In the wake of Brexit and Trump, and with rising populist demagoguery around the world, the current zeitgeist hints at a growing reaction against globalism and a longing for more local, tribal connections. There is, of course a negative connotation with a more inward looking and reactive society, but the desire for localism is also rooted in a positive, democratic, more sustainable way of life.

Businesses especially must adapt to this cultural shift, both to understand how their market is changing and to respond to the social challenges that have led to communities rejecting the status quo. Successful brands are focusing on the local in a creative and supportive way, taking the initiative and connecting to consumers, either by localising products more effectively or building major new propositions from local roots.

How are leading corporates and challenger companies making the most of this cultural shift? By “going local”, how can they build a stronger and more sustainable, grassroots connection with the communities they operate in and serve?

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Event for: Directors / Heads of | Communications | Sustainability | CSR | Corporate Affairs | Supply Chain


  • Kathryn Geels

    Engagement and Research Manager, Digital Catapult
  • Mike Barry

    Director of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer
  • Lucy Clayton

    CEO, Community Clothing
  • Bola Gibson

    Head of Community Engagement, TSB Bank
  • Clare Sutcliffe

    Co-Founder, Code Club
  • Leo Johnson


Round Tables

  • Going Local
    How should organisations adapt their strategies to the emerging trend for localisation and why?
  • Are We Really Being Authentic?
    Community voices are increasingly replacing expensive production and celebrity endorsement in advertising. How can businesses ensure that their community marketing, outreach and engagement initiatives are truly authentic? How can marketeers effectively reflect the diversity and challenges of our communities and act as a positive driver of change?
  • Changing Behaviours From Local Consumer To Sustainable Co-Partner
    How can business drive progress on changing consumer behaviours? How can we go further and encourage consumers to be supportive sustainable champions, enlisting everyone to play a role in driving sustainable solutions?
  • Empowering Employees To Go Local
    How can companies engage and empower their own employees as a force multiplier for deep local impact and trust building? How can companies effectively manage, measure and scale the positive impact of their local giving and engagement initiatives?
  • Energising Community Engagement
    How can businesses build, energise and maintain deep levels of engagement at the community level? What kinds of localised projects (such as distributed energy generation) can businesses undertake to build enduring local engagement and empowered communities?
  • Going Beyond The Business Case
    How can businesses go beyond traditional business performance measures and start to measure the social value that they create? How can companies play an active role in creating social value in the communities they operate in - responsibly and at scale?
  • Harnessing the Power of Local Innovation
    What innovations in local communities can help transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon world? How can innovative peer-to-peer networks, distributed systems and capacity sharing platforms be leveraged to build deeper interactions between business and community at the local level?
  • Just Transition
    As we move into a low-carbon future, a just transition is needed to ensure that impact on local employment and economies is managed in a way that allows obsolete jobs and sectors to be replaced by equally skilled and well-paid, low-carbon jobs. How can business ensure accelerated transition towards a low-carbon economy and not leave communities whose livelihoods depend on a high-carbon economy behind?
  • The Business Role In Building Sustainable Communities


  • 17:30
    Arrivals and Networking
  • 18:00
    Welcome, Daniel McMurray, Chief Catalyst, The Crowd
  • 18:05
    Keynote from Kathryn Geels, Digital Catapult
  • 18:25
    Leo Johnson in discussion with Mike Barry, Bola Gibson, Clare Suttcliffe and Lucy Clayton
  • 19:15
    Roundtable discussions (moderated discussions of 10-12)
  • 20:00

