Facilitator - Sally Bundock

Sally Bundock is a financial journalist who has been covering financial and economic news for almost 20 years.  She joined the business team at the BBC in 2002 and has been presenting the early morning edition of World Business Report on BBC One, BBC News Channel and BBC World News for the past 10 years.  

Sally has just launched the BBC's flagship business programme, Business Live which airs every week day at 08.30 on BBC News Channel and BBC World News.  Sally co-presents Business Live with Ben Thompson and it's a packed 30 minute programme that covers all the key business stories and gets the inside track from the world's leading CEOs.

It's been a busy time for Sally, especially since the financial crisis began in 2008.  The Eurozone debt crisis has dominated the agenda and Sally's role has been to inform the European audience, as they wake-up, of the latest developments and how it impacts their lives. 

Sally has also worked extensively in radio including presenting Wake Up To Money on BBC Radio 5 Live and presenting the business on Drive Time with Simon Mayo on BBC Radio 2. She has also covered the business news on BBC One's Breakfast.

Previously Sally worked for Bloomberg where she created and presented their award-winning evening programme, Bloomberg Money.

During her career, Sally has covered many momentous events, including G7 conferences, historic EU summits and the World Economic Forum in Davos. She did her undergraduate degree in public administration in South Wales and then moved to London to complete her post-graduate diploma in journalism at City University.


Iain Duncan Smith MP

Iain Duncan Smith was educated at Dunchurch College of Management, the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, the Universita per Stranieri in Perugia and HMS Conway in Anglesey. As part of the Scots Guards, Iain saw active service in Northern Ireland and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and served in Canada and Germany.

Iain later worked for GEC-Marconi, a defence company, and Bellwinch, a property company. He has also been on the board of Jane’s Information Group, a publishing company. Iain married Betsy in 1982 and they have four children – Harry, Edward, Rosie and Alicia.

Iain was elected Member of Parliament for Chingford in 1992, and he was re-elected in 1997 as Member of Parliament for the re-drawn constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green. Iain was promoted to William Hague’s Shadow Cabinet in 1997. As Shadow Secretary of State for Social Security, Iain exposed Labour’s hypocrisy and failure on welfare reform. When he was promoted to Shadow Defence Secretary, he exposed the Government’s failure to give British forces sufficient funding and equipment.

In 2001, Iain was elected Leader of The Conservative Party. After stepping down in 2003, he set up the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), an independent think tank committed to tackling poverty and social breakdown. Iain worked tirelessly as Chairman of the CSJ until the 2010 General Election, when he was appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He served in this position until March 2016. Iain remains the Member of Parliament for Chingford and Woodford Green and is always happy to deal with constituents and their concerns.


James Lawrence - PlumberParts

James Lawrence founded Plumberparts in 2007 when he decided to help people out in the world of plumbing. With an A-level in Media Studies and a completed HVAC apprenticeship, James started to create informative videos about plumbing and publishing them on YouTube. Now each week James releases new videos from installations through to product reviews and plumbing disasters, and, many of the videos are shown in colleges across the country where James has become an inspiration for many aspiring plumbers.

Plumberparts currently has over 80,000 subscribers on YouTube and thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Plumberparts is growing rapidly within the plumbing industry, working with major manufacturers and suppliers such as Graham Plumbers’ Merchant, Nest, Adey and Ideal Standard to help educate and promote in the world of plumbing & heating.

The recent acquisition of a studio space in Cambridgeshire has helped to expand the business to offer professional bespoke product videos and photography for clients, both inside and outside of the ‘Plumberparts’ YouTube Channel.



Will Higham - Behavioural Futurist, author, Speaker - and Founder, Next Big Thing

Will’s mission is to help brands anticipate - and monetise - new consumer behaviours, by identifying the commercial opportunities they present.

He runs strategic consultancy Next Big Thing, whose clients range across retail (Sainsbury’s to Amazon), finance (RBS to HSBC), technology (AOL to British Telecom), drinks (Budweiser to Diageo) and media (BBC to MTV).

Will wrote the first European handbook for trend strategists: ‘The Next Big Thing: Forecasting Consumer Trends For Profit’ (Kogan Page, 2009), which has been translated into five languages.

He’s spoken at and chaired events for brands, media and industry bodies from Barclaycard to Financial Times, ICSC to FHM. He’s presented a TV show for CNBC on the Future of Work, been interviewed across media - BBC to Bloomberg TV, Cosmopolitan to The Times – and written for The Economist, Director, New Statesman and Huffington Post.

Will started his career in the entertainment industry. He worked at Sony, Virgin and Universal, running marketing and communications campaigns for artists from Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson to Alice Cooper and The Cure. He later ran online research agency OnePoll (clients incl. Kelloggs and Findus).


Mark Berrisford-Smith - HSBC

Having studied Economics at Sussex and London Universities, Mark is now Head of Economics for HSBC’s commercial banking business in the UK. 

He is responsible for advising the Bank in the UK and its business customers on developments in the British and global economies.  Within this remit he has taken a keen interest in monitoring developments in the Euro Area, and also China. But more recently, his work has focused on explaining the mechanics and economic consequences of the UK’s decision to leave the EU. 

He undertakes an intensive programme of public speaking at conferences and seminars organised or sponsored by HSBC. In order to ensure that HSBC’s commercial customers in the UK are as well informed as possible about the issues arising from ‘Brexit’, he spoke at more than 120 such events during 2017.


Jane Blakeborough - Trend-Monitor

Jane Blakeborough is Research Director and Founder of Trend-Monitor, a leading provider of trend analysis, consumer insight and market intelligence for the home improvement industry.

Jane is the author of a number of industry reports and is on a mission to create a real connection between what manufacturers and retailers are making and selling, and what their customers will really want to buy for their homes over the next 10 years.  

Endlessly curious about how we live our lives and use our homes, Jane is able to look beyond the latest design and colour trends to assess how factors such as shifts in social behaviour, demographic changes and developments in technology will influence our home lives in the future, and ultimately the kind of products we will buy for our homes.


 Claire Curtis-Thomas, PhD(Hon), C.Eng FIMechE FIET -BBA - Chief Executive Officer

Claire Curtis-Thomas graduated in Mechanical Engineering from University College, Cardiff, and went on to obtain an MBA at Aston University. She also has an honorary PhD in Technology.

Her industry experience was gained with Shell UK, rising to Head of Distribution & Logistics for Chemicals and Downstream Products. This was followed with roles at Birmingham City Council, initially as Head of Corporate Affairs and later as Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council Laboratories. Claire then returned to university life as Dean of the Engineering and Business Department of the University of Wales, Newport, before moving into politics when she was elected as MP for Crosby.

During her time in parliament, Claire championed a number of issues on behalf of the construction industry and sat on three select committees: Trade & Industry, Home Affairs and Science & Technology. She also chaired All-Party Parliamentary Committees on Construction and Utility related subjects and founded the Construction & Development Partnership, a charity dedicated to bringing schools and education to the children of Sierra Leone.

Claire left politics in 2010 and before joining the BBA in 2013, she was Chief Executive of The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM), a Chartered Institution providing services, training, and standards to the gas industry.

Claire remains  committed to the eradication of discrimination and breaking down the boundaries which preclude people from reaching their potential.




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