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International Festival for Business 2016 announces high-profile group of Blue Skies thinkers


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Mon, 16 May 2016

    International Festival for Business 2016

Globally recognised speakers headline the wider Blue Skies programme at IFB2016 

International Festival for Business 2016 (IFB2016) has secured an exceptional collection of thinkers, innovators, statesmen and business leaders to share their experiences. The group form part of the Blue Skies programme of events that sit around the core business-focused content at the three-week festival taking place in Liverpool from 13 June to 1 July 2016.

Festival attendees will have the opportunity to listen and reflect on the events that have shaped a group of fascinating people’s lives in an informal end of day environment. The purpose of the Blue Skies programme is to allow participants to network and learn. In addition, there will be a series of open events that day visitors to the festival can enjoy.

Joining former South African President FW De Klerk, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord O’Neill of Gately and Severn Trent CEO, Liv Garfield who were announced in January, the final line-up is:

  • Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO WPP – globally recognised business leader and CEO of the world’s biggest advertising group. He is a non-executive director of Formula One and Alcoa Inc and will be sharing his knowledge of growing an exceptional group global of companies.
  • Douglas Flint CBE, Chairman of HSBC – board member at HSBC since 1995, initially as finance director and now Chairman. He will share his career at one of the world’s biggest banks and discuss how companies big and small tackle the challenge of overseas trade. He was awarded the CBE in 2006 for services to the UK banking industry.
  • Lady Barbara Judge, Chairman Emeritus of UK Atomic Energy Authority – Lady Judge started her career as a corporate lawyer. She went on to hold a number of senior roles in the banking industry. She has held numerous non-executive directorships and has been called one of the best connected women in Britain. She was awarded the CBE in 2010 for her services to the nuclear and financial industries. She will be sharing her thoughts on women in the nuclear industry.
  • Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman Clipper Ventures – former holder of the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest circumnavigation of the globe in a yacht and current chairman of the Clipper Round the World Race. Sir Robin will share his insights on skippering a crew and its relevance to today’s turbulent business world.
  • Andy Palmer, CEO Aston Martin – a chartered engineer by trade and formerly at Nissan, he will share his learnings from leading one of the world’s most respected luxury sports car companies.
  • Dr Angela Strank, Chief Scientist and head of downstream technology at BP – she joined BP in 1982 and has held numerous commercial and technical roles at the company. In her current role she is responsible for developing strategic options to ensure that BP benefits from developments in science and technology worldwide. She will be taking about her vast experience in the oil and gas industry.
  • Lord Charles Powell, Chairman Louis Vuitton UK, Chairman Sagitta Asset Management – former diplomat and now businessmen with widespread interests across luxury and finance industries. He will be speaking about luxury good manufacturing and opportunities for growth in China.
  • Graeme Hackland, IT Director, Williams Grand Prix Engineering – senior engineer at one of the UK’s most successful F1 teams. He will be explaining the symbiotic relationship between high performing teams and high performance on the track.
  • Sir Terry Leahy, Chairman of B&M retail – Sir Terry is a senior adviser to CD&R. He is also currently a Director of Blackcircles.com. Previously Sir Terry worked at Tesco for 32 years during which he served in a number of senior positions, including Chief Executive Officer from 1997 to 2011. He will be interviewed as part of a panel by Business Secretary Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP

Sir Terry Leahy, Ex-CEO Tesco:

“The International Festival for Business 2016 will not only offer a superb showcase of the best in British business, but also provide a perfect platform for businesses to connect from across the globe. I greatly look forward to witnessing the start of the transformative relationships established at this summer’s festival.”

Lady Barbara Judge, Chairman Emeritus of the UK Atomic Energy Authority:

“It’s a simple fact: we need more women in nuclear and engineering. We need to create cultures that welcome and nurture women into the industry; how we go about needs to be discussed as a matter of urgency. The International Festival for Business 2016 will provide an opportunity for the employment and cultural challenge to be discussed in detail.”

Dr Angela Strank, Head of downstream technology and Chief Scientist BP:

At the heart of one of Britain’s most important cities, the IFB2016 will provide a truly global audience to bring together the best business Britain has to offer.

I look forward to discussing my role in the technology development at BP at IFB2016

Further to the high profile Blue Skies speakers the programme includes a wider series of events that take in themes including, manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the creative industries and even the business of football.

Those taking part include Iain Hennessey, a consultant paediatric surgeon and Director of Innovation at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and Lord Bilimoria, the founder of Cobra Beer.

Other speakers include Clemens Wangerin, Managing Director of growing social virtual reality application vTime, who is working to turn social networks into virtual experiences with family and friends in spectacular, virtual destinations, and Timpson’s’ CEO James Timpson, who will discuss his firm’s maverick approach to recruitment, which sees it work closely with the prison service to identify potential candidates.

The Blue Skies Sessions will also include a day devoted to the future of manufacturing, with speakers including Dr Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive, Innovate and Professor Steve Evans, author of the Manufacturing Commission report, Industrial Evolution.

Ian McCarthy, Festival Director of IFB2016:

“The Blue Skies programme is a crucial part of the festival. It builds on the 80 world-class events that we have to provide attendees with a complete festival experience. The calibre of speaker that we have secured sets us apart from any other business event taking place around the world. Spending time IFB2016 this June in Liverpool will be a truly enriching experience.”

Backed by HM Government, IFB2016 is the world’s biggest business festival. It will bring together thousands of global businesses, providing a platform for companies to connect and conduct international commerce. Put simply it is a global marketplace where deals are done.

This summer’s festival follows the success of the inaugural IFB in 2014, which produced more than £200m of new investment deals and export sales totaling more than £80m which were the direct result of introductions and connections facilitated by the event.

As a global showcase for great British industries and sectors, the Festival is a key date in the UK and international business calendar commencing on 13 June 2016. It will focus on three key sectors that are transforming the business landscape of Britain and beyond, including: manufacturing; creative & digital; and energy and environment.

Attendees will join world-leading business organisations, including festival partners HSBC, BT and Google and festival supporters Arup, DLA Piper, Dong Energy, Heathrow, PwC, Siemens and Virgin Trains.

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