CIPD’s Festival of Work goes digital for 2020

CIPD’s Festival of Work goes digital for 2020

There’s less than one month to go until CIPD, the professional body for HR and development, hosts its Festival of Work, which has moved online for the first time. Extended to three days, it will provide even more access to expert masterclasses, discussions and skills sessions, and a taste of large-scale events of this kind for the future.

Developing resilient workforces to thrive in uncertainty, priorities for leadership, focus on well-being and flexible working, up-skilling people to succeed in a changing world, and learning to drive adaptability and innovation are just some of the topics that will be discussed at the CIPD’s three-day Festival of Work in June. The unique event will provide the opportunity to consider new viewpoints, fresh ideas and explore how learning, technology and innovation can come together to shape adaptive workforces and cultures that put people first.

In response to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, the CIPD is taking its Festival of Work online, giving HR and L&D professionals, business leaders and managers, access to a mix of expert masterclasses, panel discussions and skills sessions - all from the safety and comfort of their own home. As well as a wide range of formats and different conference sessions, there will be opportunities to connect with colleagues and exhibitors, plus bite-sized free learning opportunities as CIPD brings the Festival’s exhibition online.

The virtual event takes place from Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 June 2020. Professionals will be able to map their own experiences to meet their interests through three pre-planned content streams that highlight what’s most relevant to them:

  • Leading through adversity
  • Supporting our people through well-being and technology
  • The value of learning and development

55 speakers will take part, from practitioners to business leaders, academics, and policy makers, sharing a wide range of expertise and perspectives to spark debate, inspire and offer practical solutions. The conference will open with perspectives on the health crisis and the associated economic crisis from Public Health England and London Business School, followed by Professor Simon Anholt who will deliver an address on how to develop resilient workforces to thrive in uncertainty. A panel of well recognised and influential business leaders will follow to provide their insights.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of CIPD, said:

"In the current crisis, it’s more important than ever that we come together to share practical and innovative ways to champion better work and working lives. The Festival of Work will look at how we develop resilient workforces and lead people through critical times, keeping well-being and diversity and inclusion high up on the agenda.

"We’re thrilled to be able to bring together people professionals, business leaders and managers, along with a stellar panel of expert and influential speakers, for this unique digital event and we look forward to everyone joining us in June."

Other notable addresses will be given by John Amaechi OBE, Organisational Psychologist and Director of the UK’s largest NHS Trust, who will discuss how organisations can empower their people to take ownership of their own learning, and Dr Hannah Fry, Associate Professor Mathematics of Cities, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, who will take a look at how we can upskill people to succeed in an AI-driven world. Caroline Criado-Perez OBE, British feminist, activist, journalist and author of Invisible Women, will deliver the closing address on the power of inclusion and overcoming the barriers of a world largely built for and by men.

Attendees will be able to network through video-conferencing and an online chat function. They will also be able to access a virtual well-being space, giving them the opportunity to refresh and restore their energy away from the talks with activities such as yoga, mindfulness, fitness sessions and socials.

By registering in advance, CIPD members can access the full conference for free, featuring live and on-demand content, as well as the exhibition to explore the latest products and services with virtual exhibition stands, bite-sized learning sessions and interactive experiences. Non-members can purchase a full conference ticket or alternatively register to attend the exhibition-only for free.

Guests can book their conference and exhibition tickets by visiting

Press release from CIPD, May 2020.

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