X Comms is the latest in our X-series designed to explore exponential, disruptive and transformative new ways of doing business. For X-Comms, we will investigate innovative and radically new thinking, methods, digital tools, platforms and technologies for corporate communications and sustainability reporting.
We are entering an era of unprecedented, digitally empowered customer-centricity, one in which the nature and power dynamics of the relationship between companies and their customers, is fundamentally shifting. The conversation is changing. Message delivery models are transforming. Expectations are evolving. And old ways of managing corporate communications and sustainability reporting, just don’t cut it anymore. Additionally, the concept of “the customer” itself is morphing and expanding to include ALL stakeholders in a global, socially-integrated, always-connected, hyper-personalised and increasingly non-hierarchical business world.
X Comms seeks to showcase the latest thinking, innovations and best practices for changing the narrative, changing the delivery medium and empowering a transformative new relationship between business and society. It will explore the psychological and behavioural science around influencing and changing stakeholder behavior and engagement. It will demonstrate how companies can generate real business benefits by adopting a more tightly integrated approach to communications, marketing and sustainable business – one that boldly places purpose at the front and centre of messaging and fundamentally alters the relationship between companies and their customers and stakeholders.
The programme on the day was a mix of inspiring keynotes, high level panels, peer roundtable discussions and structured networking.
The audience for X Comms was carefully curated, with senior attendees invited based on their role type and their organisation.
Jeremy Heimans is the co-founder and CEO of Purpose, a public-benefit corporation that specializes in building and supporting social movements around the world. He is also co-author of “New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World-And How to Make It Work for You” with Henry Timms. A lifelong activist, in 2005 he co-founded GetUp!, an Australian political organisation with more members than all of Australia’s political parties combined, and he is a co-founder of the global campaigning organization Avaaz and the LGBT rights platform All Out. He is a recipient of the Ford Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Visionary Award for his work as a movement pioneer. He has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business.
Henry Timms is president and CEO of the 92nd Street Y, a cultural and community center that creates programs and movements that foster learning and civic engagement. Under his leadership, the 144-year-old institution was named to Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” list. Henry is also co-author of “New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World-And How to Make It Work for You” with Jeremy Heimans. He is the co-founder of #GivingTuesday, a global philanthropic movement that engages people in close to 100 countries that has generated hundreds of millions of dollars for good causes. He is a Visiting Fellow at Stanford PACS Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.
Sue is responsible for embedding the company’s ambitious USLP (the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan) into the business and ensuring progress against its 70-plus time bound targets. She is also responsible for teams in 180 markets who engage with Governments and key external stakeholders; lead employee engagement; handle the media; and are accountable for issues and crisis management. Sue joined Unilever in 2011 and was responsible for forming the global communications function, defining its role and purpose, and building it into a strategic function. Her role was extended to include sustainability in 2014. Sue is also a founder and Trustee of a not for profit organisation called ‘Blueprint for better business’ set up in 2014, a pro-bono role that seeks to help CEO’s build purpose into their organisations and use it as a driver of better behaviours, employee motivation and customer trust.
Timothy J. Mohin is the Chief Executive of GRI, developer of the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting standards. A veteran in the field of corporate sustainability reporting, Tim is responsible for driving GRI's mission to empower decisions that create social, environmental and economic benefits for everyone. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive, Tim was Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility for Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). He is also a former Chairman of the Board for the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and former member of the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative’s steering committee. Previously, Tim founded and led Apple’s Supplier Responsibility program. He also led Intel’s environmental and sustainability functions. Tim started his career with the US government.
Kate is responsible for leading the company’s corporate communication strategy and managing all sustainability communications, including The Body Shop’s corporate responsibility strategy, the Enrich Not Exploit™ Commitment. The Commitment underpins everything The Body Shop does, as part of its mission to be a business as a force for good. In her time at The Body Shop, Kate has also launched the company’s award-winning global Forever Against Animal Testing campaign and its World Bio-Bridges programme. Kate is a corporate communications specialist, with many years’ experience advising a range of organisations, including major corporates, charities and government organisations. Before joining The Body Shop, she had worked on communications programmes about renewable energy, deforestation and land rights, as well as campaigns for the LGBT community.
The Behavioural Insights Team was the world's first government institution dedicated to applying behavioural science to public policy. We develop behavioural nudges and other policy interventions, and robustly evaluate them through randomised controlled trials. Toby leads the energy and sustainability work at the BIT, working to encourage more sustainable transport and consumption behaviours, reduce domestic energy demand, and achieve air quality improvements. Toby has a background in engineering and in social psychology.
