Harnessing lessons learned from the pandemic to build a better future for people in the workplace will be the overarching message of this year’s CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition. Running as a hybrid event, people professionals can attend the annual conference in-person at Manchester Central or online across 3-4 November 2021. 

This year’s theme is ‘Seizing the opportunity: reinventing HR to create a responsible working world’, with the conference designed to enable people professionals to develop the skills needed to use this opportunity to drive responsible business and improve the quality of working lives. Thought-leaders, academics and practitioners will come together to share knowledge and inspiration on how to use lessons learned from the pandemic so people professionals can lead the way in shaping the future of their organisations.

The conference sessions will cover three streams, each covering the latest research, innovations and case studies: 

  • The people profession as hybrid and flexible working pioneers: mastering new ways of managing people, business and culture 
  • The people profession as inclusion and engagement promoters: prioritising inclusion, wellbeing and employee experience 
  • The people profession as strategic planners: applying skills, transformation, data and OD

Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice at London Business School and Leader of the Future of Work Research Consortium will deliver the opening keynote ‘The future of work is now. So, how do we do hybrid right?’. Caitlin Moran, journalist and best-selling author of ‘How To Be a Woman’ will deliver the closing keynote on ‘The HR influence – having the confidence to step up, innovate and experiment’. 

Other speakers include Labour MP and Shadow Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary David Lammy, who will deliver the opening keynote on day two on ‘Racial equality at work: what can we still do better’. Panel discussions will cover a range of topics, with Aneela McKenna, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist at Scottish Parliament, taking part in a discussion on holistic wellbeing, while Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director at Business in the Community, will discuss youth employment and how to kickstart younger generations’ careers.

Running alongside the Conference is the Exhibition, featuring a programme of free learning sessions, suppliers showcasing the latest products and services including HR technology, L&D, reward and benefits, as well as spaces for HR and people professionals to come together and network. 

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, comments: 

"We’re excited to welcome people back to Manchester Central, while also providing online access to our Annual Conference and Exhibition. This year’s event will explore how the people profession can take forward the lessons learned from the pandemic and build a new and better world of work to improve working lives for all. 
"As the voice of the profession grows stronger, there has never been a better time to step up and help organisations create more purposeful, inclusive and productive working cultures and environments. We're thrilled to be bringing together people professionals, business leaders and managers, along with an excellent list of expert speakers to share ideas and inspiration and we look forward to everyone joining us in November."

Book your place at the CIPD 2021 Annual Conference and Exhibition here.

Members of the press can register for a free press pass by emailing press@cipd.co.uk

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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.