For our October 2017 Crowd Forum, we were delighted to welcome Rachel Botsman on our stage – bestselling author and one of the world’s foremost experts on the intersection between technology and trust.

Her new book, “Who Can You Trust? How Technology Brought Us Together – and Why It Could Drive Us Apart”, is described as “a ground-breaking exploration of how the digital era is revolutionising human trust.” Rachel’s TED talks have been viewed more than 3.5 million times.

If you can’t trust those in charge, who can you trust? From government to business, banks to media, trust in institutions is at an all-time low. Widespread corruption, elitism and economic disparity have led to a worldwide upsurge of anti-establishment movements. But this isn’t the age of distrust – far from it.

Rachel explained how we are at the tipping point of one of the biggest social transformations in human history. A new world order is emerging: we have lost faith in brands, leaders and systems, but millions of people every day rent their home to total strangers on AirBnB, exchange cryptocurrency online, or get in the car of an unknown Uber driver. This is the age of distributed trust; a paradigm shift driven by new technologies that are rewriting the rules of an all-too-human relationship.

If we are to benefit from this radical transformation, it is vital that we understand the new mechanics of how trust is built, managed, lost and repaired.

On 9th October Crowd Forum, Rachel provided a detailed map of this unchartered landscape – and explored what’s next for humanity, followed by a thought-provoking dialogue with fellow trust expert, Robert Phillips.

There were crucial lessons for all business leaders, policy-makers and entrepreneurs.

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Event for: Directors / Heads of | Communications | Sustainability | CSR | Corporate Affairs | Marketing | Reporting


  • Rachel Botsman

    Author, 'Who Can You Trust?'
  • Robert Philips

    Author, Advisor, CEO, Jericho Chambers

Round Tables

  • Building Communities = Building Trust
    If business is to benefit from the radical transformation represented by the distribution of trust, it is vital that they understand the mechanics of how trust is built, managed, lost and repaired. The dynamics of trust are built on reciprocity and fairness. How can business embrace reciprocity through contributing, celebrating, connecting and re-connecting with the communities they touch? How can social media illuminate, amplify and support business’ community profile and engagement initiatives?
  • Building Trust Through Climate Leadership
    As global awareness of climate change, and demand for leadership and action from business grows, companies can build trust by declaring their commitment to low-carbon energy transitions. How can low-carbon leadership help companies build trust in the community? What part can science-based targets play?
  • Collaborative Consumption & The Sharing Economy
    In a crowded world of finite resources, awareness of the need for conscious and collaborative consumption is growing. The rise of the sharing economy and the trend towards minimalism, exemplify this cultural shift. Can collaborative consumption help counter the tragedy of the commons? How can the distributed trust inherent in the sharing economy help us tackle global issues of resource scarcity?
  • Communicating Trust
    More and more consumers want their voices to be heard, they want change, truth and transparency. How can brands and businesses build trust that feels genuine to consumers? How can we communicate those messages in a meaningful way, through style, content and delivery? Is there a risk in communicating progress to gain trust or should you lead with the full story?
  • Empowering Trust Through ESG Compliance & Reporting
    In a socially connected, increasingly distributed world, trusted business reputations often hinge on good compliance and reporting transparency. How can companies enable trust through robust ESG compliance and reporting systems and processes? Why is clarity, consistency and commitment to ESG compliance and reporting so crucial for trust building?
  • From Assurance To Trust
    How can companies take a strategic approach to building trust? Why is it crucial for companies to assure the performance of their organisations, products, people, facilities and supply chains in order to build a solid foundation for trust?
  • Giving Trust To Gain Trust
    Multiple studies have confirmed that the first step in gaining trust is to give trust to others. For businesses, charitable giving can be a way to build trust and credibility amongst communities and customers. So how can businesses effectively gain greater trust through giving? What is the role of corporate and employee giving? What are the risks involved in giving which can undermine a company’s positive contribution?
  • Renewable Energy Exchange In The Distributed Economy
    The key message in Rachel Botsman’s new book, revolves around the concept of distributed trust. When considered against the backdrop of the growing distribution and decentralisation of energy generation and management, the transition to renewables hits the sweet spot for building trust in the new distributed economy. This roundtable will consider the opportunities for renewable energy generation and exchange for building trust and strengthening community connections.
  • Stakeholder Engagement And Social Impact Assessments


