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Commercial creativity: augmenting business with insight, intelligence and flair for profit
Future fusion: synthesising data, technology and creativity for transformation
Smart societies: blending disciplines, tools and tactics for progress




Jane Frost CBE, CEO of the Market Research Society and Stan Sthanunathan, conference patron and EVP consumer & market insights, Unilever


Keynote: Bruce Daisley, VP EMEA Twitter and author of 'The Joy of Work'

The business leader, author and podcaster kickstarts conference with his strategy for recharging the workplace culture and promoting a healthier, more productive and joyful approach to the ‘day job.’


Networking break


The Intelligence Capital Debate: Reframing the Value of Insight

Insight, research and data analytics should be centre stage for the future growth of all businesses. How do we achieve this, and who in the organisation can make it happen? This joint MRS / Kantar initiative aims to reframe the way organisations view their investment in intelligence, to put it on the same level of importance as the investment in people or IT.

Chair: Fran Cassidy, founder, Cassidy Media Partnership
Julie Kollman, chief research officer, Kantar
Harry Davies, head of marketing measurement and attribution, UK, Google
Zoe Ruffels, VP European consumer & market insights, Samsung Electronics
Liz Lamb, senior director, data & insight, CRM, CX, Asda


Everyday Revolutions: Blending Tactics for Social Transformation

It takes flexible, sensitive and creative insight to spur significant social change. Whether we look to shape communities, improve animal welfare or change
attitudes to the blind, it’s essential to get the right combination of tools and tactics. This session showcases insight strategies designed to spark meaningful revolutions that truly make a positive impact.

Chair: Peter Dann, director, The Nursery
Marie-Claude Gervais, research director, Versiti & Dr Catherine Dennison, senior manager for policy and research, RNIB
Lorna Heslington, founder, Tipi Research & Tom Bassford, strategic lead for place, One Manchester
Matt Allen, managing director, Folk Research & Antony Antoni, global director of marketing and communications, World Animal Protection


The Futurist’s Toolkit: Strategies for Envisioning and Designing New Horizons in Business and Society

As researchers, our trends and innovation projects might look two or three years ahead. What if we learnt from those who look further forward? Hear three leading strategic foresight practitioners talk about the tricks of their trade, from sensemaking and scenarios to sci-fi stories, simulations and strange artefacts. Bring these visions of the future to bear in your own business.

Chair: Jay Owens, research director, Pulsar
Scott Smith, managing partner, Changeist
Anab Jain, co-founder and director, Superflux
Paul Graham Raven, science fiction writer and researcher, University of Sheffield


Short break


Smash the One-Way Mirror: Immersing Ourselves in Others’ Lives

Customers increasingly live in a world where intimacy, immersion and sharing is common place – so why then, do we insist on protecting MRX’s archaic notion of ‘objectivity’ which only serves to promote distance between ‘us’ and ‘them’? We explore how closing the researcher/participant gap can help us get more out of the people we are researching and how real, 360-degree immersion can lead to staggeringly rich insight.

Chair: Rhiannon Price, head of UK qualitative research, Northstar Research
Matilda Andersson, managing director (London) Crowd DNA & Nadia Zohhadi,
Axe/Lynx global insight director, Unilever
Sarah Grant, research manager, InSites Consulting & Kelly Laher, consumer insights
manager – innovation, Nestle Cereals, Cereal Partners Worldwide
Matt Baker, founder and creative director, BAMM & Payam Ghamsari, new beverages CMI, The Coca Cola Company


Augmenting Reality: Dynamic Visuals, Deeper Insights and a Whole New World

The world of visual research is set to be a £6 billion industry in the next few years and is transforming sectors such as manufacturing and education. But what can it do for research and insight? This session will bring together visual technology professionals with academic, client, agency and technology suppliers to explain how they create augmented realities in their work, and give their perspective on the likely impact of visual augmenting technology in the near future. How can we all take advantage of this augmented future to gain deeper insight into how people behave?

