One day · Eight Tents · Over 50 Events

Saturday September 8th | Babraham Research Campus | Cambridge



Hopes & Fears Tent

11:00 - 11:50

Project Fear verses Project Hope

Those in favour of staying in the EU are often accused of scaremongering and pessimism, but could those fears be well founded? Or does Brexit offer a new hope and a future filled with opportunity for political renewal and Britain’s new place in the world?

Join Polly Mackenzie - Director, Demos; Dan Hannan MEP; Peter Kyle MP & others for this debate.

12:00 - 12:50

Education in the Machine Age

The scale and pace of technological change poses difficult questions for all our institutions - and the education world is no different. What skills will we need to thrive in a new machine age? Does social media’s ‘attention economy’ demand new solutions to child protection? And how do we prepare our children for a world we can scarcely imagine? This panel will explore what reforms may be needed in order to bring our educational institutions into the digital era. 

Join  Bim Afolami MPJackie Ashley - Journalist, Broadcaster, Consultant and Former President, Lucy Cavendish CollegeSam Handfield-Jones - Chief Product Officer, Octopus Group; Kate Kettle - Associate Deputy Director of Widening Participation, Kings College London; Alan Lockey - Head of Research, Demos; Baroness Sally Morgan & others for this discussion.

13:00 - 13:50


Polly Mackenzie - Director, Demos in conversation with Ayesha Hazarika - Author, Punch & Judy Politics

14:00 - 14:50

Is good news sustainable? 

Are we headed towards a crisis of ‘good news’, and how might we avert it? The health of the fourth estate has never been a hotter topic - how we measure its health, defend its values and safeguard its democratic role are points of both great importance and of great contention. Join us to explore the new public forums; From trolls to algorithms, ‘echo chambers’ to ‘churnalism’.

Join Alex Krsodomski-Jones - CASM; Johnny Mercer MP; Alice Thwaite - Founder & Editor, Echo Chamber Club; David Wheeldon - Group Director of Policy & Public Affairs, Sky & others for this discussion.

15:00 - 15:50


Polly Mackenzie - Director, Demos in conversation with Robert Peston - Author, WTF?

16:00 - 16:50

artificial Intelligence: To fear or not to fear? 

AI is already one of the fastest growing industries in the UK, providing a digital backbone to services used by millions of Brits every day. Yet barely a week passes without a headline warning of the risks - from mass unemployment, to eroding job quality and the risks of biased, inscrutable or unreliable algorithms What are the real dangers and what is pure hokum? Demos will explore the ways Britain can ensure AI is a force for good, the risks it might pose to our society and politics, and the public policies required to ensure our world-leading AI development is ethical, transparent and beneficial to the country as a whole. 

Join Joe Fyans - Head of Data Research, LocalisAlex Krsodomski-Jones - CASM; Trevor Phillips OBE - Writer, broadcaster & former Labour politician; Josh Smith - CASMElaine Warburton OBE – Chief Executive, QuantuMDx & Matt Warman MP for this discussion.

17:00 - 17:50

Is this the end of the liberal era?

Has liberal democracy had its day? After all, sixteen years since the ‘End of History’ predicted its unassailable dominance; Western liberalism now seems besieged both from outside and within. With China’s inexorable rise, the spread of authoritarian populism across Europe and Donald Trump’s rejection of American internalism, are we witnessing the beginnings of a new era - one where neither a liberal society nor democracy can be taken for granted? This panel will debate arguably the most fearful and important question of them all - what are the prospects for liberal democracy this century?

Join Polly Mackenzie - Director, Demos; Julia Hobsbawm OBE - Social health commentator & Hon visiting professor, Cass Business School; Robert Peston - Political Editor, ITV; Professor David Runciman Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge; Ryan Shorthouse - Chief Executive, Bright Blue & Chloe Smith MP for this debate.

18:00 - 18:50

Immigration and Integration: Time for new settlement? 

Few issues have ripped through the political settlement and more divided the country than immigration. But as Britain speeds towards Brexit without a discernible immigration policy what hope is there for a new way forward? Do we continue to uphold Britain’s liberal values - or do those values themselves need a re-think in a rapidly globalising world? Demos will debate opposing views on the impact of immigration in Britain, exploring whether there is a way to break the political impasse. 

Join Polly Mackenzie - Director, Demos; Nimco Ali - Co-founder & Director, Daughters of Eve; Resham KotechaHead of Engagement, Women2Win and Co-director of Events, Conservative Friends of India; Nora Mulready - Political writer & former Labour member & Miqdaad Versi - Assistant Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain for this debate. 

Politics Tent

11:00 - 11:50

The age of incivility: raising the tone of public discourse

In today’s politics, a smaller number of people with extreme views have a disproportionate voice, partly thanks to the megaphone of social media. We live in the age of the quick insult, where disagreement isn't enough: it is also essential to demean any opposing viewpoints and viciously attack those who hold them. Does this put off people off from getting involved, including standing for Parliament? Does this ultimately affect representation? This session will aim to answer a defining question: how can we improve the level of public discourse, without restricting freedom of expression?

