Conference Speakers


Sophie Raworth
Presenter, BBC

Sophie presents the BBC’s One O’Clock News and was the face of BBC Breakfast News for six years. She also frequently hosts the News at Six alongside George Alagiah as well as the Ten O’Clock News.

Starting her broadcasting career in Manchester and then Leeds, Sophie joined the Breakfast sofa where she stayed for six years before moving to the main news bulletins. She has become a regular co-presenter at national live events such as the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, and the BBC’s Your NHS day programme.

Outside news Sophie has hosted the daytime quiz show Judgemental, co-presented the programme The Trouble with Working Women, reported on the flagship science show Tomorrow’s World, reported for 4×4 and fronted the science programme Dream Lives. She has covered many major international stories and interviewed a vast array of people – from the Prime Minister to Hollywood stars on Oscar night.


Nigel Jackson
Chief Executive
Mineral Products Association

Nigel Jackson graduated in Geology from King’s College, University of London in 1974 and has 44 years’ experience working in the mining, quarrying, construction, and waste industries in a variety of differing but predominantly senior management roles.

He is currently Chief Executive of the Mineral Products Association, Chairman of the CBI Minerals Group, a founding member of the UK Minerals Forum, a Vice President of the European Aggregates Association and an officer of the Construction Products Association.

He is a Chartered Geologist and Scientist and a Fellow of the Geological Society of London.

Conference Session 1

Digital, Innovation, Political & Energy Outlooks

Lindsay Herbert
Author of Digital Transformation

Lindsay Herbert is the Digital Transformation Leader and an Inventor at IBM iX, the global technology and consulting company’s business solutions division. She is also the author of DigitalTransformation, a look at how businesses innovate–from structuring a company in the right way to encourage innovation to where ideas come from to realising and implementing them.

In a career that started in journalism in her native Canada, Lindsay moved to marketing and then into web design and digital strategy. At IBM she both works with companies to help them embrace the digital world and change their business, and also to create technological solutions to real-world problems. Amongst Lindsay’s projects and inventions for IBM has been the Instant Checkout, a ground breaking system which reads what items have been bought without individually scanning them, and then enables quick, secure payment. It is an example of how technology, rather than potentially replacing workers, frees them to interact with customers and react quickly to issues such as fluctuations in stock and footfall.

Having led transformation programmes with organisations from Shell to the UN to the NHS, Lindsay addresses both the human and technical sides to disruption in an engaging style and with accessible,real examples. She considers the customer experience, whether that’s a consumer or another business, and asks how technology can improve it. She looks at how digital transformation is a matter of adapting to change rather than imposing complex solutions. Lindsay outlines what companies need to do to realise change, with five critical stages of transformation, and examples of when it worked, and lessons from when it went wrong.

With revealing insights into the commercial applications, myths and limitations of technologies such as AI and block chain, Lindsay looks at how they can radically change the world for work. Digital transformation can enable staff to drive change and free them up to have more ideas and focus on the human aspects to their jobs. However it can also mislead and be imposed because businesses believe they need to be seen to be innovative, rather than understanding what it really means.

Lindsay also speaks about her personal experiences, from being a woman in the male dominated tech world, to what being a ‘real’ inventor means, to how leaders need to create a more diverse and inclusive culture.

Alongside her work at IBM, Lindsay is also a Governor at the Museum of London.

William Zimmern
Head of global macroeconomics

William has been at BP since September 2014. He manages the production of the Energy Outlook, BP’s view of long-term energy markets, and leads the economic analysis on the energy transition. He is responsible for research on the global economy which is a key component of the company view on oil and gas markets and country risk.

Before BP William was head of PwC’s Macro Consulting practice in London which specialised in macroeconomic advice and economic strategy. Before PwC, William worked in UK central Government in the Ministry of Finance (HM Treasury) and the Department for Work and Pensions. He holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Edinburgh.

Michael Grubb
Professor of Energy and Climate Change
University College London

Michael Grubb is Professor of Energy and Climate Change at University College London (Institute of Sustainable Resources & Energy Institute), and Research Director for ISR. From 2011-2016, alongside academic roles, he worked half-time at the UK Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (the energy regulator, Ofgem) as Senior Advisor, initially on Sustainable Energy Policy, and subsequently Improving Regulation; from Autumn 2016 he moved to Chair the UK government’s IPCC Sixth Assessment (Mitigation Report), and as Leader for the Sustainability hub of the UK Research Council’s programme on Rebuilding Macroeconomics.

Michael Grubb combined research and applied roles for many years, bringing research insights into policymaking, and bringing practical experience to bear upon academic studies. Before joining UCL he was part-time Senior Research Associate in Economics at Cambridge University, combined with (prior to joining Ofgem) Chief Economist at the Carbon Trust, and Chair of the international research network/interface organisation Climate Strategies.

These conjoined appointments followed 10 years at Chatham House where he led the Energy and Environment programme. He founded the Climate Policy journal and remained Editor-in-Chief until 2016. From 2008-11 he served on the UK Climate Change Committee, established under the UK Climate Change Act to advise the government on future carbon budgets and to report to Parliament on their implementation.

Author of eight books, sixty journal research articles, and numerous other publications. The book Planetary Economics: energy, climate change and the Three Domains of Sustainable Development (Routledge 2014), brought together insights from 25 years of research and implementation of energy and climate policies. Beyond energy and climate change, he is on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin).

