Speakers Breakfasts

Each year we host a Spring and Autumn season of Speakers Breakfasts to help you find the right voices for your events. The emphasis is on motivators to lift conferences, business leaders to share insights, economists to explain what’s going on, visionaries to tell us what’s around the corner… and raconteurs to provide light relief.

Breakfasts take place in central London. If you would like free tickets to an upcoming session, or to watch the live stream, simply click on the relevant box below.

Upcoming Breakfasts

The Power to Inspire: Realising our Potential

Inspiration comes in many guises. This event showcases four remarkable stories: surgery in the midst of war and disaster, marginal gains in Formula One, running ultra-marathons ­­despite blindness, and overcoming the horror of brutal attack. 


Location Portland Place, London

Date December 09 2014

Previous Breakfasts

Data, Disruption and Visualisation


After heading Google UK, Dan now helps new companies... » read more

After heading Google UK, Dan now helps new companies disrupt old industries. He is joined by infographics wizard David McCandless, whose latest book shows that when you visualise complex data you tease out fascinating connections. 

Location Portland Place, London

Date November 18 2014

The Leadership Challenge: Economic, Political and Security Risks


What are the consequences of deflation in Europe? Will the march of... » read more

What are the consequences of deflation in Europe? Will the march of UKIP influence Labour and Conservative policy? How coherent is Alliance strategy to defeat Islamic State? What are the macro risks and leadership challenges facing UK Plc?

Location Portland Place, London

Date October 09 2014

Identity: What does it mean to be British?


We explored ‘Identity’ – from corporate reputation to our individual... » read more

We explored ‘Identity’ – from corporate reputation to our individual online presence, and what it now means to be British.

The speakers were senior Conservative MP and civil liberties champion DAVID DAVIS; the former Eurostar CEO and BA brand director HAMISH TAYLOR; serial entrepreneur BJ CUNNINGHAM; and LJ RICH, reporter and producer on BBC TV’s flagship technology programme, Click.

Location Portland Place, London

Date September 09 2014

Putting Innovation into Action


Apple’s former Creative Director gave us the ‘i’ in iPad, iPod and iPhone.... » read more

Apple’s former Creative Director gave us the ‘i’ in iPad, iPod and iPhone. Together with a key architect behind the Eden Project they show how innovation profits from simplicity and nature’s 3.6bn years of R&D.

Location Portland Place, London

Date May 13 2014

Debunking the Myths


The bestselling author and More Or Less host joined the BBC HR Director, de Montfort... » read more

The bestselling author and More Or Less host joined the BBC HR Director, de Montfort Professor and ex-HSBC Chief Economist to challenge the assumptions we make about four of the biggest issues of the day.

Location Portland Place, London

Date April 15 2014

Budget Debate


Our four eminent panellists have served as Chancellor, CEO of Virgin Atlantic,... » read more

Our four eminent panellists have served as Chancellor, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, US Editor of The Economist and the head of the biggest brand agency in Europe. They locked horns on the morning after Osborne’s 5th Budget.

Location Portland Place, London

Date March 20 2014

Imagine: Thinking Differently


The BBC Arts Editor and the creator of Spitting Image, Blackadder, Mr Bean and... » read more

The BBC Arts Editor and the creator of Spitting Image, Blackadder, Mr Bean and QI joined the comedy actor and communications consultant to stretch our imagination, tell stories and think like an artist.

Location Portland Place, London

Date February 18 2014

Legends: Sir Clive Woodward


The nation held its breath as Clive’s men fulfilled their promise and clinched... » read more

The nation held its breath as Clive’s men fulfilled their promise and clinched the Rugby World Cup. He’s sinclce helped British athletes achieve success by instilling attention to detail and self-belief, and combining it with back-room expertise and ruthless decision-making.

Location Portland Place, London

Date November 12 2013

Legends: Martina Navratilova


When she arrived in the US in 1975, Martina had one goal: to be the best women’s... » read more

When she arrived in the US in 1975, Martina had one goal: to be the best women’s tennis player in the world. In the end she secured more tournament wins than any player in history – including 9 Wimbledon singles titles. She describes what it takes to be a champion.

Location Portland Place, London

Date October 29 2013

Legends: Sir Ranulph Fiennes


Ran is the first to reach both Poles by foot, and the oldest Briton to conquer... » read more

Ran is the first to reach both Poles by foot, and the oldest Briton to conquer Everest. He also completed seven marathons, on seven continents, in seven days. This year he launched The Coldest Journey in Antarctica: “If you’re lucky enough to walk without a crutch, you might as well go for it.”

Location Portland Place, London

Date October 01 2013

Legends: Sir Chris Hoy


Chris is the most successful British Olympian of all time, winning his sixth gold... » read more

Chris is the most successful British Olympian of all time, winning his sixth gold medal at London 2012. He also won 11 World Championship titles. Explaining the buzz, he describes how “the euphoria of winning a race by 2/1000ths of a second helps the brain mask the pain.”

Location Portland Place, London

Date September 11 2013

Inspiring The Extraordinary


The last event of the season features four remarkable achievers who have all challenged... » read more

The last event of the season features four remarkable achievers who have all challenged the status quo…

When the credit crunch struck, van and minibus dealer Dave Fishwick decided he should start a bank. Experts told him it was impossible, and potentially criminal. He persevered, set up Burnley Savings & Loans and soon found himself star of Channel 4’s Bank of Dave.

Jo Malone left school early to care for her mother on their council estate. After working behind a cosmetics counter she went on to found the global luxury brand that bears her name, staying on as creative director after selling her stake to Estee Lauder.

After senior positions with Prudential and Marks & Spencer, Jean Tomlin became HR Director for London 2012. In a project with no room for failure, she built the team that staged the most successful Games in modern times – and mobilised 200,000 Gamesmakers.

