Inspirational speakers

These speakers have already taken to the Keynote Theatre and blown the audience away! Stay tuned for next years inspirational speakers.

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Hear from all our inspirational speakers in the Keynote Theatre, sponsored by MAPA

Meet Your Inspirational Speakers

From apprentice engineer to award-winning journalist – Steph McGovern’s career journey and what she’s learnt about good business

Join us in this session as Steph talks about how she went from working as an apprentice engineer at Black & Decker in Durham to becoming an award-winning financial journalist and BBC household name.
Having broadcast from over 600 organisations around the country, Steph will explain what she thinks it takes to be a good business and how to weather the economic and political storm.
On top of this Steph will be talking about why we need to value skills more in the UK and the importance of vocational training. Plus, what she has learnt from some of her biggest interviews, which includes President Trump.

Steph McGovern

Eddie the Eagle on courage and risk – a different perspective

Eddie the Eagle

What is courage? Is it just about a willingness to take risks, or is it more about being willing to face your fears? What about perseverance, fail-ing but getting up and trying again? And then there’s the courage re-quired to try something new or to try to see things differently. Some-times the old view is comforting. Sometimes telling yourself that doing something big or rising to the challenge is impossible. Sometimes, it’s so much easier to find an excuse than to find the courage and take the risk.

There is always the risk of failing when you’re trying something new. And in the case of Eddie the Eagle, his ambitions also put him at risk of severe injury. Not landing the 90-meter jump at the Calgary Winter Olympics could have had terrible consequences. But actually, his most serious injury was caused by something completely different.

Success on the field and mental health: Jonny Wilkinson's personal account of understanding what matters

Arguably one of the best-known rugby players in the world, Jonny Wilkinson famously kicked the drop goal that won England the World Cup with just sec-onds left in the final. He then went on to be rated as one of the best players in the world in both internationals and at club level with Newcastle and Toulon.

Much of Jonny’s success on the field, however, took its psychological toll. He has dealt with depression, anxiety and panic attacks. In this honest, unguarded speech Jonny will recount how his focus and dedication to the sport he loves meant overlooking important parts of his life. He will consider what that experi-ence has taught him about mental health and will talk about his personal jour-ney to acceptance.

Jonny Wilkinson