Past, present and future fuse at 2017 Relocate Awards

Taking guests on a trip through time and engineering evolution, from steam engine to space, this year’s Relocate Awards gala dinner, held at London’s Science Museum on 11 May, was regarded as the best yet.

Maggie Philbin at Relocate Awards 2017
As befits the Relocate Awards’ tenth anniversary – and reflecting how mobility has evolved through technological innovation, human endeavour and changing times – this year’s truly spectacular Relocate Awards ceremony brought together academics, industry and mobility experts at the Science Museum, London, to create a platform for further collaboration and growth.Innovation Ambassadors representing the academic, mobility, STEM and education spheres engaged with 250 guests to share knowledge, celebrate success and make connections, to ensure the mobility sector maintained its innovative edge for the future.Professor Michael Dickmann, director of the Cranfield University master's degree in management and Relocate Global Innovation Ambassador, commented, “I enjoyed a delightful evening in an exciting, space- and technology-driven setting.“The Relocate Gala Awards Dinner was a valuable opportunity to catch up with old friends and acquaintances, make new connections, and exchange global mobility ideas across industry sectors  – often informed by insights from RES Forum studies, Relocate magazine’s articles, and Cranfield Research – and to discuss emerging trends. Overall, a really special evening.”

Keynote addresses

Fiona Murchie, Relocate Global's managing editor, welcomed guests. “It is wonderful to see you all here tonight at the Science Museum with our biggest turnout ever and guests from around the world – a fitting location in which to bring together the best and the brightest in the relocation sector, who are driving the global mobility agenda.“As you know, it is the tenth anniversary of the Relocate Awards, and global mobility is a young sector, but I wanted us to celebrate not by looking back, but by looking forward. Now is the time, more than ever before, to give recognition for those already achieving great things in the global world, and to share our successes.Click here to read the transcript of Fiona Murchie's speech.

Creativity, collaboration and enthusiasm

Maggie Philbin, OBE, former Tomorrow’s World presenter, current president of the Institute of Engineering Designers, and founder and CEO of of TeenTech CIC, delivered the keynote address. Ms Philbin was named Most Influential Women in UK IT by Computer Weekly, and was 2016 Digital Leader of the Year.Her opening address offered real insight into joint business and education initiatives, in the UK and globally, and into how companies were already connecting and helping to nurture the next generation of leaders – the people that mobility is likely to be moving in the decades ahead.Commenting on the 2017 Relocate Awards as a great opportunity for people to look at the world in a different way and to “encourage the kind of talent people in this room need,” Maggie Philbin spoke of current recruitment challenges and the abundant “creativity and enthusiasm” of the next generation of leaders.“The qualities we are looking for in the future are those like creativity and collaboration,” she said. “There is also a need for more diversity of all kinds – including gender and social background, which is less easy to see. Technology is all about people. It’s about allowing young people to get a foot in the door so they can demonstrate their potential.”Continuing the Innovation Ambassadors’ theme of getting involved and starting conversations, the action moved to celebrating the achievements of companies that were fuelling ongoing innovation in mobility. Maggie Philbin announced the winners of the ten Relocate Awards categories.

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Driving diversity and growth

Winning the HR Team of the Year Award for its inspirational work to deepen diversity and deliver technological innovation was telecommunications company O2. Ann Pickering, HR director, commented, “My team and I are thrilled to accept Relocate Global’s HR Team of the Year award 2017. At O2, we share Relocate’s commitment to fostering diversity within the workplace, and to supporting talent into work.“We live in an increasingly diverse society, and it’s never been more important for our workforces to reflect this, both to echo our businesses’ vibrant and diverse customer bases and to ensure happier and more productive teams.“That’s why I hope that our work – and that of the many brilliant HR teams that exist throughout the UK – will inspire others to build the right culture, support networks and recruitment practices to support the fantastic talent we have here in the UK.”

Delivering innovation

Also commenting on the importance of driving innovation and delivering excellence in mobility to meet customer needs, Jesse van Sas, secretary general of Relocate Awards sponsor FIDI Global Alliance, said, “It’s fantastic to be here as an Innovation Ambassador and partner with Relocate Global for the awards to celebrate the good work that our members do.“We are also pleased to sponsor the awards because our members are constantly innovating and moving into new areas. We have to keep up and know what our members want. We are very proud of our members, and they reach a very high bar that we, as an industry body, set.”John Prooij, project manager for quality and risk at FIDI Global Alliance, added, “We also believe that as soon as you start to get comfortable, it’s time to change and innovate.We are dealing with some industry hot topics at the moment, such as the EU-GDPR (European General Data Protection Regulation), anti-bribery and anti-corruption management, and supply-chain management, all of which are incorporated into our rigorous FAIM standard, certified by EY.

The future

Reflecting on the impact of the evening, guest Iain Crichton, business development consultant at Roomservice by CORT and 2009/10 winner of the Relocate award for Relocation Personality of the Year, said, “I remember being at the Science Museum when I was a child, and it was all about how bicycle chains were used to extract coal. I was amazed to see how much there is about space, and how technology had moved on.Mr Crichton added, “What also strikes me about the awards, from a mobility perspective, is how there is now a phalanx of young people coming into relocation. There is a real opportunity for people who have worked in the sector for a long time to build mentoring relationships, collaborate and innovate.”

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