Conference Agenda

An engaging full day conference designed to encourage networking, spirited debate and information sharing.

Timings and content themes subject to change.

Welcome to Sheffield

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of Sheffield City Region

State of the Nation

Speaker to be announced

Education & Skills

Sponsored by Sellafield

- Jamie Reed, Head of Corporate Affairs, Sellafield 
- Anne Longfield, former Children’s Commissioner 
- Helen Rafferty, Interim CEO, SHINE 
- Natalie Doherty, Director of Quality, Curriculum and Innovation, the Source Skills Academy
- Marnie Jane Millard OBE · Chairman Of The Board at UA92 (University Academy '92)


Sponsored by Huawei

- David Richards, CEO WANDisco
- Patrick Melia, CEO Sunderland City Council 
- Ashley Lumsden, Director of UK Government and Public Affairs,  Huawei Technologies
- Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister Digital, Science and Technology


Coffee break & exhibition

Morning Breakout Sessions

Delegates can choose to attend one of the following sessions

Investment and connectivity across developing business and community hubs out with key cities 
sponsored by Hermes

- Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council 
- Sarah Taylor-Jones, Head of Marketing, Hermes 
- Cedric Boston, CEO, Unity Homes and Enterprise
- Martin Tugwell, Chief Executive, Transport for the North 

Energy and the move to Net Zero 
sponsored by Northern Gas & Power

- Dan Smith - Director of Energy Services, Northern Gas & Power 
- Sara Walker, Director of the EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration, Newcastle University
- Andy Koss, CEO, UK and Middle East, Sembcorp Industries Ltd
- Richard Goodfellow, Head of Infrastructure, Projects & Energy Group, Addleshaw Goddard

Building an economy for growth

Sponsored by TalkTalk 

- Mark Sellers, General Manager, TalkTalk Business Direct
- Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council
- Shruti Bhargava, Chair, Unity Housing
- Ken Cooper, Managing Director of Venture Solutions at British Business Bank


Lunch break & exhibition

Leading the region to a net zero future

sponsored by Drax

- Bruce Heppenstall, Plant Director Drax 
- Ben Morgan, Research Director, AMRC 
- Sajalu Dahal, Lead Analyst, Humber Industrial Cluster Plan
- Louise Smith, Director of Aura, University of Hull
- Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire

Afternoon breakout sessions

Prosperity and resilience through tackling health inequalities
sponsored by Northern Health Science Alliance

- Hannah Davies, Head of External and Public Affairs, NHSA 
- Professor Clare Bambra, Professor of Public Health, Newcastle University
- Thara Raj, Director of Public Health, Warrington Borough Council 


- Katy Shaw, Director of Cultural Partnerships, Northumbria University
- Prof Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City & Culture, Partnerships and Regional Engagement, University of Sheffield
- Sharon Watson, CEO and principal Northern School of Contemporary Dance
- Thom Hetherington, CEO, Manchester Art Fair

Sustainable Infrastructure
sponsored by Radioactive Waste Management

- Malcolm Morley, Chair, Radioactive Waste Management
- Sue Ferns, Senior Deputy General Secretary, Prospect union
- Professor Andy Schofield Vice-Chancellor, Lancaster University
Jonathan Webb, Senior Research Fello, IPPR 
- Alison Nicholl, Head of Constructing Excellence


Coffee break & exhibition

Speaker Address

Kim McGuinness, Northumbria Police Crime Commissioner

Metro Mayor's Debate

- Tracy Brabin, Metro Mayor - West Yorkshire
- Dan Jarvis, Mayor of Sheffield City Region
- Steve Rotheram Metro Mayor - Liverpool City Region
- The Right Hon. Jake Berry MP
- Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
- Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of the North of Tyne

Closing Remarks



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