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Ripples of Hope summit due to return to Manchester this autumn with speaker line-up including ex-Unilever CEO

Following a successful inaugural event in 2020, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has announced that its Ripples of Hope Business & Investment Summit is due to return to Manchester in September 2021, as part of The Ripples of Hope Festival.

This year’s conference will feature discussions around how the UK’s business community can utilise its influence for the benefit of society, and how business leaders can operate in a sustainable and successful way. 

Paul Polman, the former CEO of Unilever who is recognised as a pioneer for responsible business, is confirmed as a keynote speaker. Other speakers include Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy; Jonathan Murphy, chair of the North West Business Leadership Team; Shalni Arora; co-founder of Savannah Wisdom; Vikas Shah, MD of Swiscot Textiles; Kenny Imafidon, MD of Clearview Research; Amy Clarke, co-founder of Tribe Impact Capital; and Charmian Love, co-founder and chair of B-Lab UK – the organisation behind the B-Corporation movement.

The Ripples of Hope Business & Investment Summit will once again take place at HOME, Manchester’s centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film. Delegates to the summit will take part in an intensive, meaningful, day-long programme, facilitated by leadership development experts Leaders’ Quest.

Guided by Leaders’ Quest, they will explore where their business sits in society in the new economic landscape of the future, and how they can build their own playbook and skills to thrive in a world of intense and competing demands.

Through a mixture of thought-provoking talks and action-focused workshops, delegates will return to their organisations better prepared to be champions for a transformative future in which people – and their wellbeing – are the principal source and definition of value.

Commenting on the announcement, Kerry Kennedy said: “Our first Ripples of Hope Business & Investment Summit in January 2020 was a great beginning to building a community of leaders committed to making positive change in our society. Since our last summit, the challenges and pain that came with COVID-19 has made the task of building a better world more urgent.”

“Knowing Manchester’s history of social activism, its forward-looking industry and its community approach in response to COVID, the summit will be an opportunity for great leaders to re-connect, bolster one another’s efforts and enhance their work towards our shared future. I hope you’ll join us in September.”

Jonathan Murphy, chair of the North West Business Leadership Team and speaker, added: “The mission of the NWBLT is to make a difference to the economy and communities of this great region – values we share with the team at Ripples of Hope. 

“We all have a duty to make sure that no one is left behind as we work to rebuild our economy. We look forward to contributing to this vibrant event that could not be more timely or important.”

The summit is part of the Ripples of Hope Festival, which is being hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK for the very first time in Greater Manchester. The festival kicks off with the summit in September 2021. The programme – developed by artistic director Jude Kelly CBE with the people of Greater Manchester, over two years of workshops – will be unveiled in May 2021.

The Ripples of Hope Business & Investment Summit will take place on Wednesday 15 September 2021.

Belong – the Cohesion and Integration Network; The Equilibrium Foundation; The North West Business Leadership Team; and Porter Novelli are official supporting partners of the Summit. Roland Dransfield is the event’s official communications partner.

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