Workshop: The Inclusive Advantage (Building An Inclusive Culture & Network)

with Jeni Smith and Claire Walton

8 May 2024, 09:00 - 12:30

The Hangout, UMi, Navigators Point, Belmont Business Park, Durham DH1 1TW

Entrepreneur Member
Partner/Executive Member
Guest (Premium/Ultimate members only)

Are you trying to create more diversity in your business but not sure how to ensure you are being inclusive in your approach thus making diversity work for your business and your team?

And does your business network compromise of people who share your interests, hobbies, and experiences? Then you may be missing out. 

Having an inclusive approach with a diverse network of connections can bring a whole host of advantages including exposure to new ideas and a deeper understanding of others — not to mention business benefits including improved problem solving, smarter decision making and enhanced innovation. 

To explore more about the topic, we’ve invited subject experts Claire Walton and Jeni Smith to share why developing inclusive behaviours and building inclusive business networks can create organisational, professional, and personal advantage. 

Divided into two sessions – this half-day workshop will teach you how to get started with building a more inclusive approach, sharing tips and tricks that will help you create meaningful connections with a diversity of people.

In part one, Building Internal Diversity with Claire Walton, you will learn: 

  • A business case for inclusion 
  • Four cornerstones of inclusion 
  • Eight inclusion needs 

In part two, Developing Your Network with Jeni Smith, you will learn: 

  • The power of networking and what research tells us about networking 
  • How to develop your network diversity 
  • How to map out your existing networks to spot gaps 
  • How to spark new ideas and problem solve through conversation 
  • An introduction to the networking ecosystem and how to navigate it 


Designed for both business leaders and their teams, come along and find out how you can start networking more inclusively and effectively. 

If you have any specific need which will enable you to join the session and contribute fully, please make us aware in advance and we will do our best to accommodate.


About Our Subject Experts 

Jeni Smith

Jeni Smith has over 16 years’ experience in networking strategy and is currently embarking on a PhD at Durham University researching the relationship between networking event anatomy and entrepreneurial narratives. 

During her career, Jeni has won several awards in enterprise including being named one of the Future 100 Young Entrepreneurs in the UK, becoming a finalist in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2021 & 2022, and being named by the Telegraph as one of their 100 Women to Watch. 

Between 2017-2019 she conducted two rounds of academic research with Durham University, exploring her unique, strategic business networking model. The research results spurred her on to launch NetKno and are what we now use to develop our bespoke networking strategies. 

Claire Walton 

Claire Walton is an entrepreneur, performance coach, author and founder of Leaders are Making a Difference (MAD) which she launched after three decades working in management and leadership roles for some of the country’s best-known brands. 

Through her work with MAD, Claire inspires and enables others to become leaders, helping them to make a significant difference for their organisations and themselves.

The small print - Workshops are open to all members and partners of the Forum. Two guest places are available to ‘Ultimate’ and ‘Premium’ members. Please note guests must be from your own company.

If you are a ‘Core’ member and would like to upgrade your membership or to find out more please email or call one of the team on 0191 500 7780.

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