Jonty Bloom has worked as a business and economics journalist for 35 years, 30 of those at the BBC, where he was the corporation’s business correspondent for 8 years. Jonty started work in the City of London but left after a few years to study International Relations at Keele University. After graduation Jonty started as a business reporter at BT Citycall before joining the BBC for the launch of Business Breakfast. He has worked across TV and Radio, mainly covering business and economics but also as Brussels correspondent and as a general news reporter. Jonty spent 3 months as a Wolfson Press Fellow at Cambridge University and researched and wrote a paper on Attitudes to Sovereignty in Europe. That research has influenced his reporting of the UK’s relationship with the EU ever since. Jonty has won numerous awards including three Wincott’s for the best business radio report and a Royal Statistical Society Journalist of the Year Award for a report on the epidemiology of the Second Gulf War. He has reported from around the world, including the USA, Russia, Brazil, India and China, but for many years has specialised in coverage of the EU and the European economy, in particular Brexit. Since leaving the BBC in July of this year, Jonty has set up his own company, Jonty Bloom Media, to produce freelance journalism and podcasts, speak at conferences and chair discussions. Jonty was invited to be a founding member of Keele University’s College of Fellows. He advises the University on its media strategy and PR.
Mayor Tracy Brabin
Tracy Brabin was elected as the first Mayor of West Yorkshire, and the first ever woman Metro Mayor in England, in May 2021.
As Mayor, Tracy has secured over 1,000 skilled jobs for young people, introduced an £11m ‘Creative New Deal’ for the region, as well as reforming our bus network and being a champion for West Yorkshire businesses undertaking trade missions to both North America and India.
Prior to her election as Mayor, Tracy was the Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen from 2016 until 2021.
Brigadier Sean Brady
Brigadier Sean Brady joined the Royal Marines in 1995 and after completing commando training, he completed a number of junior officer jobs including time as a troop commander, unit intelligence officer and psychological warfare operator.During this period, he completed several operational deployments to Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Macedonia, and Afghanistan. Following junior staff college, he commanded Y Troop, the Royal Marines electronic warfare/signal intelligence organisation, during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
On promotion to Major in 2005 he joined the Land and Littoral Manoeuvre team at Navy Command and was responsible for shaping the future amphibious capability.During this appointment he also returned to Afghanistan for Herrick 5 and took on the role of operations officer for 30 Commando.He attended Advanced Command and Staff College in 2007 before joining 40 Commando in 2008 to command Alpha Company.Completing several amphibious deployments, including time in the jungle in Brunei, he then commanded Alpha Company on Herrick 12 in Sangin for 6 months in the summer of 2010.
On promotion to Lt Col, he was initially the staff officer for the Royal Marines Reserve or 12 months before switching to work directly for the Commandant General Royal Marines to advise on strategic planning and communications.In 2012 he returned to the Land and Littoral Manoeuvre team at Navy Command as chief of staff before taking command of Support Wing at Commando Trading Centre Royal Marines in the summer of 2014.
He was then personally selected to be the Service Inquiry President to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 3 soldiers on Special Forces Selection.In May 2017 he returned again to Afghanistan as the chief planner for coalition operations across the country and was instrumental in developing a strategic air campaign designed to target insurgent revenue sources.
He promoted to Colonel in June 2019 and took over as the Programme Director for the Littoral Strike Ship Programme, and in Oct 2019 his portfolio was widened to include the strategic planning for all Royal Navy shipbuilding activity.He was responsible for developing the revised 30-year shipbuilding programme for the Royal Navy that led to further investment at the 2021 Integrated Review.Building on this success he was, promoted to Brigadier and made the Senior Responsible Owner for the new shipbuilding programmes in Sep 21.
Sean Brady is 51 years old and has a BSc in Oceanography with Geology, an MA in Defence Studies, and an MBA.He has one daughter (Orla – 15) and one mad springer spaniel.He enjoys all outdoor activities, especially mountain biking.
The Manufacturer magazine
Joe Bush, Editor of The Manufacturer magazine. Joe is an experienced print and online journalist with experience in manufacturing, engineering, automation and electronics. Joe heads up The Manufacturer Editorial team and is responsible for content across the publishing portfolio, covering the length and breath of the UK manufacturing sector and the challenges currently being faced including supply chain, digital transformation, sustainability and skills. He also heads-up The Manufacturer Top 100 Awards which celebrates the best of manufacturing talent. He has previously been editor of a range of industrial titles including Electrical Engineering, Energy Management, Industrial Compliance, Automation, Components in Electronics and Electronic Specifier.
