Bristol Business Summit – 22nd October 2015 – #bristolsummits

A Bristol Business Summits summary, including video’s, social posts and pictures, is available here

We live in extraordinary times. Our world is changing faster than ever before – from climate change to changing markets, from limited resources to massive urban growth.

This kind of rapid and unpredictable change is challenging, but also offers huge opportunities. And, with 70% of the world’s population expected to be living in cities by 2050, it is obvious where most of the action will take place.

With the right kind of decisions today, your business could be creating the jobs, products and services to meet the unprecedented demands of tomorrow’s increasingly urban world. What’s more, you’ll be part of a movement to build bigger, better, healthier and happier cities for communities to thrive in.

It’s an exciting prospect. But this future won’t just happen – we have to make it. At the Bristol Business Summit we’ll be filling the room with key business and civic leaders, as well as disruptors and documenters from Bristol and beyond. We’ll also be asking important questions about how businesses can stay profitable, purposeful and popular in the years ahead.

We want you to add your experience, share your questions and help us co-create a positive vision of what comes next for the future of cities.


About the event

Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson is inviting a pioneering group of business and civic leaders to join him at the final event of the Bristol Summit Series on 22nd October – the culmination of Bristol’s year as European Green Capital 2015.

The event will use peer-learning, informed discussion and interactive exhibitions to explore how creative civic governance and forward-thinking businesses can bring greater profitability and prosperity to all.

With so many progressive decision-makers and influential thought leaders in the room to share their experience, insight and inspiration, we’re confident that – together – we’ll start laying the foundations for the cities of tomorrow.

Event overview

The day will bring together senior European business leaders, founders of emerging businesses, each with a reputation for successful progressive innovation and a selection of European City Mayors.

Throughout the day, we’ll be exploring the technologies, collaboration and business models that will shape the years ahead. And we’ll be looking closely at how we can make sure those years are as prosperous as possible.

We’ll also be addressing our shared responsibility to create a vision of tomorrow’s cities that inspires and energises the next generation of business and civic leaders.


The Bristol Summit Series welcomes more than 200 decision-makers and thought leaders, offering a broad spectrum of viewpoints and experiences from cities worldwide.

Insight from our supporters

Simon Power


10.08.15_Bristol 2015 Summits and ambassador card 180x180mm_v2.i

The summit will be chaired by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Broadcast journalist.


The summits will be documented to provide a visual record and associated articles will be published. The outputs from the City Leadership Summit will also be shared at the Cities and Regions Pavilion – TAP2015 at COP21, which will be organised by ICLEI and co-hosted by Paris and Bristol.

Our venue

The Bristol Business Summit will be held at The Passenger Shed, adjacent to Bristol Temple Meads station. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, this Grade 1 listed Victorian station is one of the oldest in the world an icon of Bristol’s rich history of innovation.


09.00 – 09.50

Registration, networking and coffee

10.00 – 10.10

Welcome & setting the scene

Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Broadcast Journalist

10.10 – 10.50

Opening address

Eddie O’Connor, CEO, Mainstream Renewable Power
Richard Gillies, Group Sustainability Director, Kingfisher PLC

10.50 – 11.50

How can businesses accelerate change?

Chair: Jon Dee, Host of ‘Smart Money’, Sky News Business Channel

– Tim O’Toole, CEO, FirstGroup PLC
– Steve Beatty, Global Head of Cities, KPMG Canada
– Terry Elphick OBE, Managing Director, Skanska UK PLC

11.50 – 12.10

Networking and Coffee

12.10 – 13.00

Co-creating tomorrow’s cities

Chair: Alexandra Jones, CEO, Centre for Cities

– Charles Landry, Author ‘The creative city: a tolkit for urban innovators’ and ‘The art of city making’
– George Ferguson CBE, Mayor of Bristol
– Dejan Crnek, Deputy Mayor of Ljubljana

13.00 – 15.00

Lunch in the Inspiration Zone

Delegates are invited to network with peers over a locally sourced lunch, explore exhibits and attend a selection of inspirational panel discussions covering:

