Scholars' Conference - 12th - 13th October, University College London

For the third year, over 200 Laidlaw Scholars from around the world will gather to meet, eat, exchange ideas, discover new opportunities, gain exclusive insights, challenge and inspire each other.

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Scholars' Conference 12th - 13th October 2019

The third annual Laidlaw Scholars' Conference is being organised and hosted by UCL. 

Over 200 scholars and staff, representing 13 universities, are expected to gather in London; along with leadership from the Laidlaw Foundation and our charity partners. 

A fascinating mix of speakers and sessions, a gala dinner on the Saturday night, and a mystery tour on Sunday, will provide a wonderful opportunity for scholars to network, discover new opportunities and learn from experts and each other.

Speakers at last year's St. Andrews Conference included Dr Sean Talamas from The Character Lab, speaking about the crossover between character/leadership and scientific research; Dr Cath Bishop sharing experiences from her career as an Olympic Rower and UK diplomat and the self-leadership it required; and Dr David Erdal outlining his own leadership journey which was heavily influenced by his experiences with employee ownership in companies. Scholars also gathered to attend a series of leadership discussions and networked during a late afternoon tour of St Andrews before enjoying a Scottish themed, celebratory dinner at the University’s Lower College Hall. 

Watch this space for full meeting details and keynote speaker announcements.

Susanna Kempe (she/her)

CEO, Laidlaw Foundation

A graduate of Cambridge University, Susanna’s professional experience includes over 15 years in senior leadership roles in international B2B and learning businesses. Susanna began her career at the Institute for International Research (IIR) where she first worked with Lord Laidlaw, rising to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). When IIR, which was the world’s largest organiser of commercial conferences, was acquired by Informa plc in 2005 Susanna was appointed CMO of the enlarged group and also led the public company’s investor relations programmes. She subsequently joined Emap Ltd as Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer and CEO of Emap Networks, that group’s conferences business. Later she became CEO of the fashion industry forecaster WGSN and was latterly Group Content and Marketing Partner of the leading strategy consultancy Brunswick Group. A German-American raised and educated in the UK and a committed internationalist, Susanna has been involved in globally trading businesses throughout her career, directing activity in the Americas, across continental Europe, and the Asia Pacific. Susanna has been extensively involved with education and professional development over many years. She was Head of Group Training and led the commercial acquisition and integration of a portfolio of corporate training businesses whilst at IIR; and created learning academies at both Informa and Emap. She believes experiencing and appreciating different cultures promotes better global understanding, creativity and leadership. She is passionate about the power of education to transform lives; and believes that we need to develop a new generation of diverse leaders who are curious, bold and devoted to decency, truthfulness, and innovation. Susanna is committed to diversity not only as a societal imperative but as a critical component of commercial success. As an advisor to the trustees of the Foundation, Susanna first learnt about its purpose and programmes before becoming its Chief Executive responsible for the Laidlaw Schools Trust, the Laidlaw Scholars and its other education programmes. Susanna read English and Philosophy at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. She has five half blues in swimming and water polo; and played netball and rowed for Newnham.