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#ACEVOFest21 speakers: Crispin Truman

ACEVO’s digital leadership festival is back this year from 2-4 November. The full programme is available on the website and in this blog series, you will get to know our speakers a little bit better.

A narrated version of this blog is available at the bottom of the page

Crispin Truman, CEO, Campaign to Protect Rural England

At #ACEVOFest21, Crispin will talk about navigating the ups and downs of a campaign, knowing if or when to take the ‘quick wins’, the dos and don’ts of collaborative campaigning and the role of leaders in campaigning.

What makes you hopeful?

Getting out and about in my job following lockdown, I’ve been reminded of the commitment, energy and passion for the countryside and the environment which people all around the country – particularly CPRE members! – have.  That wanting to do something for the greater good, despite all the challenges, is an endless source of optimism and hope to me.

What do you know now that you didn’t know in the beginning of 2020?

That there are some things which can be done effectively online which I would never have believed!  In particular, interviewing as part of a recruitment process. Before then I would have said it had to be face to face.

But lockdown has also made me more aware than ever of how important it is to bring people together, face to face, for effective communication, collaboration, relationship-building, innovative thinking, mental wellbeing, organisational health and effectiveness… The list goes on.

What message you’d like to send to yourself to read a year from now?

Keep making the time for healthy breaks – a run, a few minutes in a green space, perhaps going slightly more with the grain of where my energies lie – which working from home did make possible in a way it hadn’t been before.

Can you recommend: a book, a series/film, a podcast?

I must admit my partner and I went Netflix-crazy during lockdown and have seen some unbelievably good series during the many evenings at home.  Can I choose one above all?  No, but if I say ‘Big Little Lies’ you’ll get the drift.

My favourite read recently has been ‘Harvest’ by John Crace, a very powerful novel about the effect of the Enclosures Act and the arrival of sheep farming on a medieval village. Gripping and melancholy, it is far more than history but gives you an intense glimpse of what one specific time of change in the English countryside meant for ordinary rural people.

Did you incorporate a new habit in your day to day routine in the past 18 months that you can share with us?

Yes! Taking a real lunch break and listening to the World at One on Radio 4.  Relaxing and productive all at once.

What do you miss the most from working at the office and what you love the most from working remotely?

I am back in the office on a regular basis now (I cycle in, which is a major bonus) and am reconnecting with colleagues and having the conversations round the edges which were SO lacking during lockdown. I am going to work at home more often than previously, because it provides variety and time for different aspects of working and thinking, but I am absolutely convinced that organisations like ours, which rely on relationships, human interaction and great collaboration, cannot survive long-term without a physical place to come together frequently and regularly. You can call it an office if you like.

What’s your favourite thing to do for your own wellbeing?

I’ve discovered running!  Two years ago I would have said never, and now I’m doing it regularly.  No one is more amazed than me and it’s taught me that not only can you do things you thought were impossible, but you can actually change your own personality in your fifties!

But don’t worry, my absolute favourite remains a long country walk with friends and/or family ending up in a pub for a couple of pints of the local real ale and preferably a hearty meal.

Narrated by a member of the ACEVO staff

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