Professor Sir Peter Gregson FREngJury Chair
Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor, Cranfield University
Professor Sir Peter Gregson is Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University. He has previously been President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Southampton University.
Educated at Imperial College London, and recipient of the Donald Julius Groen Prize of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Rosenhain Medal and Prize of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, he has been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Irish Academy. He holds Honorary Degrees in the UK, Ireland, India and Japan.
He has been Non-Executive Director of Rolls-Royce Group plc, Strategic Advisor to Lockheed Martin UK and served on the Councils of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils. He was Chair of the Milton Keynes 2050 Futures Commission.
Professor Dame Madeleine AtkinsPresident, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge
Madeleine became the ninth President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge University, on 1 October 2018.
Madeleine’s background includes reading Law and History as an undergraduate at Cambridge, teaching in a large comprehensive school in Huntingdon, and completing a PhD and post-doctoral research contracts at the University of Nottingham.
Following various senior positions at Newcastle University, including Pro-Vice-Chancellor, she was Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University between 2004 and 2013. Madeleine then joined the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as its Chief Executive in January 2014, retaining that post until March 2018.
Sir Peter BazalgetteNon-Executive Chairman, ITV
Sir Peter Bazalgette is Non-Executive Chairman, ITV, and also chairs LoveCrafts, an online retailer. He recently led an independent review into the UK’s creative industries as part of the Government’s new Industrial Strategy. In September 2017, Peter was appointed as a Non-Executive Board Member of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Peter also serves on the Advisory Boards of BBH and YouGov.
Peter is currently Chair of the Baillie Gifford Non-Fiction Book Prize Trustees. Until recently he led HM Government’s Holocaust Memorial Foundation, where he chaired its international design competition panel. From 2013 until 2017 he was Chair of Arts Council England. He was also a Non-Executive Director of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, President of the Royal Television Society and Chief Creative Officer of the TV producer Endemol. Peter’s book about the business of TV formats, Billion Dollar Game, came out in 2005, and in 2017 he published The Empathy Instinct.
Joe BerridgePartner, Urban Strategies, Inc.
Joe Berridge is an urban planner and city builder who has had an integral role in the development of complex urban planning and regeneration projects in Canada, the US, the UK, Europe and Asia. As a partner at Urban Strategies, Inc. over the past thirty years, Joe has been a strategic adviser for the development of the city centres of Manchester, Belfast and Cardiff and for the waterfronts of Toronto, Singapore, Sydney, Cork, London and Governors Island in New York City.
He has prepared campus masterplans for the University of Manchester and the universities of Waterloo, Queen's and Western in Canada and is now planning the new hub for Toronto Pearson International Airport. Joe teaches at the University of Toronto and is a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. Joe’s book Perfect City will be published by Sutherland House in April 2019.
Nathan BostockChief Executive Officer, Santander UK plc
Nathan Bostock was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Santander UK plc on 29 September 2014. He has served on the UK Government’s Financial Services Trade and Investment Board since 2015.
Nathan joined Santander UK from the Royal Bank of Scotland plc (RBS), where he was an Executive Director and Group Finance Director. He previously held the post of Group Chief Risk Officer, having joined RBS in 2009.
Nathan served on the Board of Abbey National plc (now Santander UK plc) as an Executive Director from 2005 until 2009. He joined Abbey National plc in 2001, holding a number of senior positions including Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Finance, Markets and Human Resources.
Prior to this, Nathan held a number of executive positions at RBS (1991-2001), after seven years with Chase Manhattan Bank in a variety of areas and functions.
Nathan is a chartered accountant and holds a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics.
Dr Rebecca Kurth BEMChair, Central Milton Keynes Town Council
Rebecca’s life-long passion is problem-solving. She studied mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles, graduating with highest honours. ‘Solving math problems,’ she says, ‘gives you analytical skills that apply to many challenges.’ She went on to study molecular biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a PhD.
During her post-doctoral research in Basel, Switzerland, Rebecca realised she enjoyed working with people more than test tubes, so she switched from academics to business. After completing an MBA at the London Business School, she joined an international pharmaceutical company, eventually becoming Vice President of project management.
She joined CMK Town Council in 2010 and led the preparation of the CMK Alliance Plan in 2014, for which she was awarded a British Empire Medal. ‘Community development and economic growth are hard but rewarding problems to tackle,’ she says. ‘Like designing MK:U: a complex challenge, requiring many different skills and positive collaboration.’
Councillor Peter MarlandLeader, Milton Keynes Council
Pete was born in Lancashire and has very strong family connections to Liverpool. He attended the University of Liverpool, followed by policy and communications work, and until 2014 worked in finance for a FTSE 250 company.
Pete has an interest in economic growth and sustainability. As Leader of Milton Keynes Council, he initiated the MK Futures 2050 Commission, tasked with developing the roadmap for the future growth and prosperity of Milton Keynes.
He is a regular speaker at high-level national conferences on sustainability, urban planning, and growth. He has spoken at the prestigious Royal Society, and at international conferences in Brussels, Shanghai and Taiwan. He is often asked to contribute to policy formation, meeting regularly with MPs, civil servants and think tanks.
