Programme

Across two days, this year’s conference examines the changing governance landscape through a variety of perspectives, among them: Environmental and social governance, Leadership and behaviours,New technologies and the rise of AI, Organisational purpose, culture and values, Diversity and the range of voices in the boardroom, The changing skills and aptitudes of the governance professional.

  1. 8.15am

    Registration tea and coffee

    60mins
  2. 9.15am

    Welcome and introduction

    • Sara Drake, CEO, The Chartered Governance Institute
    5mins
  3. 9.20am

    Ministerial keynote address

    • Speaker TBC
    15mins
  4. 9.35am

    Keynote address

    • Sir Jonathan Thompson, CEO, Financial Reporting Council
    60mins
  5. 9.55am

    Panel: New landscape, new rules?

    The UK’s departure from the European Union means that, in theory at least, the old rulebook has been thrown out and the future is there to be shaped. So what changes might we expect to see in company law and regulation? On consumer rights, competition or data? On employment or human rights law? Or even on the governance regime itself? In this session, we scan the emerging landscape and consider just some of what’s in store.

    35mins
  6. 10.30am

    Taking action on climate change

    Over the course of the last year, millions of people around the world have come out in protest, calling on governments and businesses to take action on climate change. Investors, too, are increasingly engaging on this most challenging of issues, and organisations need to think seriously about their response. In this session, we consider the findings of a new report which examines how companies should be reporting on climate change and the sorts of questions their boards should be asking.

    30mins
  7. 11.00am

    Break

    30mins
  8. 11.30am

    Streamed sessions

    60mins

Board evaluation: Staying at the top of the game

In May last year, the Institute was commissioned by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to assess the quality of board evaluations for listed companies in the UK, and identify ways in which they might be improved. That included investigating the potential development of a code of practice for external board evaluation. So, a year on, what have we learned – and what lessons might be drawn from evaluations of recent years?

Facing up to the high pay challenge

January 2020 saw new rules come into effect that require large UK listed companies to disclose and explain their executive pay and the gap between that and their average employee. With other developments on pay on the cards this year, and questions being raised about what high pay and how it’s agreed upon say about an organisation’s governance, the issue won’t be going away anytime soon. In this session, we reflect upon how high pay continues to be a challenge.

Harvesting ‘intrapreneurship’

In today’s business landscape, disruption to traditional models and old ways of working is increasingly the norm. Many businesses of long standing are feeling the pressure to throw off their restraints, embrace technology, take risks and innovate. Yet while start-ups and increasing numbers of FTSE 100 businesses are doing precisely that, many others have held back. So what are the benefits of so-called ‘incubator’ programmes – and how can they be brought onto the board’s agenda?

Speaker

  • Catherine Hargreaves, Company Secretary, Revolut

Online reputational crisis: How to prevent it

Warren Buffet once said, ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.’ With over half of the world using the internet, anyone can generate content that can harm an organisation. Fake news, review platforms, social media – they have all become real threats that organisations need to guard against. We discuss some of these threats to reputation and ask, what can organisations do?

Coaching for governance

Warren Buffet once said, ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.’ With over half of the world using the internet, anyone can generate content that can harm an organisation. Fake news, review platforms, social media – they have all become real threats that organisations need to guard against. We discuss some of these threats to reputation and ask, what can organisations do?

Speaker

  • Anna Bateson, Founder, Cutting Through the Grey

Partner programme

Details for this session will be available soon.

  1. 12.30pm

    Lunch

    60mins
  2. 13.30pm

    Afternoon keynote: Mindful exclusion

    30mins

    Not everyone can join that big meeting, have a say in that key decision or get that plum job. It’s called exclusion, and when it’s based on personal bias or perceived social norms and not on rational argument, it can signify a deeper problem with organisational culture. New research from The Chartered Governance Institute and the Centre for Synchronous Leadership examines the issue and looks at the value of the governance professional’s voice in the boardroom, the healthy flow of power and the value of networks.

    Moderator

    • Peter Swabey, The Chartered Governance Institute

    Speaker

    • Justine Lutterodt, Centre for Synchronous Leadership
  3. 14.00pm

    Streamed Sessions

    60mins

Panel discussion: Section 172, one year on

Section 172 of the Companies Act introduced a requirement for qualifying companies to report on their compliance with the directors’ duty to promote the success of the company. One year on from implementation, how are boards getting on with the new requirement? What difficulties have they encountered? And what can they do to improve their compliance with the legislation?

High performing teams need psychological safety

Study after study has shown that an unsafe working environment can lead to employees taking inappropriate risks or engaging in poor behaviour. That’s also true of the boardroom, where stakes are high and the pressure at times intense. In this session, we discuss why and how organisations need to create an environment in which board members and employees alike can feel psychologically safe, able to share ideas and empowered to speak up.

