ISBE 2021: Plenary Speakers

ISBE2021 – Day One
Thursday 28th October 2021
Cardiff City Hall

0900-1030 – Welcome and Opening Plenary Session

Plenary 1: “Building Back Better – creating social and public value in the post-COVID economy”

Opening speech: Jeremy Miles MS – Minister for Education and Welsh Language

Jeremy Miles MS is the Welsh Government Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, and Senedd member for the Neath constituency. Jeremy is a lawyer by profession, having studied at Oxford University, taught law in Warsaw and practiced in London before returning to Wales to set up his own consultancy business working with international clients in the broadcast and digital sectors. His interests include economic and community development, and education and skills. His previous roles in Welsh Government include serving in the Cabinet as Counsel General and as Brexit Minister.

Plenary panel:

Rhian Elston, Investment Director of the Development Bank of Wales

Rhian Elston is Investment Director of the Development Bank of Wales. She has a background in scientific research. She has over 10 years experience with DBW and its predecessor organization, and is a member of DBW’s senior management team and investment committee. She has a strong track record of structuring investment in small businesses across multiple sectors, providing management and leadership to investment operations and teams. In 2012 she was nominated Young Dealmaker of the Year by the Welsh dealmaking community.

Ben Cottam, Head of the Federation of Small Businesses in Wales

Ben Cottam is the Head of the Federation of Small Businesses in Wales, a role he has held since 2016. In this role he represents 10,000 business members and is active in a range of conversations about the development of the Welsh economy, entrepreneurship and business support. He is a member of the Strategic Board for Business Wales – the Welsh Government’s business support function. Ben has a degree in journalism from Cardiff University and a post-graduate certificate in sustainable leadership from Cardiff Metropolitan University. He was previously Head of ACCA in Wales.

Robert Lloyd Griffiths OBE, Chair of the Strategic Board of Business Wales, the Welsh Government

Robert Lloyd Griffiths OBE is appointed by the Welsh Economy Minister as chair of the Strategic Board of Business Wales, the Welsh Government body responsible for delivering small business support across Wales. He has conducted several Ministerial Reviews for The Welsh Government as well as chairing and participating in a variety of governmental task and finish groups. He is a Board Member of Qualifications Wales, the independent organisation responsible for regulating general and vocational qualifications in Wales. Robert was between 2009 and 2021 the National Director for the Institute of Directors in Wales. For IoD Robert served as a member of the Secretary of State for Wales’ business advisory group and Brexit advisory panel, as well as the First Minister’s Council for Economic Development and the Welsh Government’s tax advisory panel. Robert has a degree in Banking and Finance from Cardiff University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He has held Board/trustee positions with several charities including Arts & Business Cymru Wales, the Noah’s Ark Children’s hospital for Wales and The Order of St John. He currently chairs The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Wales Business Ambassadors group, and was awarded an OBE in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the economy and for voluntary services in Wales.

Further business speaker tbc

ISBE 2021 – Day Two

Friday 29th October 2021
Cardiff City Hall

1100-1230 Plenary 2: “Levelling Up – how can social and public value be created where it is more needed?

Plenary Panel

Kellie Beirne, Chief Executive of Cardiff Capital Region City Deal

Kellie Beirne is Chief Executive of Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, a £1.3bn growth and jobs programme for south east Wales, involving ten local authorities. She was until 2018 Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Enterprise Officer at Monmouthshire County Council, where she gained a reputation for bringing innovation and innovative ways of working, often private sector derived, into public service delivery. She is co-chair of the Innovation Advisory Council for Wales, and a Council Member of UKRI Research England. Kellie has degrees in English Language and Literature and Housing and Human Environments from Cardiff University.

Professor Kevin Morgan, Professor of Governance and Development, and Dean of Engagement, at Cardiff University

Kevin Morgan is Professor of Governance and Development in the School Geography and Planning, as well as University Dean of Engagement, at Cardiff University. He has degrees from Leicester, McMaster and Sussex universities. He has published extensively on a wide range of topics including innovation and spatial development, the foundational economy, and on community enterprise and wellbeing. Kevin has a long track record of policy advisory work and service on advisory groups including recently as special advisor to the EU Commissioner for Regional and Urban Policy and as a member of the OECD Team for the Multilevel Governance Review of Wales.

Professor Stephen Roper, Professor of Enterprise and Director of the ESRC Enterprise Research Centre at Warwick Business School

Stephen Roper is Professor of Enterprise and Director of the ESRC Enterprise Research Centre at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. He has degrees from Durham and Oxford universities and the London School of Economics. Stephen has over 30 years’ experience of research related to small and medium enterprises, innovation and innovation policy. He has led over 70 externally funded projects, has been a member of government advisory boards, and regularly acts as a consultant for OECD and the World Bank on issues related to small business development and innovation policy including projects in Austria, Abu Dhabi, Mexico, Israel, Columbia and Poland, Austria and Canada over the last four years. Stephen is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the RSA. He was until recently a board member of ISBE.

Zoë-Lisa Blackler, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Cardiff Business School

Zoë-Lisa Blackler: Zoë has been one of Cardiff Business School’s team of Public Value Entrepreneurs-in-Residence since 2017. Between 2009 and 2017, Zoë developed and directed a number of multiple-award winning businesses. Among these is the Junior Group. Originally a busy children’s play café, the venture grew to include a gym and evening restaurant for parents with an annual turnover of £240,000, and a team of 12. She was named as ‘Wales’ number one ‘Mumpreneur’ to watch’ in 2015 and her experience in new venture creation, branding, and strategy led to her developing her mentoring programme. In 2015, Zoë won a Chartered Management Institute award for her use of innovation in leadership and management and was invited to become a Welsh Government Entrepreneur Role Model for their ‘Big Ideas Wales’ initiative. Zoë has recently embarked on a new career as an enterprise educator. As well as providing enterprise education in a number of universities, Zoë is also now Enterprise and Employability Manager at Coleg Gwent, one of Wales’ largest further education colleges with campuses across Monmouthshire and the Gwent Valleys.

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