Human Resource Summit
Eurostars Sitges,Barcelona
9-11 October 2024

2024 Topics & Themes

HR's role in sustainability
How to be successful with your EDI strategy
AI in HR
The importance of data, trend analysis, and technology in HR
Work/Life Balance
Workplace burnout and mental health challenges
Neurodiversity in the workplace
Menopausal awareness

If you are interested in a speaking opportunity, please contact

Speakers & Abstracts

2023 speakers below!

Scotty Mills

Published Author - Global Keynote Speaker - Executive Coach - Leadership and Culture Specialist - Consultant

Never Give In
  • Biography

    Scotty Mills is the highest-ranking black officer in the history of the Royal Marines and led Britain’s Commandos around the world. He shares his lessons of leadership and resilience working as a performance coach in the world of elite sport and business. As an advisor to the FA, he worked closely with Gareth Southgate, Harry
    Kane, and the England Football Team to help them reach the World Cup semi-final.

    Growing up in South London with many hardships, Scotty joined the Royal Marines by chance after ducking into their recruitment office to avoid a downfall. He worked his way up to become a Commando ‘Green Beret’ Officer, leading the
    Marines on operations around the world. He also acted as Head of Rehab, and Head of Performance throughout his time, supporting recruits who needed retraining, rehabilitation and reintegration and guiding them to peak performance.

    Scotty has an international reputation for his ability to use his experience to inspire others and help them overcome their limitations. He continues to work with the nation's top sports teams and Olympic teams to develop innovative
    leadership, team cohesion and peak performance. His compelling journey highlights the power of human inspiration and his lessons on how to achieve impossible results and how to make a winning team are transferable to any organisation. His book Never Give In draws on his experiences in the Marines and shares how the ‘commando’ way of thinking provides elite performance and helps anyone reach targets and transform their way of thinking.

    A world record breaker for leading the Marines to break a long-standing Endurance Marathon World Record, Scotty was selected as an Olympic Flag Bearer at the London 2012 Olympic Games and has dined at Buckingham Palace with the
    Queen. He was also the recipient of a national award to honour him as the most inspirational serviceman across the entire Armed Forces community.

  • Presentation Outline

    - Attitude trumps talent
    - Live strong values through your actions
    - Grow your 100% every day

Fiona Hnatow BA (Hons), Chartered FCIPD, ILM, PGCE

Chief People Officer
The University of Portsmouth
Fully Inclusive Well-being
  • Biography

    As Chief People Officer at the University of Portsmouth Fiona is responsible for leading the delivery of our People Strategy 2030 which supports our underlying principle of educating and transforming lives, while driving a culture of excellence where all our people can achieve great things. As a member of the University Executive Board Fiona makes a significant contribution to the strategic direction of the University together with leading a large HR Function with a portfolio including Pay and Reward, EDI, People and Organisational Development, People Operations and Business Partnering.

    Prior to joining the University of Portsmouth as Chief People Officer, Fiona was the Director of Human Resources at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Fiona has also worked in strategic and operational HR leadership roles both in the UK and overseas at Transport for London, the City of London Corporation, Surrey County Council, Pearson plc, WWF-UK and Unilever UK & Ireland.

    Fiona holds both an undergraduate degree in Education and Training, gained at the University of Greenwich, and a postgraduate degree in Human Resource Management, gained at the University of Westminster. She also has a Post-16 PGCE, and taught Business, Accounting and Human Resource Management in further and adult education while her three children were young.

  • Presentation Outline

    Fiona will discuss how the University of Portsmouth created a fully inclusive well-being approach, to support the challenges facing our colleagues and students at all stages of their lives, touching on menopause, men's mental health and neurodiversity at work.

Emily Allen

Director of People
Anthony Nolan
The Cost of Living Crisis – What is (and isn’t) HR’s role ?
  • Biography

    Emily is the Director of People at Anthony Nolan. A charity where the purpose is to save and improve the lives of everyone who needs cell transplantation or therapy. The organisation is unique in its sector. Alongside fundraising it leads the way in research as well as having responsibility for over 80,000 amazing lifesavers on its Stem Cell Register. In her time at Anthony Nolan the organisation has launched a new and ambitious five year strategy and was a finalist in the Inspiring Workplace Awards 2022. Emily passionately believes that people at Anthony Nolan are the patient’s greatest asset and the work the people team do every day is with this in mind. Emily’s HR career prior to Anthony Nolan spans both retail and global brands as well as professional services and she has worked as part of many innovative and award winning HR teams.