Join Nusrat Ghani MPResham Kotecha - Head of Engagement, Women2Win; Frances Scott - Founder, 50:50 Parliament; Juliet Samuel - Telegraph Columnist; Hannah Stuart - Co-Head of Security & Extremism, Policy Exchange & others for this debate.

12:00 - 12:50

A new national consensus: how to bring Britain together

Looming over British politics are divisions that threaten the very cohesion of the nation – leave vs remain, old vs young, metropolitan vs provincial and more. But Policy Exchange believes that these splits, as seen in the debate over Brexit and at the last two general elections, obscure a deeper truth: that there is fertile soil for building a new national consensus. This session will examine the ideas needed to forge that new consensus, which is the great prize of politics today.

Join Will Heaven - Director of Policy, Policy Exchange; Benjamin Barnard - Student activist and historian; Charlotte Black FCSI (Hon) - Consultant in Financial Services and entrepreneur; Rt Hon Justine Greening MP; Trevor Phillips OBE- Writer, broadcaster & former Labour politician; David Skelton - Founder of Renewal; Sir Robin Wales - Policy Exchange adviser on housing, skills and local government and former elected Mayor of Newham & others for this debate.

13:00 - 13:50


As we've prioritised what's efficient over what's important in our political economy how do we overcome disconnection, renew our political structures and institutions, and empower communities? 

Join Alexandre Holroyd, Deputy of the French National Assembly in Northern Europe; Annabel Mullin - Leader and Co-Founder, Advance; Alex Smith - Founder, The Cares Family & Obama Foundation Fellow, & others for this debate.

14:00 - 14:50

Can design beat Nimbyism – or must we build ugly homes?

In the past few decades, cries of Nimbyism have put off political leaders from allocating and approving new homes. Policy Exchange research shows, however, that the public is much more amenable to new developments when popular design and style are made central to the planning and building process. Our polling shows that people not only have a consensus over what they like, but that this consensus is essential to new homes being built at the rate we need. How do we get political leaders, planners and architects to accept the public will?

Join Jack Airey - Research Fellow, Place & Prosperity, Policy Exchange; Rachel Fisher - Deputy Director Cities and Local Growth, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; Nicholas Boys Smith - Founding Director, Create Streets; Richard Tice - CEO, Quidnet Capital & others for this debate. 

15:00 - 15:50

Using great thinkers of the past to solve today's problems

‘People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors,’ said Edmund Burke. This session will examine the work of some of the greatest political thinkers in history – Burke himself, Rousseau, Disraeli, Adam Smith – and ask what lessons we might learn from them as we grapple with the great policy questions of our time.

Join Rupert Oldham-Reid- Director of Research and Strategy, Policy Exchange; George Freeman MPFerdinand Mountauthor of Prime Movers: from Pericles to Gandhi - twelve great political thinkers and what’s wrong with each of them’'; Jesse Norman MP; Jennifer Powers - Former Managing Director, Westbourne Communications & Chloe Smith MP for this discussion.

16:00 - 16:50


What is London’s role in the UK as devolution and increased connectivity empower the rest of the country? How does London affect the rest of the country including the domino effect of the housing market, and how do we tackle this? This discussion will explore how London fits in with the rest of the country and explore how it’s damage can be mitigated while its potential is harnessed. 

Join Ben Rogers - Director, Centre for London; Sarah Longlands - Director, IPPR North; Cllr John Moss - Councillor, LB Waltham Forest and the Conservative Policy Forum Champion for social and affordable housing providers; Kulveer Ranger- Vice-President, Strategy & Communications, Atos & former advisor to the Mayor of London; & others for this debate.

17:00 - 17:50


Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP in conversation with Matt D'Ancona

Society Tent

11:00 - 11:50

What is social justice in 21st Century Britain? 

From burning injustices to social mobility, everybody has their own take on what a socially just country should look like.

Join Andy Cook - Chief Executive, Centre for Social Justice; Edward Davies - Director of Policy, Centre for Social Justice & TwentyTwenty charity for this discussion.

12:00 - 12:50

eVerybody In: How to end homelessness in Britain

Few people would disagree that the UK is in the midst of a serious housing crisis and at the very hard end this has seen homelessness rocket in recent years. This event looks at state of housing and homelessness, drawing on first-hand experiences of the problem. 

Join Lord Adebowale - CEO, Turning point & Maeve McGoldrick - Head of Policy & Campaigns, Crisis for this discussion.

13:00 - 13:50

The Big Family Lunch             

We’ve all got them and they have a huge impact on our lives, but too often our politicians seem scared to talk about them. It’s time to acknowledge, empower and create policies that recognise the importance of families.

