International Business Festival 2018



International Future Transport Day

19 JUNE 2018

The world’s transport sector is changing at the fastest pace since the early decades of last century, thanks to innovation in mass and individual transit. How long before driverless cars and trucks are commonplace, hyperloop trains take us from the west to the east coast of the USA in 13 minutes and, can the UK and other nations realise their ambition of being at the heart of a vibrant, growing space industry?

The 2018 International Business Festival’s Future Transport day will ask what new technology in travel could mean for business, we’ll hear the latest from the Government’s centres for autonomous vehicles and we’ll listen to compelling case for more spaceports. The event will also illuminate near-future developments in transport and make a surprisingly strong business argument for more traditional ways of getting from A to B.

We’ll explore how to find stability and opportunity in a changing world and showcase international market opportunities. You’ll meet with future partners, buyers and investors and develop profitable, meaningful relationships.

19 June 2018
    • Futures Stage

    Computer science genius. Double First Cambridge Graduate and the BBC’s leading voice on all things tech, if Spencer Kelly wasn’t so charming, you might be a little jealous. With an unparalleled talent for making even the most complex new tech seem crystal clear, Spencer’s enthusiasm for his subject is infectious. Expect a great debate on the future of global transport. With Spencer Kelly, it’s always quite a journey.

    Spencer Kelly
    Presenter & Computer Scientist
    BBC's Click
    • Futures Stage

    As multi-billionaire behemoths Richard Branson and Elon Musk battle it out to be the first to build a fully functioning hyperloop, we look at the true viability and transformational impact of clambering into levitating pods and shooting around nations in underground tubes.

    This session will examine the incredible Hyperloop One test work taking place deep in the Nevada desert and the far-reaching implications for people, cargo transport and wider industry.

    If you’ve ever lamented a long and boring journey, wished you could pop across the county in your lunch hour or just like the sound of futuristic people-carriers being furiously propelled along airless, friction-reduced tubes, this session will keep you on the edge of your seat.

    Here, Hyped, a team of students from Edinburgh University who won the SpaceX design award, will talk about their own work, and will be joined by transport specialist from Arup, Lynne Miles.

    Hyperloop advances are happening fast and this session will provide astonishing insight into the long-distance journeys of tomorrow. Buckle in. You’re in for one hell of a ride.

    Lynne Miles
    Associate Director
    • Futures Stage

    Great Britain already has a space industry worth £15bn. But that could be just the start, a small step towards a giant leap in the right direction. Open your mind and expand your horizons because this nation could one day be home to a £40bn space industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people and we know just the man who could help take us there.

    Here, Northern Space Consortium chairman Alan Cross will envisage Britain 2030 as occupying a glorious place in the cosmos, vividly proposing a bright future for British space travel, that could be in our grasp.  

    This event will highlight a clear-cut strategy for stratospheric UK space industry success that could lead to a renaissance of one of man’s greatest industries, hundreds of thousands of jobs and add a powerful, rocket-fuelled boom to numerous other industries.

    Join us on an imagined, but extraordinary journey in time and space. Don’t think of this event as simply transport. Think of it as an epic drama of adventure and exploration, taking us further into the unknown.

    Alan Cross
    Chair of Board of Directors
    Northern Space Consortium
    Shefali Sharma
    Business Development
    Oxford Space Systems (OSS)
    Stuart Martin
    Chief Executive Officer
    Satellite Applications Catapult
    • Futures Stage

    Take a break, grab some lunch, plug and connect with the office and enjoy some networking meetings in our Global Connections Lounge.

    • Futures Stage

    By land and sea and air autonomous transport is starting to chart and steer its own course.

    Great strides are being taken to advance driverless car technology. Audi are expecting to introduce a fully self-driving model by 2020. Uber predict they’ll be using a global fleet of fully autonomous taxis as soon as 2030. Boeing have just unveiled their first autonomous plane, with Airbus hot on their tail.

    The world of transport as we know it is changing fast and this will have a profound impact on business and our way of life.  Mankind is being freed from a stuck position behind a wheel and autonomous vehicles will soon be transporting people and goods at greatly reduced cost with far greater efficiency.

    Driverless means so much more than not having to drive. Unmanned transport has the potential to greatly enhance our lives, work, and the places we live.  Here leading authorities on autonomous vehicles and transport highlight the extraordinary business impact of a future where ‘drivers’ will never have to touch the controls again.