Using his grandmother’s recipes, Fraser Doherty set up SuperJam at 14 and hit the Waitrose shelves at 18. Now, still only 24, he supplies his sugar-free product to 2,000 supermarkets from Russia to Australia. He also hosts SuperJam tea parties for the elderly.

Location Portland Place, London

Date June 18 2013

Boosting Growth


This event will explore how businesses can innovate even in a challenging economic... » read more

This event will explore how businesses can innovate even in a challenging economic climate – with four eminent speakers who are all in the thick of it…

Greg Nugent took on the challenge of marketing London 2012 – with 60 million stakeholders and the media waiting to pounce on every slip. It was he who turned volunteers into Gamesmakers. Greg outlines the lessons for every business.

Mariana Mazzucato is an economist and holder of the RM Phillips Chair in Science & Technology Policy at the University of Sussex. She is also author of The Entrepreneurial State: debunking private vs. public myths in innovation. Mariana focuses on the relationship between finance, innovation and growth – advising both the Government and the European Commission.

As the only American to win the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, Doug Richard was one of the original TV Dragons. He has since founded The School for Startups, and believes that entrepreneurship can be taught and must be learned.

Location Portland Place, London

Date May 21 2013

Times Of Change


With a panel brim-full of experts, we will be debating the major trends that are... » read more

With a panel brim-full of experts, we will be debating the major trends that are changing the consumer, business and political landscape. In straightened times, with voters protesting and digital challenging the existence of many high streets, how can policy-makers and UK Plc respond?

William Higham started in the music industry, then became a trends forecaster. He considers the implications when 51% of mobile phone users buy things on their device, but only 36% of retailers have a compatible website.

Danny Finkelstein once ran a social policy think tank, aligning himself with modernisers like Cameron, Osborne and Gove. He is now Executive Editor of The Times – responsible for the digital edition and leader columns.

Bill Grimsey served as CEO of Wickes, Focus and Iceland. He has since turned author, looking at what’s next for Britain’s retail industry and offering a counter to those that seek to revive high street shopping.

Linda Davidson developed the first BBC sites and launched E4 before becoming European IT Director for Discovery. She now helps companies to deliver online ROI and to understand ‘hang-outs’, ‘hackathons’ and ‘unified’ communications.

As Head of the No.10 Policy Unit, Schools Minister and Transport Secretary, Lord Andrew Adonis was a key architect of Labour’s public service reforms – including tuition fees, academy schools and HS2. He’s since headed a cross-party think tank to improve the effectiveness of government.

Location Portland Place, London

Date April 25 2013

The Global Economy


On the morning after George Osborne’s Budget, we will be investigating the state... » read more

On the morning after George Osborne’s Budget, we will be investigating the state of the world economy and its impact on the UK and Europe with three very distinguished voices…

Todd Buchholz was White House Director of Economic Policy under President Bush. He’s also run a $15bn hedge fund, written about global upheaval in Market Shock, lectured at Harvard and co-produced the hit musical, Jersey Boys.

Lord Mark Malloch-Brown was UN Deputy Secretary General to Kofi Annan. He has also served as Vice Chairman of George Soros’ investment funds and Foreign Office Minister for Africa and Asia. Mark is now Chair (EMEA) of FTI Consulting, advising on macro and enterprise risks in both emerging and ‘frontier’ markets.

Roger Bootle is one of the most influential economists in the UK, and advisor to the House of Commons Treasury Committee. In 2012 his team won the Wolfson Prize (second only to the Nobel), for its study on how a country can best exit the Euro. Roger believes that fiscal union will fail to improve competitiveness – and leave Britain isolated.

Location Portland Place, London

Date March 21 2013

Seb Coe Speakers Breakfast


As an athlete Seb Coe achieved twelve world records and two Olympic golds. He’s... » read more

As an athlete Seb Coe achieved twelve world records and two Olympic golds. He’s now masterminded the most successful Games in modern times. As The Sunday Times put it in their editorial, “Lord Coe proved a masterful leader of a complex project, fulfilling his role with modesty and dignity.”

Seb now offers his insights into the lessons learned. He highlights the need to build a resilient team from diverse backgrounds, to be seen by everyone to deliver your vision, to communicate pre-emptively and to leave nothing at all to chance: “You don’t become a champion at anything simply by turning up and hoping to get lucky.”

Location RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London

Date November 27 2012

Leadership Breakfast: Dyson, Brompton & English Cricket


We were be joined by three remarkable leaders… Martin McCourt was CEO of... » read more

We were be joined by three remarkable leaders… Martin McCourt was CEO of Dyson, leading the firm’s phenomenal expansion while James focused on design and innovation. In his last few years alone, while the country slipped into recession, he oversaw a doubling of turnover and trebling of profits.

Andrew Strauss became only the third England cricket captain in history to win the Ashes both home and away. His original game plan was to achieve world No.1 ranking within five years; working closely with Andy Flower, they reached their goal in half the time.

Will Butler-Adams is helping to lead the push for UK manufacturing. His Brompton Bicycle Company design, produce and distribute 30,000 folding bikes each year from their London factory, with half the parts made onsite. Overseas customers, including the Chinese, account for 70% of sales.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date November 06 2012

Motivational Speakers Breakfast With Kevin Keegan


With next year’s conference programme in mind, the emphasis was on Motivation... » read more

With next year’s conference programme in mind, the emphasis was on Motivation – with Kevin Keegan topping a powerful bill… Mandy Hickson was one of the first female pilots to serve in a front line Tornado GR4 squadron. She spoke about the personal and strategic lessons learned, from how to make decisions in high pressure situations to the need for honest and open briefing. Mark Ormrod was on a routine Marine patrol when he stepped on an Afghan mine. He lost both legs and his right arm. On the brink of despair back in England his ego kicked in, and after 8-hour days in the gym he finally got the better of his new bionic legs. Almost unbelievably, has since run across America. Kevin Keegan is a true British sporting legend. As well as making his mark at Liverpool, Hamburg and Newcastle, he has the distinction of both captaining and managing the England football team.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date October 17 2012

The Future Debate


Our final breakfast in the Summer 2012 series took the form of a debate on our... » read more

Our final breakfast in the Summer 2012 series took the form of a debate on our futures, with three highly influential voices…

Rachel Botsman is author of the bestseller What’s Mine Is Yours. Her theory of ‘collaborative consumption’ (which suggests that consumers will increasingly opt for access rather than ownership), is described by TIME as one of the 10 ideas that will change the world. It’s also the basis for a large scale TV project scheduled for 2013. Rachel explored the trends and how they applied to a vast range of industry sectors.

