Establishing 10 key priorities, innovations & actions to mitigate climate crisis
Our keynote speakers for the inaugural session in October 2020 are the environmental and polar scientist Professor Sir Ian Boyd, former chief scientist at DEFRA & member of SAGE, and the CEO of Natwest Group (formerly RBS), Alison Rose.
Following an introduction from Professor Richard Williams, Principal of Heriot-Watt University, each speaker delivers a keynote address, before taking questions and participating in a debate panel, led by Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer (Director of the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre) and Professor John Ludden (Bicentennial Research Fellow at the Lyell Centre).
Alison has worked at NatWest Group for 27 years. Prior to her current role Alison was Deputy CEO of NatWest Holdings and CEO of the Commercial and Private Banking business.
She has held a number of senior roles across the Group including Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Markets & International Banking, Global Head of International Banking Capital and Balance Sheet and Head of Leveraged Finance.
Alison was invited by the UK Government to lead a review of the barriers to women starting a business and launched The Rose Review in March 2019. Alison also champions NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator programme, an innovative initiative supporting start-up businesses across the UK, and sponsors the bank’s employee-led networks.
Professor Sir Ian Boyd
Professor Sir Ian is a zoologist, environmental and polar scientist, and former Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). He is a professor of biology at the University of St Andrews, where he is also an adviser to the Principal and was Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute. He also created the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland. Before this he spent 14 years leading research at the British Antarctic Survey. Recently he has been an attendee at the Science Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) which was established to provide scientific advice to the UK government during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He has degrees from the Universities of Aberdeen, Cambridge and Exeter and has received a number of awards for his research and leadership. He is a recipient of the Polar Medal and he was knighted in the 2019 Birthday Honours for services to science and economics on food and the environment.
Ian is the Defra Head of Science and Engineering Profession (HoSEP) for the Government Science and Engineering Profession (GSE).