MODEM Conference 2022: Uncharted Journeys

  • Professor Margaret Heffernan, Professor of Practice, University of Bath
  • The Revd Professor James Woodward, Principal of Sarum College
  • Rt Revd Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy, Bishop of Willesden
  • Jackie Le Fevre, Consultant & Author
  • 21-22 November, Sarum College

As we chart our way through the Pandemic many are seeking certainty and direction but are finding that the only certainty is uncertainty. MODEM’s 2022 conference was an opportunity to explore, from a range of perspectives, our journey forward into the future. 

The conference theme – ‘Uncharted Journeys’ – mirrored the title of Margaret Heffernan’s book ‘Uncharted: How to Map the Future Together’, published in 2020.  This is one of many books written by Margaret Heffernan which include also ‘Wilful Blindness’ and ‘A Bigger Prize’.  Margaret’s profile encompasses entrepreneur, chief executive, adviser to senior executives around the world, professor at the University of Bath, and writer for the Financial Times and Huff Post…. And Margaret Heffernan joined us as keynote speaker as we also explored our own uncharted journeys and those of our other contributors. 

The hallmark of this conference was hearing from inspirational people with wide-ranging experience and remarkable journeys who have particular wisdom to share, and this continued with Jackie Le Fevre. Jackie spent twelve years in nature conservation, before working with young people and in community development and training. She followed this with the setting up her own company, Magma Effect, responsible for bringing one of the world’s leading values profiling technologies to the UK.

Professor James Woodward, Principal of Sarum College was also one of the speakers, talking on the subject of A Leader is a Dealer of Hope? Holding, Learning and Surviving in the Pandemic at Sarum. As this suggests, James Woodward reflected on the uncharted journey that Sarum College had to make as an institution. 

The other main speaker was the Bishop of Willesden, Rt Revd Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy. Before becoming Bishop of Willesden, he was BAME Mission and Ministry Enabler in the Diocese of Leicester, wherein he oversaw an increase in representation and participation of those from UK Minority Ethnic (UKME) backgrounds in the life and structures of Leicester Diocese. He is a trustee of St Mellitus College, Church Army, and deputy chair of the Board of Initiatives of Change UK. His interests include ethical leadership, storytelling, and poetry. He feels strongly about issues of social justice.

The Conference followed the usual pattern of MODEM events in providing opportunity for conversation and reflection sparked by challenging and thought-provoking input from our speakers. In ‘Uncharted journeys’, we gathered round the notion of uncertainty, of how we seize the challenge of helping to create the future, what that means for us as individuals but also as part of something larger than ourselves. Our speakers drew on their stories to help us to uncover how we can think about the future, and what we can ‘do’ and ‘be’.