Annual Conference and Dinner 2017

Annual Conference

25 April 2017

Shaping the Future of Work

CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, is on a journey to put HR and L&D at the heart of the changing face of work and working lives. When it comes to ensuring that work is a force for good, our profession has an important role to play as the experts on people, work and change. At the CIPD Ireland Annual Conference on 25 April 2017, we explored how we can shape the future of work by anticipating the changes to work and the work environment, attract, manage and retain the right people in the right jobs, all the while supporting diversity, inclusion, well-being and strategic organisational success.

25 April 2017

PeterPaulo Gallo, Mary Connaughton and Peter CheeseMary Mitchell-O'Connor opening the conference

Conference report

Introduced by Conference Chair Colette Fitzpatrick, Mary Connaughton of CIPD Ireland welcomed the Minister and delegates to a day for insight, development and networking, with an exciting line-up of speakers. The conference set out to examine the challenges from the disruptive changes all round us and how we shape a more human future of work and take advantage to the opportunity presented to us. Running through the day’s theme was how we behave and lead in such volatile times, which pushes us as a profession back to our core values. The day set out to connect the CIPD vision of Championing better work and working lives to our actions, drawing on principles and evidence as we shape our future workplaces. Mary also talked about CIPD’s engagement with Government and the skills shortages that many employers are facing.

Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation thanked the CIPD for the opportunity to address delegates. The Minister talked about the Government’s focus on jobs and skills, and the challenge of Brexit. She addressed the initiatives to build skills and grow apprenticeships, and the role of the HR profession and employers in developing employees for changing jobs and work.

Moving on, Paolo Gallo of the World Economic Forum charmed us with his connections between 1816, ‘the year without a summer’, the creation of Frankenstein, and whether the current disruptive 4th industrial revolution is fundamentally changing us as humans, not just our responses to our world. 200 years later the Frankenstein questions remain valid:

  • Are we learning?
  • Which choices are we making?
  • What is our moral compass?

This set up the day to focus on our leadership responsibility, and Paolo challenged us with What we are going to do to improve the state of the world?

DelegatesPeter Cheese, CEO of CIPD talked about the forces shaping the future of work, the changing context of work, workforce and workplace, the effects of social and demographic change, globalisation and technology. Peter challenged delegates on whether our people management practices are fit for purpose, the need for greater insight and evidence for what we do, the need to move from rules to principles. He left us with the question of What does it mean to be a professional?

This was followed by inspiring insights from three thought leaders with diverse perspectives - the economic turbulence we face and the job gap that is emerging from Charles Larkin of TCD; how we are already living with artificial intelligence, and how everyone has to be a newbie with continuous learning as the new norm from Clare Dillon of Microsoft. Sinead Burke gave a moving perspective on inclusivity – the openness we need to see the world through different lenses and allow different voices to emerge.

This fed into debate, round table and panel discussions on how we develop a more human future of work, pulled together by Peter Cheese sharing the CIPD’s set of professional principles for the future, and the ways to engage with CIPD on this.

On well- being, Dr Wolfgang Seidl of Mercer argued for increasing attention on maintaining the health of the majority of the workforce, not just those who are unwell, recognising that many people demonstrate unhealthy behaviours. He debated how to better measure the return on value, not just return on investment for wellbeing. Wolfgang’s question: Do you know if your biological age is different from your chronological age?

Jarath Dooley of Version 1, which won the CIPD 2017 Award for Empowerment and Trust, talked about the centrality of Version 1’s core values and the strategic triangle of employees, customers and profitability. The company is maximising engagement opportunities into the future with a balanced, values-based approach that drives performance.

Liz Joyce of the Central Bank, which won Central Bank of the Year 2016, talked about creating a sustainable future-fit culture. Liz discussed the development of a role based organisation, with dual career paths, and greater spans of control. The Bank is building new organisational capabilities and launched new future-fit working environment to facilitate behaviours such as collaboration.

With the gig economy moving centre stage, Melanie Crowley of Mason Hayes Curran shared her evaluation on how we can manage independent workers into the future, and minimise the legal risks.


And helping us to make sense of it, and the leadership crises we face, was Elena Antonacopoulou of University of Liverpool, drawing together how we better connect the practice of learning and leadership. Elena inspired us about embracing the unknown and anticipating the crisis we may face – and the capabilities/talents we and our people will need to respond. She challenged us on the practice of learning leadership - the different ways of seeing, leading, being and how do we realize Y-Our Impact as HR leaders?

