Change is the only constant in life.
The retail industry has undergone a significant transformation in the past decade and continues to evolve quickly. In the spirit of inspiring our sector to continuously adapt we’ve designed our annual conference around Mindset, Culture, Innovation, and Leadership, the fundamentals that can help us drive change in our ever-changing environments. Our panel of speakers will, through their words and wisdom, help us stride forward in truly shaping the future of retail.
Harry Harpur will help us understand how Mindset and Culture are key to making change possible. William Higham who warned the drinks industry about the New Sobriety and foretold of the conscious consumer will talk about the impact of emerging trends.
Helping us understand the importance of building our innovation capability we have invited expert Dr Kelly Clarke and envisioning us on place-making and shaping the customer experience we will hear from John McHugh of CBRE.
For environmental context we will hear from Economics and Business Editor for BBC NI, John Campbell as well as Matthew Drinkwater, Head of the Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion whose work creates a vision of the future that incorporates wearable technologies, AR, VR, robotics and IoT.
Finally, our keynote speaker Ken Hughes will be weighing in with his world leading expertise in consumer and shopper behavior. This inspirational line-up of speakers will join us to celebrate 30 years of NIRSC, we hope you can too.
Ken Hughes is now acknowledged as being one of the world’s leading authorities on consumer and shopper behaviour, internationally renowned for helping his largely blue-chip client base to understand the future of consumerism.
With over 18 years’ experience as CEO of a consumer insight agency, he blends his understanding of consumer & cyber psychology, digital anthropology, behavioural economics and retail futurology to explore the needs of the new consumer and predict the changes to come.
Ken advises some of the biggest brands in the world on customer experience, omnichannel strategy, shopper marketing, retail trends, the millennial and Gen Z shopper and the peer-to-peer economy. As an accomplished author, TED speaker, part-time university professor and actor, his performances are not only insightful and thought-provoking, but are infamous for their sheer energy, entertainment and passion, not to mention his generous Irish wit.
As a behaviouralist and life strategist, he is also passionate about change, success, personal development and motivation, which he brings to life in his work with high performance athletes and executives all over the world.
Every year, Ken shares his thought-disrupting insight with tens of thousands of delegates globally, as one of the most popular keynote speakers booked on the international conference circuit relating to the future of consumerism. Regularly voted best speaker at events to which he is invited to speak, he believes in engaging and delighting event attendees at every opportunity.
John Campbell is Economics and Business Editor for BBC Northern Ireland, a position he has held since September 2013. He also leads Brexit coverage at BBC NI.
Prior to his current role he was a senior BBC producer working across TV, Radio and Online with special responsibility for business coverage.
Dr Kelly Clarke
Dr Kelly Clark is Managing Director at Orryx where she works with businesses and public sector organisations to build their innovation capability. She was previously Head of Public Sector Reform in the Northern Ireland Civil Service (DoF) and for the Northern Ireland Innovation Lab.
She has advised Government Ministers and CEOs of global companies. Kelly is an experienced Consulting Director with a Big 4 consultancy background (KPMG) and led internal consultancy services for the Northern Ireland Civil Service.
Global authority on Innovation and Strategy, Will runs strategic consultancy Next Big Thing, helping clients from Amazon to HSBC, Sainsbury’s to MTV understand what their customers (and employees) will think, do, expect, demand and buy in future: and how to adapt accordingly.
He’s the man who championed Strictly Come Dancing to the BBC, warned the drinks industry about the New Sobriety, and saw the Wellbeing Consumer coming a mile off. His keynote talks have inspired thousands globally: from conferences organised by the FT and Harvard Business Review to corporate events for Walt Disney, Barclaycard, Marks and Spencer and Primark.
John is a market-leader in place creation and thought leadership and is passionate about placemaking and building brands within the property industry. He currently leads CBRE’s regional placemaking and customer experience offer delivering tailored services to a wide range of market-leading clients
He has a proven track record with over 14 years’ client-side experience including, regional landlord and developer Bruntwood and most recently within the property division of Manchester Airports Group (MAG).
Having worked in retail sales since he was 17 a work placement with M&S introduced Harry to HR and Training and his career took a different turn. In 2000 he set up his own Training Consultancy and his unique style of delivery and storytelling helped him attract many household names initially retailers such as Oasis, Zara, and Sainsbury’s, then from other sectors including sport and manufacturing.
His philosophy and values are fun, challenging, unconventional, practicality and results.
Harry specialises in Mindset and Culture and will definitely get you looking at yourself.
Matthew is Head of the Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion. His work creates a vision of the future that incorporates wearable technologies, AR, VR, robotics, IoT, AI, materials technology and a host of cutting edge developments.
Whilst examining the creative impact of technology Matthew also considers the wider effects drawing parallels with other sectors he looks at disruption and collaboration and vital lessons for how businesses can believe themselves prepared for or immune to the dramatic changes ahead, lessons he’s shared with industries including banking, automotive and engineering.
Mark Simpson is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. Most of his 25 year career has been spent at the BBC and he has recently returned to Belfast to work on BBC N.I.’s flagship evening news programme BBC Newsline.
Mark has interviewed presidents and prime ministers, and covered key political, economic and sporting events. He started in journalism as a newspaper rugby reporter before becoming a political correspondent and then a BBC network correspondent. In his current role, he reports on all aspects of political, economic and social life.
- 09:00 - 10:00 Registration, Tea, Coffee & Networking
- 10:00 - 10:15 Introductions from Conference Facilitator and NIRSC Chair
- 10:15 - 10:30 Economic & Business Predictions – John Campbell
- 10:30 - 11:15 Place Shaping – John McHugh
- 11:15 - 11:45 Tea, Coffee & Networking
- 11:45 - 12:30 Innovation – Dr Kelly Clark
- 12:30 - 13:15 Futurologist – William Higham
- 13:15 - 14:15 Lunch & Networking
- 14:15 - 15:15 Leadership – Harry Harpur
- 15:15 - 16:00 Future of Fashion – Matthew Drinkwater
- 16:00 - 16:30 Tea, Coffee & Networking
- 16:30 - 17:30 Keynote Speaker – Ken Hughes
- 17:30 - 19:00 Pre-Dinner Drinks & Networking
- 19:00 - 22:00 Dinner