  • Presentation Outline

    During this interactive session Emily will share some of the initiatives Anthony Nolan have put in place to support colleagues with the cost of living crisis. The session will also explore what they’ve chosen not to do and why. This will be followed by a discussion around options and ideas to support colleagues in the future as well as an opportunity to debate and discuss HR’s role within this topic.

Chris Worts & Vanessa Duckenfield

Human Resources Director & Head of Learning & Development
Bettys & Taylors Group
Placing wellbeing at the heart of how we work
  • Biography

    Chris has been with the Bettys & Taylors Group for three years. With an extensive background in Human Resources across a number of different sectors stretching back almost 40 years, Chris has taken a particularly close interest in the intersectionality between wellbeing and equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and has helped to implement successful strategies across these areas. Chris is a regular speaker at industry events and recently addressed a group of MPs, senior leaders and medical professionals in the Houses of Parliament on the subject of menopause and specifically approaches to address many of the challenges that women face in the workplace.

    Vanessa has worked at Bettys & Taylors Group for almost 15 years. She started in a Graduate position and has worked in HR roles across the Group, moving to the Head of L&D role where she is responsible for leading organisational learning and development, as well as designing and sponsoring Group-wide cultural change initiatives. Vanessa is also a Board member of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative.

  • Presentation Outline

    Vanessa and Chris have designed the approach to shaping a culture with wellbeing at it’s heart at Bettys & Taylors Group. They’ve formed a Wellbeing Hub to accelerate cross business change and placed attention on what it really takes to create impact and sustainable change an organisational level, within teams and for individuals.

    This presentation outlines the thought process and principles that have shaped this approach, as well as examples of initiatives that have been delivered at Bettys & Taylors Group and the impact created. It’s also highlights some of the tensions and learning along the way. Attendees will be encouraged to reflect on the need for whole system change and the attention required at the “I”, “We” and “All of Us” levels needed to achieve sustainable change.

Irene Asare

Global HR Director- News & Current Affairs
Why Leadership matters
  • Biography

    Irene is the Global HR Director for BBC News covering the scope of UK and International. She is a Strategic Business Partner to and a key member of News Board, working closely with the Senior Leadership teams across the BBC to shape and develop HR initiatives, policies and processes to improve the employee experience. She is a talented HR Director with more than 20 years’ experience in Head of HR, Business Transformation and Organisational Effectiveness roles for top multinationals, including BBC News, Tullow Oil, Vodafone, Standard Bank, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Serco. She is an award winner of multiple HR industry accolades, and is FMCIPD qualified, with an Executive MBA and Master’s in Human Resources Management.

    A true HR generalist, Irene’s formative career was spent in progressively senior HR roles across B2B and B2C sectors in the UK, where she gained strong skills in business partnering, and a depth and breadth of expertise across the full employee lifecycle and HR disciplines.

    In 2010, she was headhunted by Vodafone Ghana to lead the integration and organisational restructure of the business following their acquisition of Ghana Telecom, and establish a HR Business Partner model. She was subsequently handpicked to head Business Transformation and led the country’s largest-ever cash and cost programme, before being promoted to head Organisational Effectiveness & Change for a group of countries, including South Africa, Vodafone’s fifth largest market globally.

    Irene latterly joined Standard Bank as Regional Head of HR for West Africa, where she set the people strategy for an employee population of 6,000, ensuring a joined-up approach by working closely with country leadership to align HR vision with corporate goals.

    She was subsequently headhunted by Tullow Oil as head of HR for Ghana, accountable for 75% of the company’s global revenues and >30% of the employee population. Here, she spearheaded an HR strategy that radically improved employee engagement, operational effectiveness and cost effectiveness. She led large-scale business transformations that stabilised and grew the business at critical junctures, and championed DEI, directing workforce localisation and gender diversity initiatives.

    Underpinning Irene’s two-decade track record of success is her commitment to building proactive, efficient HR functions that provide high-value partnership to the business. An experienced board and C-level advisor, she thrives when developing and implementing ambitious people strategies and defining compelling employee value propositions that establish organisations as employers of choice, and leading large-scale business transformations that drive growth, performance and profitability.

