CIPD Festival of Work goes digital for 2020

There’s just one month to go until CIPD hosts its Festival of Work, which has moved online for the first time. Extended to three days, it will provide even more access to expert masterclasses, discussions and skills sessions, and a taste of large-scale events of this kind for the future. It is following a well trodden path in the current climate as a number of other events have moved online. (For an up to date list of workplace events and their status visit our Events page).

Developing resilient workforces to thrive in uncertainty, priorities for leadership, focus on wellbeing and flexible working, upskilling people to succeed in a changing world, and learning to drive adaptability and innovation are just some of the topics that will be discussed at the CIPD’s three-day Festival of Work in June. The organisers say the event will provide the opportunity to consider new viewpoints, fresh ideas and explore how learning, technology and innovation can come together to shape adaptive workforces and cultures that put people first.

The virtual event takes place from Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 June 2020. Professionals will be able to map their own experiences to meet their interests through three pre-planned content streams that highlight what’s most relevant to them:

  • Leading through adversity
  • Supporting our people through well-being and technology
  • The value of learning and development

55 speakers will take part, from practitioners to business leaders, academics, and policy makers, sharing a wide range of expertise and perspectives to spark debate, inspire and offer practical solutions. The conference will open with perspectives on the health crisis and the associated economic crisis from Public Health England and London Business School, followed by Professor Simon Anholt who will deliver an address on how to develop resilient workforces to thrive in uncertainty. A panel of well recognised and influential business leaders will follow to provide their insights.


Come together

Peter Cheese, chief executive of CIPD, said: “In the current crisis, it’s more important than ever that we come together to share practical and innovative ways to champion better work and working lives. The Festival of Work will look at how we develop resilient workforces and lead people through critical times, keeping well-being and diversity and inclusion high up on the agenda.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring together people professionals, business leaders and managers, along with a stellar panel of expert and influential speakers, for this unique digital event and we look forward to everyone joining us in June.”

Other notable addresses will be given by John Amaechi OBE, Organisational Psychologist and Director of the UK’s largest NHS Trust, who will discuss how organisations can empower their people to take ownership of their own learning, and Dr Hannah Fry, Associate Professor Mathematics of Cities, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, who will take a look at how we can upskill people to succeed in an AI-driven world. Caroline Criado-Perez OBE, British feminist, activist, journalist and author of Invisible Women, will deliver the closing address on the power of inclusion and overcoming the barriers of a world largely built for and by men.

Attendees will be able to network through video-conferencing and an online chat function. They will also be ablefto access a virtual well-being space, giving them the opportunity to refresh and restore their energy away from the talks with activities such as yoga, mindfulness, fitness sessions and socials.

By registering in advance, CIPD members can access the full conference for free, featuring live and on-demand content, as well as the exhibition to explore the latest products and services with virtual exhibition stands, bite-sized learning sessions and interactive experiences. Non-members can purchase a full conference ticket or alternatively register to attend the exhibition-only for free.  Guests can book their conference and exhibition tickets by visiting