The Crowd’s first event in 2019 will focus on collective intelligence – the idea of combining data and human insights from a range of different sectors to achieve systems change – to accelerate progress of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The SDGs have already sparked a new wave of thinking and practical action around how business leaders can act collectively with governments and civil society to address the world’s most pressing problems. Previous events from The Crowd have looked at how the framework of the SDGs has helped prioritise, energise and focus business goals, broker political and cross-sector collaboration, and accelerate competitive advantage.

Looking to the future, there remain unprecedented and underexplored opportunities to harness the diverse perspectives of large groups of people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, and develop new creative solutions to accelerate social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Meanwhile, a new field in theory and practice known as ‘collective intelligence’ has been prompted by developments in smart technologies and data science in the networked age. In this context, the event will explore the gear-shift that is needed across global institutions, corporations and civil society to respond to these opportunities for rapid systemic and generational change – by harnessing new tools for public and private innovation, emerging methods of cross-sector collaboration and movement-building, and creative mindsets for sustainable development.

The Crowd has always championed the importance of pooling collective wisdom, knowledge and expertise to tackle the big social and environmental issues of our time. As well as launching the programme for 2019, this event will relaunch this mission under the new direction of Common Vision.

For this inaugural event of 2019, we are crowdsourcing the topics for the roundtable discussions and invite you to submit your ideas and interests via the registration form. Roundtables will be confirmed and allocated in early February 2019.

Apply Now
Event for: Directors or Heads of: Sustainability | CSR | Environment | Innovation


