On Monday evening (22 October), The Brewery and Speakers Corner welcomed more than 250 event professionals and thought leaders to the autumn 2018 Knowledge Guild showcase. The latest instalment in the popular conference series was centred on the theme of diversity, exploring how it is the untapped natural resource we are yet to fully conquer.
Titled “Diversity: Let’s unlock our potential to innovate and achieve the unimaginable”, the event was compered by the celebrated TV personality and children’s author, Konnie Huq. She was joined by an impressive line-up of speakers who shared their compelling stories, each discussing how diversity can unlock new ways of thinking.
The inspiring Martine Wright MBE shared details of how the atrocities of 7/7 transformed her life forever. She explained her journey towards embracing these changes, becoming an elite athlete, which peaked when she represented Great Britain in the sitting volleyball team at the London 2012 Paralympic games. Martine offered her “power of 7” – the personal strategy she developed for coping with trauma and mass change. Her mantra-like statements guided her through challenges initially deemed impossible, which ended with a standing ovation from the audience.
Next, Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE took to the stage. She detailed the limitations produced when organisations reduce creative and decision making roles to a small band of similar minds. Using examples from the technology and automobile sector, Anne-Marie imagined a future where the utilisation of diversity accelerates the development of technology, including AI, and encourages innovation of products and services able to open up conversations to wider audiences.
Finally, John Amaechi OBE explored the difference between diversity and inclusion. He shared his personal experiences of systemic and unconscious racial bias and emphasised that organisations need to consider how to achieve inclusivity in the daily experiences of their employees. John’s powerful delivery, from schooldays and the NBA, to PhD level psychology and professional consultancy, explored moments where inclusion has shone as the most crucial tool in offering a sense of belonging and purpose. True leaders are those who pull disparate individuals together, embracing difference to achieve one overarching goal.
Nick Gold, Managing Director at Speakers Corner, comments: “Monday’s Knowledge Guild was another triumph for Speakers Corner, The Brewery and all of our wonderful speakers. Diversity is such a prominent topic across the business spectrum and we were delighted to have already received incredible feedback from our guests on what a great job Konnie, Martine, Anne-Marie and John did in articulating a positive path forward. Diversity is a key driver of innovation, so it’s crucial that we all consider ways in which to unlock the enormous potential a diverse workforce can bring in today’s world”.
Masha Boh, Business Development Manager at The Brewery added, “The Knowledge Guild is always a hugely popular evening with event professionals and we were absolutely delighted with the positive feedback we received. This month’s topic is particularly close to our hearts as we, along with our partners at Speakers Corner, pride ourselves on our diverse team and the individuals that make us who we are. We’d like to thank everyone who joined and shared their stories and look forward to welcoming guests back for our next session very soon!”
At the end of all Knowledge Guild events, guests and speakers share stories during a Q&A session. Before and after the panel session, attendees networked in The Brewery’s Queen Charlotte room. Guests also enjoyed a drinks reception and a bowl food menu, designed by The Brewery’s in-house catering team. Dishes included triple fried chips with charred fillet of beef and béarnaise, Hawaiian tuna poke with siracha mayo and crispy shallots and crab doughnuts with lemon aioli. For dessert, guests were treated to chocolate and cream mille feuille and lemon meringue cornetto’s.
The Knowledge Guild is a partnership between The Brewery and Speakers Corner, offering a mixture of world-class speakers and exceptional individuals discussing pertinent topics in a panel discussion.