Everything you need to know about the Kent and Medway Business Summit

The Kent and Medway Business Summit returns on Friday 15 January with a virtual event bringing together the business community to have their say on the future of the region.

Using the world-leading virtual conferencing platform, Remo, the Summit offers businesses the chance to have their say directly to high-level regional political figures and academics.

Professionally facilitated interactive workshops will centre on:

  • The future of the region’s food and drink sector
  • The shape of our high streets and town centres
  • Creation of a sustainable green infrastructure and economy
  • The opportunity for job creation from the digital creative sector

In addition to the interactive hour-long workshops, businesses will have the chance to put their views to key figures from Kent and Medway councils, who will be presenting their latest strategies.

  • There will be keynote speeches on what the UK’s new relationship with the EU will mean for business
  • The latest government response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its legacy for business
  • News on plans to bring inward investment to the region from Locate in Kent.
  • The Bank of England will reveal the latest insights and future trends in the region’s economy.
  • Headline speaker is the world-leading tech pioneer Rana el Kaliouby who will be talking on the development of Human AI and its implications for business.

Now in its fourth year, the Summit is a partnership between Kent Business School, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Institute of Directors and Locate in Kent.

Dean of the Kent Business School Professor Marian Garcia said: “The Summit was born from a round table discussion in 2017 with business leaders about the implications of Brexit. Those around the table called for a place where businesses, politicians, local government and academics could come together and build a roadmap for sustainable economic growth.

“The need for a strong direction and focus for our region has arguably never been greater which is why this summit will be one like no other.”

You will be able to hear insights from world-leading tech pioneer, Dr Rana el Kaliouby and many more. See who else will be joining our exciting Summit line-up.

Headline sponsor of the Summit is Kreston Reeves, with supporting sponsors British Business Bank, Southeastern Railway, Canterbury AI and Kayo Digital. The KM Media Group and KMTV are official media partners.

Register Now

For the full agenda and to register for a place go to Kent Business Summit 2021 – Welcome

Tickets cost £10 and are limited to 400.

Share the day on social media, using the hashtag #KandMBusinessSummit

If you wish to receive regular updates about next year’s summit, please join the Kent and Medway Business Summit group on LinkedIn.

Workshops

Johnathan Parker – Foodari

Food and Drink

For many food and drink producers, the Covid-19 pandemic forced rapid and wide-ranging changes in the way they did business.

What change lies in the future and the shape of our food and drink sector will be at the heart of the discussion between key regional policy makers and business in this workshop.

Chair, Floortje Hoette, CEO of Produced in Kent is joined by Jonathan Parker, managing director of Kent-based business, Foodari, which in response to the pandemic launched a home delivery operation which has have served around 6,000 local people with over 65,000 products and recently launched a wholesale division importing produce from around the world.

Talking about funding opportunities for the sector is Dr Alessia Buscaino, Reader in who is co-lead for the University of Kent in the Growing Kent & Medway Consortium, which aims to uplift Kent and Medway’s economy by focusing on the region’s advanced horticultural production, fresh produce packaging, food and drink processing industries, and the enabling technologies that drive innovation and growth.

Lizzy Hodgson – Generation 31 Steering Group

Skills

With a direct link into Central Government through its funding by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the South East Local Economic Partnership Digital Skills council is coordinated by Jim Wilkinson who will chair the debate on the opportunities for job creation in the digital creative sector.

He will be joined by Dr George Windsor, Head of Insights at Tech Nation, an organisation which supports ambitious entrepreneurs and champions UK tech. George will be revealing the latest data analysis on jobs and skills in tech.

The final panel member is Lizzie Hodgson, chair of the RE: Generation 31 Steering Group which is part of the recently launched Creative Estuary regeneration project which straddles Kent and Essex. An expert consultant for BBC Bitesize, and Founder of ThinkNation, Lizzie is focussed on developing the next generation of cultural and creative leaders.

Mark Robinson – Ellandi

Place-making

Respected place-making expert, Graham Galpin, a fellow of the Institute of Place Management, brings more than 20 years’ experience to the workshop on the future of our town centres and high streets.

His panel includes the Mark Robinson, CEO of major retail property group Ellandi, which has interests in both Kent and Medway. Mark is also the chairman of the Government’s High Street Task Force.

They are joined by Peter Nutting, leader of Shropshire Council, a leading figure in the acclaimed renewal of Shrewsbury through its Big Town Plan. Peter will be talking about the pitfalls and successes of transforming the town’s future.

Emma Toulson – Ørsted

Infrastructure

The opportunity for Kent and Medway businesses to profit through the creation of a green economy, brings together expert figures from the field of sustainability.

The workshop chair Dr Rufus Howard, has completed projects for clients including the World Bank, The Crown Estate, National Grid and the Environment Agency. Rufus spent 12 years at Royal HaskoningDHV where he was Director of Sustainable Development.

Joining Rufus, is Emma Toulson from global green energy company Ørsted. Previously DONG Energy, Ørsted was recently voted the most sustainable company in the world by the Global Corporate Knights. Emma will share the brave business decision which led to the company divesting itself of its fossil fuel assets to embrace a profitable and sustainable future.

A key part of the workshop debate will be around the future of the region’s rail service with David Statham, Managing Director of Southeastern who will be presenting Respond, Recover, Improve: Sustainable recovery of the railway after Covid-19.

For the full agenda and to register for a place go to Kent Business Summit 2021 – Welcome

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