Join David Burrowes - Executive Director of Strengthening Families ManifestoSir Paul Coleridge - Chairman, Marriage Foundation; Cristina Odone - Founder & CEO, National Parenting Organisation; Sonia Shaljean - Founder & Managing Director, Lads Need Dads; Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart - Matrimonial consultant & Founder, iFamiliesuk; & others for this debate. 

14:00 - 14:50

A socially just education system demands more money

The last election thrust school funding right into the heart of the public policy debate, but there is far more to improving standards than throwing money at the existing system. An array of education experts give their take on what is needed and to what extent funding increases are the answer, if at all.

Join Nick Boles MP;  Pamela Dow - Chief Reform Officer, Catch-22; Jo Evershed- Founder, Cauldron Science; Rt Hon Justine Greening MP; Ayesha Hazarika - Author, Punch & Judy Politics & James Scales - Head of Education Unit, Centre for Social Justice; for this debate. 

15:00 - 15:50

Driving change in our darkest corners

Experienced panellists speak about their experiences of shining a light and driving change in some of the very darkest corners of British society, including Child Sexual Exploitation and Modern Slavery. What were the challenges and what works.

Join Andy Cook - Chief Executive, Centre for Social Justice, Centre for Social Justice; Christian Guy - Justice & Care; Johnny Mercer MP; Baroness Philippa Stroud - CEO, Legatum Institute & Dolly Theis - Director, Red Light Campaign for this discussion. 

16:00 - 16:50

In pursuit of productive happiness: Psychological wellbeing in the 21st Century

This session will explore the core underpinnings of wellbeing from how our brains are programmed for good and bad feelings to what compassion means, and from the state of the nation’s health to understanding the evidence. It will also ask the question: how can the UK have the difficult conversations of our time and ensure everyone can improve their wellbeing?

Join Dr Paul Goldsmith - Co-founder & Director, Closed Loop Medicine; Professor Paul Gilbert - Founder, Compassionate Mind Foundation & Julia Hobsbawm OBE - Social health commentator & Hon visiting professor, Cass Business School for this discussion. 

17:00 - 17:50

Nanny State v Canny State: The clash of public health perspectives

Public health has come under criticism in recent years for failing to tackle important health problems such as obesity at the same time as being criticised for causing government to meddle in people’s lives too much. How can the government decide what to do when there are two such opposing perspectives on what is needed to tackle major population health problems?

Join Jackie Ashley - Journalist, Broadcaster, Consultant and Former President, Lucy Cavendish College; Dr David Halpern - Chief Executive, Behavioural Insights Team; Dan Parker - Founder, Living Loud; Clare Phillips - Head of Brand & Audience Planning, ITV; Christopher Snowdon - Head of Lifestyle Economics, Institute of Economic Affairs; Dr Giles Yeo - TV presenter & Principal Research Associate, Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge & others for this debate.

Arts & Culture Tent

11:00 - 11:50

The Role of Culture in a Free Society and Culture and Community: How culture can bring people togetheR 

From the time of the ancient Greeks, democracies have used the arts as a safety valve to challenge taboos, discuss ideas and hold the powerful to account.  In a divided Britain, the arts can also be used as a safe space to help heal division and explore common ground.

Join Matt D'Ancona - Editor-in-Chief, Finch Publishing & Rachel Johnson - Journalist, author and TV presenter.

The Art of the Popular: This panel explores how art can be brought off its pedestal and made relevant to everyone everywhere.

Join Rt Hon. Ed Vaizey MPHannah Barry - Founder and CEO, Bold Tendencies CIC; Neil Mendoza - Provost of Oriel College, Oxford and Board director of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport & Zehra Zaidi - Cities of Hope for this discussion.

12:00 - 12:50

Access to the Arts 

Art for everyone: Under the expert guidance of cultural critic Kate Maltby, this panel will discuss how to make the arts accessiblke to all, and why it so important to see a broad representation of different voices on the stage

Join Kerry Kyriacos Michael MBE - Former Artistic Director, Theatre Royal Stratford; Kate Maltby - Theatre Critic; Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE - Founder, Artistic & Executive Director Chineke!, Principal double bass & Professor, Royal Academy of Music & Rt Hon. Ed Vaizey MP for this discussion.

13:00 - 13:50


Sport has the power to transform the lives of everyday people from all backgrounds far beyond just increasing physical activity. This panel will discuss what sport at all levels teaches us about life, how it can benefit the country, and how we can uncover the barriers to greater and more consistent access.

Join Jane Ashworth - Chief Executive, StreetGames; Mark Davies - Chair of British Rowing and ArcheryGBRoberta Makoni, Content Producer, NBA; Jonny Searle MBE - Former Olympic gold-medallist rower & others for this discussion.

14:00 - 14:50

Damian Collins MP in conversation with Matt D'Ancona


1. Too good for the English? Shakespeare's England after Brexit. Dr Austen Saunders - The Oxford Traherne

2. Fight for our beaches:  How to Save the British Seaside Town (and win elections). William Cash - Author and Founder of Spear's

3. How to Make the National Trust Great Again - Harry Mount - Editor, Oldie Magazine & Ivo Dawnay - Former Creative Director, National Trust

15:00 - 15:50

The Fight for Beauty: Is the right to public beauty in our lives a human right?

