Diana Hunter

From an early age Diana had a clear passion for retail, she would often be found meandering the aisle of her grandfather’s department store in Darlington. It was therefore a natural fit when she joined the Sainsbury’s Graduate Programme in 1990 and since then Diana has gone on to climb the retail ladder, boasting some incredible successes.

Diana stayed at Sainsbury’s for thirteen years where she held a multitude of roles including heading up a senior manager transformation programme before eventually departing from the role of format development. She later made the switch to Waitrose in 2007, where she carved a reputation as an innovator in store development. Some of her major projects whilst there included; the launch of Little Waitrose, securing partnership with Shell for service station stores and the launch of its home offer in its Canary Wharf Store. Diana was also a key player in the development of John Lewis’ food hall.

Geoff Cousins

Armed with an entrepreneurial mindset, Geoff Cousins has the ability and skill needed to drive innovative strategies and deliver real results for businesses of all sizes.

During his career Geoff has held a number of C-Suite positions within the iconic Jaguar Land Rover Brands which include; Chief Financial Officer of North America for JLR and Volvo, Director of Sales, Manufacturing and Planning for JLR, UK Managing Director and Global Sponsorships and Brand Partners Director for JLR, and currently he is the Chairman of G&P. As a result he is well known and respected throughout the industry.

Geoff’s global experience and track record of personal business achievements provides a unique mix of big business process capability and innovative thinking that delivers transformational but pragmatic business solutions to entrepreneurs, innovation start ups and SME’s. His experience allows businesses and leaders to optimise performance, deliver results and lead transformation initiatives, while cutting through complex issues.

Geoff is currently the Non-Executive Director of Performance Communications, advising on strategy, operational performance and business growth initiatives. He is also the Managing Director of Geoff Cousins Associates, a Business Consultancy advising their clients on areas such as; Leadership and People Performance, PR and Marketing, Product Planning and Distribution, Strategic and Business Development and Executive Recruitment.

His most recent project is the creation of a cutting edge brain development product known as Zing Performance. Inspired by the latest neurological research, Zing Business improves human performance by enhancing the brain body connection. It does so by developing neural pathways to improve cognitive, emotional and social abilities.

Geoff is a visiting Professor of Global Governance at the University of South Wales where he delivers master classes on international business, chairs the course student conference and assesses group simulation exercises. He holds a number of external positions in the fields of charity and sports administration.

Hamish Taylor

Hamish Taylor has enjoyed a long career in building and overhauling brands, first at Procter & Gamble, then at Eurostar where he become CEO, and subsequently at Sainsbury’s Bank.

He is now a brand expert and public speaker.

With a CV that The Times commented “takes some beating”, Hamish Taylor has managed to follow academic and sporting success with a very fast track career through a number of high profile business roles. As a result Hamish has established a winning record for driving innovation and change in a number of very different environments.

Hamish was appointed Head of Brand Management at British Airways taking responsibility for the airline’s passenger brands (First, Club, Concorde, Shuttle, etc.)

In 1997 he moved to Eurostar as Managing Director of Eurostar (UK) Ltd at the age of 36. The business was three years old and his remit was to reduce the major losses the operation was suffering. After two successful years in this role, he was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Eurostar Group.

At the end of 1999 Hamish was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Sainsbury’s Bank. Once again, the objective was rapid growth in profit from the breakeven position he inherited. The ability to innovate and move away from traditional banking approaches in order to behave more like a retailer, proved the key to the significant growth that resulted.

In 2004 Hamish established his own company, the Hamish Taylor Skills Exchange Network.

Hamish is also regularly featured in the broadcast media, his most recent project being the “Teen Canteen” television programme for the BBC.

Dr. Hannah Macleod

Hannah is a double Olympic medallist, with the record-breaking Great Britain Women’s hockey team, culminating in winning Gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She has a doctorate in Exercise Physiology and coaches leaders and teams in FTSE 100 companies.

Hannah provides valuable insights into the fundamental requirements of a performance culture and the core principles of effective teamwork, confidence to perform and resilience. Hannah’s ability to articulate her personal learnings from performing in an elite sporting environment and working with senior leadership teams around the world enables her to deliver insightful and personal Keynotes, presentations, seminars and candid Q & A’s.

She recently tested her principles on high performing teams whilst competing for Great Britain in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Having previously had no sailing experience, she took on the challenge of ocean racing with a crew of 20 novice sailors.

Hannah was an integral member of the England and Great Britain hockey team that progressed from 8th in the world in 2009 to winning Gold at the Rio Olympics for the first time in their history. Hannah was also part of the team that won Gold at the European Championships in 2015, Bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and Silver at the 2012 Champions Trophy in Argentina. However, she also experienced significant set-backs with the team in 2014 when they finished 11th at the World Cup – 18 months prior to the Rio Olympics.

Before becoming a full-time hockey player in 2009, Hannah completed her PhD in Environmental Exercise Physiology at Nottingham Trent University after gaining a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science from Loughborough University. After retiring from professional sport, Hannah followed her passion for understanding how to maximise performance, individually and in collaboration with others, and qualified as an Executive Leadership Coach. She is the current Great Britain Hockey U23 Coach and Leadership and Team coach at Track Record.

Hannah reveals the critical success factors for achieving sustained high performance and provides insight into the methods and strategies used by Olympic athletes and individuals performing in world class teams.

 

Hashi Mohamed

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Hashi Mohamed is one of the UK’s leading junior barristers in planning and public law. He was Special Adviser to David Anderson QC, the Independent Reviewer or Terror Legislation (2015-2017). He also practises in environmental, human rights law and commercial litigation.

One of 12 children, Hashi’s father died when he was 9. Soon after Hashi came to the UK as an unaccompanied child refugee from Kenya in the summer of 1993. When he arrived he spoke basic English, attended failing schools and was raised exclusively on state benefits in a deprived area of North West London.

