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People Development Summit

People Development Summit - Speakers

The Strategy Group programme is made up of 7 discussion-based seminars and facilitated by leading HR and Learning & Development experts. The sessions are an opportunity for delegates to catch up on some of the latest thinking and exchange ideas and best practice with their counterparts in other major organisations.

Two weeks before the event, delegates are asked to choose the groups which interest them most; it will normally be possible to attend 3 groups during the course of the Summit. The 2018 programme is now confirmed! Read on to see the speaker line-up and session outlines.

2018 People Development Summit speakers


Dave Cornthwaite - Opening Keynote

Adventurer - Speaker - Author 


Since quitting a job as a terrible graphic designer in 2005, Dave Cornthwaite has developed a successful career based around his passions. He's an expert in adventure, non-motorised travel, audacity and creating work that you love.

Dave has created hundreds of short films, delivered hundreds of lectures worldwide, travelled over 20,000 non-motorised miles as part of his Expedition1000 project, founded the life-fulfilling brand SayYesMore and, finally, has made up for being a total loser in his early twenties.

At the core, he is a record-breaking adventurer twelve journeys into his groundbreaking Expedition1000 project: 25 journeys of 1000 miles or more, each using a different form of non-motorised transport.

Amongst Dave's adventures are record-breaking SUP journeys along the Mississippi and around Martinique, longboarding across Australia, swimming 1001 miles and co-founding the ground-breaking growth mindset projects, Exploring Mindset and Winter Quest.

Dave has written three books: the bestselling Life in the Slow Lane, a hapless search for love in Date, and BoardFree, the story of how he left his job to skateboard further than anyone ever had.

His uniquely entertaining and motivational keynote presentations have been enjoyed on six continents and his passionate advocacy of the word YES has contributed to the sprouting of countless adventures worldwide, big and small.

In between adventures Dave is committed to enabling others to reach their own potential through social journeys, workshops, group expeditions and mindset-shaping projects. In 2015 his motto, SayYesMore, transformed into a different beast when he accidentally founded a social enterprise of the same name and a community of doers called The YesTribe, which offers a gentle solution to the mental health pressures of today's society.

Although consistently nomadic for a decade, Dave now lives on a boat in London and in between adventures leads The YesTribe. He blogs and speaks about adventure, living life on our own terms and maximising efficiency of choice in order to magnify the positive impact of our work and lifestyle.

If his enthusiasm for simple living, the power of adventure for good and the glorious pursuit of enjoying Mondays isn't enough to get you ready for a new challenge, nothing will. Watch his recent TEDx talk here - 


Lloyd Dean

Innovation made easy

Lloyd Dean - Head of Digital and Innovative Learning, EDF Energy Campus


Conversations around innovation have historically focused on the importance and need of innovation. It's a word that brings a lot of expectation to leaders and their employees but what is lacking from most books, blog articles and videos is a focus on how to innovate. Without focus it can become arbitrary and in some cases confusing. I will be discussing, with specific examples, the following:

• How to innovate: specific ways to take away and practice

• Setting up a strategic approach to innovation via a case study

• Enabling teams to innovate. How you can set up your team to win


Lloyd is Head of Digital and Innovative Learning at EDF Energy. His interests are in pedagogy and how technology can help with learning processes. Lloyd has worked in various settings and was once a teacher trainer at an Ofsted outstanding educational institution. Outside of work Lloyd is a sports enthusiast and is trying to use DuoLingo to learn new languages!

Katie Godden and Graham Powell

Implementing a modern, social, learning platform to a traditional retailer

Katie Godden - Learning Systems Manager, Carpetright Plc

Graham Powell - Training Manager, Carpetright Plc


What if you have a retailer that hasn’t yet fully engaged with learning, is stuck in the past and also has multiple outdated, unengaging and incompatible platforms, that aren’t fit for purpose? Add to that a workforce that is mainly longstanding and traditional, driven by sales rather than service in a culture which in the past didn’t support or insist on compliance. How would you approach this challenge?

During this presentation, Katie and Graham will share the experiences of Carpetright’s Talent and Development team. They’ll be highlighting Carpetright’s journey from a learning solution with limited resource and on a shoestring budget, to a state of the art, futuristic, social learning platform. Giving colleagues access to structured learning, from online training resources to face to face workshops, as well as revolutionising the communication within the business.


