Windsor Debates

As the Chamber’s flagship event, Windsor Debates formulates clear and decisive messages that help shape and frame TVCC’s strategic policy direction and wider programme of activity. Topical subjects provide opportunity for thought-provoking, insightful discussion.  This ensures we continue in our role as the leading voice in presenting the business case for the Thames Valley into Government, senior officials and key stakeholders representing the region. New insights emerging from these events are fed into our Business Manifesto, which outlines the opportunities and challenges the Chamber wants to champion in the year ahead.

During the Debates, we apply the spirit of the Chatham House rule to foster a lively and interesting discussion.

Historically a one-day event, held twice a year in the prestigious setting of Vicars’ Hall, Windsor Castle, the most recent debates (September 2020 and March 2021) have taken place using digital platforms.


Building back better: Strengthening digital and physical infrastructure – Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th September 2021

The theme of our next Windsor Debates reflects 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.”

We will be continuing to build on the topic of sustainability which was central to the March 2021 Windsor Debate. This session is particularly pertinent as we near the autumn COP26 (November 2021 in Glasgow). We hope to feed outcomes of our Debate into the office of Alok Sharma, President of COP26.

The programme, including the announcement of speakers and panellists, is constantly evolving. Please check the programme menu, below, for more the most up to date information.

Programme 

Thursday 23rd September 2021

Session 1: Introduction and scene setting
14:00-15:30 Paul Britton, Chief Executive, and Bill Gornall-King, Group President, TVCC, will open this introductory session. Keynote speakers: Hugh Milward, General Manager, Corporate, External, Legal, Microsoft
Session 2: Towards a stronger, more sustainable digital infrastructure
16:00-18:00 Keynote Speaker: Simon Haston, CTIO: Regions and Devolved Government, BT Panellists include: Marko Jovanovic, Head of Marketing & Communications, Ericsson

 

Friday 24th September 2021

Session 3: Future resilience of the built environment and physical infrastructure
09:30-11:30 This session will focus on two areas: Part 1: Built environment and Part 2: Physical infrastructure Part 1: Built environment Panellists will include: Anita Kasseean, Legal Director and Partner, Blake Morgan Dr David Hewings, Regional Head of Engineering and Asset management [E&P], Network Rail Nia Watkins, Regional Asset Manager, Electrification, Network Rail Lucy Wood, Director - Environmental Planning, Barton Willmore Ben Lewis, Infrastructure & Energy Planning Director, Barton Willmore Part 2: Physical infrastructure Speakers will Include: Rachel Solomon Williams, Deputy Director, Head of Low Carbon Fuels, Department for Transport Matt Gorman, Director of Sustainability, Heathrow Howard Dale, General Manager, Kawasaki Motors UK
Session 4: Closing session
12:30-14:00 Paul Britton, Chief Executive, and Bill Gornall-King, Group President, TVCC, will summarise the outcomes of discussions in earlier sessions. Keynote Speaker: Shevaun Haviland, Director General, British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

 

We hope to return, for the March 2022 event, to meeting face to face in the historic surroundings of Windsor Castle.

March 2021: Building back better: Promoting intelligent climate planning and decarbonisation at speed

The overarching theme of the March event reflected the Chamber’s ongoing focus on a low carbon, green economy and on showcasing commercially transferable best practice, leadership and innovation from across the Thames Valley – a key priority within our 2021 Business Manifesto. We discussed and challenged the business case for sustainability and examined how we as a business community can work together to meet current and future challenges and inform the work of COP26, led by UK President, Alok Sharma.


 

 

“The event was superb! Very well run with a great upbeat tempo and vibe in the room. I also got a great deal from the speakers you had…one of the most engaging seminars I’ve been to in years…”.

Karl Simons, Thames Water

“May I congratulate you all on your part in creating and delivering what was undoubtedly the best ever Windsor Debates held by the Chamber and I have attended almost all of them. The best in every respect, not only as regards to the engagement of the audience but the excited buzz in the room throughout the day and during the evening”.

Bill Gornall-King, Boyes Turner

 

Please read more about our most recent Debates:

September 2020: Restart, Rebuild, Renew – the ‘new normal’ post Covid-19

During the course of this week-long, digital event, we hosted 9 sessions covering themes ranging from Technology and The Future of Travel (imminent and medium-term) to Mental Health and A Scientific Perspective on COVID-19. We also discussed The Future of Trade with the USA, hosted an MPs’ Roundtable and held a conversational session with Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson, US Ambassador to the UK.

September 2019: ‘Strengthening the workforce in the Thames Valley – Mental health, diversity and inclusion in the workplace’

During this Debate we explored the benefits of promoting diversity, inclusion and good mental health in the workplace. Industry speakers examined international developments and shared real-life examples of how strategies have been implemented and their impact on employees. We were privileged to welcome former Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, as our keynote dinner speaker.