Training & Events

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

ICAspire Innovation & Leadership Series


The ICAspire Professional Development Series is the ideal opportunity for young professionals to learn, develop, network and continue their professional development. Importantly, it’s an opportunity for employers to invest in and provide personal development and networking for their employees.

Our first series of interactive online sessions will explore Innovation and Leadership, delivered by industry expert Bill Ballenden of DragonTree Commodity Trading Limited and former President of the ICA.

Bill will look at business innovation and entrepreneurship, both in the context of established companies and start-ups. He will look at how innovation can challenge leadership, but also offer opportunity. While innovation and entrepreneurship are often hard to replicate, there are themes and case studies that can help understand both what to do, and what not to do. He will be joined by special guests Mark Pryor (The Seam) & Andrew Olah (Kingpins), to discuss innovation at origin and also at the fabric ends of the cotton business.

Following innovation, Bill will then explore the topic of leadership – what makes a good leader (or perhaps what does not), how innovation and leadership work together and how diversity in leadership is essential. The role of an effective team will be looked at in the context of leadership. Joining Bill for these sessions will be Azeez Syed (Olam), Kim Hanna (TransGlobal Inspections), Eimear McDonagh (Namoi Cotton Alliance) and Joe Nicosia (Louis Dreyfus Company).

Who should attend?

Those who are aged under 40 or are within the first 5 years of their career in cotton.

When will the sessions take place?

All sessions are delivered live at 13:00 BST / UK Time and will last no longer than 90 minutes:


View the full programme


What’s included in the programme?

  • Over 8 hours of learning, development and networking.
  • Access to all live sessions in this series and re-watch them at anytime via on-demand.
  • Build your contacts and grow your network with access to the exclusive ICAspire networking group.
  • Get familiar with the series topics with pre-series reading material.

How much does it cost?

The cost to register for this series is £699*.
The cost of this series may be split across 4 equal payments of £174.75*, to be paid monthly from the date of registration.
*+VAT where applicable


In order to gain the most from this experience it is vital that participants attend all live sessions in the series.

How do I register

Places are limited to 20 (with a maximum of two registrants per company):

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