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Updated: Mar 16, 2021

The MRS Impact conference is taking place next week and the line up of speakers is the most diverse it has ever been! Celebrating this diversity we have listed in this blog some of the sessions lead by ethnic Market Research professionals and the sessions around Diversity and Inclusion that we highly recommend!

CORe will be represented by our very own Theo Francis and MRS have kindly offered all of our CORe members a chance to book themselves tickets at the MRS Members cost, £300 including VAT.

If you haven't already got yourself a ticket to the 3 day event, then this is your chance to. To make use of this offer please email

Here are the sessions to be looking out for:

10:50 The Impact Magazine Debate

The long and short of it: From in-the-moment insight to long-term

Never has it been so important for organisations to have access to timely, reliable insight about their customers and consumers in general. However, there is a fine balance to be struck between gathering in-the-moment data to stay close to customers now, and understanding longer-term trends to build resilience for the future, ­as highlighted by Covid-19. How can research suppliers help organisations with this ­– what are they looking for?

Chair: Katie McQuater, Editor, Impact and Research Live


Dr Parves Khan, Global Research and Insight Director, Pearson

Elaine Rodrigo, Chief Insights & Analytics Officer, Reckitt Benckiser

Tim Warner, UK Exec Lead for Insights, Data, Business Intelligence & Advanced Analytics, PepsiCo


11:50 DEBATE - Rewriting His-Story: Do we need to invent a new language to speak to male consumers in 2021?

It has never been a stranger time to be a man. Conflicting messages abound; be a good man, be masculine, reject masculinity, redefine masculinity. For brands speak to men, it’s not just about navigating this mess, it’s about cutting through it. This debate will draw insights from some of the most taboo-breaking categories to ask: how should we really be talking to male consumers in 2021?

Chair: Hannah Marcus, Strategist,


Will de Groot’s, Founder and Cultural Strategist, MEND

Sherrell Honoré, Consumer Insights Manager, Durex, RB

Abigail Mliner, Marketing and Sales Manager, Make Love not Porn


13.30 DEBATE - The future can’t wait: The next generation on entrepreneurship, diversity and a new recipe for data

What is necessary in research right now? Young researchers are the leaders of the future and are often asked what they think the future of research will be. But the views and opinions of younger researchers on what’s happening in research right now are just as important. They shouldn’t have to wait until the future to be heard, and the industry can’t afford to wait to listen to them. Hear from MRS &more members on what’s at the top of their wish-list.

Chair: Jennifer Roberton, Managing Director, respondi. MRS Board Member and MRBA Trustee


Theo Francis, Founder & Director, GuineaPig Fieldwork & Co-founder & Director at Colour Of Research (CORe)

Chloe Bartlem, Research Manager and Associate Partner. And 2020 finalist for the MRS' Young Researcher of the Year., Razor Research

Amanda Hammond, Commercial Research Executive. And 2020 finalist for the MRS' Young Researcher of the Year & Bloom Mentee 2020., ITV


12:20 Case Study - Getting real: Artificial intelligence in a time of crisis

Creative development was not immune from the challenges caused by the pandemic. There is more pressure in choosing which ads to invest in as budgets tightened and in launching ads that could be deemed irrelevant. How did artificial intelligence play a significant role with creative executions? And are they really cost and time effective?

Neha Sharma, CMI Director, Global Brand Engagement, Unilever

Stephanie Kristen Pineda, Global Client Lead, Product and Research Innovations, Kantar


14.20 CASE STUDY – Drive for progress: How to get consumers to embrace a new technology in a Covid world threatened by climate change?

Discover how electric car manufacturers worked with Facebook and The Nursery in a global study to understand how consumers really feel about electric cars. Using models derived from behavioural economics and anthropological psychology they were able to find out what’s actually going on inside consumers’ heads and what the auto industry needs to do to unlock the true drivers to purchase.

