22 September 2020


Original thinking and the sharing of ideas is what our festival is all about. Each year the festival revolves around a different theme, traditionally announced on Good Friday. This year’s theme – Good governance because it’s time to think again – relates to the idea of rebirth or renaissance.


Our keynote speaker this year will be Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). He will discuss “Who is responsible for what? Exploring the blurred lines between government, governance, the third sector and the public sector.”


Throughout the festival we invite participants to join us in the GGI time machine, looking back to the Renaissance of the 15th and 16th Centuries to explore the driving forces behind this extraordinary period of transformation. The Festival Review will also be published digitally with printed copies available on request. It is coming together as a multi-dimensional manuscript that plays around with time, transporting the reader back to the Italian Renaissance, the Fire of London in 1666, 1983, 2020 and beyond to learn good governance lessons for today. Of course, we will also reflect on the events of the last few months and the impact of COVID-19 on public life in the UK today.


The annual lecture is an opportunity for public sector leaders to meet and explore ways to secure a brighter future with better outcomes for the people they are responsible to. The Festival of Governance celebrates their work. 


And we look forward to the panel discussion, in which a wide range of questions will be addressed. The skull session after the event should inspire thinking and ideas to bring in Renaissance 2.0 for 2020. Good Governance because it’s time to think again…

Today we introduce our panellists, who will be ready and waiting to answer questions ‘retrospectively,’ while considering a future that is fairer and better for all. 


Rob Whiteman, Andrew Corbett-Nolan, Anita Day, Baroness Glenys Thornton and Jessica Lubin.

We hope you are ready for some time travel as we stop, pause, fast forward, rewind and play through good governance past, present and future.

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

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Programme of the day 

Agenda and outline

 16:00 - 16:10    Welcome and introductions
                           Nadine Benjamin

 16:10 - 16:30    Lecture
                           Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive, CIPFA

 16:30 - 16:50    Breakout sessions
                           Led sessions to discuss the annual lecture and develop a set of questions for the panel

 16:50 - 17:10     Questions for the panel – chaired by Nadine Benjamin      
                           Rob Whiteman, Baroness Glenys Thornton, Professor Andrew Corbett-Nolan, Anita Day, Jessica Lubin

 17:10 - 17:20     GGI Award 2020 
                           Baroness Mary Watkins to present this year’s award to Dame Janet Smith

 17:20 - 17:30     Summary and close
                           Jaco Marais, Festival Director, GGI

 17:30 - till late  Skull session 
                           Jaco Marais, Festival Director, GGI

Dress code:


The dress code for the festival annual lecture is pink. 


We want to encourage cohesion and solidarity with all people who are in minority groups. Pink is the colour bringing all traditionally marginalised people together.


The Guardian ran a story in January about Pantone choosing to rename PANTONE 13-1520 from Rose Quartz to Millennial Pink. Previously the colour was called Serenity and parallels through history are drawn that in times of stress, the colour features in art, fashion and advertising as a calming colour.



The reason we chose this colour is because of the energetic properties of Rose Quartz time pieces. We hope you and your household, who are all very welcome at this year’s festival annual lecture, will join in some creative fun.