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Reflections on the COBIS conference 2019 by David Porritt

So one week has passed since the 38th Annual COBIS conference reached its conclusion. Delegates and Exhibitors have returned to their home countries and like me, are no doubt processing the many and varied conversations from a weekend of powerful learning and thought leadership. Having been to the conference for the last 10 years as a Head of school, this was my first in the role of Director of KAA. Whilst I expected the event to feel different, what struck me was how familiar it was. COBIS, I think, like KAA is characterised by supportive and caring relationships. For many school leaders spread out across The World, conferences like this provide a touch point that fortifies the individual and provides a platform from which we can all capture fresh ideas as we explore new depths of understanding each and every year.


For me, catching up with colleagues (who over the years have become friends) was a true highlight. Meeting delegates and exhibitors at the KAA stand was only topped by the attendance and engagement we experienced at our seminar about leadership and millennials. Someone asked me what my ‘take-away’ might be. To be honest, I need some time to think about it a bit more because there was so much to learn and reflect on. For now, it’s simply that even in our modern interconnected world – with excellent electronic communication – it is the face-to-face dynamic of powerful human relationships that underpin the bonds of togetherness so evidently present and which mean so much to us all.

Kate Beetlestone
Kate Beetlestone

Kate Beetlestone is an experienced and highly successful business manager and external business project leader.