Conference 2015


International Conference 2015



Relational Risk and Sustainability: Building strong companies, organizations and communities.

Risk management is a major concern for nearly all organizations. But the role of relationships, both as a form of risk exposure and as a way of mitigating risk, has not been systematically examined. This is a groundbreaking conference on relational risk, bringing together an international roster of speakers from business and other prominent organizational backgrounds.

Dates: 16-18 September 2015

Venue: St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, UK


If you need to find out how to get to St. Catharine’s college, please go here.


  • Nabeel Al-Azami, Head of Global HR, IR Worldwide, Director, Murabbi Consulting, National Council member, MCB
  • John Ashcroft (UK), Research Director, Relationships Foundation
  • Jyoti Banerjee (UK), Project Director, International Integrated Report Council
  • Julia Bicknell (UK), Executive editor of World Watch Monitor
  • Brendan Bromwich (UK), Environmental governance and peacebuilding specialist
  • Sir Paul Coleridge (UK), Former High Court Judge; Founder and Chairman of Marriage Foundation
  • Andy Corley (UK), Managing Director, Quadralene
  • Beat Fasnacht-Müller (Switzerland), businessman, philanthropist, and social entrepreneur
  • Matthew Frost (UK), Chief Executive of Tearfund
  • Dr Khataza Gondwe (UK), Team leader for Africa and the Middle East, Christian Solidarity Worldwide
  • Ram Gidoomal CBE (UK), Chairman of Traidcraft plc and Traidcraft exchange
  • Lord Maurice Glasman (UK), Senior Lecturer in Political Theory at London Metropolitan University
  • Dr Janet Goodall (UK), Lecturer in Educational Leadership and Management, Bath University
  • Prabhu Guptara (India), Distinguished Professor of Global Business, Management and Public Policy, William Carey University
  • Beris Gwynne (Australia), Director and Representative to the UN for World Vision International in Geneva, Switzerland
  • Robert E. Hall (USA), author, consultant, and former company co-founder and CEO
  • Per Holmström (Sweden), Manager, EU Funds for East Central Sweden, 2014-2020
  • Dr Justine Huxley (UK), Director St Ethelbruga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace
  • Dr Nick Isbister (UK), Managing Director, Listening Partnership Ltd
  • Rev Dr Jeremy Ive (UK), Director, Relational Peacebuilding Initiatives.
  • Peter Kallaghe (Tanzania), High Commissioner for the United Republic of Tanzania in the UK
  • John Kennedy (UK), Director of Care Services, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust
  • Trish Knight (UK), Associate for Whole Systems Partnership Ltd
  • Dr Danny Kruger (UK), political commentator, Chief Executive of Only Connect
  • Prof Dale S. Kuehne, Ph.D. (US), The Second Richard L. Bready Chair of Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good; and, Professor of Politics Saint Anselm College
  • Peter Lacey (UK), Chair of the Trustees, Relationships Foundation; Founder and Lead Partner for Whole Systems Partnership
  • Jeff Latsa (US), Field Strategy Coordinator, Global Hope Network International (GHNI)
  • Jeremy Lefroy (UK), member of the House of Commons Committee on International Development
  • Rob Loe (UK), Education Research Director, Relational Schools Project
  • Dr Ted Malloch (USA), CEO of The Roosevelt Group, Fellow in Management Practice at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
  • Jill McLachlan (UK), Founder and Chair of The Academy for Chief ExecutivesProf.
  • Prof Colleen McLaughlin (UK), Professor of Education, University of Sussex
  • Dr Paul Mills (UK), Senior Economist with the IMF, speaking in his personal capacity
  • Dr Koleka Mlisana (SA), Associate professor and Head of Medical Microbiology Dept at the Univ of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) and the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) Microbiology Academic Complex
  • Dr Zolile Mlisana (SA), Paediatrician, Strategic Consultant and Founder of Forensa
  • Vincent Neate (UK), Head of Sustainability Services, KPMG
  • Prof Julian Rivers (UK), Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Bristol Law School
  • Dr Michael Schluter CBE (UK), author, speaker, and Founder of the Relational Thinking movement
  • Adrian Sieff (UK), Assistant Director, The Health Foundation
  • Dr Sarah Snyder (UK), Rose Castle International Centre for Reconciliation; Director of Summer Schools, Cambridge University Interfaith Programme
  • David Strang QPM (UK), Chief Inspector of Prisons in Scotland
  • Richard Thorby (UK), Director of Relational Analytics
  • Pádraig Ó Tuama (Ireland), Leader Corrymeela Community, Northern Ireland
  • Dr Arleen Westerhof (Netherlands), Co-ordinator of the European Economic Summit
  • Prof Robert White FRS (UK), Professor of Geophysics and Director of The Faraday Institute, Cambridge University
  • Tim Young (UK), accredited supervisor and practitioner of Relational Health Audits and a Co-Founder of Renuma Consulting Ltd




Wednesday evening

19.00    Opening Event: Dr. Michael Schluter CBE, Prof. Julian Rivers, Prof. Robert White (Keynote)

DANGEROUS GROUND: Relational Risk and Natural Disaster

The natural world produces unpredictable, high risk events. These pose a threat to society at multiple scales. But what role does relational risk play determining the severity of their impact, and in compromising our ability to protect against and respond to natural disasters?