Originally a high-flying investment analyst, Bronwen Maddox joined The Times as US Editor. She is now Editor and CEO of the right-leaning Prospect magazine. She sees her role as explaining City thinking to policymakers, and helping business navigate the geo-political landscape. Bronwen looked at potential outcomes for the Euro, and what happens when our politicians have to make such unpopular decisions that they risk becoming unelectable.

Jane Young is a leading social business strategist. Her work focuses on the cultural, process and infrastructure changes made possible by technology – how to get things done more quickly and more cheaply and pave the way for innovation. Jane drew on Richard Dawkins, Bill Hicks and NASA to show that free-flowing information is key when the pace of change is relentlessly accelerating.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date July 04 2012

‘Whistleblower CEO’ Speakers Breakfast


Last October, weeks after becoming the first non-Japanese to head the 92 year-old... » read more

Last October, weeks after becoming the first non-Japanese to head the 92 year-old institution,Michael Woodford discovered and drew his board’s attention to what he believes is a 1.7 billion dollar fraud. He was instantly dismissed. Fearing for his safety he returned to the UK and reported his findings to the SFO. In a remarkable and dramatic tale, the repercussions of which are still rocking Japan just as discussions take place to turn it into a major feature film, Michael explained how an obscure magazine article led to FBI investigations, multiple arrests and serious questions about corporate morality.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date June 14 2012

Special Diamond Jubilee ‘Feelgood’ Speakers Breakfast


We were joined by three well known, highly entertaining and appropriately upbeat... » read more

We were joined by three well known, highly entertaining and appropriately upbeat Brits for an unashamedly patriotic event…

Ben Fogle sees himself as an ‘accidental adventurer.’ Since Castaway he has led would-be explorers in Extreme Dreams, tracked Prince William in Botswana and lived for a month in Scott’s hut. He’s now set to take part in the Thames flotilla, in the same boat in which he rowed the Atlantic with James Cracknell. Ben embodies the message of his presentation: stay focused, embrace change and never give up.

Richard Madeley is a national institution. After 13 years presenting This Morning, Richard and his wife Judy moved to Channel 4 and established Book Club – which has had a phenomenal effect on the bestseller lists. A thoroughly warm and engaging storyteller, Richard engaged the room with plenty of anecdotes, and truly lifted the spirits.

Paddy O’Connell attracts over two million listeners to his Sunday Radio 4 show, Broadcasting House. A former Wall Street correspondent, he now hosts cultural tours of Britain for wealthy Americans and performs a one-man stage show about Eurovision: My Semi Heaven. Dismissive of the doom-mongers, he trumpeted our natural resourcefulness and offered eight reasons to remain steadfastly optimistic.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date May 31 2012

Discovery


We were joined by three experts who brought scientific and mathematical discovery... » read more

We were joined by three experts who brought scientific and mathematical discovery to life in a way that was genuinely inspiring and relevant for any organisation interested in innovation.

After training to be a doctor, Michael Mosley moved into TV to work on Troubleshooter. He has since produced and presented a raft of science programmes. 2012 projects include a look at today’s medical frontiers and why we really don’t need much exercise – along with his regular slot on The One Show. Michael’s presentation explored the economics and the history of innovation.

Kevin Fong is an astrophysicist and anaesthetist. After training with NASA he now works with the UK Science, Technology and Facilities Council, as well as running an intensive care unit and teaching ‘extreme environment physiology.’ He also makes films for BBC’s Horizon strand. Kevin considered lessons from space, and how technology and exploration both solves and creates problems.

In an earlier life Alex Bellos was The Guardian’s man in South America and Pele’s ghost-writer. He’s now often hailed as the person who reclaimed maths from the geeks. In his presentation, as in his book Alex’s Adventures in Numberland, he explained how maths underpins everything we do – and how random behaviour can be strangely predictable.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date May 10 2012

The Future Of UK Plc


For the second breakfast of our Spring/Summer season, we debated the future of... » read more

For the second breakfast of our Spring/Summer season, we debated the future of UK Plc with three high profile business speakers…

Mark Wood is the former CEO of both Axa and Prudential. He now chairs a Lloyds underwriter, a digital marketing firm and the NSPCC, and serves on the board of the RAC. He turned around Axa and cut costs at Prudential UK by 40% (while increasing profits by the same amount). Mark addressed the leadership challenge of transforming a business, and dug beneath the surface of official statistics.

Newsnight’s Economics Editor Paul Mason sums up his agenda as profit, people and planet. A former musician and deputy editor of Computer Weekly, he has also written on the global working classes in Live Working or Die Fighting. He expects protectionist measures towards China, and serious social unrest stretching from the US to Israel and Iran – and explored whether we’ve entered an age of ‘repressionomics.’

PY Gerbeau has taken on numerous corporate rescues – including The Dome. He now heads one of the UK’s largest leisure owners and lectures students in the ‘experience economy’ as a Visiting Professor at LBS and Imperial College. Having decided to settle in Britain because he finds it much more business-friendly than his native France, PY believes every company must be increasingly agile to improve the prospects for growth.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date April 17 2012

Olympic Speakers Breakfast – Part 2


For our final Olympic event we were delighted to showcase two legends and one... » read more

For our final Olympic event we were delighted to showcase two legends and one of the country’s leading sports psychologists…

In his last Games Matthew Pinsent was forced to switch from the pairs to the four-man boat, requiring very different skills. Despite setbacks he famously led the crew to a remarkable victory. Now Sir Matthew and a member of the BBC team, he passed around the medals and explained how agility comes to the fore when events happen outside your control.