With galleries, museums and the National Trust dumbing down and become increasingly politicised, and 'public space' becoming increasingly “ugly”, can Britain's matchless architectural heritage and natural beauty and sense of identity be saved?

Join Harry Mount - Editor, Oldie Magazine; Phillip Blond - Director, ResPublica; Adam Dant - Artist; Claire Grindey - International fine art consultant and the founder of Culture Through MakingArabella Noortmann - Writer & academic researcher; Peter York - Cultural commentator & author for this debate.

16:00 - 16:50

Does Heritage matter in the digital age? 

Why do spirit of place and architectural heritage matter today? Is the whole idea of heritage elitist, and self-serving, or is it one of Britain's greatest contributions to civilisation? The debate will discuss the 'anchor of place', public v private heritage and why heritage and good planning philosophy has failed to become a priority for politicians from both left & right.

Join William Cash - Author and Founder of Spear'sClive Aslet - Former Editor, Country Life; Diane Banks - CEO of Northbank Talent Management & Advisory Board member of Conservative Arts & Creative Industries Network; Dr Roger Bowdler - Former Director of Listing, Historic England; Loyd Grossman CBE - Chairman, Heritage Alliance; Jeremy Musson - Architectural historian & former Architectural Editor, Country Life & Mike Read - Biographer of Rupert Brooke for this debate.

17:00 - 17:50


From Jacques Louis-David and Picasso to our election artists and cartoonists, it's easy to see why it's been said that great art is always political. Could it be that art is in fact a more effective way of communicating political messages that politics itself? If so, do artists, including actors, musicians and comedians, have a duty to harness their political power and use it to affect change?

Join Natalie Cutler - Founder of EntreprenHER Productions;  Adam Dant - UK Parliament's official election artist 2015; Natalie Yesufu Edwards - Founder of Transition Stage Company; Ayesha Hazarika - Author, Punch & Judy Politics; Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP & Peter York - Cultural commentator & author others for this discussion. 


Economy Tent

11:00 - 11:50

Renewing Capitalism: Is it redeemable? 

As capitalism reaches unprecedented heights is it going to experience the most exquisite of deaths? Does the rise of anti-capitalist rhetoric contain truths and warnings we should be listening to? And ultimately, is capitalism redeemable? This debate will explore the state of capitalism and predict where it goes from here.

Join  Nick Denys - Head of Policy, Tory Workers; Liam Halligan - The Telegraph; Rt Hon Nick Herbert CBE MP - Chairman of The Project for Modern Democracy; Hillary Su - Director, Sunrate Solutions; James Timpson - Chief Executive, Timpson Group; Rt Hon. Elizabeth Truss MP - Chief Secretary to the Treasury & others for this debate.

12:00 - 12:50

Dark Money: what it means, and how to stop it

Hundreds of billions of pounds is stolen every year, much of it laundered through the City of London. When this money creeps back onshore, it seeks secrecy and protection, by undermining the institutions set up to stop it. All developed countries have seen their political systems besieged by funds of dubious origin -- some of them Russian, but much of it from elsewhere -- and it is urgent that we act to protect ourselves before it's too late.

Join the Rt Hon. Richard Benyon MP - Intelligence & Security Committee of Parliament; Oliver Bullough - Journalist & Author, Moneyland; Rachel Davies - Head of UK Advocacy & Research, Transparency International UK & Maya Forstater - Visiting Fellow, Centre for Global Development for this discussion.

13:00 - 13:50

Intergenerational fairness or intergenerational fractiousness

Yes, there are divisions, on housing, income, how people vote, culture – but there's also much evidence that older and younger people share many hopes, including for each other, and the media talking up the divides is part of the problem – we need people spending time with people (including in housing, welfare, education as above). Join the panel to uncover how we achieve this and what barriers there are for greater intergenerational cohesion.

Join Tracy Blackwell - Chief Executive Officer, Pension Insurance Corporation; Cllr Aisha Cuthbert - Assistant to the Leader, London Borough of Bromley; Bobby Duffy - Managing Director, Ipsos MORI; Owen Meredith - National Chairman, Tory Reform Group & John Penrose MP for this debate.

14:00 - 14:50

The Power of the North: Why the North matters more than you think. 

The North is a land of opportunity but its potential is constrained by a lack of resources and power. In this session, we’ll examine the arguments about why Northern Prosperity is National prosperity.  By investing in the North, not only do local people benefit, but the economic and social health of the whole nation benefits.  We’ll talk about the northern transport debacle and the huge spending disparities between North and London.

Join Robert Peston - Political Editor, ITV; Sarah Longlands - Director, IPPR North; Nicola HeadlamKnowledge Exchange Research Fellow, University of Oxford; Matt Warman MPDr Hakim Yadi OBE - Founding CEO, Northern Health Science Alliance & others for this debate.

