ACEVO annual conference 2019

Most of us spend our time focusing on the day-to-day, on consistently striving to deliver what’s possible to the best of our ability. But sometimes we need to look beyond business as usual. To imagine better. To inspire and take inspiration from others. To think about how we can improve ourselves, our organisations and our impact. 

This year's conference will focus on Leading outside the ordinary. We’ll hear from peers on the frontline of leadership on our three key themes: building brilliance, leading through adversity and leading responsibly

Join us for a stimulating and inspiring day of peer sharing and learning, bringing together knowledge and insight from some of the sector’s leading CEOs and other experts, looking at all our topics through the lens of the leader and learning from the real-life stories of our speakers. 

As well as our three plenary sessions, we’re running two breakout sessions over the day offering delegates the chance to think about the same topic in different ways, depending on how you like to learn (a conversation with a CEO, leadership learning sessions, a panel debate and a ‘sharing hack’ round-table discussion).

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09:00 – 09:55

Registration, exhibition and refreshments

10:00 – 10:10

Chair’s welcome

Vicky Browning, chief executive, ACEVO

10:20 – 10:50

Opening Plenary : Leading through the lens of empathy

Belinda Parmar, founder and chief executive, The Empathy Business

While research suggests that engaged employees lead to higher incomes, greater innovation and lower staff turnover, studies within the social sector show that employees are far more engaged with the cause than the organisation. Belinda Parmar argues that using the power of empathy can directly improve the emotional impact our organisations have on people and society. She will reveal the seven key drivers for increasing empathy and explain how empathy nudges can help us as leaders transform our culture for employees, beneficiaries and supporters.

10:50 – 11:20


11:20 – 11:50

Networking, exhibition and refreshments

Advice surgeries

11:55 – 12:55

Breakout session 1: Building brilliance

1.1 In conversation: modernising governance through engaging your community

Chris Sherwood, chief executive, RSPCA and Ellie Southwood, chair, RNIB. Facilitator: Rosie Ferguson, chair, ACEVO

1.2 Leadership learning: making your workplace happy 

Henry Stewart, chief happiness officer, Happy Ltd. and Sally de la Bedoyere, chief executive, Blue Cross

1.3 Leadership learning: building personal resilience in a fast-paced world

Hannah Massarella, founder, Bird

1.4 Panel: making the most of young talent

1.5 Hack: building a better board - balancing risk and opportunity 

Tim Rutherford, head of charity and social enterprise sector group, Stone King and Hannah Kubie, partner, Stone King

Book your breakout session 1

12:55 – 13:55

Networking, exhibition and lunch

Advice surgeries

14:00 – 14:30

Leading through adversity

Three chief executives of three very different organisations share their personal stories of the strategies and approaches that worked for them, their board and their staff during difficult times. We never know when adversity will strike but if it does, some of these survival tips may help. 

  • Leading through financial upheaval

Terry Baxter, chief executive, Inspire Suffolk

A decision outside the charity’s control led to two thirds of Inspire Suffolk’s income being slashed almost overnight, and the news that within months the charity would become homeless. Terry will talk about the steps he took to ensure that its work continued, bringing stakeholders, funders, trustees, staff and the wider community on the journey. Today Inspire Suffolk is a strong, important charity to its community – but it could have been so different. 

  • Leading through a personal trauma

Katharine Horler OBE, chief executive, Adviza

How do you carry on leading when the adversity is personal and devastating, when traditional boundaries go out of the window and you are left with instinct and humanity?  

  • Leading through a governance crisis

Jehangir Malik OBE, chief executive, Muslim Aid

When Jehangir became CEO of Muslim Aid in September 2016 he took over an organisation which the Charity Commission described as suffering from ‘systemic failings of oversight, management and governance’. The organisation is now out of interim measures and is functioning with a new trustee board and team, building on the organisation’s legacy over the last three decades. He will share how he coped with the pressures of the different challenges thrown at him and his advice for others who may face similar organisational storms.  

14:30 – 15:00


15:00 – 15:15

Networking, exhibition and refreshments

Advice surgeries

15:20 – 16:20

Breakout session 2: Leading responsibly

2.1 In conversation: moral leadership - the CEO's role

Sarah Hughes, chief executive, Centre for Mental Health. Facilitator: Vicky Browning, chief executive, ACEVO 

2.2 Panel: responding to the climate change emergency

2.3 Leadership learning: what's that coming over the hill? Investing responsibly in uncertain times

Christopher Querée, investment director, head of charities, Ruffer 

2.4 Panel: encouraging ethical entrepreneurialism

2.5 Hack: ethical fundraising, sustainable giving - leading responsible fundraising in challenging times

Peter Lewis, chief executive, Institute of Fundraising 

Book your breakout session 2

16:25 – 16:30

Welcome back

Vicky Browning, chief executive, ACEVO

16:30 – 16:55

Closing plenary

Tara Flood, strategic lead co-production, public services reform department, Hammersmith and Fulham council

16:55 – 17:00

Conference closes

17:00 – 19:00

Networking drinks

Join us for drinks and nibbles after the conference to reflect on the day and cement new friendships.


 Book now

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