Steve Bull has worked with Team GB at three Olympic Games. He’s also the principal leadership coach for English cricket, helping the national side regain the Ashes. Steve explained why coaching is the primary responsibility of every manager in any organisation, creating a mindset that enables the team to thrive under pressure.

Britain’s best known Paralympian, Tanni Grey-Thompson amassed 11 gold medals in 5 consecutive Olympics. She also won the wheelchair race in 6 London Marathons and achieved 34 world records. Now Dame Tanni, Vice Chair of the 2012 Athletes Commission and an active member of the House of Lords, she described how her success came down to planning, teamwork, ambition and sheer determination.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date March 20 2012

Facing The Challenges


We showcased three high profile speakers offering their perspective on challenges... » read more

We showcased three high profile speakers offering their perspective on challenges at home and abroad…

As the debate about ‘fairness’ continues on the front pages and in the Occupy movement, the bestselling philosopher AC Grayling considers everyday ethical issues – and how we can be “good citizens of the business community.” He might have also mentioned his New College of the Humanities, which opens later this year charging academically elite students £18,000 a year.

General Sir Mike Jackson was Head of the British Army until 2006. Applying first hand strategic experience to the challenges facing any big organisation, he argued that every leader must be ruthless: “Mark out the objective, work out the resources required to get there and get on with it.” He also offered his view on the instability in Iran and across the Middle East.

Andrew Pierce’s perceptive right-of-centre political journalism is required reading for its insider’s view of parliament. After twenty years on The Times, Andrew was then assistant editor of The Daily Telegraph. He knows everyone in the Westminster village and his ability to ferret out scandal and gossip means that he has a reputation for breaking stories that the great and the good might prefer kept quiet.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date February 07 2012

Reaching Your Potential


We saw three compelling speakers, each offering a timely perspective on getting... » read more

We saw three compelling speakers, each offering a timely perspective on getting the best out of your people…

Adrian Gilpin chairs the Institute of Human Development. He equips front line, middle and senior managers to lead their teams through change and uncertainty. His method is based on storytelling – mixing film clips with common sense wisdom and clear analytical insight into what makes us produce peak performance.

Daniel Tammet is a real-life Rainman – one of the world’s top ‘autistic savants’. Although he battled to learn basic skills that others take for granted (like looking someone in the eye), he can speak a dozen languages and recite Pi to 22,514 decimal places. He invites audiences to see through new eyes: “If you’re able to look at the world in a different way, you find solutions and opportunities you would otherwise miss.”

Guy Browning is a bestselling business writer and brand expert – often described as ‘the David Attenborough of the business jungle.’ He’s also one of the funniest speakers on the circuit. Taking his new feature film as the starting point, he shows how we can all use creativity to escape from the usual clichés, break a problem into its constituent parts and apply our own beliefs “to make good things happen.”

Location RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London

Date January 24 2012

Christmas Speakers Breakfast


Amidst all the talk of economic doom and gloom, we are delighted to invite you... » read more

Amidst all the talk of economic doom and gloom, we are delighted to invite you to a Christmas Speakers Breakfast with three of the most entertaining characters on the circuit – Gyles Brandreth, Jay Rayner and Gerald Scarfe.

Gyles has played Baron Hardup in Cinderella, represented the good people of Chester and counter-signed the biggest cheque in British history, with Her Majesty The Queen. Arguably the biggest name-dropper in the land, he is also a consummate after dinner speaker and awards host.

Alongside his role as Masterchef judge and One Show regular, Jay is a wonderfully straight talking restaurant critic who enjoys being mistaken for Marco Pierre White. He has a trolley full of stories of dining hell, including examples of comically poor customer service – and he may also offer some invaluable tips for Christmas dinner.

Gerald is the celebrated Sunday Times cartoonist. His often outrageous portraits have made being ‘savaged by Scarfe’ a rite of passage for the big beasts of Westminster. Illustrating his speech with film clips and fantastic artwork, he asks “What exactly is the correct form of address to someone you’ve just depicted as a warthog?”

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date December 13 2011

Darling-Lambert


The morning after George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, we heard from two speakers... » read more

The morning after George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, we heard from two speakers perfectly placed to assess the current position and the likely impact on both business and the public sector…

As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling had previously warned an interviewer that “the economic times we’re facing are arguably the worst for 60 years.” He was subsequently widely praised for measures which helped prevent recession spiralling into depression. Alistair’s book, Back From The Brink, has just been published – with the first print run selling out in days.

Until last January Sir Richard Lambert served as Director General of the CBI. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of the Financial Times, and the first non-economist appointed a full-time external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee. He was also the first person the new Chancellor telephoned when the election result become known.

Location RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London

Date November 30 2011

Into The Future


Three extraordinary speakers peered into the future in three very different ways…

Andrew... » read more

Three extraordinary speakers peered into the future in three very different ways…

Andrew Neil considered the repercussions of the turbulence in Europe and America, the policy alternatives and their likely impact on business. The captivating Swedish futurist and TED favourite Magnus Lindkvist questioned many of our old assumptions about how our domestic and working lives will change; and Baroness Susan Greenfield explored some of the risks associated with technology and the enormous gains on the horizon in her own field of neuroscience and pharmacology.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date November 15 2011

Olympic Speakers Breakfast – Part 1


This breakfast was the first of two special Olympic-based events, designed to... » read more

This breakfast was the first of two special Olympic-based events, designed to showcase motivational speakers for conference audiences in the run-up to London 2012. What can we learn from the Olympians?