Joanna leads the IKEA Group’s work to inspire and enable millions of customers and co-workers to live more sustainably, with the aim of making sustainable and healthy living affordable, attractive and accessible for as many people as possible worldwide. Previously she was Head of Sustainability for IKEA UK & Ireland, where she led the integration of all aspects of sustainability into core business and innovation.Joanna has long specialised in sustainable living and making green, healthy lifestyles both attractive & accessible through consultancy, broadcasting, writing & practical projects. She lives in Malmo in Southern Sweden, where she’s turning her kitchen into a hydroponic salad farm.
Daniel is Director of the Better Buying Lab within the World Resources Institute. He works with food companies and experts in behaviour change and marketing to develop, test and scale new ideas that can help shift diets to more sustainable options.Daniel has worked for the last fifteen years at Mars Incorporated and Procter and Gamble in corporate strategy, sustainability and marketing. He has written and presented on how consumers can be shifted towards buying more sustainable products.Daniel holds a first class degree from Sheffield University in Plant Sciences.
Clare Griffin is GSK’s Head of Corporate Responsibility and Reporting and Head of Strategy for the Communications and Government Affairs function. Having joined the company in 2012, her remit includes responsible business strategy and engagement, supporting the Board’s Corporate Responsibility Committee, the company’s Annual Report and Responsible Business Supplement and strategic planning across the function. Clare has an MSc in Responsible Business practice and has worked, both in-house and as a consultant, across a wide range of industries in the US and the UK.
Ciaran is a career communicator, having worked agency-side and in house for almost two decades. Since his first role running PR for tech start-ups during the dot com boom he’s handled communications for companies ranging from global software brands to Europe’s leading environmental NGOs.Ciaran has been with Anglian Water for eight years, overseeing the utility giant’s internal and external communication strategies. Anglian Water is geographically the largest water company in England and Wales, with more than six million customers and almost 5,000 staff. The requirement to protect and promote the company’s brand and reputation while creating an informed and empowered workforce is underpinned by a need to showcase the importance of water and infrastructure for the health of the region, the economy and the natural environment – and that’s the precise remit of Ciaran and his team.
Robert Phillips is the co-founder of Jericho Chambers and author of Trust Me, PR is Dead (Unbound 2015), described as a “game-changer for the future of communications” and “a thrilling revelation” (Huffington Post). He was formerly President and CEO, EMEA, of Edelman, the world’s largest Public Relations firm, and Global Chair of its Public Engagement & Future Strategies group.Robert counsels companies at senior level. Client experience includes: AkzoNobel, Aviva, Capital & Counties Properties, CIPD, Diageo, KPMG, RICS, SAB Miller, Shell, Sony and Unilever. He fundamentally believes that Public Relations is dead, and that Permanent Engagement, Public Leadership and Public Value are the future. Robert leads Jericho’s current work on the Responsible Tax project and the Future of Work is Human.
Martin is a highly experienced speaker, writer and adviser on sustainability and positive futures. Formerly Editor in Chief of Green Futures (now The Futures Centre) and Director of Forum for the Future (India), he now works independently with a wide range of companies and organisations, including The Guardian, Ashden Awards, Ethical Corporation and We Mean Business, and is a Director of Positive News. He has spoken at and chaired events for The Guardian, the UK Government, the UN, the RSA and others in London, New York, Delhi, Mumbai and Beijing. He was MC of the World Sustainable Development Summit, 2016-2018. His TED talk on ‘The New Environmentalism’ topped the bill at TEDx EastEnd in 2014. Martin is expert at communicating sustainability crisply, clearly and with a complete lack of bullshit, and at bringing complex issues down to earth. He enjoys helping others acquire and apply these skills.
