Sedex Conference Speakers

The Sedex Conference is the largest responsible sourcing conference in London. This event brings together over 700 CEOs, practitioners and government representatives from a range of business sectors all over the world.

Sedex Conference speakers drive the debate, offer insight, expertise and best practice knowledge in responsible sourcing. If you are a business leader in a Sedex member organisation or ethical trade practitioner, we invite you share your story, lead the discussion and inspire our audience, and become a speaker in one of our conference sessions.

If you would like to become a speaker, please email us at


Our Speakers

Lea Esterhuizen: Founder, &Wider

Lea founded &Wider, a direct worker reporting company, in 2014 to contribute simple scalable tools to produce better data on working conditions globally.

Previously she worked as a methodologist in international development and human rights, focusing on scalable systems for gathering sensitive data on genocide, violence affecting children and forced migration. She brings with her the lessons learnt from these challenging environments, and especially the tried and tested methods for triggering trust and building response rates amongst fearful or reluctant participants. The budget constraints that always applied in her previous work, have helped to focus &Wider’s offer on providing better insight at low cost.

 &Wider works across sectors and geographies, caters for large and small suppliers, and offers integration into other supplier assessment systems. Lea believes that while we have some distance to cover before we have a clearer picture of working conditions across the globe, that hearing directly and anonymously from workers offers us a logical next step towards building truly sustainable sourcing and a truly sustainable supply.

Neill Wilkins: Programme Manager, Migrant Workers, IHRB

Neill specialises in the human rights challenges faced by migrant workers and the companies who recruit and employ them. He has undertaken a number of initiatives with the apparel, construction and hospitality sectors and the international employment industry to promote responsible recruitment. Neill also helped oversee the development of the Dhaka Principles for Migration with Dignity, a key framework for responsible business practice relating to migrant workers.

Neill is responsible for the strategy and day to day management of the IHRB migrant workers programme along with matters relating to forced labour, trafficking and other abuses of workers rights. Currently, much of his focus is on promoting responsible recruitment and the prohibition of recruitment fees being paid by migrant workers.

Ynzo van Zanten: Founder, Tony's Chocolonely

Tony’s Chocolonely isn’t your average chocolate company, but a chocolate company with a huge mission; to end modern slavery and exploitation in the cocoa industry. With amazing chocolate recipes they set the example and show that chocolate can be made in a more responsible way; in taste, packaging and the way they build long term relationships with cocoa farmers and the way they handle an open and transparent value chain.  Ynzo van Zanten, Tony’s ‘Choco Evangelist’ will tell the story of Tony’s roadmap towards 100% slave free chocolate and how everyone can join this movement.

Leslie Johnston: Executive Director, C&A Foundation

Leslie Johnston joined C&A Foundation as its first Executive Director in 2013, bringing over 20 years of management experience across multiple sectors. There, she led the development of the foundation’s first global vision and strategy and currently oversees team of over 50 people in nine countries and a grant budget of over EUR 50 million working to improve lives and livelihoods of the women and men who work in the apparel industry. Leslie currently serves on the boards of Fashion for Good B.V., the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), COFRA Foundation, GoodWeave International, CottonConnect, and the Organic Cotton Accelerator.

Ian Allard: Senior Sustainability Manager, MACE

Ian is currently a Senior Sustainability Manager within Mace’s consultancy business. He joined the company in December 2016, bringing expertise gained from a career in environmental & sustainability management within parks (DCMS), services and electronics sectors. 

Ian has over 9 years’ experience working in sustainability management and has been involved in everything from high-level strategy to on-site delivery of solutions that span a number of different sectors.

 As a Senior Sustainability Manager at Mace, Ian is the sustainability lead for our approach to Modern Slavery and our National Grid ISS programme. Here he leads their approach to making embodied carbon savings and green infrastructure improvements. Ian was previously the lead for our construction commercial offices business. Ian is responsible for proposing, championing, implementing and reporting social and environmental best practice so that our client’s projects achieve and exceed the requirements set; helping to drive sustainable design and realise carbon and opex savings.

David Pette: RB’s Social & Human Rights Senior Manager

As RB’s Social & Human Rights Senior Manager, David is responsible for leading the strategic direction and overseeing the operational management of RB’s social / human rights programme globally. Over the five years he has worked for RB, he has led the creation of a dedicated Human Rights team and the role out of RB’s supply chain due-diligence programme globally, gaining on the ground experience in a number of geographies including the Middle East, Brazil, North and South Asia. He is purpose driven and is starting to explore how a more proactive and holistic view of social / human rights across the entire value chain of the company can be taken.

He has a BSc in Environmental Economics from the University of York and MSc in Sustainability for the University of Leeds. He has also on the AIM-Progress leadership team.

Professor Stephanie Barrientos, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester

Stephanie Barrientos is Professor of Global Development at the University of Manchester. Stephanie has researched and published widely on gender, agribusiness and employment in global value chains; trade and labour standards; corporate social responsibility, fair and ethical trade. She has undertaken research in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. She led research commissioned by Cadbury Mapping Sustainable Cocoa Production in Ghana and India, which informed Mondelez Cocoa Life (US$400m) programme. She has advised a large number of companies, NGOs, government and international organisations including Body Shop, Cadbury/Mondelez, DFID, Marks & Spencer, Nike, Oxfam, WIEGO, ILO, and UNCTAD. Stephanie held a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2013-16) to write a book: Capturing the Gains: Gender and Work in Global Value Chains published by Cambridge University Press later in 2019. She is Research Lead on the DFID programme (2017-22) Work and Opportunities for Women (WOW) in global value chains

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