Conference Session 2

Construction & Mineral Resources

Vernon Bogdanor CBE
Professor of Government at the Institute of Contemporary British History
King’s College London

Vernon Bogdanor CBE is Professor of Government at the Institute of Contemporary British History, King’s College London. He was formerly for many years Professor of Government at Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Fellow of the Academy of the Society Sciences. He has been an adviser to a number of governments, including those of Albania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Israel, Mauritius, Slovakia and Trinidad. His books include, Devolution; The People and the Party System: The Referendum and Electoral Reform in British Politics; multi-party Politics and the Constitution; Power and the People: A Guide to Constitutional Reform; Devolution in the United Kingdom; The New British Constitution and The Coalition and the Constitution, published March 2011. He is also editor of, amongst other books, The British Constitution in the 20th Century; Joined-Up Government; and From the New Jerusalem to New Labour: British Prime Ministers from Attlee to Blair. He is currently writing a multi-volume work on British political history from 1895 to 1997.

Vernon Bogdanor is a frequent contributor to TV, radio and the press. In 2008, he was awarded the Sir Isaiah Berlin Award by the Political Studies Association for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies. In 2009 he was made a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur by President Sarkozy. He is an Honorary Fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford, an Honorary D. Litt. Of the University of Kent, and an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple.

Keith Waller
Programme Director, Core Innovation Hub
Transforming Construction Alliance

Keith Waller is the programme director for the Transforming Construction Alliance, which will deliver the Core Innovation Hub project. A civil engineer by profession, he has been seconded from Costain into HM Treasury for over eight years and led development of the recent Transforming Infrastructure Performance report. He has worked across government and industry to drive innovation and improve outcomes in support of Industrial Strategy ambitions.

Dr Matthew Free
Director, Geohazard and Risk Management & Director Geon Energy Limited

Matthew Free started his career working with multidisciplinary teams undertaking the design of large infrastructure projects for the energy, transport and commercial sectors. He now provides strategic advice to clients on managing risk from natural hazards and enhancing resilience at city and national scale. Originally from New Zealand, he has worked throughout Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Matthew Free is a chartered scientist, chartered geologist and a Fellow of the Geological Society. He has been involved with the UK earthquake engineering field investigation team for over 20 years. He is also a founding director of the geothermal energy company Geon Energy Ltd which is a joint venture between Arup and Geothermal Engineering Ltd.

Pascal Peduzzi
Director, GRID-Geneva
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Pascal Peduzzi is the Director of GRID-Geneva at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). He holds a PhD and a MSc in Environmental Sciences, with specialization in remote sensing and GIS. This Swiss scientist from Geneva, contracted by UNEP, fits very well at the heart of the GRID-Geneva partnership between UNEP, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the University of Geneva.

His main areas of expertise are Planetary Boundaries, Climate Change (he was a lead author of the IPCC Special Report on Extreme Events), Disaster Risk (he was the scientific coordinator of the Global Risk Analysis for the 2009 and 2011 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction at UNISDR and the inventor of the PREVIEW Global Risk Data Platform), Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbA) for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (he designed the RiVAMP methodology for quantifying the role of ecosystems in mitigating risk and impacts from climate change) and Emerging Environmental Issues. He is one of the UNEP representatives at the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR). Pascal is also Professor at the University of Geneva in the Department of Geography & Environment and at the Institute of Environmental Sciences. He is the author of various scientific publications and provided numerous conferences to governments and the general public to raise awareness on the consequences of human impacts on the environment.

Andrew Bloodworth
Science Director, Minerals & Waste
British Geological Survey

As BGS Science Director for Minerals and Waste, Andrew is responsible for all BGS research related to mineral resources and the geological disposal of radioactive waste. Andrew is also accountable for BGS activities in Wales and SW England. Andrew’s own interests include mineral and metal security, material flows and limits, as well as regulatory issues associated with minerals extraction and the impact of mining on the developing world. He has worked extensively in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world, mainly on issues related to capacity building for resource management. Andrew was formerly Mining Advisor to the UK Department for International Development. He has been an invited expert contributor to the HM Government Office for Science Foresight Project on Land-Use Futures and on their recent project looking at resources from waste. He has also chaired the UK Mineral Forum’s Working Groups on UK Security of Supply and on Mineral Extraction in National Parks and AONBs.

Andrew is a Chartered Geologist and an Associate Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. He is also a Council Member and Trustee of the Geological Society of London. Andrew is a member of the UK Minerals Forum, the Confederation of British Industry Minerals Group and the Mineral Resources Expert Group of EuroGeosurveys.

Matthew Ray
Deputy Director – Company law, Transparency & Tax

Matthew Ray is Deputy Director of Business Frameworks at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He has policy responsibility for core elements of UK company law, in particular measures to improve transparency of corporate entities.

He joined BEIS in 2016, having previously spent seven years as a senior advisor at HM Treasury, majoring on tax, welfare and energy policy. Prior to that he worked for the National Audit Office, reviewing the effectiveness of, and auditing the financial statements of, government agencies and programmes in the energy and defence sectors. Matthew is a chartered accountant (FCA) and holds a degree from Oxford University.