Headline Keynote Speakers

In 2012 we are proud to be able to offer some exceptional headline keynote speakers who inspired us each day with their view on sustainability and a possible way forward. They can also offered some valuable out of sector insight. You'll find short biographies of our speakers below. 
>Simon Wright, Director of Infrastructure and Utilities at the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA)
>Dr Peter White, Director for Global Sustainability, Procter & Gamble
>Dr David Pencheon, Director, NHS Sustainable Development Unit (NHS SDU)
>Richard Jackson, Head of Environmental Sustainability, University College London
>Satish Kumar, Editor-in-Chief, Resurgence
>Prof Sue Hartley, Professor of Ecology, University of York and Director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute

Simon Wright, Director of Infrastructure and Utilities at the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA)

Simon Wright is responsible for the delivery of infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympic Park. This multi-billion dollar major programme is transforming a 246 hectare derelict part of east London into a new park to host many of the London 2012 Olympic sports as well as the Athletes Village and also provides a platform for a sustainable new city quarter for London after the Games.

Simon is a chartered civil engineer with over 34 years experience in the industry and is a fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a member of the Association for Project Management. He started his career with Binnie & Partners (now Black and Veatch) and has worked for Mouchel Consulting and Arup where he ran the UK and Europe Project Management Division. He has worked in many parts of the world including Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Egypt. Simon joined the ODA in 2006.

See Simon's plenary on Conference day 2 – Wednesday 28 March 2012.

Find out more about the ODA

Dr Peter White, Director for Global Sustainability, Procter & Gamble

Peter White is Director for Global Sustainability at Procter & Gamble and is based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He helped found P&G’s Sustainable Development organisation in 1999, and in 2007 created and led P&G’s Sustainability Leadership Council - the global, business-wide group responsible for developing and delivering P&G’s Sustainability Strategy and Goals. Peter was a key architect of P&G’s long-term Sustainability Vision and 2020 Goals announced in September 2010.

Peter also leads P&G’s Global Sustainability Department. This corporate group supports P&G’s Global Business Units (GBUs), manages Sustainability issues and reports progress against P&G’s Sustainability Goals.

Peter is actively involved in the work of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Research on Sustainability at Newcastle University, UK. A biologist by training, Peter has worked at P&G for 20 years in the areas of Environmental Management, Lifecycle Assessment and Integrated Solid Waste Management. Peter has written and spoken widely on sustainability issues.

Prior to joining P&G, Peter researched and taught Biological and Environmental Science at the Universities of Oxford, California (Berkeley) and Arizona (Tucson) and also spent 3 years as a volunteer teacher in Nigeria with the UK development charity VSO.
Peter is married with 3 children and loves sailing, cycling and walking.

See Peter's plenary on Conference day 1 – Tuesday 27 March 2012.

Find out more about P&G's sustainability programme

Dr David Pencheon, Director, NHS Sustainable Development Unit (NHS SDU)

David Pencheon is a UK trained Public Health Doctor and is currently Director of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit (England) (NHS SDU). The NHS SDU develops organisations, people, tools, and policy to help the NHS in England fulfil its potential as a leading sustainable and low carbon organisation. The unit helps shape NHS policy nationally and locally, spreads the best evaluated practice on sustainable development, promotes an appropriate NHS response to climate change and develops programmes of organisational and personal development in these areas for NHS organisations, staff, and partners.

The NHS Sustainable Development Unit is run under the auspices of the chief executives of the ten NHS Strategic Health Authorities in England. It is hosted by the Strategic Health Authority in the East of England in Fulbourn, Cambridge. The Accountability of the Unit is through the NHS East of England chief executive, Sir Neil McKay and to the chief executive of the NHS in England, David Nicholson.
David was previously Director of a Public Health Observatory in Cambridge from 2001 to 2007.

David Pencheon has worked as a clinical doctor in the NHS, a joint Director of Public Health, a Public Health Training Programme Director in the East of England, with the NHS R&D programme, and in China in the early 1990s with Save the Children Fund (UK).

His main interests and areas of research and publication are: sustainable development, large scale transformational change, health and climate change, underpinning action and policy with good information and evidence, training and professional development, organisational development, medical informatics and decision support for health professionals.

See David's plenary on Conference day 2 – Wednesday 28 March 2012.

