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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 - 


Catherine Cape

Holding hands around the world

Catherine Cape - Director, Head of Digital Learning, Deutsche Bank


In this session, Catherine will share the learning from a 12 month journey to revolutionise learning at Deutsche Bank in 70 Countries, and the lessons the team learned along the way. Taking a ‘spaghetti of regional approaches’ which have evolved over many years, and finding an order and a curation plan to create a consistent offering on multiple platforms, using multiple methods – and making it feel snazzy and high tech, when in fact it is more simple (and cheaper!) than it looks. It feels completely new, but is in fact our existing LMS with a new skin. The crux of the solution is our ‘Navigator’ which gently takes the learner, holds their hand and helps them to explore the learning, finding the topic they want, at the level they want, in the format they want. Supporting managers to support learning Catherine will share the lessons from working with our great partners, and combining the brains of L&D traditionalists with Tech Brains and a sprinkle of Psychology! She’s been to 5 PD Summits, so she knows you would like to join in – so will tell a 20 min story, and then try to get some questions and interaction going – and there’ll be chocolate!


Catherine has been in L&D for ever. A sector hopper, she’s had roles with organisations as varied as Siemens, Blockbuster Video, The NEC Group, and for the last 6 years has been at Deutsche Bank. Having been a facilitator and coach for 20 years, she’s had a foot in Technology for a few years now, and is fascinated with the question ‘How do we create a personalised learning experience at scale?’. Her team, based in UK, US & Germany has global responsibility for the 100,000 employees across the world in all areas where technology and learning come together. This includes the global offer she’s going to speak about – as well as e-learning, apps, algorithmic learning tools, and generally interfering in other things where digital could bring it to life!

Andy Epps

Innovation in L&D – The EDF Energy approach

Andy Epps - Innovation Learning Consultant, 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


Andy is an Innovative Learning Consultant with EDF Energy. His interests are in advancements in technology and how thinking outside the box can support in driving efficiencies and cost savings in training learning and development. Andy has worked in various settings and was lead learning technologist at an Ofsted Outstanding educational institution. Outside of work Andy is a sports enthusiast, particularly football and cricket. 

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.

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 Commercial Services

Danielle Cox - Apprenticeship Manager, Norse Commercial Services


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.


Christine Nichols

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!

Danielle Cox

I have worked in Learning and Development for over 11 years, focussing on Apprenticeships over the last 3 years.  Starting my L&D career as an administrator, progressing into both Leadership & Management as well technical training I believe my strength lies within having an appreciation of all aspects of learning & development, from the creation and implementation of development programmes, through to demonstration of return on investment.

In preparation for the introduction of the apprenticeship levy and in the hope of approval to become a provider, I was recruited as Apprenticeship Manager in February 2017. Since this time, we have been awarded provider status and with this, I have been creating an infrastructure to support the design and delivery of high quality People Development Programmes, supporting our organisation with their development needs through the apprenticeship levy. Our aim is to ensure that as a provider we offer the right people, the right programme at the right time!


Peter Sheppard

Transforming L&D: creating your formula

Peter Sheppard - Global Head of Learning Excellence, Ericsson


Where do you need to take your L&D function next? What changes can you make so L&D has greater alignment with the business, creates more impact on performance and enables an improved employee experience? The world of work and our approach to learning is changing at an increasingly fast rate and keeping up is a critical part of any L&D team agenda.

In this session Peter will help you think through the different transformation ingredients to improve the contribution and impact of L&D in your organisation. In other words what learning excellence could look like for your organisation. This session is about you looking at the Ericsson transformation and investigating for your organisation what will make the difference for you and your employees. We will explore learning strategy, alignment with the business, next generation solutions and platforms and measuring the impact. A discussion of some of the key levers to achieve success including planning with the business managers, creating a more diverse approach to the way your people learn, consolidating your supplier base, finding a way forward in the technology landscape. By the end of this session you will be another step closer to answering successfully the really difficult question – “how will L&D raise its game this year in your business?”


Peter is Global Head of Learning Excellence in Ericsson, a supplier of telecom networks and services in 140 countries. In his current role Peter has responsibility for developing world class learning; leading a central group of learning experts and works closely with the CLO on the leadership of the learning function. Previously he was Head of Learning for Region Western and Central Europe with other Ericsson roles including UK Competence, Talent and ER Director, Head of UK HR Operations plus a variety of HR Business Partner roles. He has now clocked up 30 years of experience in Learning & HR having previously worked in Philips Electronics and IBM. Having presented at HR Tech, Learning Live, CIPD L&D Development conferences Peter is pleased to be returning to lead a session at the People Development for a second time.

Nicky Wallis

Creating a training culture

Nicky Wallis - Head of Learning & Development, Gaucho & CAU Restaurants


Training and development is often seen as the “fluffy” part of the business, though we all know it is vital to have a motivated workforce, well educated, challenged and empowered to be the best they can be.

During this session I will take you through the challenges I have faced when creating, implementing and maintaining a training culture.

Starting at the beginning – getting the buy in and investment from your seniors and Directors. Having a clear strategy to show implementation and the results you aim to achieve.  Tangible KPI’s to demonstrate the return in investment – what is important to the business objectives. The challenges I have faced at this stage and what I have done to overcome them.

Gaining buy in from all levels of staff to make it a culture of what you do and how you behave in the business. These all to be equipped with the skills they need to be successful in their roles as well as taking an active role in training and developing those around them.

As the world changes we need to also adapt, so to maintain a training culture is nothing short of hard work, dedication and making the right kind of “noise”.

Finally to monitor the results of the training and feedback consistently at both company and individual level.

At the end of the session it would be great to hear your views, feedback and questions and there will be time allocated to this.  All views and feedback adds to our toolkit so lets make the most of it!



Nicky Wallis returned from Canada to the UK 1997, and shortly after became a mother of 2 amazing children. After spending some time at home, she craved more adult interaction and what place better to socially interact than hospitality.   After initially working in a local restaurant a few hours a week her passion for the industry was born.  Her career moved quickly into management, where she worked a variety of roles and she found a calling for training and development.  After 5 years working as an Operational Trainer with Food and Bev concessions in the airports she took a career break and shortly after joined Gaucho as Head of Staff Training, and now she is Head of Learning and Development.  Her role covers all aspects of training and career progression from compliance, academy evolution, succession and development.  At Gaucho training and development is a natural part of the brand culture which is a fast moving, innovative and exciting environment which allows Nicky to be creative and work with some of the best in the industry.


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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