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2019 Highlights

On 15 October 2019, over 150 delegates converged in Newcastle to attend the inaugural EQ Connects conference. Delegates included leaders from business and education, who traveled from around the world to share knowledge and hear from thought leaders from the field of emotional intelligence.  

View the 2019 agenda below and learn more about what you can expect in 2021.

2019 Agenda

Thursday 15th October

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8.00am - 9:00am
Well-being Breakfast - A Mindfulness Experience

8.00AM - 8.45AM

Patrick Christopher Ehler

Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute

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"Born at Google, based on neuroscience"


Mindfulness and emotional intelligence are key capabilities that anyone can learn and develop. The SIY Program has been originally developed at Google, all future skills are based on neuroscience.
This relaxed yet invigorating breakfast session uses mindfulness and neuroscience to give insights to some essential emotional intelligence skills necessary for leadership. 

This breakfast session is optional and must be pre-booked.  Once registered we will contact you to confirm attendance.  Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Conference Registration

8.00am - 9:00am

Registration for EQ Connects opens:  Refreshments and connections.

Make sure you arrive in plenty time to refresh and connect with the other visitors who are all here to learn and develop their EQ.

Keynotes:     9.00am - 10:30am 
Welcome to EQ Connects

9.00am - 9.10am

Charlie Charlton BBC

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A very warm welcome to all of our guests who are joining us from right here in the North East and from further afield.

Charlie Charlton (BBC Journalist and Presenter) will say a few words of welcome and will have the enviable role of chairing the EQ Connects conference and welcoming our line up of inspirational keynotes.

Read more

Complexity & Connection
A Leader worth following:  Connection beyond self

9.20am - 10.00am

Joshua Freedman

CEO, Six Seconds

Joshua is one of the world’s preeminent experts on developing emotional intelligence to improve performance.  With warmth and authenticity, he translates leading-edge science into practical, applicable terms that improve the quality of workplace relationships to unlock enduring success. 
Freedman is one of a handful of experts in the world with over 20 years of full-time experience implementing emotional intelligence.  His clients include FedEx, Intel, Etihad Airways, Amazon, Microsoft, the UN, all branches of the US armed services, and numerous organizations around the globe. 
In today's context of complexity and change at work and in the world, people are looking for people worth following.  Our children, our family, our friends, colleagues and mangers want to be able to do the right thing, in the right way, for the right reasons.  How do you inspire that followship?
Exceptional leaders have a secret ingredient that inspires world-class performance: “lead on purpose” putting their compelling vision into action every day.  In this session Joshua Freedman will open the door to discussion about how we go beyond self and use emotional intelligence to drive intentional and purposeful results. Together we’ll gain insight in to how exceptional leaders can show up authentically, with full integrity, and purpose - everyday. The result is a family, a team or organisation on fire with purpose and positive energy – abundant with trust.  Imagine what it’s like to live and work in that?  
A 21st Century Education: Positive Education and Mental Wellbeing​

10.00am - 10.30am

Gilda Scarfe

Positive Action UK

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"Emotional intelligence" and "positive psychology" have become very visible and important areas within the psychology field and research shows that teaching emotional intelligence and applying positive psychology coaching in schools & oragniastions improves  learning and  mental wellbeing as well as increasing engagement and motivation. Infusing positive education and emotional intelligence into teaching and training sets up a system-wide mechanism through teacher coaching, teacher practice and teacher effectiveness that has the potential to raise emotional capacity, resilience and wellbeing in all students.

Break:  10.30am - 11.00am
Break & Exhibition




Grab yourself a coffee and reflect on the learning from the morning. ​ Discuss your thoughts with other visitors, chat with the exhibitors, or just have a bit of quiet time in our reading corner.

11.00am - 11:45am
Choose one of the following 3 workshops:
The Future of Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

11.00am - 11.45am

Gary Hosey

Ei Company

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​For managers and leaders in the current corporate climate, successful personal and professional emotional intelligence is vital. Science-based research into emotional intelligence (Ei) has shown it plays a fundamental role in higher productivity, performance and job satisfaction.

Here’s just some of what you’ll learn in this workshop:


1.      Gain 5 key insights for a transformational leadership approach, using our unique EQ Radars for meaningful communication that builds trust and great relationships

2.      How to engage a more strategic focus and move away from the trap of an ‘over-demanding’ operational environment of continuous and urgent firefighting

3.      Understand about managing emotional information (feeling, mood and emotion) for yourself and others, enabling more valuable and higher performance relationships

Who Can't Cope? - A study in challenging behaviour in the classroom.

11.00am - 11.45am

Ruth Whiteside

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How can we best meet the needs of troubled, sad or distressed pupils? How do we ensure that we are building safe and happy learning environments for the child with additional needs?


The fundamental skills of EQ support strategies to help pupils make decisions, communicate and collaborate, and solve problems creatively. Giving pupils choices about what they think, feel and do is key to building resilience and a sense of self.


