18 November 2019 InterContinental London - The O2

CBI Annual Conference 2019

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Annual Conference 2019

Experience the UK's highest profile business conference

  • Powerful insights to solve business challenges

  • Unrivalled networking. 1500 senior leaders from business, politics and media

  • Expert speakers: from political leaders to CEOs from leading brands

  • Watch the highlights from
    the CBI Annual Conference 2018

World class speakers

Confirmed speakers include:

Conference programme

  • 07:30


    Arrive at the InterContinental London - The O2 and collect your badge                                    

  • 08:00

    Breakfast Insight Seminars

    • How to support digital transformation in your business

    Digital Transformation can often be bewildering for companies of all sizes. This seminar will help you to navigate the challenges and opportunities you may face when attempting to harness innovation in an increasingly disrupted market - from embracing transformation in larger enterprises to tackling resourcing and demonstrating return on investment for SMEs and mid-markets. Our expert speakers will give practical insights on how you can support digital transformation covering issues such as understanding your business environment and the appetite for change, how to leverage technology to your advantage and how to secure employee buy in.

               Felicity Burch, Director of Digital & Innovation, CBI (chair)
               Jon Wrennall, Chief Technology Officer, Advanced
               Philip Hoare, President, Atkins
              Sarah Mann, Head of Programmes, Design Council

    Sponsored by Advanced

    • Mind the Gap: how to tackle pay gaps

    Businesses need to collect data on diversity and use it to understand the barriers and challenges that people face in the workplace. With the third round of gender pay gap reporting in April 2020 and the likelihood of ethnicity pay gap coming into force soon it is clear that there is no silver bullet to approaching the challenge of closing pay gaps. This session will discuss some of the key questions for business to address. Panellists from across the business sectors will share their experience of what has worked well and what lessons can be drawn from overcoming obstacles internally. The session will discuss what can and should be done to narrow the pay gaps and how to use data effectively to track progress.

               Matthew Percival, Director, People and Skills, Employment Law and Employee Relations, CBI (chair)
               Yvonne Smyth, Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Hays
               Sarah Churchman OBE, Director, Chief Inclusion, Community & Wellbeing Officer, pwc
               Denise Wilson OBE, Chief Executive, Hampton-Alexander Review
               Claire England, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, JLL

    Sponsored by Hays

    • Delivering the transition to a low-carbon economy

    The need to act on climate change is clear and business will play a fundamental role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The Government has set an ambitious net-zero emissions target for 2050, putting the UK at the forefront of climate action. This creates significant investment opportunities, but government policy needs to support its ambitions, and create the right environment to enable business to invest in new technologies. Industry speakers will share their views on the shift to low-carbon power, transport and heat, and the CBI will share its analysis on the policy milestones for the coming decade.

               Tom Thackray, Director of Infrastructure, CBI (chair)
               Dr Pauline Lawson, UK Head of Political Affairs and Communications, Uniper
               Baroness Brown, Vice-Chair, Committee on Climate Change
               Ed Syson, Chief Safety and Strategy officer, Cadent

    Sponsored by Uniper

  • 10:00
    John Allan CBE
    John Allan CBE

    Opening Address

    John Allan CBE, President, CBI welcomes all delegates to the 2019 CBI Annual Conference.

    • John Allan CBE
      John Allan CBE President, CBI
  • 10:15
    Dame Carolyn Fairbairn
    Dame Carolyn Fairbairn

    An Interview with Dame Carolyn Fairbairn

    • Dame Carolyn Fairbairn
      Dame Carolyn Fairbairn Director-General, CBI
  • 10:45
  • 11:20
    Ivan Menezes
    Ivan Menezes

    Keynote Address and Q&A | The UK as a place to invest: the global perspective

    The UK is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan economies. How can we ensure the UK plays to its strengths and remains a go-to destination for investment post-Brexit? What do we need to do to retain existing investors and attract new ones?  

    This session will explore the key factors that foreign investors consider when deciding to do business in the UK.  

    • Ivan Menezes
      Ivan Menezes CEO, Diageo
  • 11:45
    Multiple Speakers
    Multiple Speakers

    Debate | Driving up productivity in the UK 

    Compared to the rest of the G7, the UK is still under-performing when it comes to productivity. Addressing the productivity gap is key to the future prosperity of society but its a complex and multi-layered issue which needs a holistic approach.

    This session will start with an overview of the key drivers of productivity and will then focus on education and skills as one of the crucial areas where business can make a real impact.

    • Andy Haldane
      Andy Haldane Chief Economist, Bank of England
    • Alison Rose
      Alison Rose CEO Designate, RBS
    • Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL
      Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL VP, CBI, Founder of Cobra Beer
    • Kathryn Parsons
      Kathryn Parsons Co-Founder, Decoded
    • Steve Marsh
      Steve Marsh VP Manufacturing, Nissan UK
    • Tony Danker
      Tony Danker CEO, Be the Business
  • 12:25
  • 12:35

    Insight Seminar

    • Political and Economic Briefing: The UK's global role

    In an ever-changing world, with the current political climate and issues including the rise of protectionism, importance of understanding China’s role in the global economy, and trust in institutions, CBI’s Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith, Director of Campaigns, John Foster and Head of Group, Beijing, Guy Dru Drury will be on hand to discuss Britain’s changing relationship on a global scale.

