Delegates hear about regional sustainable economic growth at Business Summit

Katherine Moss
Attendees at Kent Business Summit

The University was delighted to welcome delegates from local businesses to its Kent & Medway Business Summit on 27 April 2022. Held at Kent Business School’s Sibson Building, the summit provided delegates with the opportunity to hear from a range of keynote speakers and take part in presentations, workshops and debates.

Host Deborah Turner from the Federation of Small Businesses introduced proceedings before the Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Cox provided the opening remarks.

Attendees heard from the likes of Kitty Ussher, Chief Economist, Institute of Directors; Andy Martin, Director of Communications and Strategy of London Resort Company Holdings; Richard Hicks, Director of Place for Medway; and Councillor Roger Gough, Leader at Kent County Council.

A series of workshops featuring high profile speakers, including Turner Contemporary’s Peter Hawkes, Gavin Cleary CEO of Locate Kent and Kresse Welding of Elvis and Kresse, gave delegates an opportunity to engage in discussions on hot topics in the business world.

The event finished with a presentation – 5 in 5: Five Innovations That Will Change Our Lives Within Five Years – where Professor Andy Stanford-Clark, IBM Distinguished Engineer and Master Inventor, worked with attendees to made predictions about possible future innovations that will make a difference to our sustainable feature. These included capturing C02 in industrial scale, nitrogen fixation to help food growth, battery chemistry to be less reliant on rare earth metals, electronics and accelerating medical discovery with AI and Quantum Computers.

Closing remarks came from Professor Marian Garcia, Dean of Kent Business School who said of the Summit: ‘In this constantly changing business landscape, there has never been a greater need for a place where businesses, politicians, local government, key policy makers and academics can come together and build a roadmap for sustainable economic growth. Marking a welcome return to in-person events, this was a day to discuss, inform, influence and, above all, collaborate.’

Josh Pitman, Managing Director of Priority Direct who was also chairing a workshop on Sustainable Innovation later that day said: ‘The economic forecast was very insightful and enjoyable. I was chairing the sustainability and innovation break out and it was great to have a full room and strong engagement. It was great to have such an engaged audience, good presenters, and really good questions which generated a lot of shared interest and discussion within the room. The Summit for me was thought-provoking, enjoyable, informative, & motivational and certainly worth taking time for.’

The event was sponsored by Kreston Reeves; Thomas Snell and Passmore; and British Business Bank.

Read more about the event here.