Building back better: Strengthening digital and physical infrastructure
Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th September 2021 Virtual (Zoom) event
The theme of the most recent Windsor Debates reflected one of the key priorities of our 2021 Business Manifesto, namely to “promote the need for investment in a resilient infrastructure network for the Thames Valley, strengthening provision of physical and digital networks that will support the region’s future sustainable economic growth and innovation.”
During the September 2021 Windsor Debates, we continued to build on the topic of sustainability which was central to the March 2021 Windsor Debate. This session was particularly pertinent as we near the autumn COP26 (November 2021 in Glasgow). We have shared a report of the key outcomes of the Debate into the office of Alok Sharma, President of COP26 and Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). The event was facilitated by Iain Anderson, Executive Chairman, Cicero.
During the Debates, the Chamber also announced the launch of the Thames Valley Sustainability Working Group (SWG), in partnership with EY. This is a business-led roundtable focused on the theme of sustainability, climate change and net-zero.
Please view the September 2021 programme, below:
Chief Executive, TVCC, Bill Gornall-King,
Group President, TVCC and Miranda Barker,
Chief Executive, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce opened this introductory session in conversation with Iain Anderson,
Executive Chairman, Cicero, on the key themes of Windsor Debates.
General Manager, Corporate, External, Legal, Microsoft
Hugh outlined the underlying themes of this event and contextualised them, providing a localised, UK wide and global perspective on the overall direction of action to address climate change and sustainability.
Corporate Finance Partner, PwC
James spoke on the role of infrastructure in delivering the UK's net zero target by 2050, infrastructure & ESG and the need for cross sector collaboration.
Net Zero Panel Discussion
Miranda, James and Hugh discussed net zero in conversation with Iain Anderson. Why should businesses be aiming to be net zero? What is the Government’s role in this? What is the role of these two Chambers, and others around the country?
The focus of this session was on digital infrastructure, applications for delivering sustainable development and ‘net zero’ ambitions, as well as the efficiency of technology and the various benefits of 5G.
Chief Technology Innovation Officer: Regions and Devolved Government, BT
Director Public Sector, London and the South East, BT Enterprise
Simon and Martin discussed how businesses can build back better by having a ‘digital fabric’.
Market Entry and GTM Strategist, Valley Spark
Helen shared information about what major US West Coast businesses are doing to move towards net zero.
Head of Marketing & Communications, Ericsson
Marko spoke about how different sectors will benefit from 5G.
This session focussed on two areas: Part 1: Built environment and Part 2: Physical infrastructure
Part 1: Built environment
During this part of the session the panel discussed the importance of environmental planning as well as decarbonisation, battery technology, and multi-modal transport.
Partner and Head of Environment & Planning, Blake Morgan LLP
Regional Asset Manager, Electrification, Network Rail
Director - Environmental Planning, Barton Willmore
Infrastructure & Energy Planning Director, Barton Willmore
Part 2: Physical infrastructure
During this part of the session we focussed on future water planning and resources, as well as sustainable fuels and the electrification of the aviation industry.
CEO, Thames Water
Rachel Solomon Williams,
Deputy Director, Head of Low Carbon Fuels, Department for Transport
Director of Sustainability, Heathrow
General Manager, Kawasaki Motors UK
Chief Executive, and Bill Gornall-King,
Group President, TVCC, summarised the outcomes of discussions in earlier sessions alongside keynote speakers.
Director General, British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)
Shevaun summarised the key takeaways from the two days of debate. As Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, Shevaun also spoke about how the network will advocate for agreed priorities.
Professor David Simon,
Professor of Development Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London
David explained and outlined the potential of multi-stakeholder partnerships, and methods to make progress. These are very different from conventional consultations but have demonstrated potential to overcome suspicions, hostility and to build common ground and trust. Relevant examples, including from our region, illustrated the points.
Executive Chairman, Cicero, and Facilitator of Windsor Debates
Iain shared his thoughts on the full event, the conclusions reached, recommendations to be made, and a look forward to the March 2022 Debates.
Cicero’s Guide to COP26;
EY’s Sustainability 101: A short guide to key concepts and terminology;
PwC’s Unlocking capital for Net Zero Infrastructure