    Caroline Coates
    Partner, Head of Insurance Sector, Head of Automotive & Executive Partner (Birmingham)
    Emma Tracey
    broadcast journalist
    BBC news
    Professor John Miles
    University of Cambridge, Project Architect
    UK Autodrive
    Robin Spinks
    Senior Innovation and Technology Relationships Manager
    • Futures Stage

    The disruptors in the service industry - Uber, Amazon, and Deliveroo - deal with problems when they have them, and they deal with them fast. And they are changing the way customers deal with the more traditional brands. Combine this with apps that make the customer more informed than ever before, and the developments in AI, machine learning and analytics, and you have a race on your hands. Alex Cruz, Chief Executive at British Airways talks to us about his industry plans to stay ahead.  

    Alex Cruz
    Chairman and CEO
    British Airways
    • Futures Stage

    For people the world over, driving means freedom, instantly giving people greater independence and presenting an open road of new possibilities.

    Getting behind the wheel of a car and taking it for a spin, for many people can easily be taken for granted, but for the women of Saudi Arabia this right is revolutionary.

    On the 26th September 2017, King Salman ordered the reform, in a royal decree of restrictions that forbade women from the Kingdom to drive independently, without a chaperone and permission from a ‘legal guardian’.

    Here, our keynote speaker will investigate the personal and commercial impact of overturning this ruling, often seen as an international exemplar of centuries of rigid conservative social order.

    Could this change lead to further relaxation of female guardianship laws?  Could the final destination be greater liberation for the women of Saudi Arabia?

19 June 2018
    • Knowledge Hub

    Hear from British Airways about how they can help your business operate globally.

    • Knowledge Hub
    Hear about doing business in China through Tianjin, a large port city whose economy continues to grow, and which is home to northern China's largest Free Trade Zone.
    • Knowledge Hub
    Innovate UK will outline new approaches to financing innovation, including innovation loans and the investment accelerator.
    • Knowledge Hub

    Hear from CEO Forum India about trading opportunities in their markets, and about support your business may be able to access.

    • Knowledge Hub

    Hear from British Airways about how they can help your business operate globally.

    • Knowledge Hub
    The largest economy in the world presents a hugely attractive proposition for business. This practical session will examine the barriers and options available to help you develop your strategy for cracking the USA – A true land of opportunity. 
    • Knowledge Hub
    Take a break, grab some lunch, plug and connect with the office and enjoy some networking meetings in our Global Connections Lounge.
    • Knowledge Hub
    Covering the North Strategic Transport Plan, HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and major billion-pound transport investments, this session, chaired by Paul Cherpeau, will focus on the most vital strategic transport developments in the Liverpool City Region and the North of England and how these will impact businesses.
    Lucy Hudson
    Lead Officer for Freight & Logistics
    Transport for the North
    • Knowledge Hub

    The Institute of Directors (IOD) is a longstanding community of business leaders, with the power to influence national debate and shape the agenda for the British business community.

    Here, a selection of leading IOD professionals will help you unlock your leadership potential, think big and achieve more in business.

    • Knowledge Hub

    Hear from DWF and key businesses in the transport sector about the challenges and opportunities presented by technology, in a period of unprecedented change.

    Also discover the findings from the latest global transport technology report, as published by DWF this month.

19 June 2018
    • UK Innovation Hub

    UK Innovation HubWe are at one of the most important, exciting and challenging times in the history of global enterprise.

    Powered by new technologies, the way we live our lives as workers, citizens and consumers is being transformed across the world.

    There are developments in technology that are set to transform industries and societies around the world, and the UK is at the forefront of this global technological revolution. 

    Learn about the government’s long-term plan to build a UK fit for the future - the Industrial Strategy. Join us at the UK Innovation Hub to explore UK-based innovations that will shape the future global economy in:

    • artificial intelligence and big data
    • clean growth
    • the future of mobility
    • and meeting the needs of an ageing society


    Hear and network with some of the UK’s most innovative business leaders, exporters and investors, and find out more on what government support is available to UK- based organisations, innovators, exporters and foreign investors into the UK to help your business grow. Plus, how Her Majesty’s Government will help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.


    The UK Innovation Hub is delivered on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Innovate UK, the Department for International Trade and the GREAT Britain campaign

19 June 2018
    • Hosted Events


    • Hosted Events
    Featuring a specially invited panel of key international organisations and individuals, The Space Age: A Global Revolution is a daylong conference designed for industry, start-ups, SMEs, entrepreneurs and investors, whether they're established, or are working to expand into this high growth sector.
    • Hosted Events
    New Mobility Global will focus on how new technologies and innovations are affecting the future of transportation and infrastructure. 
    • Hosted Events

    This conference will explore Global Best Practices in Diversity & Inclusion, highlighting the area’s relationship to supply chains and examining how it can help businesses compete in global markets.

    • Hosted Events
    UKBAA’s flagship Global Investment Summit: Connecting Globally for Investment in Innovation and Growth will showcase the latest trends and opportunities in UK and global markets.


*Please note, sessions and speakers may be subject to change

Festival Partners




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