Find out more about the NHS Sustainability Development Unit

Richard Jackson, Head of Environmental Sustainability, University College London

Since taking up his position at University College London in 2011, Richard Jackson has been leading the development and implementation of UCLs environmental sustainability strategy. Currently creating the new ES team at the University, Richard is putting focus on developing the University’s strategy and taking forward some immediate projects.

From 2005 – 2011, Richard was Head of Sustainability for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and led the team responsible for delivering the ODAs Environment & Sustainability objectives as well as coordinating the Olympic Park Environmental Impact Assessment, developing the ODAs Sustainable Development Strategy, establishing the ODAs management system for implementing the targets and objectives and coordinating the ODAs engagement with environmental NGOs.

From 2002-2005 Richard worked as Sustainability Strategy Manager for the London Development Agency and helped established a programme of public sector projects aimed at developing London’s green business sector (including the Energy Action Areas; Climate Change Agency, Environmental Technology Research Centre for London). He led the initial work on the Sustainability Strategy for the Olympic Park masterplan including the LDAs sustainable construction programme and had responsibility for coordinating LDA input into the Mayor’s Environment Strategies.

Richard has also worked as an environment consultant, spent three years in Japan undertaking research on the community management of environment projects, spent two years as a conservation volunteer and worked with Friends of the Earth Japan.

Outside work, he is a very keen cyclist and runner. He also spends hours getting extremely frustrated, wondering why Manchester City cannot be as consistent as Manchester United!

See David's plenary on Conference day 2 – Wednesday 28 March 2012.

Find out more about University College London's sustainability programme

Satish Kumar, Editor-in-Chief, Resurgence

A former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, Satish Kumar has been quietly setting the global agenda for change for over 50 years. He was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains, and 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a renewed India and a peaceful world into reality.

Inspired in his early 20s by the example of the British peace activist Bertrand Russell, Satish embarked on an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage. Carrying no money and depending on the kindness and hospitality of strangers, he walked from India to America, via Moscow, London and Paris, to deliver a humble packet of ‘peace tea’ to the then leaders of the world’s four nuclear powers.

In 1973, Satish settled in the United Kingdom taking up the post of editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he has held ever since, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally respected ecological and educational ventures including, Schumacher College in South Devon, where he is still a Visiting Fellow.

In his 50th year, Satish undertook another pilgrimage – again carrying no money. This time, he walked 2,000 miles to the holy places of Britain, a venture he describes as a celebration of his love of life and nature. In July 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Education from the University of Plymouth. In July 2001, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from the University of Lancaster. And in the November of that same year, he was presented with the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India.

His autobiography, No Destination, first published by Green Books in 1978, has sold over 50,000 copies. He is also the author of You Are, Therefore I Am: A Declaration of Dependence,The Buddha and the Terrorist and Earth Pilgrim.

In 2005, Satish was Sue Lawley’s guest on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. In 2008, as part of BBC2’s Natural World series, he presented a 50-minute documentary from Dartmoor, which was watched by over 3.6 million people. He appears regularly in the printed media and a range of radio programmes including Thought for the Day and Midweek.

Satish is on the advisory board of Our Future Planet, a unique online community sharing ideas for real change, and in recognition of his commitment to animal welfare and compassionate living, he was recently elected vice president of the RSPCA. He continues to teach and run workshops on reverential ecology, holistic education and voluntary simplicity and is a much sought-after speaker both in the UK and abroad.

See Satish's plenary on Conference day 3 – Thursday 29 March 2012.

Find out more about Resurgence

Prof Sue Hartley, Professor of Ecology, University of York and Director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute

Sue studied biochemistry at the University of Oxford before moving to the University of York for her PhD on plant defences against insect herbivores. She worked on sustainable grazing and habitat conservation at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology before moving to the University of Sussex where her research included projects on the factors maintaining the extraordinary biodiversity of tropical forests, the impact of climate change on plant resistance to herbivores, and sustainable pest control in crop systems.

Sue has served as the Vice-President of the British Ecological Society and as an advisor on the ecological impacts of genetically modified organisms for the World Trade Organisation, the European Food Safety Authority and the UK Government. In 2009 she delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, becoming only the 4th woman to do since they began in 1825. In 2010 she moved back to the University of York to become Director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute, a new interdisciplinary research centre bringing together leading environmental researchers from a broad range of disciplines to tackle the key challenges facing humankind, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and food security.

See Sue's plenary at the Conference Gala dinner – Wednesday 28 March 2012

Find out more about the University of York's Environmental Sustainability Institute

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