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Kent and Medway Business Summit 2022

The Kent and Medway Business Summit returns on Friday 14 January  2022 in the stunning Sibson building on the Canterbury campus of the University of Kent with key elements live-streamed in a virtual platform.

Bringing together some 300 businesses, key policymakers and leading academics, the fifth annual Summit has a clear emphasis on business opportunity and sustainability with the latest news from key projects alongside expert keynote speakers.

Confirmed speakers are listed below, with more being added.

Alongside keynotes, interactive collaborative workshops facilitate debate on important business topics including productivity, place-making and skills.

Tickets to the Summit in-person cost £40, including refreshments and a sustainable Kentish buffet lunch.  Tickets to the virtual event cost £30 and do not include the option to join a collaborative workshop.


If the Summit is not able to be held in-person due to Covid restrictions, a fully virtual event will be offered to all delegates with a reduction in ticket price.

For Summit related queries, please contact Rebecca Smith, External Engagement Manager, Kent Business School.

Registration and payment queries:

The Kent and Medway Business Summit is an inclusive event.  If you have any additional needs around accessibility, please contact Rebecca Smith on 01227 816492 or


Connect, Collaborate, Learn



08:50-09:20     Registration and coffee/tea/pastries in the Atrium

09:20-09:40     Opening welcome address - Deborah Turner, Federation of Small Businesses National Lead for Women in                                  Enterprise and FSB South East Regional Policy Lead and Professor Karen Cox, Vice Chancellor, University                                of Kent.

09:40-10:10     The UK Economy: Insights and trends for 2022 and beyond from the latest

                         Bank of England Monetary policy

                         Phil Eckersley, Bank of England Agent


10:10-10:30     Delivering a sustainable economy: Kent’s horizon to 2030

                         Cllr Roger Gough, Leader, Kent County Council


                         Our Future is Medway: Major projects and regional strategy

                         Richard Hicks, Director of Place.  Deputy Chief Executive, Medway Council


10:30-10:45     The role of Thames Estuary: The UK's Growth Gateway

                         Kate Willard OBE, Thames Estuary Envoy


10:45-11:00     Keynote 4 TBC


11:00-11:30     Break and networking


11:30-12:50     Collaborative Workshops - each limited to 40 people


                         1. Placemaking: Realising the potential of our cultural and creative


                         Chair: Lisa Carlson: CEO Canterbury Business Improvement District and Chair Association of Town and City 



                         Creating attractive communities and cohesive places: The creative industries’ unique capacity for                                          innovation can play a key part in building our post-pandemic future, driving inclusive and sustainable growth.                              How do we create the right conditions for this vital sector to thrive?

                          Emma Wilcox, Project Director, Creative Estuary


                         Cultural capital: What has been the impact of Turner Contemporary regionally and in the wider cultural                                     economy. 

                         Yasmin Khan, Turner Contemporary Trustee


                         Inspiring the next generation: The role of sport in the creation of cultural identity and economic growth.

                         Simon Storey, Chief Executive, Kent Cricket


                         2. Productivity: How to build resilience and increase productivity in SMEs

                         Chair: Dr Catherine Robinson, Kent Business School


                          Kent Perspectives on International Trade: Export related challenges and opportunities to internationalise                                and first insights from a 2021 research study by Kent Business School

                          Steve Samson, Trade Development Manager, Kent County Council, Dr Zita Stone, Dr Carmen Stoian.


                          Taking the long view: Automation vs job creation and the impact of workforce shortages

                           Bal Sandher, Managing Director, Hectic Lifestyles, KEiBA 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year and                                                 Manufacturer of the Year

                          The Power of mentoring: increasing success in your business, through an effective support network, a                                case study from the Kent Foundation.  Stuart Tanton, Director, Kent Foundation.


                           3. The future of work: skilling, retaining and attracting talent within the region in a post-pandemic landscape

                           Future Human: How might human enhancement through science and technology affect the future of work.                                 Insights from Future Human, one of Kent’s signature research themes.

                           Emerging talent: Looking through the eyes of our future generation workforce

                           Victoria Copp-Crawley, Principal, Canterbury College

                          Creating a legacy: Deciding to become an employee-owned business.  Gill Monk, Managing Director                                  and Founder, All Health Matters.



                           4. Sustainable innovation: A route map to a sustainable Kent and Medway.


                           Hydrogen – a future fuel for Kent? Can Hydrogen supply 20 per cent of our energy needs by 2050? 

                           Simon Barnes, Funding and Partnerships Development Manager, University of Kent.


                           A passion for business: Building a sustainable company from scratch

                           Kresse Wassling CBE, co-founder Elvis and Kresse and co-farmer New Barns Farm


                           Carry On Carbon: An insight of carbon management from an everyday business, how we create good from                               being negative, the journey, the pitfalls, the value

                           Dan Crooks, Director, iFruits


12:50-1:20      Further keynotes to be confirmed 


1:30                 Lunch

onwards         Sustainable Kentish buffet in Atrium and networking