  • Geoff Mulgan

    Chief Executive, Nesta
  • Gina Lucarelli

    Team Lead, Accelerator Lab Network, UNDP
  • Sam Baker

    Partner, Monitor Deloitte
  • Kirsty McNeill

    Executive Director, Save the Children
  • Emily Auckland

    Network Director, UKSSD
  • Steve Waygood

    Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva

Round Tables

  • Using collective intelligence for cross-sector collaboration
    The SDGs provide a common framework that all parts of society can participate in. In practice, what does this mean for partnerships and collaboration between the private sector, civil society organisations, and government? How can different stakeholders work together to align high-level purpose with practical implications such as resource management and financial goals? What can business and NGOs learn from each other and how is this knowledge best harnessed and disseminated?
  • Collective climate action for a zero carbon future
    Last year’s IPCC report was another reminder of the urgent need for businesses and governments to accelerate action on global warming and C02 emissions (SDG-13). On a practical level, how can companies combine data and human intelligence to transition to zero carbon operations? What are the most challenging actions for a business to achieve net zero emissions and how can these be overcome through collaboration with other sectors and supply chains?
  • Leadership for collective action
    Intelligent collective action has the potential to address the systemic and deep-rooted problems of our society that individual action alone cannot. However, without strategic leadership this potential is often left unrealised. How can companies take a holistic approach to transforming from within, whilst simultaneously impacting on their spheres of wider influence? What data insights and open source practices allow business leaders to find solutions within their organisations, across their supply chains and beyond their sectors to accelerate progress towards the SDGs?
  • Integrating the SDGs in internal policies and incentives
    Achieving impact against the SDGs requires buy-in from business leadership and the wider workforce. What does effective implementation look like? What policies and platforms can companies use to bring people together to share common goals and intelligence? How do incentives and rewards help motivate teams, including those who work remotely, and encourage behavioural change to enhance strategic action on the SDGs?
  • Embedding the SDGs across supply chains
    Achieving real impact on the SDGs requires companies to think beyond their core operations and interrogate the ways that their wider commercial practices and supply chains can facilitate significant sustainable development. Meanwhile new technologies and disruptive digital transformation have radically impacted business supply chains, from extraction and production through distribution and consumption to the end of the product lifecycle. How do businesses gather and share data with suppliers to make more informed decisions, and measure long-term business benefits of sustainable sourcing? How can collective intelligence in the supply chain be used to both mitigate risk and maintain a competitive advantage?
  • Government policy and the enabling state
    The SDGs provide an ambitious and coherent framework for government policy and cross-sector collaboration alike, but with 17 goals and 169 targets, what targeted policies will best achieve impact in the UK? How does this relate to other domestic policy priorities, and other contextual factors such as Brexit? What sorts of collaborative processes and partnerships are required within government? What role can government play in harnessing the collective intelligence of citizens, businesses, the voluntary sector and experts, and encouraging and enabling joined up responses?
  • Measuring the impact of the SDGs in business
    The SDGs contain numerous targets which businesses can use to shape strategic operations. But what metrics and reporting frameworks demonstrate value and impact? How can companies use science-based approaches and other methodologies to evaluate impact in their value chains, and optimize future performance? And how do they communicate these impacts to partners, investors, and others?
  • Leveraging investment in the SDGs
    Mobilising public and private investment to meet climate targets, strengthen the green economy, and achieve broader goals of economic inclusion and wellbeing requires coordination across a range of sectors and stakeholders. How are investors finding new ways of directing capital towards the SDGs, and what do the want to see in terms of impact and returns? What is the role of Government in enabling access to green finance and ensuring a pipeline of investment-ready projects?
  • Driving innovation through entrepreneurial systems
    Many large global companies have embraced action on the SDGs with sophisticated strategies and dedicated resources. But others in the business community may find it more challenging to respond. The SDGs provide a common framework for large and small companies to focus on shared goals, but smaller organisations, lacking many of the resources of large global companies, have specific challenges in driving SDG impact through innovation and targeted interventions. What initiatives, technologies, platforms are in place that help catalyse their participation? What can we do to accelerate their impact?
  • Using data and AI for collective intelligence
    The theory of collective intelligence promises smarter solutions to the big challenges of our era. But how does this translate into practice, and what are some of the cultural and structural barriers to collective intelligence in large institutions? How can artificial intelligence augment human knowledge and learning? What sorts of economic and cultural shifts are needed to shift the current narrative around AI, and encourage effective intelligence gathering and sharing between business, consumers and supply chains, as well as with government, academia and wider society?
  • Public engagement and behaviour change
    The challenges that the SDGs seek to address cannot be solved by institutions alone, and the agency of the public cannot be understated in achieving impact. How can businesses engage their consumers and the wider public through telling compelling stories, raising awareness and building movements around the SDGs? Can internal policies help influence and incentivise the right behaviours for collective action? What open networks of collective intelligence and knowledge sharing could we create that would lower the barriers to the public, and allow us all to make better decisions in our everyday lives?
  • Unlocking business value from the SDGs
    The SDGs are an ambitious, universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity. But with SDGs originally designed from a policy perspective, how do they align to business goals in a way that can be clearly communicated with leadership, employees, partners, investors, and others? What tools and practices are used to articulate business value and create a compelling business case that has traction across the organisation as a whole? How can collective intelligence be used to enhance value creation and demonstrate transformative impact?


  • 16:30
  • 17:00
    Opening lightning talks from Geoff Mulgan, Gina Lucarelli, Sam Baker, Steve Waygood
  • 17:45
    Roundtable discussions
  • 18:45
    Networking break
  • 19:15
    The Crowd LATES panel discussion and podcast recording with Emily Auckland, Network Director, UKSSD; Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors; Kirsty McNeill, Executive Director, Save the Children; Caroline Macfarland, Director, Common Vision (Chair)
  • 20:30

Venue Details

Royal Institute of British Architects 66 Portland Place LONDON W1B 1AD

Who's Attending


Each of The Crowd events convenes up to 150 purpose-led business leaders and other public experts to develop shared approaches to sustainability and accelerate social and economic progress. Our application process ensures that every individual attendee brings a wealth of expertise and practical perspectives to the roundtable discussions.