08.30    Registration, McGrath Centre

09.00    PLENARY: Dr. Michael Schluter CBE


Relational risk is based on a wider framework of ideas called Relational Thinking. This is a fresh form of social analysis with applications across the whole field of public policy, including banking, business, economics, education, healthcare, criminal justice and social welfare.

10.00    PLENARY: Paul Mills

UNSTABLE SYSTEMS: Relational Risk and the Global Economy

The causes of the recent crisis in the international economy may not simply be a consequence of poor regulation or bad practice in major banks, but a complex set of relational risks inherent in current systems of corporate finance and debt.

PLENARY: Jyoti Banerjee

GOOD REPORTS: Relational Risk and Integrated Reporting

This session explores another approach to get the global economy right. Jyoti Banerjee will be introducing the work of the IIRC and discuss what the synergies with Relational Thinking are, in the light of some of  the ideas that were presented earlier.

PLENARY: Vincent Neate

RISKY BUSINESS: Weighing Relational, Financial and Environmental Risk

Companies are familiar with financial risk management, and with risks associated with their treatment of the environment. Relational Risk provides not only a way to assess risk to social capital, but also a conceptual framework for understanding risk of every kind.

11.00    BREAK

11.30    BUSINESS TRACK: Robert Hall, Beat Fasnacht-Müller, Ted Malloch

COLLEAGUES AND STRANGERS: Managing Relational Risk in Companies

Risk management is part of corporate practice worldwide. So how can companies manage Relational Risk? Three business speakers from different backgrounds look at Relational Risk management, with time for interaction and discussion.

11.30    PUBLIC SERVICE TRACK: David Strang, Koleka Mlisana, Janet Goodall

WHO CARES: Relational Risk at Local Community Level

Neighbourhoods in which the risk of community tension and anti-social behaviour are high typically also have poor relational support networks. Should public sector organisations seek to replace or to support and enhance these essential ties?

11.30    INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRACK: Julia Bicknell, Khataza Gondwe, Nabeel Al-Azami

BEYOND 1984: Relational Risk and Freedom of Thought

Societies are bound together by shared values, but also by the management of freedoms and differences. How does Relational Risk help in understanding the value and role of freedom of thought in the fragmented world of the 21st century?

13.00    LUNCH

14.30    BUSINESS TRACK: Tim Young, Andy Corley

THE SPACE BETWEEN: Measuring Internal and External Relational Risk

 “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” The theory and practice of measuring relationship quality and Relational Risk is well developed. Three practitioners explain the metrics and show how Relational Risk assessment can enhance organizational performance.


FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDREN: Risk, Relationships and Schools

Schools run on relationships, but have never been analyzed before in terms of Relational Risk exposure. Using research done by the Relational Schools in the last 12 months, Rob Loe examines Relational Risk between pupils, teachers, parents and regulators.

14.30    INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRACK: H.E. Peter Kallaghe, Beris Gwynne, Jeremy Lefroy, Arleen Westerhof

WHY GENEROSITY ISN’T ALL IT SEEMS: Development and Relational Risk

This session explores economic, sociological and political ties that impact donor-recipient relations, addressing the relational risks inherent in donor influence on recipient communities. It considers how to build more sustainable donor-recipient cooperation in which development goals and definitions of a thriving community can be mutually recognised.

15.30    BREAK

16.00    PLENARY: David Strang, Paul Coleridge

NO JUSTICE WITHOUT RELATIONSHIPS: Relational Risk in Policing, Courts and Prison

Criminal justice is, by nature, about the management of relationships, and crime often has relational roots. Three speakers explore what Relational Risk looks like – and how it can be mitigated – in the prison system, policing, and the courts.

17.30    Close

Thursday evening

18.00 – 21.30


Keynote address: Susan Pinker, psychologist and best-selling author of The Village Effect.
Film Screening: Based on the groundbreaking research of Relational Schools, the film documents the vital importance of teachers’ relationships with their students in achieving great learning outcomes.


08.30    Registration, McGrath Centre

09.00    PLENARY: John Ashcroft


This session examines some of the fundamental ideas that underpin the concept of Relational Risk, including the nature of connectivity in modern society, and the role of relationships, and what it means to think relationally about public policy and organizational design.

10.00    PLENARY: Brendan Bromwich

RELATIONSHIPS AND RESILIENCE: Reviewing the UN’s Work on Environmental Governance and Peacebuilding in Sudan

UNEP used a relationships based framework to monitor the impact of its work in Sudan between 2009 and 2013.  The work that addressed peacebuilding and governance also had a strong relational rationale. This presentation reviews lessons learnt from what was then the largest country programme UNEP had run.