15:00 - 15:50

Taking back control in the North

The North voted overwhelmingly for Brexit but at what were the reasons behind this desire to 'take back control'. We'll explore power and powerlessness in the context of the North and what lessons need to be learned for the future of our democracy.  We’ll talk about IPPR North's ideas in regard to 'taking back control' and the need to strengthen deliberative democracy to create a 'people's powerhouse'.

Join Lord Adebowale - CEO, Turning Point; Sarah Longlands - Director, IPPR North; Rebecca Lowe - Director of FREER; Guy Opperman MP - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion & others for this debate.

16:00 - 16:50

Tax and the state

How does the tax code need to change for the 21st century? Where should the burden fall? Is there any agreement about the balance of the burden (income, wealth, land, negative externalities etc), even if there isn’t overall agreement on whether the total tax take should be 25%, 35% or higher?

Join Bim Afolami MP; Tom Clougherty - Head of Tax Policy, Centre for Policy Studies; Mark Littlewood – Director General,  Institute of Economic Affairs; Polly Mackenzie - Director, Demos & the Rt Hon Lord David Willetts - Executive Chair, Resolution Foundation for this debate.

17:00 - 17:50

Millennials – maybe they are more libertarian than we think?

Seems to be a view that anyone under 26 is a Corbynista, but how true is this? Aren’t they hardwired for choice rather than a decrepit public sector? If they are ordering Ubers every 5 minutes on demand, are they going to tolerate being “allocated” to a GP’s appointment?  Aren’t they actually quite “small state digital liberals” in some of their views/habits etc?

Join Kate Andrews – Associate Director, Institute of Economic Affairs; Katy Balls – Political Correspondent, The Spectator; Claire Fox – Director, Academy of Ideas; Kristian Niemietz – Head of Health & Welfare, Institute of Economic Affairs & Lee Rowley MP for this debate.

Global Britain Tent

11:00 - 11:50

What does global prosperity actually look like, and how do we build it? 

Join Bim Afolami MP; Nathan Gamester - COO of the Legatum Institute; Kirsty McNeill - Executive Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children James Sproule - Senior Fellow, Legatum Institute; Gisela Stuart - Former MP, Chair of Vote Leave, Honorary President of the British Foreign Policy Group & others for this discussion.

12:00 - 12:50

The Role of Hard Vs Soft Power 

As Britain redefines and renegotiates its place, not only in Europe, but in the world, it is vital that we explore Britain's greatest power assets and the role of defence, diplomacy, trade and development. Should an emphasis be placed on one source of power over the other? What should we do when objectives do not align? And how best should we utilise these assets around the world? This debate, co-hosted by the Coalition for Global Prosperity, British Foreign Policy Group, and Legatum Institute, will explore all these questions and attempt to answer how best 'Global Britain' should deploy its hard and soft powers.

 Join Theo Clarke - CEO, Coalition for Global Prosperity; Lieutenant General Philip Jones - Managing Director, Othry; Johnny Mercer MPDr Julie Smith, Baroness Smith of Newnham; Tom Cargill - Executive Director, British Foreign Policy Group & others for this debate.

13:00 - 13:50

What do YOU think the UK’s international priorities should be post-Brexit? 

Including Soapbox Pitch: The role of development post-Brexit

This is a rare ‘unfrozen’ moment to completely rethink the UK’s place in a 21st century world. What do we need from our international relations? Where are we going to get what we need and what do we have to offer in return? Co-hosted by the British Foreign Policy Group, Coalition for Global Prosperity, and Legatum Institute, Member of Parliament Bob Seely, former army officer and member of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, will lead a punchy interactive debate with the audience to identify new thinking and fresh ideas for UK foreign policy post Brexit. Focusing on key themes such as economics, security, geography, defence and aid, this session promises to be a lively opportunity to generate leftfield policy proposals for a confident and innovative Global Britain.

Join Bob Seely MPAlastair Russell - Government Relations Adviser, Save the Children; Linda Whetstone - Chairman of Atlas Network; Ian Saunders, CEO Tsavo Conservation Group & others for this discussion.

14:00 - 14:50

Britain as a force for good: how to have an effective aid budget?

This year has seen perhaps the most intense level of criticism and scrutiny levelled at the foreign aid budget and whether it is really getting bang for buck. The topic of foreign aid has sparked a significant amount of interest not only in certain corners of the press, but is increasingly ranked as a top concern for the public and parliamentarians. Barely a week passes without a headline of waste or corruption, and yet globally the UK is regarded as one of the most widely respected aid donors in the world. This session, co-hosted by the Coalition for Global Prosperity, British Foreign Policy Group, and Legatum Institute, will look behind the headlines   to explore how effective Britain's aid budget really is, whether it is achieving its objectives and how it can be improved. 

Join Theo Clarke - CEO, Coalition for Global Prosperity; Peter Kyle MPSir Desmond Swayne MPAlex Thier - Executive Director, Overseas Development Institute & others for this debate.