Alison Hodgson, Chair of the CIPD Ireland National Committee, thanked the delegates, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors.

It was definitely a day of thought provoking questions, and thanks to everyone for their positive feedback. We also hope you enjoyed seeing Pepper, who was there ‘to spice up our lives’.

Expert contributors

For further information on the speakers please click on the following names.

Paulo Gallo

Executive HR and Organizational Development Professional with 23 years of demonstrated results in strategic human resources, HR transformation, change management, Leadership development, talent management, motivation and incentive systems, gained with global organisations - both private and multilateral public sector - 10 as Director, Human Resources, worked in US, UK, Italy and - on projects and assignments - in 80 different countries, 4 languages. Currently, Chief Human Resources Officer at the World Economic Forum.

Mr Gallo will address the rapid pace of change and disruption in the workplace and in society, and how the HR profession can shape this rapid shift as a force for good.

Wolfgang Seidl

Head of Health Management Consulting EMEA for Mercer. Dr Seidl will speak on the balance of responsibility between the individual, governments and employers is changing with regard to the protection against the risks of ensuring adequate income in retirement, health and disability, etc. Against the background of significantly changing demographics in many parts of the world and exciting developments in ‘personalised medicine’ he will outline a positive strategy to address health risk factors and to create an inclusive ‘culture of health’, which helps position the organisation as an ‘employer of choice’ in the new world of a multigenerational workforce.

Elena P Antonacopoulou

Elena P Antonacopoulou is Professor of Organizational Behaviour at the University of Liverpool Management School, where she leads GNOSIS - a research initiative advancing impactful collaborative research in management and organisation studies.

Her principal research expertise lies in the areas of organisational change, learning and knowledge management with a focus on the leadership implications. Her research continues to advance cutting edge ideas and thought leadership as well as new methodologies for studying social complexity and is strengthened by her approach: working with leading international researchers, practitioners and policy-makers collaboratively. Professor Antonacopoulou will speak about her current study on Realizing Y-Our Impact and Leadership Crises.

Peter Cheese

Peter is the CIPD’s chief executive. He writes and speaks widely on the development of HR, the future of work, and the key issues of leadership, culture and organisation, people and skills. He is leading CIPD’s transformation of the role of the people profession in the future workplace.

Peter is a visiting Professor at the University of Lancaster, a member of the Board of BPP University, and sits on the Advisory Board for the Open University Business School. He holds an honorary doctorate from Kingston University, and is a Fellow of the CIPD, AHRI (the Australian HR Institute) and the Academy of Social Sciences. He’s also a Companion of the Institute of Leadership and Management, the Chartered Management Institute, and the British Academy of Management.

Prior to joining the CIPD in July 2012, he was Chairman of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a member of the Council of City & Guilds. Up until 2009 he had a long career at Accenture holding various leadership positions and culminating in a seven year spell as Global Managing Director, leading the firm’s human capital and organisation consulting practice. Peter will address the CIPD’s leadership in championing better work and working lives and the professional standards for the future of the people profession.

Sinéad Burke aka Minnie Mélange

Sinéad Burke is a PhD candidate, primary school teacher, broadcaster and an advocate. Sinéad is undertaking her PhD in the School of Education, Trinity College. Her research is correlated with the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, with particular emphasis on the voice of the child within the primary school classroom. Sinéad employs social media and blogging to amplify minority voices and the personal narratives of 'Extraordinary Women'. She is an ambassador for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and a Leonardo at the Science Gallery in Dublin.

Colette Fitzpatrick

Colette is TV3’s Main News Anchor where she presents the channel's flagship weekday news bulletins, The 12.30 and The 5.30.

In addition to anchoring the daily news, Colette has presented a number of special live news programmes including the first live television leader’s debate for election 2016. She’s also presented special programmes on election and referendum results, the State visits of Barak Obama and Queen Elizabeth II. She has also reported on location from a number of major world events including the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal, from Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the Tsunami in 2004 and from Kashmir after the devastating earthquake in 2005.

Colette has a weekly column in the Evening Herald and has also written opinion editorials for the paper.

Conference Exhibition

The following suppliers offered advice and tailored solutions at the conference. Click below to find out who they were.



Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and careers of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s more than 20,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in over 140 countries. See for more information.

