First 50 Speakers announced for the MAD World Festival of Workplace Culture, Employee Health and Wellbeing

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MAD stands for Make A Difference. Since our sister event, the MAD World Summit, was launched back in 2018, we’ve been on a phenomenal journey. Accelerating the shift from stigma to solutions and doing our part to ensure every employer has the insights, inspiration and contacts they need to make a difference to workplace culture, mental health and wellbeing.

Now firmly established as the go-to solutions-focused conference and exhibition dedicated to creating cultures of care and embedding employee health and wellbeing as a strategic business priority, the Summit is evolving to become the MAD World Festival of Workplace Culture, Employee Health and Wellbeing.

This will incorporate FOUR separate summit events running parallel on one day – each catering to different information needs:

  • The Make A Difference Leaders’ Summit  Driving excellence in workplace culture, employee health and wellbeing
  • The MAD Legal Industry Summit  Strategies to improve mental health and wellbeing across the legal sector
  • The MAD Construction Summit – Building better mental health and wellbeing across construction’s workforces
  • The MAD DE&I Summit Creating a culture of belonging to foster equitable, inclusive and thriving workplaces

MAD World The Festival will take place on 17th October in Central London.

Sneak peek of what to expect

As always, The Festival will be a great meeting of minds, featuring fantastic speakers. Already confirmed speakers for 2024 include;

  • The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli, Lord Mayor, City of London
  • Peter Cheese, CEO, CIPD
  • Professor Dame Carol Black GBE FRCP FMed Sci, Government’s Independent Advisor on Drug Misuse; Chair, Centre for Ageing Better; Chair, British Library Board
  • Dr Clare Fernandes, Chief Medical Officer, BBC
  • Kirstin Furber, People Director, Channel 4
  • Dhavani Bishop, Head of Group Colleague Health & Wellbeing, Tesco
  • Christian van Stolk, Executive Vice President, RAND Europe
  • Dr Tracey Leghorn, Chief Business Services Officer, SUEZ UK
  • Maktuno Suit, Chief People Director, WPP
  • Karen Brookes, Chief People Officer, Sir Robert McAlpine
  • Una O’Reilly, Group Chief People, Culture & Sustainability Officer, The Ivy Collection
  • Andrew Gibbons, Group Head of Wellbeing, Recognition and Hybrid Working, HSBC
  • Nick Pahl, CEO, Society of Occupational Medicine
  • Cate Kalson, Chief People Officer, Opencast
  • Claire Kearney, Career and Skills Development Manager, News UK & Ireland
  • Clare Gowar, Global Lead – Health & Wellbeing, Philips
  • Aggy Dhillon, Head of International Reward, Twinings
  • Fiona McAslan, Head of Wellbeing, Royal Mail
  • Gareth Hind, Director of Colleague Experience & Relations, First Bus
  • Kirsty McLean, Head of Wellbeing, Nomura
  • Georgina Reeves-Saad, Employee Engagement & Experience Specialist, British Council
  • Jaimy Fairclough, Wellbeing Specialist – People Division, Sainsbury’s
  • Dr Femi Oduneye, Vice President Health, Shell International B.V.
  • Nasrin Oskui, Global Head of Wellbeing, Deutsche Bank
  • Pernille Hagild, Global Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Ingka Group Ikea
  • Neelu Agarwal, Head of DEI, Bank of England
  • Jenn Barnett, Director and Head I&D and ESG, Grant Thornton UK
  • Safia Ann Kukaswadia, International Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Specialist, DLA Piper
  • Jo Portlock, VP of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions
  • Dr Elouise Leonard-Cross, Group Head of People, Northumbrian Water Group
  • Suzanne Semedo, Head of Culture, Diversity & Wellbeing, Ofcom
  • Estelle Jackson, Global Lead – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Ebay 
  • Matt Loynes, Skills Sprint Projects Lead, Ford Motor Car Company
  • Thomas Duncan-Bell, The Bipolar Businessman
  • Arti Kashnap-Aynsley, Global Head of Wellbeing & Inclusion, Ocado Group
  • Andrew Masraf, Senior Partner, Pinsent Masons
  • Sharon Blackman OBE, Managing Director, Head of Services Legal, Citi
  • Nick Manners, Head of the PHB Family Department, Payne Hicks Beach
  • Jude Cragg, Director of Human Resources, Capsticks Solicitors LLP
  • Richard Martin, CEO, The Mindful Business Charter
  • Sam Downie, Managing Director, Mates in Mind
  • Anne Hayes, Director of Sectors and Standards Development, BSI Knowledge
  • Fred Mills, Founder and Managing Director, The B1M 
  • Kari Sprostranova, Health, Safety & Wellbeing Director, Mace Group
  • Henrietta Frater, Head of HSE and Wellbeing, The Crown Estate
  • Jim Beestone, Health, Safety & Wellbeing Projects Partner – Bids and Communications, HSES, Balfour Beatty
  • Steve Hails, Director of Business Services & HSW, Tideway
  • Stephen Haynes, Director of Wellbeing, British Safety Council
  • Luke Mason-Hobbs, Social Value Consultant, Mott MacDonald
  • Danny Clarke, CMIOSH, Head of Engagement (London, North West, North East, Southern England), CITB

With plenty more in the pipeline.

The MAD World experience

As Mark Pigou, Co-founder, Make a Difference Media & Events, MAD World The Festival and The Watercooler says: “For employee health and wellbeing initiatives to have real impact we need to break down silos and collaborate across departments. MAD World The Festival is the next step in our goal to embed employee health and wellbeing across all organisations and drive best practice. With agenda-setting keynotes, focused content tracks, roundtables, and a host of exhibitors, there is no event like MAD World”.

Wherever you are on your workplace culture, employee health and wellbeing journey, join us for the leading B2B event for cross-sector collaboration, inspiration and to find the right solutions for your organisation – now, and for the future.

Early bird rates are available until 31st July and you can view details on the event website here.



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