September 13, 2019 – We’ve had a pretty busy year as we’ve been attending conferences left and right across the globe. In this article, we’ll run through the events we’ve participated in this year in Europe. Through this, we not only had to talk with our clients, but also got the opportunity to meet and interact with business leaders. While each event had its own thrust, a lot of them centered upon the changing role of technology and businesses.
In Europe, our first stop was the Government ICT conference in Westminster. There were talks about AI, robotics, and their applications in the government sector. Additionally, there were discussions about data protection and GDPR compliance. Primarily, the concerns were about data ownership especially given the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. Committed to protecting our customer’s data, Convene has already taken proactive measures in ensuring GDPR compliance and has made provisions for a no-deal Brexit.
A few months later, we went to the annual AoC (Association of Colleges) Governance Summit – a high-profile networking event for Governors, Chairs, and Clerks committed to improving governance and board performance. The highlights of this year’s sessions were hot topics for governance managers like GDPR, Safeguarding, and Leadership.
After which, we headed to the ICSA Listed Companies conference. With the implementation of the new Corporate Governance Code, much of the conversations focused on the proposed audit reforms and investor relations. The speakers also emphasized that investors are now looking beyond financials. Thus, companies need to become societal institutions that promote values, and not just forward corporate interests. They are now expected to demonstrate stakeholder engagement, diversity policies, and green credentials to name a few.
At the edie Live conference in Birmingham, the panelists discussed the far-reaching implications of corporate social responsibility and the need for proactive participation by organisations in conducting responsible business. Members of the panel included Simon Graham from De Courcy Alexander, Marcela Navarro from ProjectXGlobal, Mike Hanson from Baxterstorey, and Jamie Hall from Mitie Energy.
Years ago, CSR was mainly viewed as a benevolent pursuit that enterprises engaged in whenever they have extra resources to improve their public image. Now, CSR is tied with universal themes – social value, health, and well-being among others. Essentially, it is beginning to evolve from a philanthropic role to a more encompassing and strategic position.
Additionally, we participated in the biggest NHF Housing Governance conference to date. Building from last year’s theme of digitalisation for more efficient governance, this year’s key message revolved around board diversification. This can be achieved by including the voices of women, LGBT, BAME, and even the youth through ample representation.
Lastly, we went to ICSA’s annual Governance conference held in ExCeL, London. With an emphasis on the need for businesses to have a purpose beyond profit and to become environmentally conscious, we sponsored a breakout session called Purpose beyond Profit: What’s the Business Case?
Andrew Wilson, Executive Director at Edelman, explained how both customers and employees are now more discerning which means that transparency has now become an integral part of an organisation’s success. However, a company needs to be authentic; this means that their actions should be regarded as beneficial for the whole society, and not just to their stakeholders.
Committed to our advocacy of improving productivity, accountability, and sustainability for all types of companies, Convene actively invests in events that are aimed at promoting these values. As a multi-awarded board management software, we ensure that we are always able to add value to our clients.