Kelly Holmes is only the second woman in history to claim the 800m and 1500m titles at the same Games. The BBC Sports Personality of the Year and Ambassador for London 2012 persevered for over a decade and overcame injury and illness before achieving her ultimate goal. Kelly outlined the passion, compassion and courage needed to succeed.

At the age of 21 Karen Darke fell from a cliff and became paralysed from the neck down. Determined not to let her condition get the better of her, she set off for the Himalayas and Alaska; next year she represents Team GB in para-cycling. Karen demonstrated how we can achieve all manner of things we considered impossible.

Greg Whyte represented Great Britain in the Modern Pentathlon (comprising swimming, shooting, fencing, running and equestrian disciplines) at two Olympics and ten World Championships. He is now a highly prized coach, and the man behind David Walliams’ long-distance swimming and Eddie Izzard’s 43 marathons in 51 days.

Steve Backley was the first British athlete to ‘medal’ at three consecutive Olympic Games. The four-time European Javelin Champion and winner of three Commonwealth Golds has a background in sports psychology and discussed the three main attributes which are required for success: self-belief, application and motivation.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date October 20 2011

“How To Engage With Customers”


At a time when technology is changing the way we behave, with brands facing ever... » read more

At a time when technology is changing the way we behave, with brands facing ever stiffer competition, Newsnight’s Gavin Esler introduced three highly accomplished speakers to share their insight into ‘How To Engage With Customers.’

With more than 20 awards to his name, Scott Seaborn is Head of Mobile Technologies at Ogilvy Group UK. Mobile already accounts for 20% of internet use, and Scott explores how each business sector can harness the potential. Complete with music sequencer, his presentation revealed a future of voice search, image recognition and ‘augmented reality.’

Rita Clifton is President of the Market Research Society and chair of the consultancy that assembles the Best Global Brands list. She defines a brand as an organising idea to set a company apart from the competition. ‘If you don’t have trust, you can’t have a brand.’ Rita spoke about reputation, internal brand management and digital branding – a world where mistakes are never laid to rest.

As Global Brand Director at Green & Black’s, Mark Palmer repositioned the organic chocolate bars as a more mainstream product and saw turnover rise ten fold – even before the sale to Cadbury. He advocates investing in brand rather than machinery, and being very clear about who you’re targeting.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date October 06 2011

“WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE WORLD?”


This season of Speakers Breakfasts culminated in a major debate on the impact... » read more

This season of Speakers Breakfasts culminated in a major debate on the impact of the current global geo-political shifts on British business – with four compelling heavyweight speakers…

Professor Jeremy Black has written over eighty books, many on eighteenth century politics and international relations. Alongside appointments in the UK, he is Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of America & the West at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia – making him exceptionally well placed to provide a historical backdrop to today’s power struggles.

Pippa Malmgren taught in Beijing, served on Bush’s National Economic Council and became deputy head of global strategy at UBS before launching her own asset management firm. She now advises fund managers on the impacts of national and world politics. Pippa offers a complete overview with a focus on the US, China and the Middle East – and introduces us to the ‘BRACSS.’

After spells as a Bank of England economist and head of George Osborne’s staff, Matthew Hancock has now entered Parliament himself and serves on the committee scrutinising public spending. He offers an insider’s view of Coalition policy, and an outlook on the next twelve months. How will the Government react to the pressures at home and abroad?

Martin Vander Weyer was originally an investment banker in London, Brussels and the Far East. Now Business Editor of The Spectator, he agrees that a shift of resources away from a bloated public sector will bear fruit. But he also believes there are many who should examine their consciences. Amidst all the changes, Martin wonders what’s become of our moral compass.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date June 28 2011

Tim Harford Book Launch Adapt


Tim Harford – FT columnist, Radio 4 presenter and author of the million-selling... » read more

Tim Harford – FT columnist, Radio 4 presenter and author of the million-selling Undercover Economist is credited with making numbers cool. This breakfast saw the launch of his new book: Adapt – ‘Why Success Always Starts With Failure.’

With customary down-to-earth brilliance, Tim used the science of behavioural economics to explain how complex and far-reaching problems from counter-insurgency to financial turmoil might be solved. And with particular resonance for anyone focusing on innovation, he demonstrated why learning from your mistakes can often be the hardest advice to take.Tim

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date June 14 2011

Leading By Example


One of our speakers today brought The Apprentice to British screens, another frequently... » read more

One of our speakers today brought The Apprentice to British screens, another frequently appears on its sister show – and the third has been responsible for some of the biggest TV formats in the globe. They are all hugely engaging communicators, with a great deal of hard experience that applies across all business sectors.

Ellis Watson has run Mirror Group Newspapers, served on the board of one of the world’s biggest public transport operators – and headed up Simon Cowell’s joint venture with Sony. He also sold Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? to over 100 territories. With characteristic wit and wisdom, Ellis shows how to inspire passion and how to move from mission statements to true company culture.

Lorraine Heggessey was the first female Controller of BBC1. With a £300m programme budget she launched Spooks and Strictly, and re-invented Dr Who – changing the entire feel of the network. Then as CEO of Talkback Thames she scored huge success with X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and The Apprentice. Lorraine talks about managing talent (in all its forms) and delivering change.

Armed with a practical idea, limited contacts but plenty of drive, Michelle Mone progressed from a lowly job at a brewery to creating and marketing the cleavage-enhancing Ultimo bra. Now controlling a big share of the market, enjoying a high media profile and powering ahead in her other business ventures, Michelle talks about pushing the boundaries and staying hungry.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date May 26 2011

Motivation: Lessons From Sport & Adventure


One of the driving passions of JLA is to introduce new speakers to the circuit... » read more

One of the driving passions of JLA is to introduce new speakers to the circuit – especially those who’ve ‘been there and done it.’ This breakfast delivered an opportunity to preview two newcomers with real experience to share…

In just one month with Kent, Ed Smith scored six centuries. He went on to captain the MCC and play for England, before retiring from cricket to write Times leaders and the weekly MindGames column in the Telegraph. As in his book What Sport Tells Us About Life, Ed revealed the psychology of sport and what it can teach us about strategy, performance and leadership.