Today, at 33, as a barrister and broadcaster, Hashi has attended both Oxford University and Bar school on a full scholarship. He is also a presenter on BBC Radio 4 and commentator across leading newspapers. Drawing on his own experiences he wants to dispel the myth that upward mobility is possible through sheer hard work alone and speaks out against empty tokenism.

Hashi’s speaking style is at once realistic and inspirational and he is not afraid to talk about hard truths. From refugee to barrister, he uses his personal journey to draw powerful conclusions for business – about resilience, focus and the ability to adapt in the pursuit of success. Whether he is talking to CEOs of big corporations, judges, politicians or underprivileged pupils – he creates an immediate and powerful connection with people. As a broadcaster his work has been highly acclaimed including BBC Radio 4’s ‘Adventures in Social Mobility’ and his viral Guardian Opinion piece ‘Telling children “hard work gets you to the top” is simply a lie’.

Hashi is fast becoming a sought after motivational speaker. He also chairs and hosts events and panel discussions in the UK and abroad.

 

James Bellini

James describes himself as ‘an historian of the future’. He has a close interest in key trends and strategic challenges facing current and future business up to Horizon 2020 and beyond.

James is a regular choice as a speaker at high-level conferences around the world and has published a number of books and special reports on the world of tomorrow. He has also worked within high-level consultancy teams on projects with a future perspective. He was the first British staff member of the US-headquartered futurology ‘think tank’ the Hudson Institute, taking a senior role at the Institute’s European division based in Paris.

James is a public speaker and also acts as moderator at major events. Recent clients include HP, Novo Nordisk, Somfy, BAE Systems, IBM, AXA, Barclays, Microsoft, HSBC, Oracle and Unisys.

He has more than twenty-five years’ experience as an award-winning TV broadcaster, presenting The Money Programme for BBC TV before moving to Newsnight and Panorama and then to ITV. He was subsequently a newsreader at Financial Times Television and Sky News.

James has a Masters in Law and History from Cambridge and a PhD from the London School of Economics. He is a Fellow of the World Innovation Foundation, founded by Nobel Laureate Glenn Theodore Seaborg.

James focuses on a variety of issues concerned with future trends in the economy, in technology, and in the way we live and work.

Jim Lawless

Jim Lawless is one of the world’s leading keynote speakers. Over half a million people on five continents have been entertained and inspired by Jim’s presentations and many more by his bestselling book “Taming Tigers” (Random House).

Jim acts as an elite team coach at board level and serves as a non-executive board chairman. He has advised companies globally on creating cultural change and elite teams. He has designed and implemented successful change programmes in companies including Apple, Barclaycard, Atos, Axa, BT, Aramark, Skrill Group and Badminton England.

He insists on testing his principles on himself before advising others, using “Taming Tigers” to become Britain’s deepest freediver. He is the first Briton to dive below the magic 100m barrier on a single breath of air.

In response to an audience challenge, he proved “Taming Tigers” by becoming a jockey in 12 months. At the outset he was 3 stone (20kg) too heavy and could not ride.

These adventures – and the lessons he learned – bring him and his methodology immediate credibility with audiences on all continents.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Laws degree, qualified as a solicitor and practiced commercial law in the City of London and in a major IT company before founding Taming Tigers Limited (formerly “Optimise”). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in 2008 in recognition of his business writing.

John Steele

John began his career in the army, trained at the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Here, he learnt the essentials for strong effective leadership and soon developed a distinguished style of his own.

He left the army to pursue a career as a professional rugby player, and like most things John puts his hand to, he achieved great success, playing in over 400 first class games, including matches against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. On retirement John turned to coaching, successfully leading Northampton Saints to become European Champions in 2000; their first major cup win.

Following the clubs victory, John became Executive Director on the Saints Board during a period of unprecedented off-field growth, including a share issue and stadium development. His experience in Rugby Union also saw him serve on the England Rugby Board during the successful World Cup campaign of 2003. He was also appointed as CEO of the Rugby Football Union.

In 2005 John became Chief Executive for UK Sport. A post which he held for six years leading the organisation through a remarkable period of successful change through Beijing and into the record breaking London 2012 Olympics. Post-London 2012, with the Nation’s focus on sporting successes and “inspiring a generation”, John became Group Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust.

John is also the Chairman of the English Institute of Sport, succeeding Steve Cram, and is helping to further the Institute’s success in delivering a range of performance impacting sport science solutions to over 40 Olympic and Paralympic sports, along with a select number of non-Olympic sports. To date, John’s Olympic and Paralympic involvement spans eight different games including the recent Rio Olympics and Paralympics.

Building on his lifelong passions of leadership and sport, John founded Unforgiving Minute, a niche consultancy with unique leadership development expertise from high-performance sport. At present John is also leading an ambitious change programme as Executive Director of Sport at Loughborough University.

Jonathan Davies OBE

Jonathan Davies is regarded as one of the all-time greats in both rugby union and rugby league.

The young Davies made his name at club level with Neath and Llanelli before taking the revered Welsh No.10 jersey for his international debut against England in 1985. His try and drop goal in Wales’ 24-15 win that day marked the start of a career in top level rugby that took him around the world – and in an even greater move – across codes to rugby league. In league, Davies represented Widnes, Warrington and Great Britain and was twice voted rugby league’s players player of the year.

Upon retiring from rugby Jonathan moved into television and radio work, and has built his second career as a popular sports broadcaster. From the influences that have shaped his overwhelming determination to succeed, to the way in which he handled the enormous pressures when he took the huge step of changing rugby codes, Jonathan’s message will resonate with audiences who are managing change, who need to perform under pressure and who believe in having the right mental attitude in order to win.