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Updated: Rising to the Occasion




Breaking: This event has been postponed due to coronavirus concerns. Details of news dates to follow.

Marking International Women’s Day, the Rising Festival returns to Cambridge for a third year, bigger and better than ever and featuring an incredible roll call of inspirational speakers. Velvet picks some highlights from the programme

Keynote Speech by Candace Johnson

Keynote speaker Candace Johnson is a world–renowned entrepreneur and expert in global infrastructure and network innovation whose biography makes you wonder how one person can fit so much achievement into one life! She is currently Vice Chair of NorthStar Earth and Space, the world’s first private Earth and Space information services platform; co-initiator of SES/ASTRA and architect of SES Global, one of the world’s largest satellite systems; and founding President of Europe Online Investments S.A. In 2012 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The International Alliance of Women, and in 2016 a Lifetime Achievement Award from Women in Aerospace Europe. Candace will be speaking about her life and work, and sharing lessons she’s learned along the way.

Owning it: Open Conversation Chaired by Professor Dame Jane Francis

Rising Festival 2020 - Jane Francis (27168812)
Rising Festival 2020 - Jane Francis (27168812)

Studies show that women are naturally better at interpersonal skills – empathy, building relationships, collaboration – but try to suppress these innate abilities in the mistaken belief that the ‘command and control’ model creates more effective leaders. This Open Conversation explores how opening the door to vulnerability, compassion and empathy actually enables more confident and successful leadership.

Professor Dame Jane Francis is director of the British Antarctic Survey and Chancellor of the University of Leeds. She has undertaken over 15 polar science expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, and contributes to international polar organisations such as the Antarctic Treaty and the European Polar Board.

Mentoring: Workshop with Dr Lynn Morgan MBE

When you’re new to a business or wanting to get ahead in your business, the advice is usually to find yourself a mentor. But how do you find the right mentor and how do you make sure you’re getting the best out of the mentoring relationship? This workshop can help you. It also explores how you can use mentoring to improve your own leadership skills.

Dr Lynn Morgan MBE was until recently the Chief Executive of the Arthur Rank Hospice, prior to which she was the Director of Business and Enterprise at the East of England Development Agency. She has a PhD in Organisational Psychology from Manchester Business School and is a Rising Festival Committee Member.

Rising Festival 2020 - Mentoring Workshop with Dr Lynn Morgan MBE (27170375)
Rising Festival 2020 - Mentoring Workshop with Dr Lynn Morgan MBE (27170375)

Blazing Passion: Open Conversation Chaired by Catherine Carr and with guest speaker Julie Meyer

Rising Festival 2020 - Julie Meyer (27168815)
Rising Festival 2020 - Julie Meyer (27168815)

Rising Festival 2020 - Catherine Carr (27168811)
Rising Festival 2020 - Catherine Carr (27168811)

We all know that passion keeps the creative and productive juices flowing but how do you keep the passion alive when you’re going through a challenging time or you’re feeling a bit ‘blah’ about your life? This Open Conversation explores the role that resilience, determination and perseverance play in helping you regain your mojo and maintain motivation.

Catherine Carr has worked for the BBC both locally and nationally, producing and reporting for ‘Woman’s Hour’ and ‘You and Yours’. Since 2014 she has presented ‘Where Are You Going?’, an award-winning series on the BBC World Service, and is the producer of ‘Talking Politics’, one of the largest independent podcasts in the UK.

Julie Meyer is an American-born entrepreneur, broadcaster and business commentator, and CEO at VIVA Investment Partners. In 2012 she was cited as one of INSEAD’s ‘50 alumni who have changed the world’. A self-confessed believer in the human spirit, she is ‘ridiculously and overwhelmingly happy with the opportunities that she has to develop and how she can play into the amazing world that we live in’.

Growing our Compassionate Self: Workshop with Hilary McLellan

Rising Festival 2020 - Growing our Compassionate Self Workshop, with Hilary McLellan (27170373)
Rising Festival 2020 - Growing our Compassionate Self Workshop, with Hilary McLellan (27170373)

Oh that inner critic – wouldn't it be nice if it just shut up? Being kind to yourself is one of the hardest things to do but its impact can be considerable. This workshop will help you learn how to practice self-compassion in your daily life in order to achieve your goals.

Hilary McLellan is an organisational behaviourist, exec and team coach who works with clients to explore the mental models, values and beliefs that influence their behaviour. She firmly believes that by building a strong sense of self through authenticity, resilience and emotional intelligence, women can discover their best selves and find fulfilment at work and in life.

The F Word: Open Conversation Chaired by Mrs Julie Spence OBE QPM, Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire

Rising Festival 2020 - Julie Spence (27168816)
Rising Festival 2020 - Julie Spence (27168816)

Changing your perception of failure and understanding how it can bring value to your life is essential if you want to develop a growth mindset. This Open Conversation discusses how you can learn to get over your fear of failure, how you can reframe failure as a valuable life lesson, and how you can save yourself from the negative self-talk spiral.

Julie Spence will be well-known to Velvet readers as the former Chief Constable for Cambridgeshire Constabulary. Now Chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS (Community and Mental Health) Foundation Trust, she was awarded an OBE for (among many other things) taking forward the Gender Agenda.

Embodying the Feminine Cycle: Workshop with George Catling

Rising Festival 2020 - Embodying the Feminine Cycle Workshop with George Catling (27170371)
Rising Festival 2020 - Embodying the Feminine Cycle Workshop with George Catling (27170371)

In this ‘gently guided meditation’ George Catling will help you connect to your monthly cycle and understand the relationship between that cycle and the ebb and flow of your energy. By increasing this awareness, you can learn how to nurture your natural rhythm and use it to your advantage, in all aspects of your life.

George Catling is an author and female empowerment facilitator. A diagnosis of cervical cancer at the young age of 29 catapulted her from a conventional career in adult mental health into the field of female healing, helping women reconnect to their natural feminine energy.

Equal Balance: Open Conversation Chaired by Jaspreet Kaur

Rising Festival 2020 - Equal Balance Open Conversation Chaired by Jaspreet Kaur (27170372)
Rising Festival 2020 - Equal Balance Open Conversation Chaired by Jaspreet Kaur (27170372)

When our personal and professional lives are in harmony, it enables us to fulfil our purpose, achieve our goals, and maintain balance. This can only happen if we challenge traditional stereotyped roles. This Open Conversation examines how all of us can help others and future generations build the foundations of a more gender equal world.

Jaspreet Kaur is a writer, poet and performer from East London whose work tackles gender discrimination, the stigmatisation of mental health, and positive social change. She was a Senior Judge for the Queen’s Essay Competition 2018 and 2019, and is the 2020 Ben Pimlott Writer in Residence at Birkbeck University.

The Rising Festival is on Saturday, March 14 at St Barnabas Church, Mill Road, Cambridge. Tickets cost from £83 (for members, if booked by February 11), concessions are available. To find out more visit therisingnetwork.com.


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