Ruth will look at how developing greater emotional intelligence in the classroom will:

•        improve relationships

•        allow greater autonomy

•        reduce instances of challenging behaviour

•        develop resilience

Emotional Intelligence and Team Effectiveness

11.00am - 11.45am

Marina Lumley

The EQ Practice


Marina's passion & expertise in behavioural change inspires individuals, teams and organisations to get curious, get to the heart of the matter, & DO something.  Getting to the nub of what individuals, including managers and leaders need to focus on to create a step-change.  

In this insightful session, Marina will share the research findings from a recent project that she undertook to assess the impact of team effectiveness by coaching teams on their emotional intelligence.

  • A framework for coaching teams on their emotional intelligence

  • How to measure the impact of the work

  • Hypothesis on what drives team performance

  • Results and take-aways from the research

  • What’s next for team coaching and emotional intelligence – thought starters

Break:  11.45am - 12.00pm
A Brief Interlude

11.45am - 12.00pm

Take a short break

12.00pm - 12:45pm
Choose one of the following 3 workshops:
Diversity @ Sea: Maximising performance & achieving success

12.00pm - 12.45pm

Lara Williams


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  • How does not having the right people on the boat…. rock the boat?

  • When the waters are rough, what strengths do you bring to the team?

  • How do you achieve your goals, when your mind says it’s too tough?


Using her real-life metaphor of ‘Rowing Across the Med’, Lara will bring to life just how important EQ is in anything we do.  When pushed to the extreme and complexity is thrown in, how do we then best use it for maximum performance, maintaining equilibrium while achieving success? 


As a mother of two daughters, Lara has a vested interest in gender equality, fairness and inclusion in the workplace.  She will link her stories of challenge and diversity to her research paper on ‘Women in Leadership’. Where the frustrations and some solutions will be addressed. She believes that with a balanced, diverse leadership team, businesses will be more successful.

Emotional Intelligence for Mile A Minute Managers

12.00pm - 12.45pm

Katharine Roff & Illaria Boffa

Six Seconds Europe

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How do you use emotional intelligence when the going gets tough? 

In this interactive session, you’ll experience first hand how busy people can prioritise and implement emotional intelligence to get results.  Discover how to engage others emotionally and start simple strategies for practising EQ on a daily basis. 

Learn about the competencies of emotional intelligence and how to use them in work and home situations.  We’ll explore how EQ can reduce anxiety, stress and fatigue and increase compassion, connection and optimism.


Katharine Roff and Ilaria are part of the Six Seconds team in Europe supporting individuals, companies and schools to implement EQ.

Creativity: The Brain, Emotional Intelligence & Intuition

12.00pm - 12.45pm

Robin Hills


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Intuition allows us to unconsciously know that a decision is right without knowing why and without processing the information.  Our emotional intelligence helps us to combine our intuition with our feelings to make authentic decisions.


Creativity at work is going to be one of the most important and in-demand skills in the next 5 years.  Applying intuition to creativity will develop decision making and increase productivity to benefit individuals, teams and organisations.

This interactive session will give you an understanding of how to develop learning and creativity through practical strategies and tools that bring intuition, emotional intelligence and neuroscience to life. 


Learning Objectives:

  • Explore the neurobiology of intuition and creativity

  • Review how emotions can be used to increase creative output

  • Apply experiential learning techniques to engage others using intuition and creativity

Lunch:  12.45pm - 1.45pm
Enjoy a healthy lunch and engage with others. ​
Optional:  A chance to have your lunch whilst listening and learning from some fantastic businesses and get some great insights into the applications of Emotional Intelligence.
Lunch & Learn 1

1.00pm - 1.20pm

John Patterson


Improving Customer Experience - Sage's Story: ​ Hear from John Patterson from Sage about their journey to improve customer experience and the role that emotions play.

Lunch & Learn 2

1.20pm - 1.40pm

Nahla Summers

Nahla Summers Coaching

A culture of kindness: ​ This talk is one to inspire you. Nahla Summers spent 15 years in the corporate world until in just a moment her life circumstances changed and she had to make a decision whether to thrive or survive. She chose to thrive and in the process discovered that kindness has the power to save peoples lives. She has travelled the world in the search for kindness and its power. She cycled 3000 miles across America and walked 500 miles all in the name of kindness. Being awarded the Point of Light award by the Prime Minister for ‘transforming the concept of sponsorship’. In her talk you get to hear how Emotional Intelligence shaped who she is today and how her “Culture of Kindness” theory is set to shape the future of our workplaces.

Keynote:  1.45pm - 3.00pm
Acting on EQ: An interview with Robert James-Collier (Star of Downton Abbey, ITV) & Ross Grant

1.45pm - 2.15pm

Robert James-Collier, Actor (Star of Downton Abbey, ITV)

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​Great acting is all about Emotional Intelligence - Understanding characters and building strong, moving, impactful relationships.

A strong, nuanced performance takes more than simply feeling.  It requires the ability to interpret not only how the character thinks, feels and acts, but how they interact with those around them and how they navigate the character's various relationships.

