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Chief Executive

A conference for our times

31 July 2020 | by Chief Executive

A month has passed now since our Conference 2020 event, held completely online due to Covid-19, but I want to start this month’s blog by thanking everyone who was involved in making it such a success.

I know that many of you who joined us will have missed the buzz of a physical event, I certainly did, but I hope that it was able to replicate at least some of that feeling.

Holding the conference online did open up attendance to lots of people who may otherwise have been unable to attend, whether that’s because they live abroad or for costs or work reasons, and we were delighted that more than 840 of you booked on overall.

The Covid-19 pandemic has given all organisations the chance to think about how they hold meetings and events, and the BPS is certainly no different.

Lots of delegates kindly filled in our feedback form, and it was great to see words like “phenomenal” and “informative” used, as well as some interesting ideas for us to look at for future events.

Our professional development centre has continued to run virtual workshops throughout the crisis, with many more planned for the rest of 2020 and the call has gone out to members to make proposals for a workshop in their areas of expertise.

We also held our AGM virtually following the first day of the conference, and this marked the official changeover in our presidential team, with Dr Hazel McLaughlin taking over from David Murphy.

Both Hazel and David gave brilliant speeches, and I’m really looking forward to working with Hazel over the next year and working together to deliver the vision that she laid out in her address, as well as her recent email to members.

David’s work on both our response to Covid-19 and setting up the Presidential Taskforce on Diversity and Inclusion has been fantastic, and I want to thank him for all of his work as President.

The taskforce has now appointed a new chair, Dr Nasreen Fazal-Short, and she has recently set out her aims for the group and motivations for taking on the role in a blog that I think it’s important as many of our members as possible read.

I tackled the subject of institutional racism in the BPS in my conference speech, which you can also read as a blog, and I will make sure that Nasreen and the taskforce get all of the support that they need to achieve real change.

We need to make sure that we keep the momentum that we’ve created and continue these vital conversations, and both Nasreen and I have contributed to a special September issue of The Psychologist.

If the magazine, this blog or any of our diversity and inclusion work inspires you to get in touch with your own story or ideas, I would love to hear from you.

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