The ICRS Exchange 2023

This year's ICRS Exchange welcomed 150+ CR&S practitioners to The Museum of London to hear about AI and its implications for CR&S practitioners, ESG reporting, Diversity, Equity and inclusion, and Social Impact. The day was filled with engaging talks from, Prof Victoria BainesMartina MacphersonAndrew StraitRussell Macdonald FRSA MBCS MICRS, Neil JonesRachel MadanKylee Dickie,James Marlow,Tara Stevens,Tobias DesouzaRoisin Murphy FICRSRita Patel MillerSamantha Reyes RonsoKevin FayAlex Mayes who shared their knowledge and expertise.

The Welcome Address was given by Jennie Galbraith FICRS, ICRS Chair.   

The Keynote Speech was given by Professor Victoria Baines.

Victoria gave a keynote speech about the impact of AI and ESG, and it raised some important questions. She started off by asking the participants how private they think messages should be if they oversaw digital communications in the UK. Victoria then talked about the dilemma of choosing between child safety and human rights, and how law enforcement may not be able to read messages if new encryption protocols are brought in.

In the second half of the talk, Victoria shifted the focus to the metaverse and talked about the gamer's dilemma of whether it's okay to harm characters that are just data. She also touched on the topic of cybercrime and questioned who would be held responsible if AI becomes a bad actor and commits a crime. Victoria recommended the OECD principles on AI as a great resource for the audience.

Keynote Panel: AI & ESG - what does it mean for us?

We heard from: Prof Victoria BainesMartina MacphersonAndrew Strait  and Russell Macdonald FRSA MBCS MICRS

Panel 1 : ESG Reporting - Alphabet soup or driving change?

We heard from: Neil JonesRachel MadanKylee Dickie and James Marlow

Vic Taylor moderated a panel discussion on the rapidly evolving landscape of ESG reporting at the ICRS Exchange. The panel discussed current ESG reporting practices, future developments, and how organizations are adapting to the changes.

The panel addressed questions from the audience and provided advice for someone starting out on this journey, such as conducting a double materiality assessment, telling a story, finding friends internally, and looking at other reporting, see what your peer companies are doing and use that as a minimum baseline.

Panel 2: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - Do as I say and as I do

We heard from:Tara Stevens,Tobias Desouza and Roisin Murphy FICRS

Jatin Patel hosted a panel with Tara Stevens, Roisin Murphy and Tobias Desouza to discuss diversity, equity and inclusion in the profession.

The panel shared the results of recent research on the CRS Apprenticeship and ideas on diversifying the profession. Rosin Murphy talked about KPMG's approach to DEI and CRS, while Tobias shared his journey as a CRS apprentice. Tara Stevens presented the high-level findings of the CRS Apprenticeship report, which showed that employers plan to stay involved in the CR&S standard, intend to hire their apprentice for a full-time position, and that apprentices want to continue working in CR&S with their current employer after their apprenticeship.

Panel: The 'S' in ESG - Social Impact & Social Value

We heard from:Rita Patel MillerSamantha Reyes RonsoKevin Fay, and Alex Mayes

In the final session of the day, The panel moderated by Sam healy discussed the social impact and social value ecosystem, including reporting frameworks, trends, projects, and what's coming down the pipeline. The panel examined trends in the social area, commenting that there’s now more technical knowledge in the private and public sectors, and more corporate partners are considering S at the same level of the E. Good and bad practices were discussed, with good practice understanding the person singular, taking a people-centered approach and then working backwards. Best practice was highlighted as being contextual and self-evaluation was flagged as important with the feedback loop of measurement discussed. The panel also addressed audience questions including the interconnection between E&S, the danger of social value contract arrangements, how to build customers into the process, tools, SME’s and saying no to random acts of kindness.

Closing Remarks – Jennie Galbraith FICRS

The Chair of the ICRS, Jennie Galbraith, concluded the day by appreciating the excellent sessions and discussions held during the event. She expressed gratitude to all the attendees for sharing their time with the group. Jennie also eagerly welcomed everyone back next year to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the ICRS.