Our inaugural 'World of Procurement' event took place on 19 September in London with over 250 registered delegates.
The event tabled some of the most prevalent topics in procurement today - topics that our customers and suppliers told us they’d like to hear more about.
As I reflect on the success of the event and look forward to the next, I'm reminded to replay some the topics and the key messages:
Our exit from the European Union is one of the biggest things to impact public sector procurement in the last 40+ years and given we don’t know what our exit will entail from a trade perspective, it was great to get a steer from Prof. Sue Arrowsmith around the GPA, and this being the most likely model that will be utilised. This unique opportunity to have an insight delivered by a leading voice on public procurement was incredibly popular, generating much debate for peers and suppliers alike.
Cyber Security is an invisible enemy but one that’s growing in stature and strength and it can often feel so complex that it’s in insurmountable problem. Thankfully our speakers from Fortinet and IT Lab were on hand to help give our colleagues some pointers on what to do. It was a scary and sobering moment when IT Lab told us that 95% of successful cyber attacks start with a phish and that it’s cost the UK economy over £9 trillion and has now taken over traditional crime! Arming ourselves against this new perpetrator is maybe easier and cheaper than we thought!
I personally co-ran the Social Value workshops with Arup and Netpositive Futures as my colleague Melissa bell was unable to attend. It was really great to see so many people wanting to discuss and learn about how to embed social value in procurement and some of the stats we learned from Arup about embedded water were stunning. I don’t think there were many people in our audience knew that it takes 170 litres of water to make a pint of beer and a little over 4,000 litres of water to make a cotton shirt.
With other workshops tabling Health and Care and how collaboration is driving improvements in care provision, technology innovation, procurement intelligence hosted by Procurement Leaders and Purchasing for Education, the event created debate in some really important areas in public sector procurement.
As we now turn our thoughts to what to do next, we're gearing up to run another two World of Procurement events in 2019. One hosted at the same venue in London and one in Manchester. As the exit from the EU is so important, we're hoping to run the next event in London in April 2019 with a longer and more detailed headline speech on EU Exit with some dedicated time to Panel Q&A
The merging of health and care also remains a priority and we believe based on feedback from the day that there's a real need and desire to continue the conversation on how Procurement can add real value in this space.
As YPO’s heritage is embedded in education, the digital and online safety of our children is paramount and making the amazing resource that is the world wide web, safe for children’s use is an area we want to focus. I attended the NSPCC #howsafe2018 conference earlier this year with our head of marketing and we both agree this has to be an area of focus for YPO in the future, and as 74% of 12-15 year olds have at least one social media account, it’s inarguable that the time for action is now.
What we would really love though is to hear from our suppliers, customers, partner and peers about what other topics are keeping us all awake at night. What else should we be talking about at our World of Procurement events? If you would like to tell us what you want to see us include at these events you can get in touch at [email protected]
See you next year!