I had the pleasure this month of travelling up to beautiful Scarborough to meet with some of the IoD members in the region. In addition to having the opportunity to see this magnificent Northern seaside resort, the primary purpose of my trip was to speak at the inaugural IoD East Coast Leader’s Lunch.
It was an excellent event and was run as a pre-cursor to the region’s conference to be held in the first half 2017. Natalie Sykes, the IoD North East Regional Director, was a superb host. We were honoured to be joined by Barry Dodd CBE, Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, and Sir Gary Verity of Welcome to Yorkshire. The day included a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the wonderful facilities at the newly opened Scarborough University Technical College. I was especially impressed by the commitment Scarborough UTC has to see students progress into apprenticeships once they graduate. I was invited to Scarborough by IoD Ambassador Peter Wilkinson, whose dedication and hard work led to the creation of UTC. I am delighted that as a result of this he won the IoD North East Life Time Achievement award back in July.
Back in London on September 27th the IoD held its 66th Annual Convention in the beautiful Royal Albert Hall. I was encouraged to see that this year’s Convention featured more women than in any previous year. We heard from a roster of fascinating speakers, including First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, renowned economist Dambisa Moyo, former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, Martha Lane Fox, and Dame Kelly Holmes. Being an ardent foodie I was pleased to see that our iconic lunchbox received a glowing review in The Times write up of the day. The Times and I both agreed that it included ‘the best slice of chocolate cake this side of the Channel.’ See here (paywall).
While it was my second Annual Convention as Chairman of the IoD, it was sadly Simon Walker’s last as Director General. He gave a rousing speech at the start of the day which was very well received both in the Hall and in the papers the next day. You can view the IoD’s write up of Simon’s speech here.
Finally we look now to the end of the year; it is hard to believe that only twelve Monday mornings separate us from Christmas day. During this time the IoD will continue to host events up and down the country. If you haven’t already explored our calendar of events on our website I would strongly encourage you to do so.
The Autumn always feels like the beginning of the school year. As such it is a good time to meet new people and make new friends. Our excellent staff are looking forward to help you to do just that.