Future Talent Conference 2016: Skills to Thrive in the Future of Work

Highlights and speaker videos


Get insights about how human-centred skills, mindsets and behaviours are required for times of change; and learn how transformational leadership capabilities are founded upon resilience, self-awareness, openness to change, and a tolerance for ambiguity. Our speakers at the iconic Sadler’s Wells theatre include Ruby Wax, Alain de Botton, and Paralympians Lord Chris Holmes and Martine Wright.


Ruby Wax: A sane new world

American actor, comedian, writer, mental health campaigner and lecturer Ruby Wax regales the 2016 delegates with a very clear message about mental wellbeing; that we are much more likely to trust those who show vulnerability and admit their shortcomings, and that there is no weakness in doing either.


Alain de Botton: A good kind of capitalism

The compelling philosopher and Future Talent conference favourite Alain de Botton argues that our core human needs – those of love, friendship, belonging – continue to be drastically underserved by the modern business community. Enter, 'good capitalism'. 

Lord Chris Holmes MBE: Smash the silos: real inclusion counts

Paralympian and Lord of Richmond, Chris Holmes recounts his involvement in the planning of the 2012 London Olympic Games and how it taught him the importance of not bowing down to structural, emotional and physical silos of the difficulties around disability.

Martine Wright MBE: Turning floor cleaners into future Paralympians

Recalling her own experience as a survivor of the 7/7 attacks in which she lost both of her legs, Paralympic sitting volleyball player Martine Wright explains how she got her confidence back through the sport alongside the pivotal role that teamwork had to play in this regeneration. 

Helmut Schuster: Talent and technology: the HR revolution

Watch BP's Executive Vice President and Human Resources Director Helmut Schuster's presentation, in which he introduces Scooter, his AI 'assistant'. Helmut discusses the implications of technology on the future of HR while also considering how far it has come.

Amy Sawbridge: Extending your brand internally

Head of People Strategy at Virgin Group Amy Sawbridge takes the 2016 delegates on a journey of brand identity and brand ethos through her own personal life experience and professional life at Virgin Group. 

Panel discussion: How can HR partner more successfully with the c-suite?

Chaired by Vice President and UK Board Member of KPMG Melanie Richards, panellists form Virgin Group, Fujitsu, EMC and BP debated the future of work, what capabilities this requires from the HR function and what human resources leaders can do to partner more effectively with those on the c-suite. 

Yvonne Agyei: Google Culture: pushing the boundaries of innovation

What does it take to make a winning culture? Google's VP of International People Operations, Yvonne Agyei, asked at Future Talent 2016. Starting from the very beginning, she shared the story of how Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded the company from a garage in 1995 and how they've built the organisation into the global success it is today. 

In conversation: Peter Cheese and Katie Ledger

Future Talent 2016's conference facilitator, Katie Ledger, put Peter Cheese in the hot seat. Ledger asked the CIPD CEO a number of questions around the changing nature of work, future challenges and the role HR has to play in it. The vision is to build different approaches and capabilities in the workplace; how we consider diversity, multi-generational differences and how digitalisation is impacting on us today, were just some of the key themes discussed.

Dr Alan Watkins: 4D leadership: delivering competitive advantage in a complex world

Dr Alan Watkins challenged delegates to reassess their leadership skills in an increasingly volatile world: “It’s interesting, the paradox of escalating change, yet some things never seem to change when it comes to leadership in the modern world". Many leaders take a one-dimensional view of the world but to Watson, there are three main ways to become a great leader.

Jim Carrick-Birtwell: Welcome and introduction

Changeboard's CEO Jim Carrick-Birtwell welcomed 1,000 business leaders to our third annual conference. Covering the big topics and leadership challenges we're facing today, Carrick-Birtwell shared the aim of the event: "To showcase a kaleidoscope of terrific speakers who will provide a broad range of insights and inspiration, that we can all take away and apply, and hopefully change the way in which we work."

Porteur Keene: Closing remarks

Changeboard's executive chairman Porteur Keene reflected on an incredible day of thought leadership and collaboration. He shared his views on the speakers, the pearls of inspiration he'd gained from the day and why the future talent agenda is so important. He also highlighted the launch of the Future Talent Forum and gave his thanks to all involved for making Future Talent 2016 happen; our biggest and greatest conference yet.


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