  • Presentation Outline

    In this session, Irene will cover ‘Going from Good to Great!’:

    what a leadership strategy is and why it is important for organisations – Why Leadership Matters?
    the practical application of a leadership strategy – Elements of effective leadership
    what is good leadership – Characteristics & attributes of good leadership
    the importance of good quality leadership in times of crisis

Gaia Caruso

Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
Sparta Global
Driving organisational performance through Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Strategising the relationship between EDI and Human Resources
  • Biography

    Gaia is the Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Sparta Global. She has been named one of Most Influential Culture Leaders by HiveLearning, one of the Top Inspirational Corporate Women by WeAreTheCity, and a Winner of the Women in Tech Excellence Awards. She is regularly invited as a keynote speaker on national and global ED&I forums and has presented to industry audiences spanning over 40 countries. With extensive experience in the technology sector and an academic background from the LSE and Bayes Business School, Gaia has driven high-profile projects in the ED&I space and has delivered advisory programmes to private and public organisations as part of her role.

  • Presentation Outline

    While ED&I is an essential aspect of good people management, it is also a powerful driver of business. Within the organisation, ED&I informs inclusive people practices, processes, and cultures. Within the wider market space, it shapes the reputation, credibility and influence of the company, acting in the interest of investors to generate ethical and sustainable business growth.

    In this interactive session, we will explore how ED&I and HR leaders can join forces to deliver strategies that benefit both internal and external stakeholders.

    By outlining how EDI and HR experts can strategically support each other, we will design a practical roadmap to inclusive organisational change that ultimately accelerates economic performance.

    This collaboration delivers a compelling message that is universally relevant to all modern businesses: when companies commit to inclusive people practices, returns on investment follow.

Dr Kristina Brown & Joanne Davidson

Lecturer at Northumbria University Business School
Associate Director Workforce; Organisational Effectiveness and Learning

Restorative Just Culture - Sustainable Strategies for HR and OD
  • Biography

    Dr Kristina Brown is a Lecturer in Management and Organisations at the RCSI, Graduate School of Healthcare Management. Prior to joining RCSI, Kristina was the Director for the Executive Programme Transforming Organisational Cultures: Principles and Practices of Restorative Just Cultures and the Restorative Just Culture Community of Practice, on which she now works as a strategic advisor. Kristina holds an MBA and PhD in Management both from Durham University (UK). Her research interests are in Restorative Just Cultures, Psychological Safety and Patient Safety, in which she actively researches and collaborates to support organisations achieve sustainable implementation in these areas.

    Joanne Davidson is a Deputy Director for Organisational Effectiveness & Learning at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. HR, Quality Improvement and Workforce Development fuel her passion and commitment to create environments that enable people to maximise their potential. She applies research, develop, translate and operationalise strategy to maximise the aims and context of an organisation. She aims to ensure interventions are applied strategically; achieving maximum performance and cultural improvement in accordance with research.
    She has over twenty five years experience in both public and private sector. As an OD professional, she takes a whole systems approach to people and business development to influence a culture of continuous improvement and high performance. All her interventions are evidence based and solutions are sustainable, measurable and deliverable at scale. Quality and performance measures are defined and triangulated to demonstrate impact and outcomes. Evaluation processes and reporting in line with national standards are mapped to organisational scorecard and organisation governance / surveillance models.

  • Presentation Outline

    It is estimated that over 6,000 workers are currently suspended in the public sector and at a cost upwards of £50 million. This can be as a result of workplace stress, bullying or harassment that are dealt with in retributive rather than restorative ways which sadly can result in people ending their own lives or suffer long term health and well-being issues. Restorative Just Culture practices recognise the important role played by dealing with adverse events and incidents by asking, who is hurt; what do they need; and whose obligation is it to meet those needs? The success of restorative responses hinges on getting the community involved in collaboratively resolving those questions and arriving at a solution that is respectful to all parties, such as, patients, families, caregivers, organisational representatives, regulators and legal and union representatives. It considers accountability in a forward-looking (rather than punitive, backwards-looking) manner, asking who needs to do what now, given their role and the expectations that come with it. In this session we cover the HR and OD principles and practices of restorative just cultures that can be applied in any organisation and sector and present the evidence base case.

Skip Bowman

Author and Senior Consultant
How do you create a growth-minded culture?
  • Biography

    Skip Bowman is an author, consultant and keynote speaker focusing on how to transform organisations to the green economy with a growth mindset and psychological safety. Australian-born and Europe-based, he has worked with global organisations for over 25 years developing unique programmes and approaches that are captured in his recently released Safe2Great concept.