15:00 - 15:50

How do nations develop, and how can we speed that process along?

The question of why some nations fail, while others succeed, lies at the heart of international development policy. This panel will examine the tools at the disposal of public and private actors to eradicate poverty at the national level. What works in development, and what tools are available to the British government to speed those processes along, will form the crux of this panel.

Join Molly Kiniry - Programme and Research Manager for International Development, Legatum Institute; Nathan Gamester - COO of the Legatum Institute;  Dr Solava Ibrahim - Lecturer, Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge; Cindy Obath, COO Tsavo Conservation Group; Nimco Ali - Co-Founder and Director, Daughters of Eve & others for this debate.

16:00 - 16:50

The UK as a global trading nation: the role of free trade and the importance of being truly global

Whether you are pro-Brexit or Remain, one thing that it seems everyone agrees on is that the UK has to trade more if we are to maintain and improve our prosperity and security. Yet Brexit itself is just one important development in a vast sea of transformation going on around the world. What does free trade mean now, and how important are trade agreements as opposed to improving productivity or physical infrastructure? What countries and regions should the UK be focussing our efforts on, and if we are to trade more does that mean compromising on our values? The British Foreign Policy Group, Coalition for Global Prosperity, and Legatum Institute will host expert speakers covering key global regions and debate on why free trade matters for the UK post Brexit.

Join Richard Cockett - Regional Editor, The Economist; Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP; Rayhan Haque - Convenor, Fabian International Policy Group; Liam Halligan- The Telegraph; David Henig - UK Director, European Centre For International Political Economy & Andrew MacLeod - Non-Executive Director, Cornerstone Capital; for this discussion.

17:00 - 17:50

Global people movements: Addressing migration, refugees, and human trafficking

Join Baroness Philippa Stroud - CEO, Legatum Institute; His Excellency Lebanese Ambassador Rami Mortada; Rwandan High Commissioner Her Excellency Yamina KaritanyiGeorge Freeman MPMolly Kiniry - Programme and Research Manager for International Development, Legatum Institute;Gary Wood - Managing Director, Risk Advisory Group, Dubai & others for this debate.


Innovation Tent

11:00 - 11:50

The Golden Triangle v The World: Can the UK become the tech centre of the world? 

British tech companies have received more venture capital funding than Germany, Sweden and France combined, and almost 80% of all US investment into UK firms are going to those based in the Golden Triangle i.e. around London, Oxford and Cambridge. Does this mean the UK is home to the new Silicon Valley and what barriers does the UK face in becoming the new tech hub of the world?

Join Sherry Coutu CBE - Chairman of the Scaleup Institute & Founders4schools; Prasanna Kannan - Co-founder, Native Finance; Dan Korski - Co-founder, PUBLIC; James Palmer - Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough; Trevor Phillips OBE - Writer, broadcaster & former Labour politician & Emma Sinclair MBE - Co-Founder, EnterpriseAlumni for this debate.

12:00 - 12:50

From car commuting to connected clusters: A new model of planning for an innovation economy 

Over a century after Ebenezer Howard explored ways to control pollution levels through quality urban planning, the technology revolution has provided new answers to long-standing problems. From accommodating a growing and ageing population to protecting the environment, quality urban planning must unleash the potential of tech solutions to meet the demands of an innovation economy. This session will take a close look at what’s already working in the UK and explore the solutions that can be both scaled up and replicated to ensure everywhere across the UK benefits.

Join Nicholas Boys Smith - Founding Director, Create Streets; Dr David Cleevely CBE - Founding Director, Centre for Science & Policy & Vice Chair, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Economic Review; Kat Hanna- Associate Director, Urban Change, Cushman & Wakefield; Kit Malthouse MP - Minister of State  for Housing, Communities & Local Government; Anna Rose - Director, Space Syntax Limited; David Williams - Leader, Hertfordshire County Council & others for this debate.

13:00 - 13:50

Evidence versus creativity: What matters more in policymaking

What constitutes quality public policymaking is the subject of huge debate. There has been an increased focus in recent decades on the use of evidence for policymaking, which is often believed to be disrupted by the political nature of decision making. But what actually matters in policymaking? Should evidence take precedent over ideology and public opinion, or does policymaking need to harness better creativity in order to tackle the major issues of today? And how should ideas and evidence be communicated when different sectors have competing interests? This debate will explore policymaking from the use and omittance of evidence to the systematic versus disruptive approaches.

Join Dr David Cleevely CBE- Founding Director, Centre for Science & Policy; Pamela Dow - Chief Reform Officer, Catch-22; Mark Essex - Director of Public Policy, KPMG UK & Jo Evershed- Founder, Cauldron Science for this debate.

14:00 - 14:50

Will a wave of green tech lift most boats in the harbour or sink them?