A full-time hospital doctor, Ed Coats was selected from hundreds of applicants to accompany James Cracknell and Ben Fogle on their race to the South Pole. With no previous polar experience the trio skied 16 hours a day and achieved second place – thanks partly to Ed’s mediation skills. Ed looked at individual and collective responsibility, and how to form efficient and effective bonds.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date May 12 2011

Digital: The New Rules


The first event of 2011 was designed to catch up on the latest thinking in digital,... » read more

The first event of 2011 was designed to catch up on the latest thinking in digital, and help position a strategy for what is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and play. There were three fabulous speakers…

Josh Spear is one of the youngest and most influential marketing strategists in the world. Based in New York, he and his team advise corporations on how to grapple with the behaviour and expectations of digital consumers – like helping Ford pre-sell 10,000 Fiestas through 100 online ‘activists.’ Josh looks at digital as a business accelerator, how to use it to build lasting relationships – and how it’s now being used to mobilise collective action and ‘make stuff happen.’

David Rowan edits the technology magazine WIRED UK – covering online brands, gadgets and the culture that surrounds them. He explores how the internet is disrupting virtually every sector and why ‘social commerce’ is killing traditional marketing. He also reveals the 10 trends that will change your market in the next decade – and what you should do now to protect yourself.

Alex Hunter helped Virgin America off the ground – by masterminding the grass roots campaign that persuaded Congress to reverse its original decision against certification. He then took over Virgin Group’s entire internet strategy. Now mentoring start-ups, Alex examines online brand loyalty and how to create relationships more quickly than your rivals.

Location RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London

Date April 12 2011

The Outlook For 2011


Unsurprisingly our theme was ‘The Outlook For 2011′ – with the... » read more

Unsurprisingly our theme was ‘The Outlook For 2011′ – with the Economics Editor of the Sunday Times, the head of Oxford University’s 21st Century School (and former VP of the World Bank) and the last Chairman of the Inland Revenue.
A little background on the speakers…

In his Sunday Tmes column, David Smith was one of the first to predict a V-shaped recovery though he was careful to say it will take time to become discernible to business and the public. He has since published The Age of Instability.

During his term at the World Bank, Ian Goldin was responsible for the relationship with the UK and Europe. He had previously served as CEO of the Development Bank of South Africa (and advisor to Nelson Mandela), and Programme Director for the OECD in Paris.

Before transforming the Revenue, Sir Nicholas Montagu played a leading role in several controversial issues – like rail privatisation and public service reform. His solutions for a public sector facing unprecedented cuts: outsource non-core activity, find synergies and stop re-inventing the wheel.

Location Portland Place, London

Date December 09 2010

‘Out Of This World’ Speakers Breakfast


If the ‘Out of this World’ title sounds like hype, it isn’t:... » read more

If the ‘Out of this World’ title sounds like hype, it isn’t: the guest speakers were the particle physicist and presenter and the head of Virgin Galactic, Brian Cox and Will Whitehorn. Both powerful communicators with a passion for innovation and an ability to light up the imagination of conference delegates.

Will has spent many years at Richard Branson’s right hand, as Virgin Group Brand Development & Corporate Affairs Director. He is now at the helm of a real breakthrough venture: commercial space travel. Will makes the distinction between invention and innovation, and argues that the moment has arrived for business to launch a new Industrial Revolution – this time in space.

Brian divides his time between writing and presenting blockbusters like Wonders of the Solar System, lecturing his students and leading one of the key experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. With staggering images, his corporate presentations show how science has the power to shock and excite. He explains why we need explorers now more than ever, and why scientific research is critical to an economy dependent on new sources of growth.

Location Portland Place, London

Date November 10 2010

Innovation At Work


The final breakfast of the season addressed one of the most critical themes for... » read more

The final breakfast of the season addressed one of the most critical themes for UK companies, the public sector and the country as a whole – Innovation. Our speakers were Hamish McRae, Wayne Hemingway and Javier Bajer

Aside from his role at The Independent, Hamish made his name as author of The World in 2020. He now turns his attention to success stories from around the globe in a new book, entitled What Works? Amongst other shining and sometimes surprising examples, he outlines the lessons we can draw from mobile telephony in Africa, sports education in Australia and philanthropy in New York.

Since selling Red or Dead, Wayne Hemingway switched from fashion to social housing – helping regenerate both urban and coastal communities. He also launched Roadrunner bikes and Shack Up sheds, but what has really grabbed the public’s imagination is his idea for Pop-up shops. They now provide short-term, low-rent space for a whole new generation of designers and retailers.

Challenging a good deal of received wisdom, eminent psychologist Javier Bajer talked about ‘unlocking a culture of innovation’ – and how change can be achieved in a relatively short period of time.

Location Portland Place, London

Date June 15 2010

Osborne’s First Budget


Just as George Osborne prepared his Emergency Budget, we heard from three very... » read more

Just as George Osborne prepared his Emergency Budget, we heard from three very well placed voices on the economy: Justin Urquhart Stewart, Anthony Hilton and Sir John Gieve – former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.

Justin is co-founder of Seven Investment Management and a frequent media commentator. On the Today Programme he suggested the Euro might be replaced by the ‘Neuro’ (for stronger nations) and a ‘Eurolite’ currency for the rest.

Anthony is the long-serving Financial Editor of the Evening Standard. In his view “we can’t cut our way out of the mess and we can’t tax our way out. The only way is to grow.” (Click here to read a short Q&A with him on our site.)

As well as his role at the BoE and on the Monetary Policy Committee, Sir John has carried out spending reviews for both Labour and Conservative governments – the next task for Osborne’s team at The Treasury. He provided a valuable insight into the practical choices facing the new Coalition.