    “People first” is Skip’s mantra for success in business, leadership, and change. Only when people feel valued and respected can you fully realise the potential of a purpose-based organisation. The future of leadership is green and digital. And there is a need to reimagine and reengineer how we lead and organise to meet the challenges of the mid-21st century. He has spent the last 6 years studying the connections between mindset and effectiveness. This has led to the development of the Safe2Great concept and assessment tools.

    Skip’s approach to consulting and coaching is both inspirational and challenging. There is both a Bright and Dark side to leaders and corporate cultures that must be embraced in any truly transformational approach to growth. He argues that we need principles for leading and organizing that are effective, morally right and save the planet. These must lead to a vision of prosperity-for-many rather than profit-for-the-few as the goal of all responsible businesses.

    Globally savvy, Skip has regular consulting and keynote commitments in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He uses two working languages (Danish & English). He grew up in Perth, Australia and has spent most of the last 25 years working in Switzerland, England, France, and Denmark. After studying Finance in Australia, he attained his M.A. in Psychology and Languages in Copenhagen. Skip has a Master’s in Organisational Psychology (Denmark) and completed additional training in cross-cultural management, group dynamics, coaching, and cultural change.

    His book ”From Safe to Great” will be published in the US in September 2023 and outlines his integrated organisational and leadership development process for implementing a Growth Mindset based on Psychological safety in global organizations.

  • Presentation Outline

    Inspired by Amy Edmondson and Carol Dweck, Skip will lead an interactive session on psychological safety and growth mindset.

    6 years ago, organisational psychologist, Skip Bowman, started researching, creating and testing the Safe2Great method for implementing growth mindset in global organisations.

    qpeople’s session led by Skip, will talk about how organisations align leadership development with team and organisational development in an insightful, systematic and measurable way.

    Skip will also get you to experience an inspirational idea like growth mindset and share a set of scalable tools, methods, and activities that you can take back to your workplace. The Safe to Great/qpeople method is a common language that can enable and integrate coaching, feedback and performance reviews.

    This method does not promise overnight results. What it does promise is an inspiring and challenging process that can drive bottom-up and top-down cultural change initiatives.

    In this strategy group, qpeople will outline the growth mindset principles, the results of Skip’s research, the power of commitment, and the cost of control.

Carrie Bowers

Head of People
Metropolitan Pub Company
Resilience - Human Resources, while we are looking after everyone else...who is looking after us?
  • Biography

    Carrie Bowers has 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, working in everything from QSR and bakeries to pubs and fine dining restaurants and making the move from operations into HR 9 years ago. She is currently the Head of People for Metropolitan Pub Company with ownership of the HR agenda, whilst also contributing to the overall business strategy as an integral part of the MPCo Leadership Team. Her experiences as an HR leader in hospitality during the pandemic, alongside studying for her CIPD level 7 and running a small-scale HR consultancy, have tested her own resilience to the max and she hopes that she can share her learnings to help others experiencing similar issues.

  • Presentation Outline

    As the one area in any business where we are expected to be all things to all people, there is often minimal consideration of the impact it will have on us as HR Professionals and more importantly, human beings.

    Whilst being there to support others is something we accept and often value as an opportunity to make a difference, who do we go to, what techniques can we employ and where can we find our own help should we need it?

    This sessions explores:

    What does being resilient actually mean?
    The common challenges to our resilience that we experience as HR Leaders
    How do we recognise when we need help, and what are the support networks and techniques we can employ to help mitigate these challenges?

Speaker Programme

The Summit programme consists of inspirational Keynotes, Strategy Sessions (case study presentations followed by focused discussion), interactive Action Learning Workshops, and debate. In addition, we will add value by offering a series of round tables, presentations, and toolkits in the build-up to the event.

If you have any recommendations for speakers or topics for future events please email

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9 - 11 October 2024

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“The event was a fantastic learning and development opportunity for any HR professional. It was a great to meet peers across various HR disciplines, learn and benchmark against our own HR function. It was my first time attending an event like this and it opened my eyes to the types of suppliers and services that are available to our organisation to assist us on various challenges we face.City of London Corporation”

City of London Corporation,

“This HR Summit was a brilliant way to meet with very relevant industry counterparts and suppliers. The sessions were carefully chosen with an excellent set of speakers. And the suppliers did not hard-sell their products, as often is the case with forums like these. The venue provided ample opportunity to unwind as well the arrangements done by the Summit team in terms of food and hospitality were excellent.General Assembly”

General Assembly,