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Windsor Debates – Restart, Rebuild, Renew: the ‘new normal’ post COVID-19 Monday, 21st- Friday, 25th September 2020

With plans for the first Windsor Debates of 2020 now at an advanced stage, the Chamber is excited to share details of the forthcoming programme.

Held as a series of 90 minute virtual sessions over the course of a week, the newly shaped agenda will encompass a broad range of topics within the overarching theme of Restart, Rebuild, Renew: the ‘new normal’, post COVID-19.

This will be a timely opportunity to examine some of the significant issues raised during recent policy-focussed events including improving our understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on our business community. The outcomes of each discussion will be used to help shape and frame TVCC’s strategic policy direction and wider programme of activity during the upcoming year.

At the introductory session on Monday, 21 September, we look forward to welcoming keynote speakers. Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, President of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), will highlight the role of the BCC in supporting business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst Hugh Milward, General Manager at Microsoft, will provide an insight into The Future of Work. We are also delighted to welcome back Iain Anderson, Executive Chairman of Cicero as our facilitator for this session.

On Tuesday, 22 September, speakers including Professor James Naismith, Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute at Harwell, and Dr Katharina Hauck, Reader in Health Economics at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London. They are set to provide a Scientific Perspective on COVID-19, which will include the practicalities of the rapid response to the pandemic and the economics of the science. Later in the day – building on the important work initiated during the last Windsor Debate in September 2019 – the impact of COVID-19 on mental health will be examined in a session jointly chaired by Stuart Carroll, Head of Market Access at Sanofi and Clare Lyons-Collins, formerly Project Director MH Innovation & Improvement.

A Technology Sector session, facilitated by Phil Smith CBE, former CEO, UK and Ireland, Cisco and Chair of TVCC’s Technology Roundtable series, will set the programme for Wednesday, 23 September. This will be followed later in the day by a session on the Future of Trade with the USA (including trade agreements), with keynote speakers The Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP, Minister of State for Trade Policy and Jeffrey J Schott, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for Economics and former Co-Chair of the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee for the US Trade Representative.

John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive Officer, Heathrow and Mark Hopwood, Interim Managing Director, South-Western Rail and Managing Director, Great Western Rail, together with additional speakers from the aviation and automotive sectors, will debate the imminent and medium-term Future of Travel on Thursday, 24 September. The second session of the day will be an MPs’ Roundtable, at which we will be joined by a select number of local MPs, including James Sunderland, MP for Bracknell and Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer for a discussion to be facilitated by Hugh Milward, General Manager, Microsoft.

The week will culminate in a closing session on Friday, 25 September, providing an opportunity for reflection on the week’s debates and enabling participants to hear two valuable and wide-ranging perspectives on the UK/global recovery and what good looks like for the Thames Valley – a media viewpoint from Joe Mayes, Government Reporter, Bloomberg News, and an economic perspective from Mark Gregory, Chief Economist, EY.

Participation in all sessions is by invitation only, but we welcome interest from businesses across the UK and beyond. To find out more, please visit our dedicated Windsor Debates page.



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Sarah Irving

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