NCVO Annual Conference 2017 keynote speakers

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State of the sector address

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive, NCVO

Stuart EtheringtonStuart Etherington was appointed chief executive of NCVO in 1994. Previously he was chief executive of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People. Throughout his career he has been involved in the leadership of voluntary organisations and policies surrounding them.

Stuart is pro-chancellor of Greenwich University, chair of Guidestar UK, and a council member of the Institute of Employment Studies. He has been a trustee of Business in the Community, the chair of the BBC Appeals Advisory Committee, and a member of the Community and Social Affairs Committee of Barclays Bank.

His recent Government appointments include the Treasury’s Standing Committee on Euro Preparations and the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. He has also served on the Cabinet Office Performance and Innovation Unit’s Advisory Board on the Voluntary Sector and HM Treasury’s Cross Cutting Review on the role of the Voluntary Sector.

He has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Brunel University, and is an Honorary Visiting Professor at South Bank University and City University, London.

Morning keynote

Julia Unwin CBE, Chair, Independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society

julia unwinJulia Unwin was chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust from 2007 - 2016.

Julia chairs the Institute for Social Renewal advisory board at the University of Newcastle, as well as being a member of the Advisory Board for Policy Scotland, at the University of Glasgow. Julia is also on the advisory board of the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge, and is currently a member of the University of York’s Council, where she is a pro–chancellor and a governor of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. In January 2016 Julia was appointed as an independent non-executive director of Mears Group Plc.

She was a member of the Housing Corporation Board for 10 years and a Charity Commissioner from 1998-2003. She previously held a position as chair of the Refugee Council from 1995 until 1998, and was also deputy chair of the Food Standards Agency. 

In 2010 Julia was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award in the Charity Awards and was awarded a Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute in June 2012. She has Honorary Doctorates from the University of South Wales and from York St John University, and in 2016 was made a Provincial Canonry by the Archbishop of York.

Afternoon keynote

Bear Grylls

Bear GryllsBafta winner Bear Grylls' prime-time adventure TV series' are some of the most watched shows on the planet, reaching an estimated 1.2 billion viewers in over 230 countries.

Bear has authored 22 books including the number one bestseller Mud Sweat & Tears, which was also voted the most influential book in China in 2012.

He originally served as a soldier with 21 SAS, and subsequently lead many record-breaking expeditions to the world’s extremes, becoming one of the youngest ever climbers to reach the summit of Mt Everest.

Bear owns and hosts Mission Survive and Bear Grylls Survival School for ITV, BAFTA winning The Island with Bear Grylls for Channel 4 which has sold as a format all around the world, Running Wild for NBC in America where he takes some of the world's best known movie stars on incredible adventures. Recently US President Barrack Obama asked to appear on the show for a worldwide Running Wild Special. He also hosts Survivor Games for Dragon TV in China.

Bear was made an honorary Colonel in Royal Marines Commandos, and in 2009, Bear took over as the youngest ever UK Chief Scout to the Scouting Association, acting as a figurehead to 40 million Scouts around the globe.


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