Meet the chairs

At MRS Annual Conference 2024 you will meet industry colleagues face-to-face and hear how the sector is dealing with uncertainty and change. You will leave with a toolkit of practical measures to improve research skills and insight functions. 

Join our three client-side chairs who will helm the conference, bringing valuable senior client perspectives to every session and helping delegates navigate their way through the event. 

Find out what’s top of the agenda for our chairs in 2024 and what key issues they expect to be raised at the Conference.


Seema Hope, Global Head of Consumer Research, The Economist



What do you hope to get out of the MRS Annual conference this year?

Catch up with peers, network and be inspired to think differently.


What are your biggest insight challenges over the next 12 months?

Balancing innovation that AI will bring to our sector whilst maintaining our obsession with the human element of our industry.


What do you want to find out about AI?

I’d like to understand more about what general consumers think and understand by AI. Businesses are talking about it but what do our end consumers think about and the impact AI will have on their day to day lives. 


Seema’s Biography

Seema has over two decades of media research experience encompassing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.  Having worked in publishing for the majority of her career she has specialised in working with commercial, marketing, subscription and editorial teams.

Seema has a passion for building bespoke research functions within organisations focusing on commercial outputs, an area that is constantly evolving.

Currently, at The Economist, she leads the consumer research team focusing on growth, retention and product development.  Previously she led research teams at Future Plc and Dennis Publishing.



Neil Mortensen, Director of ITV Insight Group, ITVplc



What do you hope to get out of MRS Annual conference this year?

I have two ambitions. Firstly, to immerse myself in the latest trends, methodologies, and innovations. Secondly, to exchange ideas, share experiences, and forge collaborations with old and new colleagues and peers.  

What are your biggest insight challenges over the next 12 months?

Tackling the ever-increasing volume and complexity of data is one of our key issues, and making sure it is distilled into accurate, actionable insights. And this needs to be done at speed as our business is changing so rapidly. 

What do you want to find out about AI?

Linked to our main challenge, I aim to delve deeper into how AI can help in generating insights from vast and complex datasets. I also want to reveal its current limitations. 


Neil’s Biography

Neil Mortensen is Director of ITV Insight Group, ITV plc, where he has responsibility for both insight and data capability across the company and sits on the BARB Strategy Board. Neil is also an Honorary Fellow of the IPA and a Certified Member of the MRS. His core focus is Content, Streaming and Broadcasting strategy. He is a frequent commentator, speaker and award judge for key events both UK and globally. Prior to rejoining ITV in January 2015, he was Research & Planning Director at Thinkbox, and previously Research Director of OPera, Omnicom Media Group.

He is married with four children and lives in Brighton, although is originally from the North West. He still thinks of himself as 50% Granada 50% Meridien. He is a Liverpool supporter, a boxing enthusiast and collector of rare soul records.



Georgie White, Director of Insight & Customer Experience, Holland & Barrett



What do you hope to get out of MRS Annual conference this year? 

Our industry is facing unprecedented change, so it’s great to get together, hear inspiration and connect with others to understand how we can successfully navigate this to ensure we deliver value to our various organisations.

What are your biggest insight challenges over the next 12 months?

Ensuring we do a much better job at diversity and inclusivity in our sector and work, to really maximise the impact from our work.

What do you want to find out about AI?

What more should I be doing with AI, what should I be considering as the opportunities and risks in a rapidly evolving space? How do these risks/opportunities vary across the value ecosystem?


Georgie’s Biography

Georgie White, Director of Insight & Customer Experience, Holland & Barrett, Chair of the MRS Senior Client Council and a member of the MRS Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Council.  With a focus on empowering teams to be brilliant business partners driving action, Georgie is an experienced insight leader having established fantastic, award winning teams at brands such as BT/EE, British Gas, Hive, Capital One & Merrill Lynch in roles covering Insight, Data and Commercial within both B2C and B2B environments in the UK and Globally.  Georgie is a passionate advocate for D&I, including championing more women into careers in data/insight, supporting neurodiversity and diversibility, and driving for better representation and inclusion within the Insight industry and the workplace more widely.  Georgie is proud of her superpowers from being Neurodiverse, something it took her close to 40 years to reconcile – what a wasted time and effort it was before she realised what a superpower it is!