Source: Baz

Meet our 2022 Changemakers

Interviews with our Annual Conference speakers

The theme of our 2022 Annual Conference is 'Changemakers: Ignite', and will feature drivers of change, outstanding leaders and visionaries. 

Ahead of the day, we caught up with some of our inspirational speakers to find out what being a changemaker means to them.

Scott MorrisonScott Morrison
Founder, The Boom! 

What does being a changemaker mean to you?
It’s about owning the future impact you want to create. Once you know that, you can systematically unblock obstacles and challenges that you need to overcome. Hunger for outside thinking, inspiration and an ability to join dots in new and interesting ways allow you to unlock new ways forward. Finally, action is fundamental - be a maker - unleash your thinking into the world, create momentum and make your impact felt.
Which change maker has inspired you most in your career and why?
Karen Blackett - she lives up to the maker part of the phrase more than anyone I know. And, she continues to lift as she rises.

What change do you want to see happening next in your industry/field?
That people take a simpler approach to things, weed out friction and complexity and create the impact they want to see.

Emma Revie Emma Revie
Chief Executive, The Trussell Trust

What does being a changemaker mean to you?
A changemaker for me is someone who sees a problem, is motivated by empathy for people affected, and can bring lots of people together to unite behind the change that needs to take place. I see this every day in each of our food banks. Food banks are run by people who see hunger and poverty in their communities, are motivated by compassion and a desire for justice, and then bring people together to take action and bring about change. For me, they are the ultimate changemakers!
Which changemaker has inspired you most in your career and why?
I’ve known my friend Sarah for over 20 years. 10 years ago, when she started noticing increasing numbers of people being pushed into poverty in our community, she didn’t sit back – she decided to respond. She set up a food bank, bringing together people from across the community who felt the same way, and worked hard to make sure people without enough money for the essentials could get immediate practical support. But she wasn’t happy to stop there. She then set up a partnership with the local Citizens Advice, so advisors can sit in food bank sessions and work with people coming to the food bank to address the reasons why they’ve been left without enough money. This means people are connected with a wide range of services and support in the community, such as mental health services and debt advice, and more people get all the social security payments and support they deserve, making an immediate material difference to the amount of money they have. She also works with the local council to identify how local services could be improved to ensure people get the right support at the right time, and don’t need to come to the food bank in the first place. She talks to anyone and everyone about the changes that need to happen to stop people needing to come to food banks. 
But the thing that inspires me the most about Sarah is that after 10 years, her compassion and care for each person she meets has never faltered, only deepened. She gives every person her full attention, providing space for people to share their experiences and be listened to, and then she works day and night to do everything she can to support them. I’ve seen her sourcing accommodation for people fleeing domestic abuse, replacement fridges for families that can’t afford to replace them, Christmas dinners for people who would otherwise have nothing during the festive season, and, above all, she offers friendship to people who have felt on their own. She is tireless, unrelenting, and a constant inspiration to me.
What change do you want to see happening next in your industry/field?
Hunger in the UK isn’t about food. It’s about people not having enough money. So we can’t just keep providing more and more emergency food to people who don’t have enough money for the essentials – it’s not addressing the problem. At best, it’s a sticking plaster, that only responds to one of the symptoms of people not having enough money. This isn’t right. People shouldn’t be left, struggling to survive without enough money for the essentials and are being forced to turn to a charity for food. We need to work together to put long-term solutions in place, solutions that ensure everyone in our country has enough money to afford the essentials.

Stuart Russell Stuart Russell
Professor of Computer Science, University of California

What does being a changemaker mean to you?
It means - metaphorically - standing up when something needs to be done, rather than sitting down and hoping that someone else stands up.
Which changemaker has inspired you most in your career and why?
Alan Turing - not only did he invent computation as we understand it today, but he also stood up when there was a need to break German codes during WWII and worked, against the odds and in the face of widespread scepticism, until it was done.
What change do you want to see happening next in your industry/field?
The field of AI needs to understand that it will have an enormous impact on the world, for good or ill, and work to ensure the former.

Drew Povey Drew Povey
Leadership coach and mentor

What does being a changemaker mean to you?
A change maker for me, is someone who makes a positive and sustainable difference. They make change to achieve maximum impact, not for change’s sake. They are willing to challenge the status quo, take risks, learn from any mistakes and allow for new and exciting ways to make progress. Change makers are courageous and crucial to any organisation. 

Which changemaker has inspired you most in your career and why?
This might surprise some people but through my work in sport and education I have been privileged to work with lots of young people who have taught me, and who could teach the world, so much. The resilience, tenacity, drive and growth mindset they possess is truly inspiring. Too often our young people are spoken about in negative ways…this is a big mistake. Our young people are often a wonderful example of changemakers

What change do you want to see happening next in your industry/field?
I would like to see more leaders really engaging with their staff and encouraging them to achieve their potential. People are brilliant…and I stand by that statement. We need more leaders to help people be their brilliant best. 

Conrad Bird CBE Conrad Bird
Director, Cross-Government campaigns, Cabinet Office

What does being a changemaker mean to you?
It’s a wonderful accolade to receive, as I’m just doing my job to the best of my ability; I have the huge privilege of leading teams who are committed to public service and dedicated to making a real difference to people’s lives, whether it was trying to save lives through the pandemic, create jobs for the UK via our international GREAT campaigns or protecting people’s livelihoods this winter. This all requires visible, energetic leadership, great collaboration and a constant focus on innovation.
Which changemaker has inspired you most in your career and why?
Jeremy Heywood – the former leader of the civil service. He exemplified civil service values and combined huge wisdom and practical experience to navigate the country through previous difficult times. Beneath his calm exterior, he was passionate about people and committed to change.
What change do you want to see happening next in your industry/field?
That we harness the hugely exciting potential of technology in an ethical manner to make an even greater difference to people’s daily lives, while saving money for the taxpayer.

Find out more about our speaker line up and what else we have in store for the day.


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