‘Smart Money’
Curator and Chair: Jon Dee, Host of ‘Smart Money’, Sky News Business Channel
– Carmel McQuaid, Head of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer
– Peter Blom, CEO, Triodos Bank and Chair, Global Alliance for Banking on Values
– Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability, IKEA

‘Sustainable Thinking’
Curator and Chair: Ed Gillespie, Co-Founder, Futerra
– Liz Dunn, Energy and Planning Sector Partner, Burges Salmon LLP
– and invited guests

Curator and Chair: John Elkington, Founding Partner & Executive Chairman of Volans
– Craig Sams, Founder, Green & Blacks
– Dr Nina Skorupska, CEO, The Renewable Energy Association
– Frits Verheij, Director, Smart Green Cities, DNV GL – Energy

15.00 – 15.45

Cities and businesses working together

Host: Krishnan Guru Murthy, Broadcast Journalist
– Roger Burns, Vice President of Public Sector, DHL
– Jerome Frost OBE, UKMEA Leader for Consulting, Arup
– Helena Kavanagh, Managing Director, JC Decaux

16.00 – 16.30

Compelling rhetoric or achievable reality?

Delegates will be invited to discuss and respond to a series of thought-provoking and provocative observations and questions posed by the summit so far.
Host: Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Broadcast Journalist

16.30 – 17:00

New frontiers

An inspirational reflection that will illustrate the critical success factors required to overcome nature’s most dangerous and difficult obstacles, and how they relate to the changing landscape faced by business leaders.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE

17.00 – 19:00

City Leadership Summit opening reception

Business Summit delegates will be joined by mayors from around the world for the opening of the City Leadership Summit.


Reflection and round up

Mayor George Ferguson and key speakers will share insights from the summit through interviews and facilitated discussions with delegates, mayors and invited guests.



Programme is subject to change.
The latest programme will be available on this website and included in delegate joining information.

Official Partners


KPMG are proud to be an official sponsor of Bristol 2015 – European Green Capital. This is a major opportunity for business, government and communities to work together to drive long-term change and make cities better places to live and do business.

In the face of rapid urbanisation, KPMG professionals are working with city leaders and businesses to help create more liveable, sustainable and productive cities.

KPMG offer a broad suite of services to clients, drawing upon the experience of subject matter experts to provide the advice needed to address a city’s challenges and create high performing local economies.


FirstGroup plc is the leading transport operator in the UK and North America. Every day, every one of our 110,000 employees works hard to deliver vitally important services for the 2.4 billion people who relied on us to get to work, to education, to visit family and friends and much more.

Our vision is to provide solutions for an increasingly congested world… keeping people moving and communities prospering. As the main bus and rail operator in and around Bristol, FirstGroup is proud to be supporting Bristol European Green Capital 2015 as an official partner, promoting sustainable public transport solutions.


Official Supporters

Arup is an independent firm of engineers, designers and consultants with over 11,000 employees globally, and 300 staff in Bristol. Arup in Bristol has contributed significantly to the regeneration of the city and its surrounding counties since its opening in 1974. For Bristol 2015 Arup has contributed its leadership in sustainability, future cities and cities resilience, along with extensive delivery experience to enable Bristol to realise the legacy of being 2015 European Green Capital.


Bristol Sport was formed with a single minded goal: TO INSPIRE SPORT IN BRISTOL AND BEYOND.

It is part of the stable of sports companies owned by Stephen Lansdown and oversees the management of Ashton Gate Stadium and the commercial interests of its affiliated clubs, including Bristol City FC & Bristol Rugby.

Ashton Gate Stadium is currently undergoing a £45m rebuild to transform it into the beating heart of sport in the city.


Official Suppliers


CSE is an independent national charity that was initiated in 1979 and is based in Bristol.

Our vision is a world where sustainability is second nature, carbon emissions have been cut to safe levels and fuel poverty has been replaced by energy justice.