Head of Advocacy AB Sugar
Managing Director Abundance Investment
CEO Acre
Environmental Sustainability Manager Adnams plc
Senior Sustainability Manager Amazon
Sustainability Manager Anglian Water
Director Anthesis
Associate Director Arup
Executive Director B Lab
Senior Policy Advisor BEIS
Partnerships Director Big Clean Switch
Communications Manager Bioregional
Integration & Strategy Director, BP Chargemaster BP
Director Bridge Partnership & Institute
Group Head of Social Responsibility BSI
Head of CRS Bupa
Global Goals Manager Business in the community
Senior Corporate Advisor Charities Aid Foundation
Sustainability Analyst Capgemini
Head of Corporate Clients Charities Aid Foundation
Fellow CISL
Partner CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Sustainability Manager Colas Rail Ltd.
Associate Director of Sustainability Colliers International
Environment Manager Costain Limited
Emeritus Professor Cranfield School of Management
Investor CVC
Senior Manager, Global Programmes – Social Impact Dentsu Aegis Network
Sustainability Manager DP World London Gateway
Senior Consultant – Sustainability Services Lead EcoAct
European Greenskeeper Ecover/Method
Senior Advisor Ethical Trading Initiative
COO Fabriq/EnergyDeck
CSR Director Finastra
Founder Fit for Purpose
CEO Forster Communications
Regional Director for Europe FSC Global Development GmbH
Director Global Agribusiness Alliance
Managing Director Global Ethics Ltd
Head of Sustainability Grant Thornton UK LLP
Sustainability Implementation Great Dixter/ BP/ Koreo
Head of Supplier Portal Greenstone
Director: Group H&S GVA
CEO & Founder Halotrade
Head of Environmental Policy High Speed Two (HS2)
Director HSBC
Sustainability Engagement Manager IKEA
Sustainability Manager Innocent Drinks
Co-founder, Director InSpring Limited
Supply Chain Sustainability Programmes Intertek
Credibility Senior Coordinator ISEAL Alliance
Global Philanthropy, Employee Engagement J.P. Morgan
Global Sustainability Director Jacobs
Head of Social Impact JCDecaux
Sustainability Research Analyst Kepler Cheuvreux
Operations Sustainability Manager King’s College London
Environmental Manager Laing O’Rourke
Group HSES Director Lloyd’s Register
CEO Maanch Pvt Ltd
Director of Responsible Business Mace
Alliances Director Manufacture 2030
Plan A Foods Project Manager Marks and Spencer
Sustainability Delivery Manager Marks and Spencer
Sustainability Consultant Max Fordham LLP /RIBA
IFM Account Director Mitie
Sustainability Manager Multiplex Construction Europe
Head of Sustainability Nando’s UK&I
Director, Sustainability Solutions Navigant
CEO Neighbourly
Founder Neighbourly
Head of the Centre for Collective Intelligence Design Nesta
Head of Energy and Environment NHS Property Services
Sustainability Project Manager O2
Operations Director Obliquity
Risk Manager Orsted
Group Sustainability Manager Osborne
Director of Sustainability Oxbridge Capital
Director of Strategic Change and Planning Oxford Brookes University
Head of Corporate Responsibility Pentland Brands
Director, Sustainability Strategy and Communications PepsiCo
Director Peter Oborn Associates Ltd
Head of Corporate Reputation & Purpose Porter Novelli
Head of Environment, Health & Safety Prudential
Global SDG PMO Leader PwC
Data Manager Rainforest Alliance
Global Environment Manager RB
Sustainable Banking Lead – Innovation and Service RBS
MD Responsible 100
Architect RIBA
Professor Royal Institution of GB
Innovation Consultant RSA
International Solutions Director Schneider Electric
Innovation Manager Sedex
Sustainability and Social Cause Advisor Shell Retail
Sustainability Consultant Simply Sustainable
Engineer Skanska Construction UK Plc
Director Skating Panda
Group Sustainability Economist SSE plc
Group Sustainability Reporting Manager SSE plc
Director Sustainalytics
Director Sustainability and Business Transformation Symrise
Head of Sustainability Telford Homes Plc
Senior Manager The B Team
Innovation Programme Associate The Bakery
Senior Corporate Communications Manager The Carbon Trust
Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Manager The Go-Ahead Group plc
Group Sustainability Manager Thomas Cook Group
Head of Sustainability and EMS TP Bennett Architecture, Interior Design & Planning
Strategy and Innovation Transport Systems Catapult
Account Director Trucost, S&P Global
Director Sustainability TUI Group
Global Innovation, Assistant Marketing Manager Unilever
Lead | Sustainability & CSR Vacherin
Smart Cities – Energy and Innovation Lead Veolia Environment
Managing Director Verco
Head of Building Optimisation Services Verco
Social Sustainability Manager VINCI Facilities
Senior Project Lead Virgin Unite
Global Head of Sustainable Business Vodafone Group Plc
Senior Editor We Mean Business coalition
Head of Innovation Woodland Trust
Future Ready Programme leader WSP
Head of Sustainable Development Policy WWF-UK