10.30    PLENARY: Pádraig Ó Tuama

THE TOUGHEST TESTING GROUND: Relational Risk and Peace

War zones and regions of inter-community tension and civic unrest are, almost by definition, high in Relational Risk. But how does Relational Risk help us not only understand instability but also find solutions in places like Ireland?

11.00     BREAK

11.30    BUSINESS TRACK: Nick Isbister, Jill McLachlan, Richard Thorby

RELATIONAL BOARD GAMES: Managing Relational Risk in Leadership

Some of the most influential – and most sensitive – relationships in organizations are among the people at the top. This session explores Relational Risk in the context of corporate board relations in different kinds of company structure.

PUBLIC SERVICE TRACK: John Kennedy, Colleen McLaughlin, Adrian Sieff

HOLES IN THE NET: Relational Risk in Public Sector Collaboration

A major area of Relational Risk lies in the ability – or inability – of public sector organizations to work together in multi-agency situations. What are the benefits of public sector collaboration, and how can a relationships approach help organizations fulfil their responsibilities?

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRACK: Jeremy Ive, Zolile and Koleka Mlisana, Justine Huxley

AN IMPOSSIBLE ROAD? Peacebuilding as Relational Risk Reduction

This session explores Relational Risk as an approach to peace-building initiatives, with reference to actual past or ongoing work in some of the world’s most challenging situations, including Africa and the Ukraine.

13.00    LUNCH

14.30    BUSINESS TRACK: Maurice Glasman, Ram Gidoomal

OVERSTRETCHED LINES. When Supply Chains Go Wrong

Supply chain relationships are crucial for production, manufacturing and distribution of products – crucial to the stakeholders in the chain as well as the end users. But these relationships are also relationally high-risk and difficult to control, with sometimes harmful results. 

14.30    PUBLIC SERVICE TRACK: Peter Lacey, Trish Knight

YEARS AHEAD: Relational Risk in Everybody’s Future

Failures in health systems are often described in terms of loss of compassion or failure of trust between professionals or between staff and patients. Research overseen by Leeds University School of Healthcare Studies is exploring the concept of Relational Value through action learning.  Early results from this research will be shared interactively.

14.30    INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRACK: Beris Gwynne, Matthew Frost, Jeff Latsa

MORE THAN MONEY: Relational Risk in Microfinance and International Aid

Microfinance seems to offer a sustainable solution for the local economic development which lifts families and communities out of poverty. In this session presenters look at how Relational Risks can be mitigated in international development.

15.30    BREAK

16.00    PLENARY: Dale Kuehne, Robert Hall

DEMOCRACY AT RISK: Relational Risk for Parties and the Electorate

Politics is about the connection of citizens and their participation in government. So how does Relational Risk apply to politics, and are some political systems and forms of representation relationally riskier than others?

PLENARY: Danny Kruger, Per Holmström

WHAT NEXT? Risk, Relationships and Our Future

What could happen when we take Relational ideas seriously in policy development and personal lifestyle?

17.30    Close



We have updated our prices to reflect the increasing scale of this event. Please note that the cost does not include accommodation, which attendees must arrange themselves.

All registration payments are in Swiss Francs. Your bank will apply the exchange rate and commission fees in line with its normal procedures in handling international transactions.

Basic rate Large company (first person) CHF 1,250
Large company (others in group) CHF1,100
SME/NGO (first person) CHF 795
SME/NGO (others in group) CHF 715
Discount Partner/Member Large Company (first person) CHF 1,000
Partner/Member Large Company (others in group) CHF 900
Partner/Member SME/NGO (first person) CHF 649
Partner/Member SME/NGO (others in group) CHF 585
Concession (senior, student, unwaged) CHF 259
Basic rate Large Companies (first person) CHF 729
Large Companies (others in group) CHF 655
SME/NGO (first person) CHF 479
SME/NGO (others in group) CHF 429
Discount Partner/Member Large Company (first person) CHF 579
Partner/Member Large Company  (others in group) CHF 519
Partner/Member SME/NGO (first person) CHF 359
Partner/Member SME/NGO (others in group) CHF 325
Partner/Member Individuals CHF 255



There are a number of alternatives for affordable accommodation in Cambridge, within walking distance of St. Catharine’s College. Click on the icons below.

Image result for hotel icon St Catharine’s (£50-100)

Image result for hotel icon Fitzwilliam College (£50 approx)

Image result for hotel icon Travelodge (from £57)

Image result for hotel icon Lensfield Hotel (£72 – £110)

Image result for hotel icon Gonville and Caius (£79-£99)

Image result for hotel icon University Rooms

Image result for hotel icon Other hotels / B&B



RRPAPERFRONTPAGEA paper on Relational Risk can be downloaded here. This paper is being reviewed and may be updated before the conference begins.





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