This is the major HR conference and event of the year, attracting thousands of attendees and visitors nationally and internationally. This year the focus is on the future of the profession, new developments in thinking and practice, and the drive towards greater value and impact in organisations and the economy. 

Conference sessions will be geared around five key topic streams:

  • Insights into Changing Context – understand business change, and the external factors that are forcing the need for greater agility and innovation
  • HR Essentials and Learning Processes – explore the latest issues which help maximise the capabilities and value of the HR function
  • Business, Commercial Insight and Analytics – progressing the agenda for people metrics and analytics to better understand business value and outcomes
  • Science of Human and Organisational Behaviour – getting back to our roots and applying research from psychology, behavioural sciences and neuroscience to rethink people management and development processes
  • Innovation, Digital and Technology – what’s happening in the continued push towards use of technology and digital in driving more efficient and effective HR and learning practices 

Two keynote speeches from internationally renowned thought leaders will also be delivered at the conference. Sir Cary Cooper CBE, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health and author of over 120 books, will deliver the opening keynote on bridging the productivity gap through mental capital and wellbeing at work, discussing the causes and consequences of stress in the workplace. He will also explore policies and interventions for enhancing wellbeing and reducing ill health in the workforce. 

Herminia Ibarra, Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD and one of the world’s pre-eminent thought leaders, will give the closing keynote on acting and thinking like a leader for success. Herminia will draw on the ways that ‘outsight’, the principle of acting first and thinking later, can change the way we behave and approach our work. There will be two days of seminars, master classes and workshops featuring speakers from top organisations including Microsoft, Ministry of Defence, EDF Energy, Virgin Money and L’Oreal, and many other recognised leaders in the HR field.

The event will also be an opportunity to learn about, and contribute to, the CIPD’s 'Profession for the Future’ strategy, which is focused on helping HR and L&D meet its full potential to champion better work and working lives in the rapidly changing world of work.

Peter Cheese, CIPD Chief Executive, comments:

"This year’s event is focused on helping us all to prepare for the future. Advances in technology, globalisation and demographic changes mean the world of work is changing all the time. More and more organisations are starting to question and rethink some of the most well-established HR practices to be more adaptive and fit for the demands of a changing workforce, workplace, and the changing nature of the jobs we do. With all the growing debate about purpose, principles, values and creating businesses that are truly sustainable in every sense of the word, HR needs to go back to its roots and really focus on the human in human resources.

This year we’ll be bringing you inspiration from thought leaders, practitioners, and consultants in HR, L&D and OD who’ve tried and tested new and innovative approaches in their organisations. But we’ll also be encouraging you to think a little more deeply about the purpose of everything we do in HR and the principles that should guide our decision-making. When we approach a problem or opportunity by asking questions about purpose and intended outcomes rather than just focusing on processes, policies and so-called ‘best practice’ – and then apply everything we’ve known for many years about human psychology and organisational behaviour – that’s when we start to see true innovation and that’s when HR realises its full potential to drive value for everyone."

Running alongside the conference is the CIPD exhibition, where more than 200 leading HR and L&D suppliers will be showcasing their latest innovations and solutions. The exhibition features a free programme of bite-sized learning sessions and insights from suppliers, echoing key themes on the conference agenda: HR Trends and Essentials, Insights and Behavioural Science and Innovation and Analytics. CIPD experts and conference speakers will also be continuing discussion and debate on future challenges and opportunities in a new Future HR Arena on the exhibition floor. 

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Championing better work and working lives

About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.