Venue Details

ICAEW, Chartered Accountants’ Hall, Moorgate Place, London EC2R 6EA

Who's Attending

Communications A Blueprint for Better Business
Sustainable Procurement Consultant Accenture
Senior Consultant Acre
Consultant Acre
Environmental Sustainability Manager Adnams
Chief Customer Officer Aimia
Strategic Projects Director Aimia
Founding Director Alara Organic
Senior Sustainability Manager Amazon UK
Head of Sustainability Anglian Water
Director: Sustainability & Communications Anheuser-Busch InBev
Associate Director Anthesis
Consulting Analyst Anthesis
Principal Consultant Anthesis
Senior Ethical Trading Manager Arcadia Group Limited
Group Corporate Responsibility Manager Aviva
Community Builder B Lab UK
EU Sales, e-commerce Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Environment Manager Barclays
Head of Innovation, Trade and Working Capital Barclays
Commercial Development Manager Bioregional
Environmental Manager Bouygues
Director BP
Senior Corporate Citizenship Manager British Gas
Corporate Citizenship Manager – Reporting & Administration British Gas
Community and Public Affairs Executive British Land
Group Head of Social Responsibility British Standards Institute (BSI)
Head of Sustainable Innovation BT Group Plc
Head of UK Press Office Bupa
Senior Corporate Client Manager CAF
Community Engagement Advisor Cargill Plc
Director of Corproate Strategy & Communications Catch22
Assistant Director – Partnerships Catch22
Sustainability Manager CBRE Group
Corporate Client Manager Charities Aid Foundation
Corporate Client Manager Charities Aid Foundation
Partnership Manager Cool Earth
Head of Sustainability – Costa Costa Coffee
Environment Manager Costain Ltd
Best Practice Principles Specialist De Beers Group of Companies
CSR Programme Manager Dentsu Aegis Network
Sustainable Sourcing Manager Diageo
Principal Consultant – Sustainability & Innovation DNV GL
Principal Consultant DNV GL
Senior Director DNV GL
Director Fieldworks
Managing Partner Fintricity
Sustainability Project Manager Frontiers Media
Community Investment Manager GE
Director of Strategy Gemserv Ltd
Charity Engagement Executive GivingForce
Charity Engagement Executive GivingForce
CEO GivingForce Limited
Director, CR and Corporate Reporting GlaxoSmithKline
Head of Youth and Schools Global Action Plan
CSR & Sustainability Manager Goodwood
Senior Executive – Public Affairs Grant Thornton LLP
Community Manager Hammerson
Senior Manager Hewlett Packard
Project Lead Hubbub
Real Estate Project Manager IKEA
Community Engagement Specialist IKEA
Country Sustainability Manager IKEA
Head of Sustainability Informa Plc
Director InSpring
Business Development Integrated Environmental Solutions
Assistant Project Manager International Maritime Organization
Head of Energy & Sustainability ISS Global
Strategy Manager, Global Sustainability JLL
Community Manager JLL
CR Manager John Lewis Partnership
Head of Sustainability Jones Lang Lasalle
Environment Manager kier
Renewables and Buildings manager Lego
Senior Development Manager Lightsource Renewable Energy
Head of Planning Lightsource Renewable Energy
Head of UK PPA Lightsource Renewable Energy
Senior Circular Economy Advisor London Waste and Recycling Board
Plan A Sustainability Project Manager M&S
Hospitality Brand & Marketing Manager M&S
Net Positive Manager Majid Al Futtaim
Local Marketing Manager Marks & Spencer
Local Marketing Manager Marks & Spencer
Senior Sustainability Manager Marks and Spencer
Manager Global Sustainable Sourcing McDonalds
Founder Mission in Action Ltd
CSR Project Manger Nando’s Chickenland Ltd
Do the Right Thing Project Manager Nando’s Chickenland Ltd
Head of Community National Grid
Senior Social Investment Manager Nationwide Building Society
Managing Director – Europe Natural Capital Partners
Business Development Manager Natural Capital Partners
Founder Neighbourly
Team Coordinator New Citizenship Project
Programme Manager New Citizenship Project
Planning Lawyer OneSource
Global Community Director Pearson plc
Director/Parish Councillor Power4KcC Community Energy/Kelsale-cum- Carlton Parish Council
Investor Private investor
Lead Researcher Project JUST
Managing Director Purpose
Grow Wild Campaigner RBG Kew
Director Responsible 100
Environment Reporting Manager Royal Bank of Scotland
Climate Change Programme Manager Royal Borough Kensington and Chelsea
Partnership Development RSPB
Community Affairs Executive Sainsbury’s
Community Affairs Manager Sainsburys
European Sustainability Manager Samsung
Group CSR and Sustainability Manager Santander UK
Social Performance Adviser Shell
Head of Brand Experience Southeastern Railway
Environment Manager Southeastern Railway
Head of Strategy & Marketing SSE
Senior manager social impact Starbucks
Sustainable Sourcing Manager The Body Shop
Chief Catalyst The Crowd
Co-Founder The Crowd
Sustainability Project Lead TUI Group
Sustainability Marketing Manager TUI Travel
Strategy Manager Unilever
Corporate Responsibility Manager Unite-Students
Technical Director Verco
Senior Consultant Verco
Managing Director Verco
Manager, Net-Zero We Mean Business
Communications director We Mean Business
Corporate Stewardhsip Engagement Manager WWF