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After giving up a career in law to pursue a dream of running her own business, Priya built and sold a successful food brand. She then established a social enterprise before starting a tech company that brings together AI and education in order to understand how students learn and provide educators with an insight into how to create personalised education. She tackles themes including what innovation means and how to embed it into a culture, how leaders need to be adaptable especially in times of crisis, and why keeping values at the core of what you do is the best strategy for success.

CEO of Virgin Atlantic for over a decade, Steve oversaw the huge expansion of what has become one of the world’s biggest and most respected airlines. Widely admired for their service culture, marketing and innovation, Steve offers an insight into the Virgin brand and strategy. After dinner, Steve reveals the boardroom secrets of Richard Branson and what it was like taking charge of the Virgin Challenger Blue Riband yacht team.

With notonthehighstreet.com Holly and Sophie Cornish helped reinvent how small businesses operate online, offering them a platform as well as marketing and business support. Holly has gone on to be the government’s Ambassador for Creative Small Businesses and to found a new company helping startups. She considers both the world of online retail and entrepreneurship, but also the new workplace where companies foster personal as well as professional priorities.

Co-founder and former CEO of Zopa, James was a pioneer in peer-to-peer lending. Putting those with a small amount to invest in front of reliable borrowers has proved a successful business model, creating what is now globally £100bn sector. James is now helping organisations make more informed strategic choices and deliver more impactful innovation as part of Future Agenda, the world’s largest open foresight programme and advisory in foresight, strategy and innovation. James tells a powerful founder story as a bridge into discussing and sharing practical approaches for disruption, innovation and foresight.

In his own words Wilfred is a ‘poor boy, done good.’ Unqualified but persistent, he made his way into TV and brought Gordon Ramsay to the screen. He then ignored the conventions of his race and upbringing, bought a small West Country farm and launched his sausage company. He’s since expanded into fashion. Wilfred argues that businesses should challenge the status quo and embrace jeopardy. Victimhood is a dangerous trap, in individuals and in companies.

Jo launched the world’s first organic chocolate in 91, in the midst of the last recession. (‘Green’ was chosen to represent the environment, and ‘Black’ the high quality cocoa beans.) It captured people’s imagination and earned a Fairtrade mark before it was acquired by Cadbury. Jo now has interests in a bakery, health centre and online beauty brand. Her advice to start-ups: try to harness the power of publicity, and be prepared to work harder than you ever thought possible.

As a teenager Jo started her original cosmetics and fragrance range in her kitchen and grew it into a global luxury brand before selling her stake to Estée Lauder. She returned to the field with Jo Loves and became a regular in the media commenting on business and offering advice to entrepreneurs. In presentations she explores success and failure – confessing her need to rock the boat. Jo offers her take on growing any enterprise: “Ensure your team feel secure, but encourage them to take risks. Only then can you reach a new level.”

A career ad man, Kevin Allen was notable for leading the pitch on the famous Mastercard ‘Priceless’ campaign. His account skills have been applied as Director of Global Accounts and Chief Growth Officer for some of the world’s biggest ad agencies. He now looks at how companies can grow, where the opportunities lie, and how great leadership inspires the greatest asset - the workforce.

It all started with one ice-cream van for the hard-hitting dragon from Glasgow and he’s been whipping companies into shape ever since. Now Duncan owns hotels, health clubs and bars. He motivates budding entrepreneurs with his rags to riches story.

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