Join this discussion to learn about the Tech Task Force and understand how politics is dealing with global drivers like climate change and technology that feel like opportunities for some butthreats to others. The session will also explore how technologists make delivery on global environmental challenges like clean growth and digital relevant to the everyday concerns of people up and down the country, and how different political parties are addressing the social aspects of technological and industrial change, if at all, and what they agree and don’t agree on about as the solutions.

Join Mark Enzer - Chief Technical Officer of Mott MacDonald; Professor Steve Evans, Director of Research, Centre for Industrial Sustainability, University of Cambridge; Angela Francis - Chief Economist, Green Alliance; the Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP - Chair, Science & Technology Committee & others for this debate.

15:00 - 15:50

Should we legalise cannabis?

This summer the 'Overton window' widened in relation to cannabis. In July 2018, five weeks after 12 year old Billy Caldwell's anti-epilepsy medicine was confiscated the Home Secretary announced that cannabis would be rescheduled to allow doctors to prescribe it. Will this in time lead to legalisation recreational use as William Hague has advocated? The October Canada becomes the first developed nation to legalise for adult use. Is there now any alternative to this course? Join us for a debate exploring the legalisation of cannabis from medical to recreational.

Join Anna Firth - Barrister, Cabinet member for Legal Services & Equalities on Sevenoaks District Council and Trustee of West Kent MIND; Steve Moore - Director, Volteface; Greg de Hoedt - Chair, UK Cannabis Social Clubs; the Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP - Chair, Science & Technology Committee; George McBride - Co-founder - Hanway Associates; Lizzie McCulloch - Head of Policy, Volteface & others for this debate.

16:00 - 16:50

The challenges facing a young person starting a business

Starting a business used to be what you did after years of working for someone else. But new technologies and changes in work patterns have encouraged entrepreneurship over the last decade like never before. But there are still problems: How do make an idea a reality? Where can you find the funds? How do you maximise profit and impact? 

Our panel of young entrepreneurs and those that support them will tell their stories of success (and failure!), how they overcame the barriers and what could still be done to build the entrepreneurial generation we need to adapt to new realities and to solve the world’s greatest problems.

Join Cllr Tim Barnes - Westminster City Council; Jack Cornes - Managing Director, HausBots; Lexi Hayden - Head of Social Impact, Prosper Social Finance; Dr David Landsman OBE - Director, Tata Europe; Jenny Liu - Founder of Bombpetite; Ryan Robinson - Co-founder, Aeropowder & Katrina Sale - Make It Your Business for this debate.

17:00 - 17:50

Innovation Nation: How to build an innovation economy

From investing in tech and thinking global to reducing taxation for entrepreneursand applying startup culture to government itself, this session will explore how the UK can become an innovation economy and where things are already working. It will uncover the truth behind efficiency in the UK economy to understand how we can drive a new age of productivity and global competitiveness. It will also consider the downsides and ask: by embracing the tech revolution, what side effects do we need to anticipate?

Join Claire Coutinho - Special Advisor; Flora Coleman - Global Director of Policy & Regulatory Strategy, TransferWise; Sam Handfield-JonesChief Product Officer, Octopus Group; Alan Mak MPSeena Shah - Founder, Splash Creative London & the Rt Hon Lord David Willetts - Executive Chair, Resolution Foundation for this debate.

Tech Tent

11:00 - 11:50

Reimagining public services through startup innovation: How can startups tackle the public sector's greatest challenges? 

The last ten years have seen startups transform everything from financial services to booking a holiday. Yet the public sector remains largely untouched by the innovation small, agile tech companies can bring. In this panel discussion, we examine four of the public sector's most pressing challenges - employment, healthcare, social care & security - alongside four startups re-imagining solutions in these spaces. Where can tech improve services and save budgets? How should the public sector adjust itself to take advantage of this new wave of solutions?

Join Jackie Ashley - Journalist, Broadcaster, Consultant and Former President, Lucy Cavendish College; Ankush BhatiaDirector of Finance and M&A at Cera; Owen Geddes- CEO of Screen Moguls; Kate Glazebrook, Co-founder & CEO at Applied; Lisa Smith, Co-Founder & CEO of Kraydel & Lydia Yarlott - Co-Founder of Forward for this discussion.

12:00 - 12:50


Climate change, accelerated by high greenhouse gas emissions, is REAL. The UK has committed to legally binding targets on significant emissions reductions by 2050 – but we are nowhere near on target.  Although good progress has been made on power generation, emissions from building heating remain virtually unchanged and are a critical problem.  Guy Ransom, Commercial Director of Finn Geotherm, supports the Climate Change Committee’s view that heat pump systems could go long way to solving this issue, as well as reducing fuel poverty.  Representatives from Oftec, the CCC, the Sustainable Energy Association and a senior executive from a housing association join in the debate on why this is/is not that simple.

Join Guy Ransom - Commercial Director, Finn Geotherm; Lesley Rudd, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Association; Anita Astle MBE, Managing Director Wren Hall Nursing Home; Dr Giulia Privitera, UKPN Low Carbon Technologies Manager  & others for this debate.