Speaker

  • James Elfer, Founder at MoreThanNow

Cyberattacks: Weaponising GDPR

On the latest front in the cybersecurity wars, ransomware gangs have been holding companies to ransom, locking devices or freezing servers. On top of the threat of reputational damage, companies now face the prospect of fines for non-compliance with data privacy law. This case study session looks at what happened when one company experienced this kind of crisis. Could it have been avoided? How was it handled by the board? What did it mean for the company’s reputation? And how can it be stopped from happening again?

Share plans in their birthday years

Join us as we take you through the highlights of the latest ProShare annual SAYE and SIP report, which analyses trends and participation in the UK’s two ‘flagship’ tax advantaged all-employee share plans – Save As You Earn and the Share Incentive Plan. With Save As You Earn turning 40 and the Share Incentive Plan turning 20 years old, 2020 is an especially significant year. We ask, are they still relevant to today’s workforce in their current form?

Speaker

  • Zoe Denny-Thomas, ProShare
  • David Mortimer, ProShare

Catch up session

An opportunity to join one of the sessions you missed earlier. Details for this session will be available soon.

Partner programme

Details for this session will be available soon.

  1. 15.00pm

    Break

    30mins
  2. 15.30pm

    Streamed Sessions

    60mins

De-normalising the toxic boardroom

Many factors can lead to toxic behaviours in a boardroom. Massive egos, an unhealthy or unstable culture, a refusal to challenge or be challenged, even the influence of other people’s toxic behaviours – they can all contribute to a dysfunctional board. Recognising those behaviours is one thing, but eradicating them is a much more daunting task. In this session, we will reflect upon some of the ways in which boards can ensure that toxic behaviours are definitely not the norm.

A governance ecosystem

The Purposeful Company Task Force was established in 2015 with the ambitious goal of transforming business and examining how the UK’s entire ‘ecosystem’ – capital markets, ownership structures, stewardship, executive incentives and corporate governance – could be reshaped to support the development of purposeful companies, to the long-term benefit of stakeholders. Five years on, what have we learned? And where does the drive towards greater purpose in business go next?

Technology and the board: Beyond the board pack?

Be they hard copy or digital, board packs can sometimes be more a slog to read than an aid to decision making. Short notice publication, excess detail and a sense of ‘what am I supposed to do with this?’ can result in board members being woefully underprepared. So is the problem not just one of hard versus soft copy, but the very idea of a ‘board pack’ itself? How else might board discussions be informed and supported? And what role might AI have to play in all this?

Defining your career goals

What are your career goals? Where do you want to be in five years’ time? In ten? Are you a leader? Or a second-in-command? Are you looking for a different work-life balance? Using cutting edge technics and tools, this workshop is an opportunity for delegates to gain personal insights into their own leadership skills and goal development. Our speaker is a renowned professional with a proven track record of working with C-level professionals.

Speaker

  • Bevis Moynan, Senior Motivational Map Coach Trainer, NLP Trainer, Business Coach

Catch up session

An opportunity to join one of the sessions you missed earlier. Details for this session will be available soon.

Partner programme

Details for this session will be available soon.

  1. 16.30pm

    Day 1 close and drinks

  1. 8.00am

    International networking breakfast: What governance looks like in other countries

    This is an opportunity for all international professionals to network and learn about governance across the world.

    30mins
  2. 8.30am

    Registration, tea and coffee

    30mins
  3. 9.30am

    Welcome and introduction

    5mins
  4. 9.35am

    Keynote address

    25mins
  5. 10.00am

    Integrative session – The company secretary: Driving change

    A changemaker is someone who takes action to solve a problem and has the motivation and persistence to make a difference. Harnessing the insights of a diverse community of practitioners, The Chartered Governance Institute and Company Matters have been exploring what being a changemaker in the governance profession involves, why it matters and the qualities it requires. In this session we share some of the findings of that work.

    Led by

    • Tracey Brady, Managing Director, Company Matters
    60mins
  6. 11.00am

    Break

    30mins
  7. 11.30am

    Breakout sessions

    45mins

Working with stakeholders, building trust

The political climate in 2020 has brought a lot of uncertainty for stakeholders – not least in the shape of Brexit and the US presidential elections – and investments have been volatile as a result. In the face of such uncertainty, organisations need to embrace the idea of cultivating a dialogue with investors to promote trust and generate growth. So what are the main issues driving that reluctance to invest? And how can trust between organisations and their stakeholders be restored?

Trust me, I’m listed: Restoring purpose in corporate reporting

For many companies, reporting is viewed solely as a statutory exercise, a complex bit of coordination that draws on multiple teams to get the final report across the finishing line. In this session, we go back to first principles and explore some of the big questions around what reporting is really for, and how companies can produce informative, authentic and effective reports which engender trust with their stakeholders, and make employees feel proud of their company.

