Training & Events

Providing you with affordable and effective industry training and access to networking opportunities

ICAspire Development Forum

Location TBC

Important Notice

Given the globally developing coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, regrettably we have taken the decision to postpone our upcoming ICAspire Development Forum which was due to take place on Monday 23rd March in Bremen, Germany.

Organisers of the Bremen International Cotton Conference which was due to take place from 25-27th March have also made the decision to postpone this event in light of the current situation.

The safety, health and wellbeing of our attendees, development leaders and staff is our number one priority.

We fully intend to reschedule this Development Forum and will have more information regarding this very soon.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and remain at your service should you have further questions regarding this situation.

Add your name to our interested list for the rescheduled ICAspire Development Forum >

ICAspire Development Forums are unique opportunities for young professionals, or those new to the industry, to take part in personal and professional development sessions delivered by some of cotton’s leading professionals.

The date and location of our first ICAspire Development Forum & Networking Dinner will be announced soon. The event will be free for ICAspire members or those eligible for membership.

Who should attend?

Only those eligible for ICAspire membership are able to attend. ICAspire Membership is applicable to those who are aged under 40 or are within the first 5 years of their career in cotton.

You can find out more about ICAspire membership here >

What’s included in the programme?

The Development Forum will include over 6 hours of learning, development and networking; split across two pillars – Learn & Build:


Delivered by Colin Iles (Glencore) and Peter Wakefield (Wakefield Inspection Services), Learn will explore the major roles within the cotton industry; focusing on the challenges they face and how cotton professionals can best interact with each other to the benefit of the entire cotton community. Learn will cover:

  • Producers
  • Agents / Brokers
  • Merchants
  • Spinners
  • Controllers
  • Retailers
  • Risk Management


Build will be delivered by Bill Ballenden (Dragon Tree Commodity Trading) and Mark Pryor (The Seam). Given their experience in innovative agricultural commodity focused businesses, their interactive sessions will focus on leadership and adaptability along with a specific focus on innovation.

Mark and Bill will develop themes around leadership and innovation, challenging some of these in the context of adaptability; coming from an industry where the status quo is too often embraced over innovation. Build will ask:

  • What skills will the leaders of the future need?
  • What is innovation and how do you test innovation in the agri business space?
  • What is the risk of not innovating?

How much does it cost?

This development forum is free to attend for ICAspire members or those eligible for membership.

How do I register?

Registration will open soon.


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