Chair: Dr Alastair Goode, cognitive scientist, Gorilla in the Room
Carin Campanario, technology innovation strategist, TUI
Jennie Roper, head of insight, Kinetic Worldwide
Dr Carl Smith, director of the Learning Technology Research Centre, Ravensbourne University London


The Innovation Crucible: Tactics to Ensure a Creative and Profitable Approach to New Thinking

How can the innovation process be as fresh and effective as possible? This fully-interactive workshop will explore a range of solutions to help marketers and agencies work together to build and recover innovation creativity. Using client experience as a base, the workshop will promote tactics, tips and provide inspiration, to help those passionate about innovation drive winning innovation pipelines.

Chair: Lyndsay Peck, director, and Deborah Sleep, Engage Research
Alistair Hoyes, global director, product & strategy, Residio, Honeywell Home
Helen Passard, head of insight, Lucozade Ribena Suntory


Networking lunch


Lunchtime workshop

Murder at Marketing Manor: Who Killed Effectiveness?

In the first ever Murder Mystery workshop, we invite you to help solve the riddle of declining campaign effectiveness. Was it the Digital Guru in the social war room with the martech stack? Or perhaps the Millennial in the cereal cafe with the selfie stick? Join your host and detective to unravel the mystery, in a fun session with a deadly serious intent.

Host: Tom Ewing, head of marketing and market intelligence, System1 Group
Detective: Lucy Davison, managing director, Keen as Mustard Marketing


Keynote: Helen Thomson, Science Journalist and Author of 'Unthinkable'

How do we take the cold facts of a disorder, augment it with a wider understanding of a person’s life, in a bid to better understand them – and ourselves? Helen Thomson is our cartographer of the mind as we embark on a fascinating journey to the heart of who we are, how we think and what we can be.


Short break


New Power Brokers in the Digital Age – and the Challenge for Insight

Power shapes, guides and limits each of our lives. New, digital forms of power are chipping away at the old institutions where power used to sit, swallowing up newspapers, eclipsing experts, and pulling down companies. This panel exposes the strange, sometimes scary forms that power now takes – and what the insight world can do to better understand and react to it.

Chair: Jane Bainbridge, head of editorial, Impact magazine and Research Live
Keynote: Carl Miller, research director, Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, DEMOS and author of The Death of the Gods, The New Global Power Grab
Chris Monteiro, cybercrime researcher
Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive, Index on Censorship
Bardha Ahmeti, telecoms engineer, researcher and civil society activist, LENS
Sally Adee, journalist and former news and features editor, New Scientist


Mining Emotion: Technology that Delivers the Moments of Truth

Emerging technology is helping researchers capture new, deeper and more valuable insights. These technologies augment our own insight skills to help expand our understanding of how emotion, senses and time, influence the way we make decisions. We’ll share the challenges, introduce the methods, discuss the impact, and debate the opportunity, limits and potential.

Chair: Jeremy Hollow, founder and managing director, Listen + Learn Research
Judith Suttrup, research manager, SKIM & Sofia Jorman, global consumer science manager, Johnson & Johnson
Andy Myers, director, Walnut Unlimited &  Chris Bisset, Head of Category, Rentokil Initial
Olly Robinson, research director, Basis & Ali Rennie, research lead – search, Google


Making Memories: Communicating Insights in the Experience Era

Brands are working ever harder to deliver memorable experiences for their customers.Insight professionals, must also work harder to have their insights heard and, more importantly, to make them memorable. This immersive session draws upon practical techniques used by festivals, museums and gaming to highlight the memory enhancing value of engaging multiple senses. Your debriefs will never be the same again.

Kelly McKnight, head of culture + trends & Kate Skivington, culture + trends strategist, Join the Dots
Dr Roxy Robinson, creative/art director, From the Fields
Sacha Coward, freelance museum events producer
Patrick Fanning, owner and director, Emib Clothing


Networking break


Keynote: Reverend Richard Coles, Cleric, Broadcaster and former Communard

Meet the embodiement of successful career fusion. Brace yourselves as the worlds of 80s pop, Saturday Live , Strictly, Masterchef and the Church collide.

Interviewer: Martin Lee, co-founder and strategist, Acacia Avenue


MRS Annual Conference Party