Katie Godden

Katie is the Learning Systems Manager at Carpetright and has been with the business for over a year and a half. Prior to working at Carpetright, she was part of the Learning Solutions Team, at Home Retail Group, who provided extensive online training for Argos, Homebase and Habitat. Before joining the retail sector, she worked for a learning company who supplied online computer qualifications to schools, universities and other learning providers.

Graham Powell

Graham has worked in retail for most of his career, holding a number of senior roles in field management. He has also held several senior positions heading up a number of projects including implementing a transactional website for a major retailer and overseeing the implementation and rollout of a new store concept. For the last 8 years Graham has been employed by Carpetright as their Training Manager, leading a small team who are responsible for all product training to a workforce of over 2000 retail sales colleagues in the UK and the ROI.

Graham has worked closely with the new Talent and Development team to introduce the new LMS solution. His primary responsibility has been the provision of most of the product learning content.

Robin Lilley

Accelerating time to performance: the why, the how and the what (Sinek) of leadership development

Robin Lilley - Group Capability and Leadership Director, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company


How do you manage the paradox that every leader is an individual yet you want them to act and behave in a way that builds a consistent culture that delivers specific results? How do you take the diverse needs of a business and find a route to effectively add value in a coordinated way? How much of L&D is providing a top down view of what the organisation needs and how much is it about engaging with what the individual wants? Should we even be focussed on the individual, or are teams and business units the best places to focus your attention when it comes to developing leadership? What really adds value and rives performance?

In this session you’ll get an insight into these and many other questions related to how you accelerate the performance in your business through leadership.


Robin currently heads up Capability and Leadership development across Coca Cola Hellenic - one of the largest bottlers in the Coca Cola System - where he has spent the last year setting up a brand new COE for Capabilities and Leadership as part of an overall HR transformation. Prior to Coca Cola Hellenic Robin was at BP for 5 years heading up leadership development at a group level for their senior leadership population globally. Robin has a diverse background: he started his career as an infantry officer, progressed into consulting and general management and then into commercial and HR in a range of global roles. “I spend a lot of my time trying to figure out how to get the most out of people, teams and organisations to deliver strategy and that’s probably the single coherent thread I have in my career history other than looking for new opportunities and challenges to develop.”

Eric Linin

Career Related Learning – How can you make your internal development offering support your employees’ career aspirations?

Eric Linin - Head of Talent Development at Lloyd’s of London


Whilst the vast majority of employees acknowledge that they are responsible for their careers, they are very vocal in their view that employers could do much more to support their career strategies. What’s more, hardly any of them feel confident in their line manager’s ability to have a career related conversation with them (survey by Right Management 2016).

This was very definitely echoed by employees at Lloyd’s of London, the world’s specialist insurance market, from the feedback they received in their employee engagement surveys. So Eric Linin, Head of Talent Development at Lloyd’s, decided it was time to do something! And so was conceived the Lloyd’s University Career Management Centre, an online resource for employees and managers designed to help individuals develop a more strategic approach to managing their careers.

In this honest and open presentation Eric will discuss the approaches Lloyd’s are taking to help employees to plan their development both for the job they are doing, and then for those they aspire to. Eric will explore how they are helping managers to have more constructive conversations with their team members, and how a new generation of internal career coaches will help colleagues to look beyond their current organisational silos when it comes to thinking about their career paths. He will also talk about some of the difficulties they encountered along the way, and how they overcame them.


Eric Linin is Head of Talent Development at Lloyd’s of London, where he leads on all matters relating to development and career management, from Lloyd’s highly acclaimed emerging talent programmes through to leadership and executive development. Eric was the driving force behind the vision and launch of Lloyd’s Corporate University in 2016 and more recently the addition of the Lloyd’s University Career Management Centre. Eric has been at Lloyd’s for nearly 7 years, having previously held senior roles, both in HR and in commercial banking at Lloyds TSB Banking Group. He has also spent some time as a freelance consultant, specialising in management and leadership development, during which time he worked with HM Prison Service, the British Council and HSBC Insurance Brokers amongst many others. He is an associate lecturer and MBA alumnus with the Open University and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Christine Nichols

Taking a step into the unknown with the Apprenticeship Levy – becoming an employer provider and everything that goes with it!