An insightful discussion between actors Robert James-Collier and Ross Grant that will explore how actors use EQ as the tool of their trade and how this can be applied to everyone in every day life, both at home and at work.

A fantastic opportunity to hear from an actor in some of the UK's most famous TV shows, including Downton Abbey (ITV), Coronation Street and others.

Exploring the world with presence.... how to orient SELF with EQ

2.15pm - 3.00pm

Marilynn Jorgensen MCC

Master Trainer


With a personal story I will guide you through the stages of orienting SELF to the "maps and guides" that we all have within.

  • What do we KNOW about ourselves that inform our steps, our missteps and our patterns?

  • How do we CHOOSE with intention in order to fuel the journey ahead?

  • Why is this important in order to fully GIVE of ourselves and care for others?

Join me as we wander together and seek the awareness of a presence filled adventure. 

3.10pm - 3.55pm
Choose one of the following 3 workshops
The importance of positive psychology intervention as a whole school climate

3.10pm - 3.55pm

Gilda Scarfe

Positive Education

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Wellbeing and mental toughness are vital to developing effective problem-solving skills, building and maintaining successful interpersonal relationships and realistic goal setting, all of which greatly enhance an individual’s ability to perform and contribute meaningfully in daily life. In the face of an increasingly volatile, uncertain complex and ambiguous world, education can make the difference as to whether young people embrace the challenges they are confronted or whether they are defeated by them.

Positive psychology and neuroscience research shows what many teachers have anecdotally  known for a long time-learning is deeply affected by wellbeing. Positive education brings  together the science of positive psychology with pedagogy to encourage and support young people and communities to flourish.


Blending AI & Human intelligence to super-charge coaching

3.10pm - 3.55pm

Maria Olsson

Six Seconds


Maria is an accredited ACC/ICF Coach, certified Systemic Business Coach, NeuroLeadership Coach, certified EQ Coach and EQ Practitioner.

Key outcomes from this talk include:

Participants will understand the essential part of EQ in coaching

Recognise the value and use of Artificial Intelligence in diagnostic reports to aid meaningful transformation

Practice to de-brief the Neural Net report (six seconds suite of tools)

Identify a variety of ways in which to use of AI + Human Intelligence in coaching.

Examples of How Leading Companies Are Using EQ to Enhance Business Performance

3.10pm - 3.55pm

Hitachi Rail & BAE Systems

Facilitated by Ei Company

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In this session we will share 2 real business cases for developing leaders using emotional intelligence.


1) Hitachi Rail UK - using EQ-i 2.0 assessment as part of leadership and management recruitment.  We have assessed over 120+ leaders and managers for Hitachi Rail UK over the last 4 years, aligning their business values with emotional intelligence behaviour.  You will see the how we mapped behaviours and competencies to organisational values bringing significant and ongoing results.  You will learn how you can apply these principles to your own organisational values and behaviours.  


2) BAE Systems - hear the story from a senior leader within BAE Systems, who went through a personal leadership coaching programme and hear first hand the positive impact and enhancement this brought to his leadership style and approach.  

Break: 3.55pm - 4.10pm
Break & Exhibition


Reflect: Grab yourself a coffee and reflect on the learning from the morning. ​ Discuss your thoughts with other visitors, chat with the exhibitors, or just have a bit of quiet time in our reading corner.

Keynotes:  4.10pm - 5.30pm
Emotional Capitalists - Emotional Intelligence for Leading in the Fourth Industrial Economy

4.10pm - 4.50pm

Martyn Newman

Founder, RocheMartin​

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As a Clinical and Corporate Psychologist, Martyn Newman argues that just as positive psychology revitalised our understanding of mental health by redefining the discipline as fostering human potential rather than simply treating mental illness, so too we need to rethink how we lead and manage contemporary businesses. Why? Because businesses everywhere are under pressure to become more socially and environmentally conscious, and more ethical to stay relevant to customers. He provides compelling evidence that to be successful today, leaders need to be skilled Emotional Capitalists.


Drawing on data from working with global businesses from eleven separate countries he reveals the ten ‘must have’ skills that define how the best achieve outstanding success, then shows you brick by brick how to build them.

​The buying brain: How to increase sales performance with EI

4.50pm - 5.30pm

Deiric McCann

Genos International

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It's hard to find a professional salesperson who hasn't been trained to within an inch of their lives on their products' features, advantages & benefits, and on the tools and techniques of professional selling. 

And still the reality is that research shows that about 20% of all salespeople are 'bottom performers', 60% are 'average performers', and just 20% are 'top performers' - our 'sales stars'. 

The difference is not product knowledge or sales technique, but the ability to manage themselves and relate effectively to others: their Emotional Intelligence.

Without Emotional Intelligence salespeople struggle to establish rapport with prospects and clients, manage stress effectively, and stay motivated in tougher times. 

In this interactive session Deiric will talk about the ‘buying brain’ and the part Emotional Intelligence plays in making salespeople successful – and what that means for what you need to do to increase the performance of your sales team.

Close:   5.30pm
Drinks Reception


Join us for some networking and drinks.

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