Blueprint in Action

On the 17th of March we held our conference entitled ‘Blueprint in Action’ attended by over 170 delegates. The speakers were drawn from business and wider society. The conference looked at the practical application of the Blueprint thinking and challenging the underlying assumptions that lead to outcomes that are bad for business and bad for society. A pamphlet summarising the conference can be found here.

Conference Highlights

Overview and videos of the sessions

Welcome and Introduction

Charles Wookey, CEO of Blueprint for Better Business. kicked the conference off.

“The need is real and urgent to bring together the fulfillment of people at work, the success of business, and the prosperity of society. There is huge potential if we can unite these, and Blueprint can help people and businesses to unlock that potential for themselves.”

Challenges Facing Business Leaders Today 

Sacha Romanovitch, CEO Grant Thornton UK spoke about the challenges that are facing business leaders today drawing on her personal experience. She also discussed what business needs to do to face up to these challenges, and how having a purpose that serves society can help.

We can either choose to sit back and wait for others to solve problems, or to step forward and be part of the solution.” 

How can business encourage people to act beyond self-interest? 

Matthew Taylor (RSA) chaired a panel which included Professor Nava Ashraf (LSE), Loughlin Hickey (Trustee and Senior Advisor to Blueprint), Jaideep Prabhu (Cambridge Judge Business School), Shaunaka Rishi Das (Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies) and Gillian Tett (FT). The panel discussion took the whole human person as a starting point, asking why we think people at work want to care about other peoples’ interests and not just their own, and what some of the ‘triggers’ that cause us to act on that desire are.

Key Note Speaker 

Paul Drechsler, President of the CBI and Chairman of the Bibby Line Group, spoke about the issues business faces and the potential for Blueprint to be more generally applicable, not just for big corporates but also for SMEs. He discussed how he thinks Blueprint can help business and society.

Doing good and doing good business aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Making a Difference – Blueprint in Action 

Barbara Stocking (Trustee of Blueprint) chaired this panel discussion of companies that are currently working with Blueprint. This consisted of Brendan McCafferty (FloodRe), Paul Moore (Easyjet), Matt Peacock (Vodafone) and Julia Rebholz (Centrica and Blueprint Practitioner in Residence). The panel shared insights about using the Blueprint tools and the journey to becoming businesses led by a purpose that serves society.

“Blueprint gave us the picture on the outside of the jigsaw puzzle. It helped us see how all the parts fit together.”

Sir Mike Rake – Taking Forward the Opportunity for Change

Mike announced that he will be the Chair of the Blueprint Advisory Council.  He continued by saying that Blueprint is important because it creates the ability to focus on the issues that are most important to business.

‘If you have a real purpose, and society think that you have a purpose, and its genuine, and it delivers benefits to society – that company will do well, that company will deliver sustainable profits, that company will recruit and retain better people. It has to be genuine and it has to be long term in its aspiration.’

Closing Remarks

Charles Wookey, CEO of Blueprint, summarised some of the key messages and asked; What does success look like in 10 years time? The default has shifted. The purpose of corporations is no longer just to maximise profit.


Speakers at our 2014 conference “Putting Purpose into Practice” included  Sir Mike Rake of the CBI, John Kay and Paul Polman.


The theme of our 2013 conference was ‘Business Success Through Serving Society”. Key note speakers were Justin Welby and John Kay.


The speakers at our launch conference in 2012 included Dominic Barton, Paul Polman, Vittorio Colao and Maurice Glasman.

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