Location Portland Place, London

Date June 01 2010

The Prospects For The Coalition


Tuesday 18th May was a special Speakers Breakfast for JLA as we were joined by... » read more

Tuesday 18th May was a special Speakers Breakfast for JLA as we were joined by a trio of heavyweights: Michael Portillo, David Blunkett and Paddy Ashdown – with Huw Edwards in the chair.

With the General Election outcome decided, the big question was ‘what happens now?” What are the first priorities for the PM? Should we expect more cross-party cooperation? What impact will over 150 new MPs have on the way politics is conducted? And after all the promises about the scale and timing of tax rises and public spending cuts, what’s really in store for business and the public sector?

Portillo and Blunkett have held many of the key Cabinet posts – running Employment, Education, Defence and Work & Pensions. And whilst Blunkett was Home Secretary, Paddy Ashdown served as a UN High Representative – after eleven years as leader of the Liberal Democrats. Between them, they proved there are few speakers better equipped to offer insights into how the new administration will deal with the many and varied challenges looming on the horizon.

Location The Lansdowne, London

Date May 18 2010

Josh Spear: Engaging The Digital Generation


Please join us for the next JLA Speakers Breakfast – on Tuesday 11th May... » read more

Please join us for the next JLA Speakers Breakfast – on Tuesday 11th May at The Lansdowne Club, London. We will be joined by one of the most influential and inspiring digital strategists in the world: the 24-year old New York whiz-kid Josh Spear.
Josh advises household name brands on things like ‘authenticity’ and ‘word-of-mouth.’ His consultancy specialises in creating strategies for deeper, lasting online relationships, and acts as a think tank on the influence of technology on human behaviour. He also runs a blog to pinpoint new trends, with a network of writers across the planet. And for good measure, the World Economic Forum at Davos has named him a ‘Young Global Leader.’

Josh will set out some new ways for organisations to harness the internet. He will give us his insight into what makes certain things catch on, and how to position products and services to capitalise on fast-moving trends. Above all, he will show how to get the attention of the digital generation – just like his good friend, the founder of Facebook.

Location The Lansdowne Club, London

Date May 11 2010

Inside The Mind Of A Bomb Disposal Expert


On Thursday 18th March we were joined by two most inspiring speakers: BBC security... » read more

On Thursday 18th March we were joined by two most inspiring speakers: BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner and the heroic bomb disposal expert, Chris Hunter. As the Army’s most senior counter-terrorist bomb disposal specialist in Iraq, Chris took his life in his hands on a daily basis. He became so effective at defusing the crude but deadly devices that both Sunni and Shi’a militias put a price on his head. The author of Eight Lives Down explained how to weigh up the threats, control anxiety and rapidly identify and prioritise tasks. He also showed how fear can give you a competitive edge – whether in corporate life or on the battlefield. As the only BBC TV journalist permanently assigned to terrorism, Frank has won universal respect for his coverage of Al-Qaeda. Fluent in Arabic (initially an investment banker at Saudi International Bank), he was shot six times at point blank range whilst filming in Riyadh. He survived devastating injuries and rebuilt his life, determined to continue his work. He has since reported from the front line in Afghanistan.

Location Portland Place, London

Date March 18 2010

Ken Livingstone And David Davis


The current season of Speakers Breakfasts ended on Thursday 10th December with... » read more

The current season of Speakers Breakfasts ended on Thursday 10th December with a colourful debate between Ken Livingstone and David Davis MP at 28 Portland Place.

Biding his time before attempting to win back City Hall in 2012, Ken is working on his autobiography, hosting a radio phone-in and supporting constituency Labour parties in their preparations for next year’s campaign. When we asked him recently how the public might regain trust in politicians, he said it would be “by voting for people like me.”

David was Shadow Home Secretary before resigning and re-capturing his seat in 2008, with a resounding 72% share of the vote. He has a background in science, business and the Territorial Army – and served as Europe Minister under John Major – but he’s now firmly positioned as an independently minded backbencher with a particular interest in civil liberties.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date December 10 2009

Ian Smith And Sir Brian Bender


Until recently, SIR BRIAN BENDER was Permanent Secretary to Lord Mandelson at... » read more

Until recently, SIR BRIAN BENDER was Permanent Secretary to Lord Mandelson at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Brian has overseen BERR’s efforts to help business weather the recession and prepare for recovery. Amongst other themes he will address the challenge for both public and private sectors to achieve more with less, and the leadership lessons learned from managing crisis.

IAN SMITH was head of Oracle UK, Ireland and Israel. As Larry Ellison’s most successful MD, he secured the single biggest deal in Oracle history – for $650m. Amongst other roles, he now serves as President of the Institute of Customer Service. Ian explains how technology should not be used to automate ancient processes but to help re-invent them, and to free individuals to improve the customer experience.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date November 26 2009

Beating The Odds


At the age of 17 John Amaechi was an overweight Manchester teenager who had never... » read more

At the age of 17 John Amaechi was an overweight Manchester teenager who had never touched a basketball. With immense determination and a clever strategy he rose to become the first Brit to play at the top level of the American game – despite being described by one commentator as having “little innate physical talent.” He once turned down a $17m transfer offer.

Now back in the UK John has pursued a PhD in psychology, established a foundation to encourage youth activity and community cohesion, and appeared as a mentor in the BBC2’s The Speaker.

Amaechi was joined by the remarkable swimmer Marc Woods. Before losing his leg to cancer, Marc swam in local races but never achieved his full potential. Six months after surgery, he was performing faster with one leg than he ever had with two. He went on to represent Great Britain and collect twelve Paralympic medals – four of them Gold.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date November 11 2009

Will Obama Save The World And Will Murdoch Save The Newspaper Industry?


Before joining Radio 4’s Today programme Justin Webb secured the only British... » read more

Before joining Radio 4’s Today programme Justin Webb secured the only British TV interview with President Obama in The White House. Justin described some of the difficulties facing Obama, what singles him out from previous incumbents and how his incredible self-belief sometimes fails to translate into effectiveness on the ground. The former BBC North America Editor also told the JLA audience how and why he came to fall in love with the USA.

