14 May 2020
The annual ICW House of Lords Reception on 14 May had been booked since 2019 and is a regular feature of the ICW calendar. The arrival of coronavirus, lockdown and social distancing soon put a stop to an event that normally attracts over 200 people, but the team at ICW were not to be so easily put off.
In collaboration with one of our ICW Ambassadors, BSI, the event was hosted with a bit of a difference. The 'Not at the House of Lords' reception was transformed into an online event with some significant speakers and even included the presentation of certificates.
It was an opportunity to show members and guests that, whilst life may have changed significantly for millions of people both in their personal and working lives, the principles of collaborative working are even more important during this time.
The reception is the second that I have attended as Chief Executive and we have made so much progress in the last year since I spoke at the event at the House of Lords in May 2019. We had promised some significant changes to the structure of our organisation, the way we communicate and the work that we do to drive engagement in collaborative working, including the launch of new Special Interest Groups. Our online event was an opportunity to update members on all of this progress.
The event was opened by ICW Chairman Lord Evans, who introduced some of the key themes of the work of the ICW team and members especially during the current crisis. In keeping with his annual tradition, he recited a poem he had written entitled 'Heroes', which paid tribute to the NHS staff on the front line.
We were also joined by some superb speakers with a real understanding of collaborative working across the public sector. Coleen Andrews, the Director of Markets and Suppliers at the Cabinet Office, joined us to talk about the importance of collaboration across the public sector, especially at this time of global pandemic. With many of our members working with government and especially through the Cabinet Office, they were particularly keen to hear how Coleen viewed the opportunities for collaborative working.
Another guest speaker, Lord Victor Adebowale, Chair of NHS confederation, talked about his experience of collaboration in the NHS and the importance of systems working together. The pandemic has created opportunities for new ways of working and has accelerated the use of technology in the NHS.
Martin Townsend, Global Head of Sustainability at BSI, reminded us in his presentation of the value of collaborative working to build global sustainability.
Awarding certificates is a key part of our annual reception, and not even a pandemic was going to disrupt this opportunity to recognise those companies that have been successful in obtaining ISO44001 - Devonport Royal Dockyards Ltd, Sellafield Ltd and Capita. David Hawkins virtually presented the certificates and we were delighted to be able to recognise this achievement amongst the ICW community. David also awarded a certificate of validation as part of our consultant affiliation scheme to Axon, together with a certificate to BM Trada who have been certified in the ISO 44001 validation scheme.
We took the opportunity to update our community on the launch of the Annual Collaboration Awards, which are now open for submissions across a number of different categories. We have a number of events planned, some of which are online, for the coming months.
Every summer the ICW launches its publication The Partner. Despite the lockdown and disruption, we did not want to stop, though we have been unable to arrange for printed copies at this time. We used the online event to launch our digital version of The Partner and this can be downloaded on PDF or viewed online. This year the focus is on Collaborative Leadership with some superb insight from a number of our ICW Ambassadors and leads of the Special Interest Groups.
We will be making the full recording of the event available in the next few days and hope that you will return here to view it.