Speaking digital in the boardroom: Bridging the generational gap

Conversations about data need to start in the boardroom, and sharing a universal digital language can be invaluable in helping boards understand the value of their data as a corporate asset. Yet in many organisations, that simply doesn’t happen. In this session, we discuss how organisations can make the cultural shift and drive the new digital language through all levels of the organisation.

Exploring your ‘why’

What is it that really motivates you? What are you passionate about? What skills and interests do you have? In short, what’s your ‘why’? In the workplace, we tend to focus a lot of energy on tasks, targets, results, and lose sight of the things that are really meaningful in our lives. This workshop will offer an opportunity to re-engage with your aspirations and motivations and consider strategies for embedding your own values and beliefs in what you do.

Catch up session

An opportunity to join one of the sessions you missed earlier. Details for this session will be available soon.

Partner programme

Details for this session will be available soon.

  1. 12.15pm

    Lunch

    60mins
  2. 13.15

    Breakout sessions

    60mins

Shaping a new future for audit

December saw publication of the final report from the independent review of the quality and effectiveness of audit, chaired by Sir Donald Brydon, which adds to previous reports by Sir John Kingman, the Competition and Markets Authority and the BEIS Parliamentary Committee. The Government manifesto also included a commitment to reform insolvency rules and the audit regime. We consider some of the review’s findings and reflect upon what happens next.

Case study: leading the way on corporate culture

In recent years, the question of corporate culture – what it is, how you define it and how you can change it – has steadily moved out of the business school syllabus and onto the boardroom agenda. Increasingly, organisations are recognising that culture needs to be at the core of strategy, not just a sideshow. We hear from two organisations that have very positive corporate cultures and ask, how has that helped them to outperform their rivals?

Case study: The impact of automation on governance structures

Automation, the rise of AI and other technologies are now fixtures on the transforming governance landscape and are helping to shape new business models and ways of working. But do boards themselves really understand this paradigm shift – are they driving it, are they making the most of the opportunities it brings? Or are they at the mercy of forces they can’t control? In this session we discuss some of the impacts of automation on governance.

Organisations in society

TBC

Catch up session

An opportunity to join one of the sessions you missed earlier. Details for this session will be available soon.

Partner programme

Details for this session will be available soon.

  1. 14.15pm

    Break

    30mins
  2. 14.45pm

    Streamed Sessions

    60mins

Case study: the fall of Thomas Cook

In early September 2019, another major British company, Thomas Cook, ceased trading after 178 years. Some 20,000 people worldwide were left jobless, and as many as 600,000 holidaymakers scrambling to get home. The company’s failure was interpreted in many quarters as demonstrative of a failure in corporate governance, with all the attendant human and financial costs that go with it. So how and why did things go wrong? And what lessons can be learned from Thomas Cook’s example?

Global governance: the UN compact on sustainable development

Many organisations have signed up to the UN Global Compact on Sustainable Development Goals, the world’s largest initiative on corporate sustainability, and for many boardrooms, environmental and social governance, or ESG, is at or near the top of the agenda. But faced with such a vast subject, how can they frame any sort of adequate strategy on the issue? Our speakers consider how boards might rise to the challenge.

Speakers

  • Andrew Wallis, CEO, Unseen
  • Kate Larsen, Experienced Advisor in ESG, Sustainability, Human Rights

Algorithmic governance – providing board members with real-time company information

A major opportunity exists to use the data science technologies of big data, artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies to provide company boards with real-time data on audit, compliance, contracts and ESG issues of a company. Considerable work is underway in using data science to automate business practices and develop digital marketplaces and trade. This presentation will survey the latest developments and explain how they can be consolidated to support the work of board members.

Speaker

  • Philip Treleaven, Professor and Director of UK Financial Computing Centre, University College LondonA

Celebrating achievement

In November, representatives from around the governance community came together at the annual ICSA Awards to celebrate the very best in governance practice and reporting. In this session, we reflect upon some of the themes emerging from the awards and hear from three of this year’s winners about how and why they excelled.

Catch up session

An opportunity to join one of the sessions you missed earlier. Details for this session will be available soon.

Partner programme

Details for this session will be available soon.

  1. 15.45pm

    Closing keynote address

  2. 16.15pm

    Closing words

    • Sara Drake, CEO, The Chartered Governance Institute
  3. 16.20pm

    Conference close and drinks

Join us

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the 2020 Annual Conference.

Be sure to mark your calendar and join us on 14 -15 July 2020.

If you need any help, please contact the events team or call on: +44 (0)20 7580 4741.