13:00 - 13:50

Fintech & Society: increasing financial inclusion through innovative technology

Members of Level39, a technology community in Canary Wharf, are coming together to solve some of the biggest issues facing global finance - how to get more citizens involved in the formal economy. New technologies are allowing for greater flexibility on salary payments, increasing data for lenders and using the blockchain to enable unbanked people to gain access to financial services and banking products. As proven technologies - they are being trialled and implemented in emerging markets with great success - the challenge now remains to find ways to implement these technologies in the UK and Europe. This session will explore the potential of financial inclusion and its impact on the UK economy, its response to the changing nature of work and how to overcome the barriers of adoption in the UK.

Join Delber Lage - CEO, Salaryfits; Michael Ng - Country Manager, Doreming; Ben Brabyn – Head of Level39; Lee Rowley MP & others for this discussion.

14:00 - 14:50

Re-defining the relationship between entrepreneurship and society

In an era where technology’s reputation is rapidly declining, whether through the poor decisions made by tech CEOs, or the mismanagement of user data, more must be done to seed the benefits of entrepreneurship to the general population. Centralised sources of startup funding have misaligned the objectives of modern entrepreneurs and disconnected innovation from the general population. Far from a national asset entrepreneurship is now perceived as an elitist sport, delivering little benefit to society. In this session Ben Brabyn, head of Level39, proposes a concept for entrepreneurs to distribute venture wealth to the rest of
society. An idea rooted in economics academia, the idea has now caught the imagination of journalists, policymakers and entrepreneurs globally.

Join Ben Brabyn - Head, Level39; Rob Hygate - Founder & CTO, eWaterPay; Orsola De Marco - Head of Startups, Open Data Institute & others for this debate.

15:00 - 15:50

Just how good is Dr. Google? The UK tech that will save us

This discussion will explore the changing landscape of health tech from pharma to digital, integrators to Amazon. We will hear directly from health tech pioneers themselves about what’s working and what challenges we face. It will also explore the advances in medical technology and uncover what good health innovation policy looks like and how the NHS can embrace technology to deliver the world’s best healthcare.

Join Dr Paul Goldsmith - Co-founder & Director, Closed Loop Medicine; Dr Paul Bate – Ex Policy Advisor to number 10, Director, NHS Services at Babylon Healthcare; Professor Charlie Craddock CBE - Director of the Centre for Clinical Haematology, University of Birmingham; Dr Luke Evans - GP; Roy Lilley - Health Writer & Commentator; Dr Andy Richards CBE - Cambridge Innovation Capital; Dr Michelle Tempest - Psychiatrist and Partner of Candesic Healthcare Consultancy; Professor Mike Trenell - Director, NIHR Innovation Observatory and Chairman of Changing Health; Elaine Warburton OBE – Chief Executive, QuantuMDx; Dr Tom Weaver - President, Congenica & Dr Hakim Yadi OBE - CEO of the Northern Health Science Alliance for this debate.

16:00 - 16:50

Deconstructing the norm: moving beyond the ordinary to address the UK’s air quality crisis

With every breathe we take, the UK’s air quality crisis continues to be the largest environmental risk to public health. Exposure to the UK’s outdoor air pollution is estimated to reduce your life expectancy by 15 minutes each day, whilst London’s air quality is the equivalent of smoking 2.75 cigarettes a day. Air pollution is therefore a considerable challenge that must be dealt with urgently; this multi-disciplinary panel discusses the emerging technologies and innovations that are playing a part in solving the UK’s air quality crisis, from local government measures to renewable heating and revolutionary zero emission last mile deliveries in urban centres.

Join Isabella Gornall - Managing Director, Seahorse Environmental Communications; Polly Billington - Director, UK100; Antonio Cianci - Co-founder & CEO, Airlite; James Fitzgerald - Co-founder & Managing Director, E-Cargobikes & others for this discussion.

17:00 - 17:50

Should the UK lead the next evolution of the personal internet, or be a bystander

Innovation will centre around
where data is available and spread from there.  The UK is
well placed with new Data Protection laws, some of the best medical data in the world, open banking and more.  To lead we need to embrace a shift to placing the individual at the centre of their digital lives owning and controlling their own data.  The Government can lead this shift with health and other data, such as tax. If we embrace this one simple change then we will all be able to do more with personal data not less. This will lead to significant economic gains across all consumer-focused sectors of the economy, and will stimulate the next wave of technology innovation – one where the UK can be a leader rather than a follower. This discussion will explore the state of the industry today, where we are in the UK, how consumer centricity solves the personal data conundrum, and the simple steps the UK can take to become the leader of this new personal internet. A more private, secure, economically valuable personal internet awaits - are we prepared in the UK to make the small steps needed to lead this evolution?

Join Julian Ranger - Chairman & Founder,; Andrew Carmody, Founder - The Health Data Exchange; Susan Walton, Director - The Health Data Exchange;  & others for this debate.