Driving Innovation – BKR EMEA’s Virtual Regional Conference

Published on June 22, 2021

As is the way of the current – be we hope not lasting – norm, BKRI’s EMEA Region held its AGM virtually on Monday 7th June.  Of more interest (and benefit) to the members was the Innovation Day which, after the formality of the AGM, offered a challenging and inspiring look at Innovation. Feedback from our members was overwhelmingly positive, “I think it was the best EMEA lecture day ever” was the feedback from one member. We have included more comments below.

The day offered an equal mix of thought, activity and reflection and was organised and led quite superbly by Dr Helena Boschi.  Helena regularly talks to lawyers and accountants using her experience as a psychologist who has focussed on applied neuroscience in the workplace, to bring practical context to the stresses placed on us in the workplace.  Her explanations of why and how our brains perform as they do offered insight and enlightenment in equal measure. “This presentation as so clever, it made me feel clever!”

Annabel Howard, an art historian and writer who uses art to develop observational skills gave us a chance to reflect on what is before us and what we really see. “For me, a completely different way to look this kind of topic”. A masterclass in observation using paintings, the delegates were challenged to describe what they saw; what could be simpler?!  But the obvious is often missed and the clues rarely seen.  Learning to slow down, observe and assume nothing immediately gave the delegates greater insight into what they were seeing with obvious read across to daily lives. 

Prodded to action by Helena, we were invited to identify the five major issues our sector is facing on a global basis.  No solutions, but a conscious reflection and definitely not brainstorming, this was about listening and encouraging.

Stewart Hill followed.  A British Army Officer who has walked his own path back from the brink of death after a personal injury. He is a living embodiment of just what the brain is capable of.  His passion to overcome adversity, to look beyond the dark days and to teach his brain through constant challenges and learning shone through. “I was moved by Stewart Hill’s incredible story! Very insightful indeed”. His was a personal story but we can all draw inspiration from his journey as we emerge from the pandemic.  He left us with a challenge to find our poetry, find our art and most importantly, find our small positives; inspiring stuff.

The day finished with delegates using all the skills to discuss the issues and to explore without pressure what each of us could do to face those challenges. 

In sum, a fantastic day; interactive, thought provoking, challenging and informative.  “Even though it was 'only' online, it was a great opportunity to meet all other “’friends and colleagues’ from all other BKR offices”. Summed up by one delegate as “we know more about our cars than we do about our own brains”.  It is our brains that will get us through this chapter in our history.   

“One of the best remote sessions I have attended in the last 14 months (and I have had to sit through a fair number!)”