5th May 2020, 09.30-17.30, Grand Hotel, Brighton

The ACUMEN BUSINESS CONVENTION 2020 has an extraordinary line-up of speakers, 3 Speaker Arenas to choose from (Tedx Style), a scrumptious sit down lunch, live entertainment and ample networking opportunities with hundreds of local business leaders- all spiced up with Acumen magic and surprises!

"the best business event out there! it’s in my diary before holiday"


Dhiraj Mukherjee
Founder, Shazam

From Madness to Magic: How to Create a Game-Changing Business
Dhiraj shares his personal experience and lessons learned from creating and growing Shazam from a crazy idea to over 1 billion downloads. He reflects on the creative insights, business strategies, and perhaps most importantly personal values needed to create game-changing businesses now and in the future. The talk concludes with some practical tools and techniques for innovators, wherever they are in their journey.

Justine Roberts
Founder & CEO, Mumsnet

‘The Mumsnet Story’
The idea for Mumsnet came from Justine’s first family holiday as a parent. Everything about the trip was disastrous and all the parents at the resort bemoaned their choice; ‘if only we’d known before we left’. It turned out to be a lightbulb moment, as she realised that the web would be a great place to tap into the wisdom of others who’d been there and done that. Twenty years later, Mumsnet is one of UK’s biggest online communities with over 10 million users a month – a community committed to making parents’ lives easier and campaigning on issues such as miscarriage, support for families with children with special needs and post-natal care.

Jamala Osman
Motivational Speaker

Block to Bank
Jamala speaks about her dramatic turnaround from a challenging start in life led her to create pathways and programmes for other struggling individuals to help break down barriers. Jamala’s company helps organisations think differently about talent and recruit more sustainably. Winner of Great Britain and Ireland’s Young Citizen Award for 2018, and a previous TEDxLondon speaker herself, Jamala is on a mission to help bridge the gap between young talent and organisations Jamala is passionate about using spoken word and sport to help break the stigma and raise awareness of mental health issues.

David Breuer
Chief Creative Officer, The Quarto Group

Thoughtful Leadership
David Breuer was the CEO of Royal Academy Enterprises for 15 years and for the last decade as the Chief Creative Officer of the Quarto Publishing Group plc. With his own business, Iqon Editions, he created the ‘Isms’ series of cultural reference books which has sold over 1 million copies in more than 25 languages. David specialises in the generation of ideas and creating teams to implement and successfully realise them. In his talk he will share with us how best to engage a workforce, enable the generation of successful new ideas, and empower all in their profitable delivery.

Penina Shepherd
Founder, Acumen Business Law

Fear the Feedback
When it comes to innovation, fear the feedback, constructive or otherwise! In her talk Penina will share the process our mind goes through when new and innovative ideas come to the fore. There is a rollercoaster process happening in our mind, often without us being aware of it taking place. There is an unseen battle between the intellectual mind and the innovative mind with other ingredients added in to the mixture such as fear, beliefs, finance and more. She will show how, once we break free of the feedback fear, ideas are allowed to roam freely and that is when all the magic happens.


Three inspiring Speakers Arenas featuring six talks by local leaders in TedTalk format
Please select ONE Arena to attend on the day.


Stephen Boobyer
World of Books

Reuse, recycle and grow
Stephen will take us through the World of Books story, from the beginnings of an idea to one of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses now with 900 employees – all in eleven years. There have been challenges and headwinds, inevitably, but Stephen will show how management techniques and strategies have turned them into opportunities that have helped shape the group’s future.

Kathy Caton
Brighton Gin

From ‘Lightbulb Moment’ to Fully-Realised Business
Kathy Caton, Founder and Managing Director of Brighton Gin, talks about the road from having a kitchen-table gin-making brainwave to running a multi-award winning business. Having never received outside investment, Kathy has led Brighton Spirits Company through all manner of challenges that face small businesses and kept the spirit of independence fiercely alive. Genuinely hand-crafted in small batches right here in town, Brighton Gin is now exported around the world and takes the essence of its hometown wherever it goes!


Alex Cornwell
Revolution PTS

The Most Important Coach You’ll Ever Have
Alex is the Owner of three Revolution Personal Training Studios across Sussex. Having grown his business from a standstill, combined with hundreds of hours spent on coaching high power accomplished businessmen and women, Alex has identified the single shared trait that has enabled such success professionally and personally. In his talk he will introduce the process leading to a genuine, long lasting impact and outstanding results both in and out of business.

Matt Hunt
Protein Balls

£4m in 4 Years and Growing – A 7-Step Plan to Success
After studying Business & Marketing and obtaining a first class degree this lead Matt on a journey around the World ending up in Spain in the olive capital where the idea for OLOVES was born in 2007. Having met his future wife in Barcelona, Matt and Hayley launched the very first single serve olive snack, which has sold more than 40 million bags Worldwide. Looking for the next big trends within FMCG in 2016, they launched The Protein Ball Co. – an own brand and a manufacturing business growing it to £4m turnover in just 4 years. In 2019, Matt and Hayley became co-directors in The Great British Porridge Co. one of only a few brands to receive a full house of investment offers on Dragon’s Den.


Camille Pierson The Float Spa

Survival: why we put our own oxygen mask on first! 
Self-care is an idea which gets dismissed by lots of people as something woolly and new age but it’s actually an essential part of functioning to your best ability. We all see the safety advice on aeroplanes which says ‘see to your own oxygen mask before helping others’ and we know this is sensible as running out of oxygen yourself will help no one. It’s odd then that, in business and in our everyday lives, we so often put our own needs behind those of others. Camille will be highlighting the blazingly obvious but often ignored fact that, as a business owner, if you burnout, you won’t be able to work the way you want to. By making self-care a priority, you aren’t being selfish, you aren’t being weak or lesser, you are taking an absolutely necessary step to keep you performing the way you would like to perform. No one benefits from a burnt out boss. Learn how to imbed self-care into your life to stop this happening.

Steve Stark
Then Somehow

What makes teams tick?
Business leaders rely on their teams to thrive, yet fewer than half of workers in British businesses enjoy working in a team, according to recent research. Why do so many people experience team working badly? What can you do to help teams get along, increase their capability and really enjoy their work? Steve will share insights based on ten years working with teams around the world. He’ll give us tools we can use to understand how our teams are doing and tips to help them make their experience of work better.


“A day full of Acumen Magic! We are fired up and there's no stopping us!”


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