Mason Hayes & Curran

Mason Hayes & Curran

Mason Hayes & Curran is an award-winning business law firm with 80 partners and offices in Dublin, London, New York and San Francisco. Our main service offerings are financial services, corporate, dispute resolution, real estate, technology and data management, tax, employment and benefits and construction. We also offer specialist services in charities’ law, administrative law, corporate governance and secretarial, corporate insolvency, debt recovery, trusts and estates, healthcare and childcare law. See for more information.

The Irish Times Executive Jobs

The Irish Times Executive Jobs

Hiring the right leader is crucial for your business. The Irish Times Executive Jobs is a niche style jobs board for recruiting senior executives and C-suite candidates. The Irish Times has a long history of being a trusted destination for Ireland’s leading jobs. We have taken our success in print and added to its reach using a sophisticated jobs platform. Our jobs are placed beside fitting editorial content throughout linking Irelands top talent to relevant jobs. has an audience of 8.1 million users per month, 43% of this audience are overseas. This means you can start the conversation with senior candidates at home and abroad. See for more information.



One4all specialise in providing businesses and individuals with meaningful ways to say thank you. We work with over 6,000 companies throughout Ireland and the UK to create effective rewards and incentives schemes, tailoring our solutions to suit the needs of the employer.

With the market-leading One4all Gift Card and over 10 years’ experience in the industry, we are experts in improving staff motivation and retention through practical, cost-effective reward programmes. See for more information.



Energising People, Transforming Businesses

AFRESH has over 12 years proven track record assisting top businesses and individuals maximise physical, mental and emotional energy to thrive. Our team is unique in experience and qualifications. Originally from the corporate environment our background enables us empathise with the challenges of the business world and contribute to a client’s bottom line. Having changed careers and retrained as multi- disciplined health and wellness professionals, coaches and psychologists our holistic approach facilitates clients with practical turnkey solutions to follow their purpose, build their resilience and harness their strengths. We motivate from inaction to action achieving sustainable behavioural change.

For further information contact us on +353 1 4982926, or

AHR Wellbeing at Work logo

AHR Wellbeing at Work

AHR Wellbeing at Work is an Irish owned and based firm providing independent Occupational Health Psychology services. To manage wellbeing in organisations, and support work/life challenges, we customise practitioner-led initiatives including:

  • Employee Wellbeing Programmes
  • EAP Services
  • Online Wellbeing Support
  • Crisis Management
  • Employee Effectiveness & Resiliency
  • Training & Consulting
  • Drug & Alcohol Programmes
  • Dignity & Respect
  • Mental Health@Work
  • HR/OH Referrals

AHR Wellbeing at Work - Trusted / Valued / Expert / Personal

See for more information.



Allgo is an award-winning incentive marketing company that helps clients engage, motivate and reward people to achieve great results.

Allgo designs and implements tailored programmes using our in-house technology and extensive reward network to provide services that deliver results.

Our services include - Instant Rewards, Peer-2-Peer Recognition, Social Recognition, Service Awards, Tax-Free Rewards, Sales Incentives, Channel & Retailer Incentives. 

See for more information.

DCU Business School

DCU Business School

DCU Business School is Ireland’s most ambitious business school, part of Ireland’s ‘University of Enterprise’, Dublin City University. We are consistently recognised in international rankings of young and globally-engaged universities. The dynamic and vibrant ethoses of these universities of the future imbue all aspects of our activities. Through our teaching, our research and our engagement with industry we proactively contribute to the development of individuals, industry and society at home and abroad.

DCU Business School recently confirmed its position as a world-leading business school, with the award of AACSB accreditation - placing it in the top 5% of business schools worldwide. See for more information.


DMS Ireland

DMS Ireland is an approved provider of CIPD qualifications in Human Resources and Learning & Development. We provide programmes at all three levels on the CIPD Qualification Framework: Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced; representing Levels 5, 7 and 9 in Ireland. We provide individuals and organisations with flexibility and choice to build qualifications to meet their requirements and start anytime. We can also deliver group programmes on an in-house basis. See for more information.

Enovation logo


Enovation have been creating dynamic online learning, compliance, performance and talent management solutions since 2000. We employ the most flexible and highly customisable OpenSource technologies, including Moodle and Totara, the two leading Learning Management System (LMS), to create the right education and training experience for your organisation’s needs, at a fraction of the cost of the proprietary solutions. See for more information.


From Me2You Gift Card

FromMe2You gift card was launched in 2015. It is brought to the market by Retail Excellence Ireland at the request of Irish retailers seeking a fairer deal from multi-store gift cards.