He is a non-executive director of several organisations, helped establish the Fast Growing Cities Group and is an active member of the Local Government Association. He is Vice-President of the Energy Cities Board of Directors.
Sumit Paul-ChoudhuryFounder and Managing Director of Alternity
Sumit Paul-Choudhury is the founder and managing director of Alternity, a creative studio dedicated to what could, should and might be – from alternative histories to present-day choices to speculative futures. He also writes and speaks on numerous other topics, ranging from artificial intelligence to the future of religion.
Prior to founding Alternity, Sumit was the Editor-in-Chief of New Scientist, one of the world’s biggest and best-regarded scientific publications. There, he oversaw New Scientist’s online news service and weekly magazine; he also published more than twenty books, launched the acclaimed futuristic quarterly Arc and co-created New Scientist Live, the world’s most exciting festival of ideas.
Before New Scientist, Sumit wrote about risk, high finance and technology in London and New York for 15 years. He holds a first-class physics degree from Imperial College, a master’s degree in mathematics from Queen Mary & Westfield, and in 2018 graduated with distinction from the Sloan Fellowship in Strategy and Leadership at London Business School.
Professor Lynette Ryals OBEPro-Vice-Chancellor, Cranfield University and Chief Executive, MK:U
As Chief Executive of MK:U, Lynette is leading the development of the proposed new model university in Milton Keynes. Cranfield University is lead higher education partner working with Milton Keynes Council to develop the plan for MK:U, with the aim to open in 2023. MK:U will deliver flexible, business-focused education based on a digital economy curriculum.
Lynette's professional background is in financial services and management consultancy. She is a Fellow of the Society of Investment Professionals, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has an MA (Oxon), an MBA, and a PhD from Cranfield, which researched how understanding customer profitability changed customer management practices in two international financial institutions. Before taking on her current role at Cranfield, she was Professor of Strategic Sales and Account Management in the University's School of Management and then Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education). She was also Chair of The Case Centre (2011-2017) and Director of Cranfield School of Management (2017-2019).
Lynette was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours 2019.
Phil SmithFormer Chairman, Cisco UK & Ireland
Phil is a Chairman and Director as well as an adviser, mentor and speaker. As former Chief Executive and Chairman of Cisco UK and Ireland, Phil is passionate about innovation, skills, technology, digitisation and leadership. Phil is Senior Independent Director and chairman designate of IQE PLC and a non-executive director of Streeva.
Phil is the outgoing Chair of Innovate UK as well as Chair of the Tech Partnership Degrees. He is also co-Chair of the Digital Skills Partnership, is on the board of the Digital Economy Council and is a member of the UKRI E-Infrastructure Advisory Board (EAB). Phil is a founder member of the Productivity Leadership Group and a commercial trustee of Be the Business.
He has been recognised with several industry accolades and awards, including the Orange Business Leader of the year and was listed in Wired 100 and the inaugural 50 Kindest Leaders in 2018.
Phil’s contribution to industry has been recognised with Honorary Doctorates from Birmingham City, Warwick and Glasgow universities and an Honorary Fellowship from Cardiff.
Phil is the founder of a group of CEOs and leaders who have raised close to £1m for Sport Relief, participating with their teams in Triathlon-based events.
Anthony SpiraDirector, MK Gallery
Anthony Spira has been the director of MK Gallery since 2009. He was previously curator at Whitechapel Gallery London (1999-2009) and Jeu de Paume, Paris (1994-1996). His twenty years of curatorial experience includes: group shows from ‘A Century of British Sculpture, Jacob Epstein to Rachel Whiteread’ (Jeu de Paume 1996), to ‘Cadences, Hendrick Goltzius to Wassily Kandinsky’ (MK Gallery 2014) and over 30 solo exhibitions and publications with a broad range of artists including Hans Bellmer, Andrea Büttner, Rodney Graham, Nasreen Mohamedi and Mark Wallinger.
Anthony sits on the board of commissioning organisations Pavilion (Leeds, UK) and the Pagrav South Asian Dance Company. He trained as an art historian and has written and published extensively on modern and contemporary art. In March 2019, he completed and launched a major renovation and expansion of MK Gallery, designed by 6a architects with artists Gareth Jones and Nils Norman. He has previously served on the board of the Contemporary Art Society and as jury member for the Paul Hamlyn Awards for Artists.
Photo: Kate Elliott
Paul Williams OBEPrincipal Director, Stanton Williams Architects
Paul formed Stanton Williams with Alan Stanton in 1985. As founding directors, they have been responsible for the creative direction of the practice since its inception. Paul is actively involved with the strategic design development of the studio’s projects, which have won over 100 national and international awards, including the 2012 Stirling Prize.
Paul's work has been shaped by his passionate belief in the integration of art and architecture. Throughout his career he has championed the importance of the arts within our education system, campaigning for greater focus on interdisciplinary thinking.
Paul was the first design-trained British architect to be registered by the Architects Registration Board. He was awarded the title of Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) in 2005 for sustained excellence in design throughout his career and received an honorary doctorate from University of the Arts London in 2012. He received an OBE for services to architecture in 2014.