  • 17:30
    Arrivals and networking
  • 18:00
    Welcome from Luke Clarkson - Managing Director, The Crowd
  • 18:05
    Keynote speech by Rachel Botsman
  • 18:25
    Robert Philips in discussion with Rachel Botsman
  • 19:15
    Roundtable discussions
  • 20:00

Venue Details

The Great Hall, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), One Moorgate Place, London EC2R 6EA

Who's Attending

Responsible INvestment Analyst Aberdeen Asset Management
Responsbile Property Investment Analyst Aberdeen Asset Management
Consultant Relations Executive Aberdeen Asset Management
Sustainable Procurement Consultant Accenture
Senior Consultant Acre
consultant Acre
Environmental Sustainability Manager Adnams
Commercial Sustainability Manager Akzo Nobel
Senior Sustainability Manager Amazon UK
Head of Strategic Stakeholder Engagement Anglian Water
Head of Sustainability Anglian Water
Director Anthesis
Director Anthesis
Global Head of Marketing Anthesis
Ethical Trading Coordinator Arcadia Group Limited
Director Art of Work
Senior Global Corporate Responsibility Manager Aviva
Group Corporate Responsibility Manager Aviva
CR Manager Aviva
Commercial Information AVP Bank of America Merrill Lynch
CSR Manager Bank of England
Vice President Barclays
High Growth & Entrepreneurs Manager Barclays
Managing Director, Head of Employee Communications Barclays
Director, Executive Development Barclays
Senior Sustainable Business Manager Bioregional
CEO Blu Dot Advisory
Environmental Manager Bouygues
Group Head of Social Responsibility British Standards Institute (BSI)
Head of IoT Transformation BT Group Plc
Senior Consultant, Group Corporate Affiars BT Group Plc
Senior Corporate Communications Manager Bupa
Head of UK Press Office Bupa
Senior Corporate Client Manager CAF
Sustainability Reporting Manager Capgemini
Group SHE Director Capita Group
Research Fellow CASS Business School, City University
Communications and Strategy Centrica
Corporate Client Manager Charities Aid Foundation
Head of Corporate Clients Charities Aid Foundations
Head of News, Public Affairs and Campaigns Citizens Advice
Founder CollaboratEQ
Director Collectively / The Guardian / Positive News
Business Manager Cool Earth
Group Sustainability Assistant Manager Crest Nicholson Plc
Best Practice Specialist De Beers Group of Companies
Sustainable Agriculture Manager Diageo
Sustainable Procurement Manager Diageo
Head of Sustainable Sourcing Diageo
Global Brand and Communications Director Diageo
Senior Director DNV GL
Principal Consultant DNV GL
Principal Consultant DNV GL
Risk Manager DONG Energy
Associate Brand Purpose Planner Edelman
Head of Marketing and Communications Essex County Council
Corporate Responsibility Manager Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Co-Founder Futerra Sustainability Communications
Snr EU EHS Expert & Energy Efficiency Coordinator GE International
Associate Generation Investment Management
CR Manager GlaxoSmithKline
Head of Product Design and Engineering Glue AB
Sustainability Executive Grant Thornton UK LLP
Dircetor, Public Affairs, Policy & Insight Grant Thornton UK LLP
Sustainability Manager Grosvenor
Sustainability Manager Grosvenor Group
Director Hewlett Packard
Co – Founder Hopscotch Consulting
Sustainability Intern ICAEW
Director of Business ICAEW
Independent Independent
Head of Sustainability Informa Plc
Advisor Inspiring Sustainability
BDM Integrated Environmental Solutions
Europe Communications Consultant International WELL Building Institute
Corporate Environmental Manager Interserve Plc
Group Sustaunability Strategy Director Interserve Plc
Credibility Coordinator ISEAL Alliance
Senior Manager, CR John Lewis Partnership
Responsible Sourcing Manager JOHN LEWIS PLC
Environment Manager Kier Ltd