It has all the stores you would expect from a multi-store gift card with the addition of hundreds more exclusives such as Tesco, Smyths Toys, Applegreen, Louis Copeland and Butlers Chocolate Café.

In addition to the large selection of spending environments FromMe2You offers an exclusive hotels portal with up to 340,000 hotels that accept the gift card worldwide.

For more information on FromMe2You, go to

Gift Innovations logo

Gift Innovations

Gift Innovations believes in the power of recognition. Recognition invigorates employees, supports company culture and boosts the bottom line. We work with companies who value their employees and assist them in developing a culture of appreciation: from celebrating milestones and company successes to implementing strategic employee recognition programmes. We offer expertise, intuitive tools and premium rewards that create deeper moments of recognition for your employees. See for more information.

Graphite logo

Graphite HRM

Graphite HRM is a leading HR and employment law advice and support service, built to bring you the ultimate in compliance confidence. With over 20 years of experience, our HR consultants have a solid reputation for designing and facilitating bespoke ‘compliance consultancy’ initiatives and on-site training – bringing genuine value to our clients. We’re here to provide business owners, managers and HR departments with unparalleled advice and support. See for more information.

Inside OutBlankPerformanSe


Inside Out® is an executive coaching organisation that helps businesses innovate and develop through maximising the effectiveness of their people. Established in 1991, we provide peak performance coaching to individuals and teams. We work in partnership with PerformanSe, an international company that provides decision support tools to assess and develop talent, in order to optimise company performance by improving individual and collective operations. See and for more information.



Legal-Island is a multi-award winning, people-driven company, specialising in workplace compliance. We help HR professionals throughout Ireland understand employment law and how it applies to their workplace through a range of conferences and workshops, and our Irish Employment Law Hub, which is relied upon by over 1,300 HR professionals in Ireland. Our leading-edge eLearning training covers key compliance areas including equality and diversity in the Irish workplace, data protection and child protection and has over 20,000 users. See for more information.


National College of Ireland

National College of Ireland is the largest provider of CIPD programmes in the country. See below for a list of CIPD programmes now enrolling for a September 2018 start.

  • MA in Human Resource Management
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management
  • CIPD Certificate and Diploma in Human Resource Management
  • CIPD Certificate and Diploma in Learning and Development
  • CIPD Award in Employment Law and Employee Relations
  • CIPD Award in Coaching and Consulting
  • CIPD Award in Reward Management
  • CIPD Award in Designing Digital and Blended Learning

We also offer a 2 year part-time BA Honours degree in HRM and tailored educational programmes for your teams. For more information, email, see or phone 1850 221 721.

Perfectincentive logo


Our goal is to help our customers create a happy workforce. We offer incentives that work on the MasterCard platform from instant reward cards, top-up and virtual solutions. To find out more please drop by our PerfectIncentive stand, we would be delighted to meet you. It is our first time exhibiting at the CIPD conference and we are bribing people with chocolate and prizes to come and speak with us. See for more information.

Retirement Planning Council

The Retirement Planning Council of Ireland

The Retirement Planning Council of Ireland is a registered charity and provides Retirement Educational Programmes for individuals who are approaching retirement. The Programme covers changes in Identity and Relationships, Financial Planning, Tax Made Simple, Healthy Living, Social Welfare, Wills & Powers of Attorney and Planning for the Future. In addition, we provide lifetime telephone and email support in relation to all retirement issues for those who have attended one of our courses. See for more information.

Think People

Think People

Think People is a business transformation consultancy, focused on helping our clients improve performance through people. Based in Belfast, with offices in Dublin and London, we have a fully integrated service portfolio across two areas of deep expertise; People Development and HR Consultancy. We help our clients align their culture and leadership with what is required to deliver the strategy and results. We build strong, long lasting partnerships with our clients, using innovative and validated methodologies, to deliver powerful results. See for more information.


VSP Vision Care

At VSP, we believe everyone deserves to see their world. Over the past 60 years, VSP Vision Care has earned the trust of clients and members alike by delivering high-quality, personalised eye care. From basic VDU plans to enhanced vision cover, VSP can help you provide a high-value employee benefit that offers proven return-on-investment and employee satisfaction. Ready to see more? Let us help you focus on vision care today. See for more information.



Mason Hayes and Curran

Irish Times Executive Jobs

One4all (sponsor)