If you missed Future Housing Leaders 2019, one of our ambassadors, Salma Shah, has written a summary of what happened over the two jam-packed days.

On arrival, I was greeted with a warm smile, coffee and yummy breakfast treats, ready to learn and meet over 200 delegates.

The witty Penny Haslam chaired the event and set the tone for the day with a reminder that it is up to us to solve the serious housing issues that face our nation. Her speech was like an initial light bulb moment with a weight of responsibility.

There were loads of inspirational sessions throughout the two days, all led by passionate leaders. Some of the topics included the importance of being your true authentic self, being honest with your team, becoming a leader with impact, and remembering to laugh.

During the break we had human bingo! This competition involved meeting other attendees and getting a conversation started. It was a fun way to network and to get everyone involved with a prize for the winning candidate.

Our afternoon was also full of captivating sessions, including raising awareness on the importance of diversity, and updates on our political environment and how it affects our sector.

We finished off day one with a learning from leaders panel, and heard our speakers discuss how to juggle work and family life while they left us with some inspirational words of wisdom, “Who you are is what makes you really special.”

We were then invited to unwind and network in the botanical bonanza within Barbican Centre Conservatory, which turned out to be a fabulous evening!

We started day two with a fire up welcome and a prep to enter the battle rooms. This was by far my favourite part of the conference. We had a challenging scenario set for us and had to act as a fictional housing association’s leadership team. This was true higher level thinking at its best. After realising the level of responsibility a leadership team faces, I couldn’t help but have a deeper level of respect for the leaders within my own organisation and a desire to have a greater awareness of their responsibilities.

We were at the National Housing Summit for the remainder of day two, where we could mingle with the grown-ups and apply what we had learnt so far. This also gave us the opportunity to get involved, put our own ideas forward and ask important questions. A jam-packed two day conference which was more than enough to kick start the leaders of tomorrow.

If you're interested in joining the 2020 Future Housing Leaders cohort, click here to find out more information.