Being in a room full of over a hundred people who ‘get it’ is rather magical. It wasn’t just a matter of hearing from people who puzzle over the same issues, have the same pressures and stresses and derive the same amount of joy from our profession. It also felt great sitting and talking about how we could be reaching out and helping each other as a community.

The call for us as researchers to ‘be more human’ through our work was eloquently expressed by Sabine Stork and Kathryn Bailey from Thinktank. Rather than steering ourselves ever closer to ‘perfect objectivity’ they made the call for a more expressive encounter, where conversation flows more naturally and us researchers can feel more free to simply be ourselves.

Shiri Atsmon from TNS looked at how technology can actually make us ‘more human’, more caring, more in tune with each other and the rest of the world. Surely the great driving force behind the social media explosion is the desire to communicate and connect, so it’s nice to be reminded of this as we wrestle with the more cynical expressions of our online experience.

It was also great to get the recruiters’ perspective. Again, we heard a call for a more ‘human’ and less data driven approach, pen portraits rather than restrictive grids, indicative profiles of real people rather than abstract and hard to find expressions of a sample matrix.