Eve Pollard told stories from her ringside seat as the acknowledged ‘First Lady of Fleet Street.’ She spoke about the crises facing the press, from the debate about charging for web-based news to the danger of losing regional papers – finishing with wonderful tips on how to get your story into the business pages.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date October 14 2009

Seb Coe: The Winning Mind


This was not about 2012. It was a story of what Seb Coe calls the “hard graft,... » read more

This was not about 2012. It was a story of what Seb Coe calls the “hard graft, meticulous planning, small wins and frequent set-backs” that took him to twelve world records and two memorable Olympic golds. “You don’t become a champion by turning up and hoping to get lucky. You spend years facing down everything in training in the hope you’re prepared.” Seb Coe has been through the rough and tumble of business as well as athletics and politics. Speaking from experience – and from the heart – he argued that leaders can be made. The best listen not only to what is being said, but also to what isn’t said; they encourage risk-taking, within limits; they set realistic goals and they stick to the gameplan. And they never say never.

 

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date May 14 2009

Where Did It All Go Wrong, Darling?


Norman Lamont presided over the withdrawal of sterling from the Exchange Rate... » read more

Norman Lamont presided over the withdrawal of sterling from the Exchange Rate Mechanism and what quickly became known as Black Monday. He was later described by the economist Sir Alan Walters as “not only the most effective, but also the bravest Chancellor since the war.” Originally an investment banker, he served in both Thatcher and Major Cabinets – and was also David Cameron’s boss. They continue to have a close relationship.

Norman charts the likely course of the recession, the challenges and pitfalls for Brown and Darling, the next steps for the G20 and the outlook for the UK and Europe. As accomplished after dinner as he is delivering keynote speeches, Norman knows what it’s like to be in the full glare of the tabloid spotlight. He’s also the most recent Chancellor you can book to speak at your events!

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date April 15 2009

Inside The Apprentice


As the 2009 series gets underway we hear from Sir Alan’s right hand man and... » read more

As the 2009 series gets underway we hear from Sir Alan’s right hand man and the first ever winner of The Apprentice.

After nearly three years working for Sugar, Tim Campbell now runs a social enterprise trust to encourage unemployed young people to start their own business. He confronts the negative mentality head on, arguing that opportunities always exist for those with confidence, planning and perseverance.

After his PR firm was selected to represent Amstrad, Nick Hewer handled all Alan Sugar’s media for over 20 years, playing a key part in the management structure. He was then lured out of retirement to help with Sugar’s negotiations with the Apprentice producers – and ended up as his onscreen aide.

Nick and Tim will take us behind the scenes and explore what lessons can be learned from the most popular business show on British television.

Location The Lansdowne Club, London

Date April 02 2009

What’s Happening To Consumers?


Tim Harford has sold nearly a million copies of his books The Undercover Economist... » read more

Tim Harford has sold nearly a million copies of his books The Undercover Economist and The Logic of Life. Behavioural economics is big news, especially at a time like this. Tim will explain that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ recessions for consumer spending. Contrasting tabloid stories with the latest research on behaviour, he shows why competitive advantage goes to companies who can target discounts effectively.

Tom Savigar and his team mastermind a group of 2,500 creatives, designers and analysts to keep an eye on consumer trends. They see recession accelerating the shift towards authenticity, community and sobriety – ‘less stuff’. And as online becomes ever more important, Tom also shows how bloggers, collaborative branding and referral culture are all making the internet increasingly female.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date March 19 2009

Robert Peston – The Economy: What’s Going On?


Credited as the first to draw the public’s attention to the problems at Northern... » read more

Credited as the first to draw the public’s attention to the problems at Northern Rock, BBC Business Editor Robert Peston analyses the causes and effects of the Credit Crunch. What measures does the Chancellor have at his disposal? Should the priority be interest rates or inflation? What will it take for financial institutions to stabilise and restore profits? What is the outlook for UK plc?

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date December 09 2008

Preparing Your People For The Leadership Challenges Ahead


Which speakers can help prepare your people for the leadership challenges ahead?... » read more

Which speakers can help prepare your people for the leadership challenges ahead? Who is best placed to steady nerves and set out the ground rules?

Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller was Director General of MI5 until 2007. She led the Security Service through substantial change in the wake of 9/11 and the growing threat from Al Qaida. In the midst of these pressures, MI5 doubled in size and dramatically altered its approach to the professional development of staff. Eliza talks about leadership under pressure, and building trust.

PY Gerbeau has taken on 12 turnarounds and corporate rescues, including The Dome. He is now at the helm of X-Leisure and Chair of Entrepreneurship at Imperial College. PY explains how the recession will require management to be adaptable, agile, accountable, able to prioritise and to balance risks. It is about protecting your customers, your people, your brand and your business.E

Location The Lansdowne Club, London

Date November 27 2008

China: Managing The Dragon


Jack Perkowski, US investment banker turned Beijing business leader and author... » read more

Jack Perkowski, US investment banker turned Beijing business leader and author of Managing the Dragon explains how to navigate the vast new power and understand their two markets for any product. Sir Richard Needham, the former Trade Minister and now International & Commercial Director of Dyson, talks about the opportunities and challenges of doing business in China.

Location 28 Portland Place, London

Date August 29 2008

Business & The Environment


Tim Smit, Founder of the Eden Project, demonstrates his leadership skills and... » read more

Tim Smit, Founder of the Eden Project, demonstrates his leadership skills and combines business sense with a common sense approach to sustainability. Gabrielle Walker, author of The Hot Topic, explores the scientific, technological, economic and political aspects of climate change. Leo Johnson, a specialist in environmental and social risk management (and brother of Mayor Boris), shows why businesses need ‘future-proofing.’

Location The Lansdowne Club, London

Date April 16 2008

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