|Media Relations Manager||AB World Foods Ltd|
|Environmental Sustainability Manager||Adnams|
|Senior Sustainability Analyst||Anglo American Plc|
|CSR manager||Bank of England|
|Transformation Programme Lead||Belron|
|Head of Communications and Policy||Bioregional|
|Senior project officer||Bioregional|
|UK Head of Internal Communications||BNP Paribas|
|Enviornment & Sustainability Manager||Bouygues Energies & Services|
|Global Sustainability Specialist||BP|
|Head of Marketing, BP Target Neutral||BP|
|Consumer Insight Director||Bright Blue Consulting|
|Community and Public Affairs Executive||British Land|
|Group Head of Social Responsibility||British Standards Institute (BSI)|
|Senior CRS Manager||Bupa|
|EMEA Sustainability Manager||Canon Europe ltd|
|CR&S Reporting & Communications||Capgemini UK|
|Disclosure Support Officer||Carbon Disclosure Project|
|Senior Corporate Citizenship Manager||Centrica|
|Corporate Advisor||Charities Aid Foundation|
|Head of Brand & Communications||CIPD|
|Head of Marketing||Citicourt & Co. Ltd|
|Director of Learning & Creative||Cloud Sustainability|
|Business Relationship Manager||Ctrl Print|
|Best Practice Specialist||De Beers Group of Companies|
|Sustainability Manager||DP World (Dubai Ports)|
|Circular Economy lead||Ebay|
|Global Corporate Responsibility Leader||EY|
|Purposeful Business||Fleishman Hillard|
|Purposeful Business||Fleishman Hillard|
|Programme Lead||Flying High Challenge|
|Digital Lead||Forum for the Future|
|Co-Founder||Futerra Sustainability Communications|
|Co-founder & Executive Director||Future Fit Foundation|
|Associate Director||Given London|
|Managing Partner||Given London|
|Strategy Director||Given London|
|Supply Chain Sustainability IP||GlaxoSmithKline|
|Group Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Manager||Go-Ahead Group Plc|
|Founder and MD||Gong communications|
|CSR & Sustainability Manager||Goodwood|
|Sustainability Assistant Manager||Grant Thornton UK LLP|
|Supplier Engagement Manager||GSK|
|Head of Communications||GVA|
|CEO & Founder||Halotrade|
|Environment Manager||Heathrow Airport Ltd|
|Sustainability Manager||Heathrow Airport Ltd|
|Senior Communications Manager, Global Operations||HSBC|
|Group OHSE & CR Director||Imperial Brands|
|Head of Corporate Communications, UK, Ireland, Middle East||ING|
|Sustainability Officer||Innocent Drinks|
|Assistant Project Manager||International Maritime Organization|
|Corporate Environmental Manager||Interserve Plc|
|Head of Supply Chain Sustainability Programmes||Intertek|
|Global Head Energy & Sustainability||ISS Global|
|Director of Sustainability||Jacobs|
|Director – Business Partner Programmes||JCDecaux|
|Head of Social Impact||JCDecaux|
|Senior Sustainability Communications Consultant||JLL|
|Sustainable Sourcing Manager||John Lewis Partnership|
|Corporate Responsibility Manager||John Lewis plc|
|Operations Sustainability Manager||King’s College London|
|Sustainability Advisor||Kingfisher plc|
|Environmental Governance Manager||Lego|
|Sustainable Supply Chain manager||Lego|
|Global CR Manager||Linklaters LLP|
|Founder||Mission in Action Ltd|
|Assistant Sustainability Manager||Multiplex Construction Europe|
|Senior Social Investment Manager||Nationwide Building Society|
|Head of Customer Success||Neighbourly|
|Senior Communications Officer||NHS Property Services|
|Account Director||Note Taker|
|Sustainability Policy Analyst||Note Taker|
|Corporate Press Manager||Novozymes|
|Investment Manager||Pictet Asset Management|
|Ethical Trade Coordinator||Primark|
|Head of CR||Prudential UK & Europe|
|Sustainable Behaviours Executive||PwC|
|Sustainable Behaviours Lead||PwC|
|Performance and Development Manager||Royal Bank of Scotland|
|Founder & Director||Russ Avery Consulting|
|Senior Sustainability Consultant||RY|
|Senior Sustainability Consultant||RY|
|Senior Sustainability Consultant||RY|
|Deputy Managing Director||Salter Baxter|
|Director of Strategy||Salter Baxter|
|Head of Reporting||Salter Baxter|
|New Business Director||Salter Baxter|
|Senior Consultant||Salter Baxter|
|Sustainable Investment Analyst||Schroders|
|External Relations Manager (Sustainable Development)||Shell|
|Project Analyst||Simply Sustainable|
|Director, Corporate Social Responsibility||SITA|
|Head of Communications||SYSTEMIQ|
|Director Corporate Sustainability||Tata Communications (Uk) Limited|
|Director Sustainability||Taylor Wimpey|
|Head of Corporate Communications||Telford Homes PLC|
|Corporate Responsibility Reporting Manager||Tesco|
|Head of European Communications||Tesco|
|Insight & Strategy Director||Tesco|
|Corporate Communications Manager||The Body Shop|
|Head of Internal Communications||The Crown Estate|
|Media Relations Manager||The Crown Estate|
|Head of Sustainability||The Royal Parks|
|Director of Sustainabilty||TUI Travel|
|Sustainability Marketing Manager||TUI Travel|
|Global Communications Director, Home Car||Unilever|
|Head of Global Content, Sustainable Business & Communications||Unilever|
|Unilever graduate scheme||Unilever|
|Corporate Responsibility Manager||Unite-Students|
|Head of Sustainability||University Of Greenwich|
|Practitioner Doctorate||University of Surrey|
|Strategic project lead||Veolia|
|Senior Sustainability Advisor||VINCI Facilities|
|Head of Sustainability||Virgin Media|
|Head of Engagement & Responsible Business||Virgin Trains|
|Head of Innovation and Strategic Engagement||WaterAid|
|Editor||We Mean Business|
|Head of Corporate Stewardship – Food & Water||WWF|
|Senior Communications Manager||WWF|
|Senior Advisor – Communications||Xynteo|
|Global Supply Chain Product Leader||Zurich Insurance plc|