Shekhar Deshpande, Head of Strategy, Global Accounts, Facebook Lucy Banister, Co-Founder, The Nursery


14.40 CASE STUDY - A question of privilege: When older, white, middle-class researchers are just not the right people for the job

Many young people from ethnic minority backgrounds are seeing their future blighted by COVID-19. Disclosing their experiences to researchers who seem to have so many privileges can add to the sense of exclusion. Versiti reports on its work to train ethnic minority young people in qualitative research to understand ethnic inequalities in the impacts of COVID-19 and build capacity among ethnic minority young people. The project team and the client, Youth Futures Foundation, will discuss experiences, lessons and key insights.

Sope Otulana, Head of Research, Youth Futures Foundation

Marie-Claude Gervais, Co-Founder and Research Director, Versiti


10:20 The Delphi interview

MRS Delphi Group chair Colin Strong talks to Dr Camilla Pang, neurodivergent author of Explaining Humans, winner of the Royal Society science book prize in 2020. Having been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of eight, Pang describes her book as a ‘love letter to science’ that ‘provides insights into different ways of thinking and the challenges of being neurodiverse in a normal world’. What can we learn from Pang to ensure research is conducted inclusively, and also that it reflects the perspectives of all types of human behaviour, for the betterment of business and society?

Dr. Camilla Pang, author of Explaining Humans


10:50 Debate: Diversity and inclusion: A roadmap for better representation

Recent events across the globe have put diversity and inclusion (D&I) at the top of the corporate agenda. Brands are evaluating their internal and external policies, investing in senior D&I executives and making sure diversity of thought is applied across all business practices. The need to reflect the views of all groups in society has never been greater - and so insight agencies have a critical role to play. What are the challenges and tactics for reinventing the way we engage with consumers, citizens and respondents?

Chair: Babita Earle, Chair of MRS D&I Council and EVP Strategic Partnerships, Zappi


Michelle Gansle, Senior Director, Foresight, Innovation and Growth Insights, Mars Wrigley

Elaine Rodrigo, Chief Insights & Analytics Officer, Reckitt Benckiser

Christine Avallone, Customer Insights Professional, Verizon

Jake Steadman, VP, Customer Insight & User Research, Deliveroo


Current world events are fuelling a more conscious consumption mindset. Consumers are renegotiating value to fit their wallet, lifestyle, and beliefs – and brands need to create imaginative propositions that resonate with these new needs, to build long-term brand value and growth. We will explore global shifts in consumer priorities, and where innovation throughout the value chain can help brands create meaning in a new world.

Tara Prabhakar, Global Director, Qualitative, kantar, Insights Division

Loulwa Al Rasheed-Wright, Senior Researcher, Qualitative, Kantar, Insights Division


14.10 CASE STUDY - Successful automation depends on cultural change: Five lessons from the frontline of PepsiCo's digital transformation

Many corporate organisations are engaged in digital transformation; insights departments are deeply involved in that process. We’ll show that the real challenge in automating and digitizing the insight function is less in the technology than in cultural change management: bringing the people along with you. Our case study presents five lessons, based on the experiences of working together over a two year period.

Kate Schardt, Senior Director, Ada Global Insights Platform, PepsiCo

Babita Earle, Chair of MRS D&I Council and EVP Strategic Partnerships, Zappi


11:20 Being the change: Using our craft to shape the new (and better) world

Last year changed everything. From daily routines to long-held identity constructs, by the end of 2020, the world was hardly recognisable. As we move towards a more similar daily routine, what changes do we wish to keep in order to overcome systemic injustice? Each of us, irrespective of our particular practice and specialism, is in a position to help shape the way in which new approaches and cultures are formed. Each of us can play our part in crafting from this moment of flux a world of true equality.

This session will be a platform for agency practitioners – including advertising data, qualitative and quantitative experts – to speak of how they are using their craft to build a better world.


Michael Brown, Founding Chair, MRSpride


Amelia Brophy, Head of Account Management UK, YouGov

Abel Flint, Founder, Out in Research USA and Marketing Manager Suzy

Rob Scotland, Head of Strategy, McCann London

Danielle Todd, Insight Director, Relish

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