UNLEASH World: The countdown is on! – Unleash

With five weeks to go, our Director of Content Labs and Insight, Kate Graham, kicks off a countdown column building up to UNLEASH World 2022 in Paris on 12-13 October.
This year’s show in Paris – more keynotes, more thought leaders and more CHROs than ever before join us in October as they tackle the big topics and themes dominating HR today.
Read on for all the essential info in Kate Graham’s first UNLEASH World countdown column.
I’ve been attending UNLEASH events since 2014. I’m a bonafide fan. The first time I sat down at the main stage I had plenty of years of conferences behind me. I knew what to expect – or so I thought.
All of a sudden a bassline begins throbbing through the huge hall, taking me (and I’m sure plenty of others) by surprise. Then a countdown clock appears on the enormous screen at the front. Goosebumps start to prickle up my arms. It was the start of a thrilling, mind-expanding two days during which my pre-conceptions of both HR tech and the events business were challenged. And at every UNLEASH event after that, I still experienced a moment of frisson at the beginning. If you’ve been before, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’re joining us for the first time, then I’m actually a bit jealous of you getting to see it all afresh.
When the countdown clock appears on the mainstage in the Paris Convention Center on 12 October this year, I get to experience all that from the inside. But based on the first moments of UNLEASH America back in May, I can say that I still got to be a fan in that moment (confession: I might have nearly cried seeing it all come together in Las Vegas!)

Being part of the UNLEASH team has been astonishing over the past 18 months in so many ways, and there are so many columns I could (and will!) write about it all.
But one of the stand-out aspects is the ‘UNLEASH Way’ and the standards to which we hold ourselves to account when it comes to our on-stage content and speakers. The production team here are relentlessly dedicated to seeking out the best practices and stories that will strike a chord with HR leaders and help tackle the myriad of challenges still facing us more than two years after the world changed forever.
I know I’m biased now I work here, but when I look at the line-up for Paris in a few weeks’ time, I cannot wait to listen, watch and learn from the very best in the business.

Over the coming weeks, I’m going to deep dive into the different stages and speakers that we’re hosting to give you the inside track on what’s to come and hopefully help you choose what you’ll attend during the event.
For the first time, our Future of Work main stage will run continuously throughout the two days. This means more keynotes, more thought leaders and more CHROs than ever before as they tackle the big topics and themes dominating HR today. I’ll explore the programme here from Peter Hinssen continuing his work with us on radical innovation and reinvention, diving into data with Hannah Fry, an important and timely look through an economic lens from Costas Markides, designing culture with Erin Meyer, exploring HR in 2023 with Armin Trost, the next wave of automation with Benedict Evans, and – perhaps most importantly – bringing humanity back into the workplace with Claude Silver. I’ll unpack more on all this in my next column.

Our breakout stages cover the full spectrum of everything HR leaders need to know:
Again, I’ll highlight the incredible stories we’ll be showcasing from the frontline across these topics in the coming weeks. We’ll be hearing first-hand experiences from organizations including L’Oreal, Deutsche Bahn, McDonald’s, Cartier, Airbnb, Novartis, Ubisoft, Philips, Nokia and so many more.

In addition to the paid-for conference, there is also the free expo where we’ll host our Innovation and Ideas stages. Here, you can discover the latest product announcements and developments from the best of the best in HR tech including Atlas, eightfold, Globalization Partners, SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, Workhuman and so many others – the brightest and best HR tech providers in the world. I’m super excited about our Influencers stage too which is hosting an eye watering line-up of the great and the good including Daniel Thorniley, Chris Havrilla, Anita Lettink, Sarah White and other practitioners, experts and analysts who will share their inside take on what’s happening now and next.
Our analyst presence extends throughout the event with the likes of Holger Mueller (Constellation Research), Madeline Laurano (Aptitude Research), David Wilson (Fosway Group) and Trevor White (Nucleus Research) also taking to the stage.
Finally (for now!) we are also hosting a unique series of roundtables at the event. We run these virtually at UNLEASH and they are one of the highlights of my job. Hearing first-hand discussions on current topics of priority across HR provides me with invaluable insight on a regular basis. The HR practitioners I get to meet always share so openly and honestly, I find it humbling and educational in equal measure. So we’re delighted to recreate these in-person (YAY!) at the event and give you the chance to network and chat in a relaxed setting away from the hustle and bustle of the show floor. More on these to come too.
There’s also of course all of the exhibition with its booths to visit, demos to watch, networking before, during and after to be had. Our startup competition returns for the 10th year running and we have teamed up with Jason Corsello and Thomas Otter of Acadian Ventures to create a combined prize fund of €150,000. Again, as a past attendee, the startups have always been a draw at UNLEASH events and I can’t wait to see the new talent and innovation coming through on the show floor this year.
You can book your tickets here or ping me via kate@unleash.ai for any more details in the meantime.
See you in Paris!

Kate Graham is Director of Content Labs & Insight at UNLEASH. Catch her at UNLEASH World 2022 and across our webinars and roundtable schedule.

Head of Content Labs and Insights
Kate works with organizations using HR, talent, and learning tech to feed into the research and content agenda.
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