Christine Nichols - Head of Learning and Organisational Development, Norse Group


Norse Commercial Services is a facilities management specialist and part of the Norse Group, which includes NPS Group (property consultancy) and care provider NorseCare. Employing around 10,000 staff, they are a unique and successful organisation with a combined turnover in excess of £320 million. They work with local authorities across England through a range of partnerships, frameworks and specially tailored solutions. With the ever present pressure to deliver better services for less, their innovative partnership model continues to attract national interest and has been praised by local authority chief executives, councillors, union officials, staff and wider public.

In 2016, when Norse Commercial Services was considering how to approach the apprenticeship levy, Christine Nichols was appointed to a new role of Head of Learning and Organisational Development. With no previous experience of managing apprenticeship programmes, Chris looked for an opportunity to use the levy contribution to develop as many people in the organisation as possible as well as being able to offer new positions in recruiting people. The Senior Management Team in Norse gave Chris the green light to take the radical step of becoming an employer provider to utilise the levy to do exactly what Teresa May had said, which was to both upskill existing and new employees to meet the challenges of a changing world. So the journey began, with the recruitment of an enthusiastic apprenticeship manager, Danielle Cox, and together they embarked on creating the right programmes for the right people at the right time.

This interactive session will provide delegates with a clear overview of both the significant challenges and the opportunities that you can take to maximise this government initiative for your organisation.


I have worked in learning and development for over 25 years in both private and public sector businesses. Working for the Bupa Hospitals Group where I was managing an outpatients centre, I moved to Bupa’s head office in London to take on a learning and development role specialising in management development and organisational development. After 20 years in the private sector I took the decision to move into the public sector where I have enjoyed roles as an OD Consultant and achieved great success in supporting transformational change. I was approached about the role in Norse and decided to join, as it sounded very interesting as a newly created post. This has proved to be a fantastic opportunity for me, as the levy has provided a different focus and challenge to overcome and succeed in.If we can provide opportunities for people to be ‘the best they can be’ then I am happy!

Jaimie Stewart

Inspiring and developing the skills of the post-Brexit workforce

Jaimie Stewart - Head of Learning & Development, D&D London


With chefs ever present on our TVs and mixologists being hailed as the new rock stars, now is a great time to be working in hospitality and there is no city hotter right now than London.

But all is not as rosy as it seems in the kitchen garden…Hospitality globally is in the grip of a skills shortage and now that article 50 has finally been triggered the industry in the UK is on the edge of a labour crisis. It is predicted that by 2020, close to 1 million new staff will be needed across the industry to fill new vacancies and replace existing employees, and this is forcing companies like D&D London, who have been reliant on migrant labour from the EU, to rethink on how they manage and develop talent.

During his presentation Jaimie will share what D&D London have done to tap into labour markets outside of the traditional recruitment areas to attract and develop talent. Jaimie will talk about his experience of trying to attract young British people as well as other groups not traditional associated with working in hospitality, such as the over 50s, disabled and part time workers like students and working parents. He will provide examples of the steps D&D have taken to build their employer brand and what they have done to develop the skills of the post-Brexit generation.


Jaimie is an experienced senior HR professional and graduate member of the CIPD who specialises in strategic and innovative leadership and organisational development. He has a proven track record in delivering creative and commercially driven learning, development and leadership interventions at all levels within large corporate organisations and smaller entrepreneurial companies. In his current role as Head of L&D for the restaurant group D&D London he is responsible for strategies and interventions for 35 unique restaurants, 1 hotel and 2000 employees which ensure D&D continues to engage, develop and retain their best people into senior roles. An area of his role he particularly enjoys is working with schools and inner city charities to inspire people from disadvantaged backgrounds to consider careers in hospitality. He passionately believes that engaging with and developing the next generations will be key to the continued success of an industry that accounts for 1 in 10 jobs in the UK.

Carrie White

Changing face of learning: Through the eyes of a learner

Carrie White - Director (Learning and Development), Barclays Internal Audit


There's so much written about how learning is different from 5 years ago, 10 years ago and often written through the lens of the L&D professional.

However, what does it look like when you are standing in the learner's shoes?

This session looks at how learning has changed during my career in learning, spanning 20 years. Whilst looking at changes that have taken place in the world around us and their impact on the L&D profession, this session also approaches learning through the eyes of the learner, spanning the baby boomer era through to generation Z and beyond.

I will compare each and provide insights into the impact the advances around us are having on learner from each generation.


