Corporate Purpose Summit

About the event

A half-day event, which is free to attend for in-house communications professionals, on corporate purpose, featuring discussions and presentations on elevating S in ESG; the impact of purpose on employer brand (and what that means for recruitment); the power of connections; purpose-washing; and a fireside chat on why businesses that are not purpose led, or on their way to being purpose-led, will be out of business within the next ten years as Gen Z and Millennials wield more power.

Please note: If you work in an agency or a supplier function and sign up, with apologies, you will be ‘uninvited’. This is a closed event, solely for in-house comms professionals.


The Corporate Purpose Summit

Registration and light buffet lunch
Welcome address

Helen Dunne, editor, CorpComms Magazine

A fireside chat: The clock is ticking

If your organisation is not purpose-led, or on its way to being purpose-led, it will be out of business within the next decade.

Sarah Gillard, chief executive, A Blueprint for Better Business, in conversation with Helen Dunne, editor of CorpComms Magazine

The power of connections

We face multiple, interconnected issues going into 2023; inequality, conflict, climate change. Given the recent focus on stakeholder, purpose-driven capitalism, can we be confident that business is part of the solution – or is it part of the problem?

As the people at the centre of organisations, Corporate Affairs could ensure corporate Britain is solving rather than perpetuating problems by using its convening power. In bringing together disconnected stakeholders, building trust and dialogue, issues can be tackled at source.

This session will share real-world examples of where this convening ‘power’ has been used to effect system change to tackle the climate crisis.

Jenny Scott, partner, Apella Advisors.

Elevating the S in ESG

While managing and reducing an environmental footprint can be measured in gallons, tonnes or percentages, regardless of industry sector, solid targets and measures for social impact prove more elusive, shift with society and are indelibly inter-linked to an organisation’s purpose and strategy.

Getting the basics right, such as human and labour rights, business ethics, may get you to the table, but what does it take for an organisation to create tangible social and economic value above and beyond the ‘core’ value of the goods or service it delivers?

Panel discussion, moderated by Jonathan Chandler, founder, Tilton Consultancy.

  • Russ Brady, director of group communications, Co-op
  • Yogesh Chauhan, director of ESG, HubSpot
  • Natalie Deacon, executive director corporate affairs and sustainability, Avon
  • Sophie Sterling, business development and partnerships director, PeoplePlus
Coffee break
Purpose washing: the peril of words and actions that fail to connect

Drawing on past analysis on greenwashing, ESG and the banking sector, this presentation will consider the thorny issue of purpose washing. Focusing on two companies, she will demonstrate what happens when they unveil a new corporate purpose – and the fallout if their actions are seen to undermine their words.

Amy Chappell, insights lead, Vuelio

Corporate purpose in a cost of living crisis

Corporate purpose has been a popular business buzzword for the last decade while the economy was growing. But what’s the role of corporate purpose when consumer confidence is falling, and inflation and job layoffs are rising?

Message House has conducted a fresh piece of research specifically for the CorpComms Purpose Summit that will map the state of play for corporate purpose, and the role it can play in helping companies navigate trickier economic times.

Matt Carter, founder, Message House


Drinks will be served in the Max Rayne Foyer

Event finishes


Sarah Gillard
Chief executive, A Blueprint for Better Business
Chief executive, A Blueprint for Better Business

Sarah is a passionate advocate for making business 'more human' – places where people flourish, communities prosper, and long-term sustainability is the driving force. She has over 25 years' experience leading in fast-paced, commercial environments at some of the UK’s largest retail companies.

Sarah joined Blueprint in May 2022, from her previous role as Director of Purpose and Special Projects at John Lewis Partnership, responsible for rearticulating and embedding the purpose of the John Lewis Partnership so that it continues to be a source of inspiration, innovation, and strategic differentiation.

Sarah joined the John Lewis Partnership in 2010. She held senior positions across several different areas: trading, commercial strategy, and people strategy. Sarah became a Trustee of the John Lewis Foundation in 2017.

Prior to John Lewis, Sarah worked in commercial roles with other major high street retailers.

Jenny Scott
Partner, Apella Advisors
Partner, Apella Advisors

Jenny is a former executive director of communications at the Bank of England, where she was a co-lead for Bank-wide strategy. A former advisor to the Governor of the Bank of England, she also sat on its executive and risk committees.

Prior to joining the Bank of England in 2008, Jenny was an economics and politics correspondent for the BBC and presenter of the Daily Politics. She is a trustee of Pro Bono Economics.

Dr Matt Carter
Founder, Message House
Founder, Message House

Matt has spent the past 20 years advising businesses, CEOs and political leaders on campaign strategy and messaging, with a particular focus on corporate communications, reputation management, politics and polling. He has helped manage global corporate crises, written speeches for major public figures and run training programmes for business leaders and comms teams.

Jon Chandler
Founder, Tilton Consultancy
Founder, Tilton Consultancy

Jon advises corporations, government and NGOs to build reputation strategies that align with commercial and ESG goals.
He has led international consultancies and gained 18 years of front-line communications expertise at Fortune 500 and FTSE firms, building and leading the Europe/Middle East teams at The Coca-Cola Company and Eastman Kodak.
Jon focuses on complex business issues that demand a reputation and regulatory lens and the development of robust techniques for forecasting reputation risk and opportunity.
He is passionate about creativity and progress, pioneering cutting-edge solutions during the dramatic shifts in technology, society and business during the last 30 years.
Jon was chair of the PRCA Council in 2018 and is a Past Master of the City of London Company of Communicators.

Yogesh Chauhan
Director of ESG, Hubspot
Director of ESG, Hubspot

Yogesh was appointed to his current role in February 2022. His brief is to develop a new and impactful ESG strategy covering all HubSpot’s operations. He oversees a range of environmental, community engagement, reporting, innovation and thought leadership initiatives designed to embed sustainability and responsible business across the company.

Prior to HubSpot, Yogesh Chauhan was Director of Corporate Sustainability at Tata Consultancy Services for nine years. He was also the BBC’s Chief Adviser on Corporate Responsibility and Environment and worked for the corporation for 12 years

Yogesh was educated at the London School of Economics, is married with two teenage daughters and enjoys cycling, current affairs and long country walks.


Sophie Sterling
Business development and partnerships director, PeoplePlus
Business development and partnerships director, PeoplePlus

Sophie joined PeoplePlus (one of the UK’s largest employability, skills and prison education Prime Providers) in March 2019 and brings extensive experience in senior leadership roles within bidding and procurement environments for large BPO providers including Capita and Amey.

Sophie has overarching responsibility for setting the strategic direction across the PeoplePlus’ portfolio of public service delivery to central, devolved and local government across the UK with a particular emphasis on adult education and justice related services.

Sophie is driven to build propositions and solutions through collaboration and codesign that in addition to meeting client contractual requirements also generate positive social value outcomes for individuals and communities.

Russ Brady
Director of group communications, Co-op
Director of group communications, Co-op

Russ has been with the Co-op for almost 25 years. Prior to joining, he was head of PR for the Guardian Royal Exchange insurance group. In his current role Russ has responsibility for Co-op’s press, colleague and corporate communication’s team and sits on the group’s Operating Board, headed by Co-op CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq.

Amy Chappell
Insights lead, Vuelio
Insights lead, Vuelio

Amy has been a professional in media measurement for over a decade and is currently heading up the Insights team at Vuelio. Amy is passionate about best practice evaluation and top quality insights to fuel data-driven decision making. Over the years she has provided consultancy to some of the world’s largest organisations, and has enjoyed guest lecturing at LUMSA University in Rome for the past five years.