    The session will include the latest insights on the political and economic impact of long-term challenges such as climate change, intergenerational fairness and an ageing population. They will be ready to answer your burning questions and encourage you to join the conversation and share your views in this interactive session.

               Tania Kumar, Senior Policy Adviser, Infrastructure & Energy, CBI (chair)
               Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist, CBI
               John Foster, Director of Campaigns, CBI
               Guy Dru Drury, Chief Representative China NE SE Asia, CBI

  • 13:45
    Multiple Speakers
    Multiple Speakers

    Interview pairs | How could today’s technologies impact the UK economy of tomorrow?

    Cutting-edge technologies from Artificial Intelligence to Robotics have the potential to transform businesses and enhance the UK’s international competitiveness. From early detection of financial fraud to identifying the right job candidates, the benefits to employment, growth and exports are clear and will depend on tackling challenges and harnessing opportunities from increasing employee diversity to boosting board-level buy-in. 

    This dynamic session will discuss how a bold and responsible use of ground-breaking technologies could change the way the UK does business.

    • Alistair Cox
      Alistair Cox Chief Executive, Hays plc
    • Baroness Lane-Fox
      Baroness Lane-Fox Chair, Doteveryone and Co-Founder, Lastminute.com
    • Cindy Rose
      Cindy Rose CEO, Microsoft UK
    • Peter Duffy
      Peter Duffy CEO, Just Eat
  • 14.25
    Jo Swinson
    Jo Swinson

    Political Keynote Address and Q&A

    • Jo Swinson
      Jo Swinson Liberal Democrats Leader
  • 14:55
  • 15:25
    Peter Lacy
    Peter Lacy

    Address | Stepping up to the challenge – making profit with purpose

    Business has a huge role to play in addressing the major problems society faces today. Whether it’s investing in low carbon innovation to tackle climate change or devoting resource for improving the mental as well as physical health of employees or embedding equality in the corporate culture, business can and should make a difference to society.  

    In this address, delegates will hear how going the extra mile can impact the lives of people, the prosperity of the UK and the health of the planet. 

    • Peter Lacy
      Peter Lacy Senior Managing Director, Accenture Strategy
  • 15:35
    Multiple Speakers
    Multiple Speakers

    Debate | Social inequality – leading the way to prosperity for all

    Ensuring equality of opportunity for all regardless of social status, gender, ethnicity and region is imperative to a prosperous society.  

    This session will discuss the role that business can play in breaking down barriers to equality, in proactively promoting diversity and embedding real cultural change within organisations. 

    • Denise Wilson
      Denise Wilson Chief Executive, Hampton-Alexander Review
    • The Most Reverend Justin Welby
      The Most Reverend Justin Welby Archbishop of Canterbury
    • Rain Newton-Smith
      Rain Newton-Smith Chief Economist, CBI
  • 16:15
    Multiple Speakers
    Multiple Speakers

    Debate | Workplace wellbeing – the role of business in promoting good mental health

    One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. The social conversation around mental health and the role that business can play in supporting employees dealing with this is growing but there is still more to do. 

    This session will address the role of senior leaders in promoting good mental health, how business can play a part in prevention through creating the right culture and what business can to do equip the next generation entering the workforce with resilience skills to manage their health and wellbeing in the workplace. 

    • David Hynam
      David Hynam CEO, Bupa Global and UK
    • Simon Stevens
      Simon Stevens Chief Executive Officer, NHS England
  • 16:55
    Christiana Figueres
    Christiana Figueres

    Keynote Address and Q&A: Stepping up to the climate change challenge – can the UK win the race to net zero?

    Widely accepted as the single most important issue facing society today, Climate Change is at the forefront of the minds of business leaders and features prominently on the board agenda. 

    What progress has happened in the decade since the Climate Change Act and what can business do to expedite a low carbon future? 

    • Christiana Figueres
      Christiana Figueres Former Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • 17:15
  • 17:45
    Multiple Speakers
    Multiple Speakers

    Closing Address

    • John Allan CBE
      John Allan CBE President, CBI
    • Dame Carolyn Fairbairn
      Dame Carolyn Fairbairn Director-General, CBI
  • 17:50

    Networking Reception

    All delegates are invited to join a drinks reception following the conference.

    Other networking opportunities:

    For the first time ever, the CBI LGBT+ Network is bringing together LGBT+ business leaders and straight allies to celebrate progress on equality in the workplace. Join us at the Clipper Bar to show your support for fairness in the workplace – whatever your gender, sexuality or background. Places are limited and RSVP is required. To sign up for the LGBT+ reception, click here.



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Event location

InterContinental London – The O2

InterContinental London – The O2

InterContinental London, The O2, 1 Waterview Drive, London, SE10 0TW

Rooms are available at the Intercontinental 02 on Sunday 18th and Monday 19th November at the best available rate.

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) is a global organisation headquartered in the UK, with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including Holiday Inn®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts , Hotel Indigo® and Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants. More than 375,000 people work across our hotels and corporate offices globally.

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