Ridley Hall is once again hosting the annual Faith in Business conference. This year's theme will be of interest to people from all business sectors and corporate structures who want to make more of an impact as Christians in the business world.
13th to 15th April 2018 at Ridley Hall, Cambridge
This will be the last Faith in Business conference that Richard Higginson organises. He is taking the opportunity to focus on some of the aspects of business he feels most passionately about: areas where he would like to see Christians along with others in business focusing their ideas, energies and resources. He has invited speakers who both have a fascinating business story to tell but are also well positioned to assess the present state of play and evaluate future prospects in the area of business identified.
Friday 13 April
Registration from 5pm
Opening session after supper
Saturday 14 April
Plenary sessions: Morning, late afternoon and evening
Sunday 15 April
Plenary session, closing worship and lunch
The twin drives for economic growth and environmental sustainability pose corporate leaders with a conundrum. Some analysts think it impossible to pursue both; others think it can be done through a wise choice of technology and marshalling of resources. Mark Spelman is uniquely positioned to address this issue having worked for Accenture for 26 years, most recently as Head of Global Strategy. He is now Head of Thought Leadership for the World Economic Forum, and is Co-head of a System Initiative on Shaping the Future of the Digital Economy and Society.
Simon is Chairman of Lawsons, a family business founded in 1921 which is the largest independent timber, building materials and fencing merchant in south-east England. It has passed through four generations of Lawsons. Simon is from a Quaker background and sees himself in the distinctive Quaker line of engaging with and caring for staff. Lawsons’ strapline is ‘Family values – professional service’ and Simon regularly holds Values Lunches where he cooks and serves food for groups of employees. He will share his personal story, including experiences of setback and failure that have increased his empathy with the staff: a genuine tale of Love at Work.
Keren is CEO of Ethical Apparel Africa (EAA) - an ethical sourcing company with a vision to prove that cost-competitive quality clothing and ethical manufacturing are not mutually exclusive. She has worked in the industry for over 20 years for retailers such as Marks and Spencer and Asda, including living and working in Bangladesh and South Africa. Her passion for ensuring workers are respected, empowered and paid well led her two years ago to set up EAA, which partners with factories in Ghana and Benin to make clothes for brands across the UK and USA. Keren will be exploring what Ethical Trade really means for us in business and as Christian consumers, discussing what programmes such as Fairtrade mean and sharing her personal experiences of trying to trade ethically in developing countries alongside meeting today's customer demands.
Buying and selling shares is something that most people do through rather impersonal institutional intermediaries. Often members of public do not know what companies they're investing in. Stockbroker Gavin Oldham has developed a more popular and egalitarian form of capitalism through three linked organizations: The Share Centre, The Share Foundation and Share Radio. Their aims are to give people - including young people - more control over their own lives, increased confidence in financial matters and opportunity to realise their potential. Gavin will explain how democratic capitalism works and we can be a part of it.
John Lewis is one of the UK's leading retailers, running 49 department stores and 350 Waitrose supermarkets. It is renowned for its high standards of customer service, as well as its distinctive corporate structure, the business being owned by its 86,000 staff who are all Partners. Robert Hallam, previously Managing Director of the Cambridge, Peterborough and Norwich branches, is now Head of Democratic Engagement at John Lewis. He will speak about his journey in the business, the challenges it faces and its commitment to ethical values in a tough commercial world. He will describe how his Christian faith has supported him in his 30 years with the company.
Val King is Managing Director and Co-owner of the Rooflight Company, a design and manufacturing business with 75 employees. She will speak about what she sees as the increasing importance of living out Christian values in business, and how this can be achieved, focusing on the four key values of integrity, care, empowerment and unity which form an important part of the day-to-day life of the business. She will refer to teachings from the Bible that inspire her, and tell stories about her successes and failures in developing a business that seeks to be a Force for Good.
Moses Cui is chair of Bringspring Science & Technology Co, a health data software company. He is also a professor of economics, director of the faith and entrepreneurship centre in Beijing’s Minzu University, founder of the Agape Foundation and founder of the Kingdom Business College in China, one of the world’s largest networks of Christian entrepreneurs. He will share ideas from his forthcoming book Agape in the Economy, a Christian model of enterprise which comprises five key components: creativity, compassion, responsibility, transformation and harmony. He will describe how this model is being worked out by Christian entrepreneurs he knows and trains in China.
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