I’ve worked in financial services for over 20 years, in a variety of front and back office roles, starting as a graduate and working my way into a learning and development career 15 years ago. I've worked in a variety of roles, from design and delivery, through to coaching, business partnering and talent management. My love for my job comes from being able to see others learn and grow. Having always loved to learn, this has been a great career for me! I've developed my knowledge and skills over the years through my network of contacts and my commitment to making sure I complete my own personal reflections on what I learn in everything I do. I've taken the opportunity to complete every professional qualification that has come my way and this has resulted in me having a number of letters after my name which I prefer not to use!

Adam Hodgkinson

Blended Learning in our new digital world

There are many interpretations of what blended learning should look like. One approach is that there should be a little bit an e-session, followed by some social learning. Then maybe a training course followed by some pre-course work commencing with video and more social media!

What if we looked at this a little differently? What if the e-lesson is delivered within the face-to-face session via virtual reality?

What if the online gamification is happening whilst you sit in a classroom?

Then we would have true blended learning in our new digital world.

Come along and have some fun, share your ideas and learn how very complicated learning is made very simple for the end-user.

Adam Hodgkinson - HR People Development Partner, Nations & North, BBC

Joe Richardson

Converting a passion for your brand to a passion for learning:

When you work for one of the most fun, successful brands in an industry the expectations from customers, shoppers, consumers and learners are high. They want something new, exciting, impactful, efficient, effective but also authentic to the loyalty they feel to the brand. Embedding behaviours that deliver this balance across large organisations is a huge challenge, but the brands that connect everyone are also one of the most fundamental tools we have to shape our learning strategy and should be central to the L&D agenda…but how?

In this session we will look at how the connection between learning and a brand becomes a driving force for change in an organisation. We can challenge what we think we might know about our brands impact on our learning culture and use this with simplicity, fun, relevance and flexibility to connect the dots between people and tap into behaviour change and benefits we may not know exist from the start. To demonstrate this we may need to have some fun, so please come with your building hands ready!

Joe Richardson - Senior Manager, LEGO Commercial Academies, LEGO Group

Sonia Satsangi

Is technology disrupting how people learn?

We are constantly hearing about the latest trends in learning technology - mobile apps, micro learning, bite sized learning, virtual reality. The list is endless. But has it truly changed the neuroscience of the way people learn? What impact does this have on how we as professionals should be designing corporate learning experiences? How do we need adapt our skill set to reflect this shift? Let's think about how children learn: through experiencing and play; copying a reaction to an action; observing others; being shown by older children, asking their friends, reading a book or looking at a picture. But with a short attention span! Now it may be made quicker by perhaps by watching YouTube or "asking Siri or google” but the way the brain assimilates and processes the information is the same. I would like to discuss an observation that the fundamental way we learn has not changed. All that's shifted is people's expectation of how they may access that information. Have we as L&D professionals got so caught up in technology that at times lost sight of development needing to deliver a business return?

This session will be interactive and mainly discussion based. Come along a join the debate.

Sonia Satsangi - Global Learning Director

Katharine Strain

A Targeted Talent Management Strategy – setting your employees up to win!

Aligning a Talent Management strategy with overall business strategy and values can motivate and inspire an organisation’s employees to develop the skills that really matter for the achievement of their objectives, making them perform and feel like winners and positively impacting business results.

How often have you been asked to supply a list of training courses to employees to enable them to select one to complete without them fully understanding where this fits with the achievement of business goals, their personal career development and succession planning within the organisation.

Join this session to learn about the Moy Park journey towards directing talent management to where it makes the greatest impact.

Katharine Strain -  Head of Talent & Organisational Development, Moy Park

Angie Wiseman and Ian Turner

Driving a Learning for Performance Culture

We all know that digital revolution is driving change at an extraordinary rate, so if everyone’s world is changing so fast then surely the need to learn has never been so important?

And if learning becomes recognised as more of a “need to do” not a “nice to do” that means that the role of the L&D function is also increasingly important to ensure that we enable learning to drive future performance and continuous improvement.

In this session we’ll be talking about how we drive that learning for performance culture through the use of digital and collaborative platforms, maximising development opportunities in the everyday, supporting Continuous Professional Development and listening to our learners.

Angie Wiseman - People Development Director, TalkTalk

Ian Turner - Head of Learning Shared Services, TalkTalk

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