, please contact the events team or call on:

+44 (0)20 7612 7034.