Operations Sustainability Manager King’s College London
Senior Associate KKS Advisors LLC
Client Solutions Consultant Lane4
Head of Sustainability and RI Strategy Legal & General Investment Management
Renewables manager Lego
Head of Sustainability – Europe Lend Lease
Group Head of Sustainability & Safety Lend Lease
MD Sustainability & External Affairs Lend Lease
Senior Development Manager Lightsource Renewable Energy
PPA Development Lightsource Renewable Energy
Senior Account Manager Lightsource Renewable Energy
Senior Manager Lloyds Banking Group
Global Head of Sustainability Lykke corp
Executive Vice President – Research and Advisory Manucore
Diversity & Inclussion – LGBT Network Governance Marks & Spencer
Plan A Project Manager Marks & Spencer
Senior Sustainability Manager Marks and Spencer
Head of Policy and Propositions Money Advice Service
SRI analyst Morgan Stanley
Water Resources Engineer Mott MacDonald
Do The Right Thing Nando’s
Head of Sustainability Nando’s
PERI Farms Manager Nando’s Global
Consultant NBA
Founder Neighbourly
CEO Neighbourly
Partnership Lead Nice & Serious
Note Taker
Sustainability Project Manager O2
Head of Customer Success Open Blend Method
Marketing & Communications Manager Open Energi
Investment Manager Pictet Asset Management
Director Power4KcC Community Energy/Kelsale-cum- Carlton Parish Council
Director of corporate sustainability PricewaterhouseCoopers
Private investor Private investor
Operations Manager Provenance
Head of CR Prudential UK & Europe
HR Manager Ramboll ENVIRON
founder director reboot innovation
Director Responsible 100
Senior Corporate Communications Manager Corporate Marketing Ricoh Europe Plc
Company Architect Riversimple
Company Architect Riversimple
Sustainability Lead – Innovation and Service Royal Bank of Scotland
Head of Corporate Responsibility & Society – Strategy and Comms Sainsbury’s
Community Affairs Executive Sainsbury’s
Community Affairs Manager Sainsburys
Sustainable Investment Analyst Schroders
External Relations Shell
Social Performance Shell
Ambassador Singularity University
Head of Communications Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd
Assistant Head of Sustainability Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd
CIO Standard Bank London Ltd
Global VP Sustainability Swarovski
Director Sustainability Taylor Wimpey
Director Public Affairs Telefonica
Sustainability Manager Telford Homes PLC
Head of Corporate Communications Telford Homes PLC
Head of Sustainability Telford Homes PLC
Head of European Communications Tesco
Senior change Manager Tesco
Co founder The Crowd
Chief Catalyst The Crowd
(Note Taker) The Crowd
Chair The Crowd
Event Manager The Crowd
Managing Director The Foundry Limited
Head of Programmes The Guardian Foundation
Sustainability Manager – Raw Materials The John Lewis Partenrship
Sustainability Marketing Manager TUI Travel
Senior Communications Manager Tullow Oil Plc
Professor of Organizational Behavior UCL
Head of Global Content, Sustainable Business & Communications Unilever
Strategy Manager Unilever
Sustainable Business IT Programme manager Unilever
Global VP Sustainable Business Unilever
VP Finance Unilever
Head of Sustainability University Of Greenwich
Head of Sustainability University Of Greenwich
Sustainability & CSR Manager Vacherin
Strategic projects lead Veolia
Managing Director Verco
Head of Building Optimisation Services Verco
Environmental Reporting Analyst Verco
Head of Corporate Transparency Vodafone
Manager Volans
International Labour Standards Analyst Walt Disney Company Limited, The
Content Editor We Mean Business
Assistant Sustainable Development Manager Willmott Dixon Rethinking
Corporate Stewardship Engagement Manager WWF
Sustainability Lead EMEA Wyndham Hotel Group Europe Limited