Leadership Under Stress:
Exploring Project Failure at NASA


Stephen Carver, Senior Lecturer in Project and Programme Management at Cranfield School of Management

Carver will take us on a journey through NASA’s intense organizational and project management challenges up to and beyond pivotal “Go/No Go” decisions the night before a space launch. He exposes NASA’s shortcomings in planning, procurement, leadership, and change management – connecting these failures and innovations to law firm technology projects.


Prior to Cranfield University, Stephen worked on projects for the oil business, at Virgin, and directly for a global CEO as head of Project & Programme Management Strategy. He has experience of Project and Programme Management in almost all business sectors from banks to oil, to construction and law firms.

Stephen is an unusual blend of Academic, Businessman and Teller of Tales and has lectured worldwide. His reputation consists of taking complex management concepts such as Project, Programme Change and Crisis Management and distilling them down to highly informative and fun lectures.

The Power of Rejection


Jia Jiang, Chief Executive Officer, Rejection Therapy and CEO/Founder, Wuju

The fear of rejection can hold you back. Our natural tendency is to avoid it at all costs which can be detrimental to our businesses, careers, and lives. In 2012, to overcome his own fear of rejection, entrepreneur Jia Jiang started an experiment to be rejected every day for 100 days. In this engaging presentation, Jia shares stories from his rejection experiment to teach you the importance of becoming rejection-proof, the basic principles of turning a NO into YES, as well as how to get more YESes.


Jia Jiang is a top resilience keynote speaker with the most viewed TED Talk of 2017 and the bestselling author of Rejection Proof. In 2019, Toastmasters International awarded Jiang the Golden Gavel, which is given annually to honor the best keynote speaker in the industry. In his book, website, and talks, Jiang provides inspiration and knowledge for people and organizations to become fearless through rejection training.

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After the Quake: Predictions for an Uncertain Legal Future


Richard Punt, Managing Director of Legal Strategy and Market Development, Thomson Reuters

The last few months have shaken many of our most deeply held assumptions about the world around us. We are only just beginning to work through the longer term implications. For a legal market already in flux, we may look back at 2020 as being the year when its future direction was set. But what will that direction be – a return to business as usual, an acceleration of existing trends or genuine discontinuity? In this session, Richard Punt will provoke us to look beyond the here and now – to imagine our legal future.


After 20 years at the leading edge of change in professional services, Richard Punt now leads legal strategy and market development at Thomson Reuters. He brings a unique combination of leadership track record in both the Big 4 and the Magic Circle. At Deloitte he was Managing Partner, Clients & Markets, and involved in many of firm’s major strategic developments. He joined Allen & Overy in 2014 as CEO of Peerpoint, the firm’s consultant lawyer platform, now recognised as one of the leading players in that market. He was also responsible for developing A&O’s strategy for legal technology and launching their entry into the regulatory consulting market. He joined Thomson Reuters in June 2019.

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