For ten years Alastair Campbell was Tony Blair's right-hand man as communications strategist and chief spokesman, often witnessing history in the making. Whilst he remains an influential voice and commentator on the political stage, he's now well-known as a writer and campaigner, particularly on mental health awareness. He is the Editor At Large of The New European. In the years running up to Labour's 1997 landslide win, and throughout their time in power, Alastair led communications strategy and was also no stranger to controversy. He is one of four figures credited with creating the New Labour project, fighting numerous battles in their pursuit of modernisation, including with how the media portrayed the party. He was reviled by some parts of the media but still respected for his commitment, creativity, loyalty, and work rate. After leaving frontline politics Alastair has written seventeen books, including ten volumes of diaries, four novels, a number one best-selling analysis of what it takes to win in politics, business, and sport, and two personal memoirs on depression and the pursuit of happiness. He has been candid about his personal experiences of depression, alcoholism, and mental illness, frequently examining the links between work, stress, and mental health. It's a subject he's tackled in numerous interviews, documentaries, and podcasts, and in his books Living Better: How I Learned to Survive Depression, The Happy Depressive: In Pursuit of Personal and Political Happiness, and Living Better: How I learned to survive depression. Alastair co-hosts the podcast The Rest is Politics with Rory Stewart, where they tackle the latest developments in global politics and share their insights into the complex relationships within Parliament. He works with many charities, as an advisor and often as a fund-raiser, including Leukaemia Research, Bloodwise, and a number of mental health charities, including the Time to Change campaign and Alcohol Concern. Alastair believes we should be as open about our mental health as we are about our physical health, and that every business should have first Mental Health First Aid training. He frequently contributes articles in the media including The Guardian, and the Telegraph. For several years, Alastair wrote a monthly interview for GQ magazine, and has covered figures as varied as Prince William and Jose Mourinho, Al Gore and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Nicola Sturgeon, and Nicola Adams. With humour and insight Alastair takes an insider's look at politics at home and abroad, as well as what it takes to be a successful leader (a subject he tackled in his book Winners: And How They Succeed). He also tackles reputation, his own and how others manage theirs, the media, mental health, and why people still ask him about The Thick of It so much.
JJ Churchill Ltd
Andrew Churchill is the Chairman of JJ Churchill Ltd., an aerospace precision-engineering business based in the Midlands.
He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the IET as well as a Commissioner for the recent Manufacturing Commission. He is also a Business Leadership Council member of the 5% Club, a dynamic movement of employer-members working to create a shared prosperity across the UK by driving ‘earn and learn’ skills-training opportunities. Since 2021 Andrew has been a Board and then Council member of ADS, the trade association representing the UK’s aerospace, defence, space and security sectors. As a director with the ERA Foundation he is focussed on supporting the next generation of UK engineers, encouraging organisations' and individuals' entrepreneurship and technical excellence.
He has been a member of the Prime Minister’s Industrial, Manufacturing and Infrastructure Business Council and for ten years was on the boards of Make UK (The Manufacturers’ Organisation) and Midlands Group Training Services (a centre of excellence for education, training and development of engineering apprentices), as well as six years as a director with the Design & Technology Association (championing D&T education in schools).
Previously, Andrew sat on the Ministerial Advisory Group on Manufacturing and was part of the All-Party Manufacturing Group.Away from work, he is a school governor and a previous district councillor for South Derbyshire.He was appointed OBE in the King’s first Birthday Honours in 2023.
Reverend Richard Coles (After Dinner Speaker)
Reverend Richard Coles is a broadcaster, writer, and former Church of England priest. He was the host of Radio 4's Saturday Live for twelve years, and first found fame as one half of the eighties band, The Communards. They enjoyed three UK Top Ten hits, including the biggest-selling single of 1986: Don't Leave Me This Way.
With a successful media career already established, Richard trained for a priesthood in the Church of England - becoming what could only be described as a ‘very modern’ vicar. He was Curate at St Botolph’s in Lincolnshire, before moving to St Paul's Knightsbridge, and becoming Chaplain to the Royal Academy of Music. His career in the church inspired the hit BBC2 comedy Rev.
He recounted his journey from ‘pop star to parson’ in his honest, amusing, and best-selling memoir Fathomless Riches. In his book Bringing in the Sheaves, Richard writes about his first ten years in the ministry, and his continuing career in media. His novel Murder Before Evensong, is the first in his Canon Clement Mystery series.
Multi-talented Richard has turned his hand to acting, penned music for film and TV, served up advice as ‘agony uncle’ on BBC London, and won a Sony Gold as presenter of The Mix on Radio 5 Live. Richard continues to work in broadcasting as a frequent guest on Have I Got News for You, QI and Would I Lie to You? He has also co-presented BBC One’s The Big Painting Challenge,competed in MasterChef, won Celebrity Mastermind, and has the distinction of performing “the worst Paso Doble in the history of Strictly Come Dancing”.
Eloise is the Head of Sustainable Development for the UK&I. She is responsible for implementing Schneider Electric’s ambitious sustainability strategy in the UK&I. Her background is in sustainable development, with a focus on carbon accounting and energy policy. Her experience includes delivering decarbonisation and renewable energy strategies and projects for a wide range of stakeholders from government entities to start ups to large multinationals.
Sophie Davies is Head of ESG for Refresco Drinks – UK. She is responsible for setting and implementing the ESG strategy in the UK. Prior to Refresco she worked in the Sustainability Team at Asda and in commercial roles at a number of food manufacturers. Her experience includes strategy development, carbon reporting, food waste reduction and redistribution, implementation of packaging and waste reforms and driving engagement with colleagues and customers on ESG initiatives.