Virtual Speakers We've Seen This Month Round-Up: June 2020

8 July 2020

June is the month when summer officially starts complete with those "I was there when..." events like Glastonbury and Wimbledon or summer solstice at Stonehenge.

But, for this year only, we're giving it a miss. We're staying indoors and checking out some online events instead. We're taking a break, putting our feet up, and watching from our front row seat.

We've had the pleasure of listening to an incredible range of virtual keynote speakers and event hosts this month, so without further ado, grab some strawberries and cream and read who stood out for us this month!

Ingrid Betancourt

Ingrid Betancourt was held as a hostage by Guerillas belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for 6 years in the jungle. Since her rescue in 2008, Ingrid shares her dramatic experiences in an effort to raise international public awareness about human rights injustices. We watched Ingrid during a virtual Q&A session which was shocking and inspiring at the same time.

The key message we took away is when you lose your freedom, you lose your dignity so it is really important to keep your soul. In moments where adversity arises, you must look inside yourself and see how that can be transformed in to something good.

Bertrand Piccard

Bertrand Piccard was not only the first man to fly around the world solo in a balloon; he also made history by completing the first round-the-world solar flight with his Solar Impulse project. We watched Bertrand deliver his virtual keynote Achieving the Impossible, which was excellent!

Bertrand encourages us to all be pioneers, to look at new ways of doing things, and to be explorers, by testing all of our ideas. Bertrand uses his story of being told by the aeronautical industry that his dream was impossible and how he set out to prove them wrong. His inspirational story is perfect for the period we find ourselves in, as he commented "If we accept the coronavirus crisis, it will become an adventure and we will realise our potential. Be courageous and confident."

Lynda Gratton

Lynda Gratton is considered one of the world's authorities on people in organizations who actively advises companies across the world, and the virtual keynote we watched "The Future of Work is Now" was absorbing and provided plenty of food for thought

The key takeaways we took including the reassuring (!) fact that while we're going to live longer, we're going to have to work longer too, but perhaps the most important point was while we're potentially going to be spending more time working from home from now on, the fact is innovation comes from networking and social interaction. Therefore it's crucial we find that right balance between the two!

Nile Rodgers

Multiple GRAMMY-award winner Nile Rodgers joined us for an exclusive virtual Q&A showcase event  for Speakers Corner earlier this month. The co-founder of the band CHIC, Nile spent just under an hour taking questions from host Vick Hope, as well as the audience, on subjects ranging from the Black Lives Matter Movement to creativity, inclusion, his battle with cancer and sleeping on the streets in New York, the hour flew by in the blink of an eye!

Mandy Hickson

We held a virtual meeting with Mandy Hickson, the second woman to fly the Tornado GR4 operationally, earlier this month which blew us away. Mandy's story starts with a dream, continues with obstacles to overcome and then, having realised her dream of becoming a fighter pilot, then goes into a whole new world of teamwork, leadership and decision-making under huge pressure!

Mandy neatly weaves in stories from her training, and then missions, with the challenges businesses are faced with today. The hour flew by and left us feeling exhilarated for what lies ahead!

Liselotte Lyngso

Pre-lockdown we would welcome speakers from across the world into our offices to get to know them better, understand which audiences would work best for their material and to meet the team. We're still meeting speakers during lockdown thanks to our virtual meetings provider and so this month we met futurist Liselotte Lyngso.

Liselotte showed us how she uses crowd-sourcing to gather insights and thoughts about the future. Naturally we're curious about the future post COVID-19 and Liselotte provided a few examples of what might change, such as we'll have more contributors than onlookers at work and we're likely to see a more localised approach to purchasing, sourcing and manufacturing rather than looking globally (i.e. China).

Peter Fisk

As former CEO of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Peter Fisk is a global thought leader in strategy, innovation and marketing. His virtual session that we saw, titled "Have the Courage to Reimagine a Better Business", encouraged the audience to be innovative and creative to get ahead of the curve during this pandemic.

For example, Peter talked about demographic and economic/political/cultural shifts and why it's no longer sufficient to do a little bit better than last year, but it's time to re-think what your business could be, to start in the future and imagine what you want your business to look like. The main takeaway we had was to consider how we can innovate and do good at the same time!

That's a wrap for our June speaker round-up. We've got plenty of virtual events lined-up to attend so we'll report back next month with some more inspiring speakers you can book for your future events programme.

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