Bristol’s Bright Future Conference: The speakers

October 15, 2013

Among speakers at this afternoon’s Bristol’s Bright Future conference are:

James Durie, executive director of Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative at Business West, the organisation that leads and speaks for business in the Bristol, Bath and wider area. It provides a range of services from business start-up, business growth and with a particular specialism on international trade services. This includes operating the UK Trade and Investment services for Bristol and the South West. The organisation also has a special group of all the major business and public agencies known as the Initiative which enables the business community to engage in strategic matters important to business helping to bring increased prosperity for all and also fulfil their wider responsibilities to the community. Business West, through James and his team, was centrally involved in the setting up and running of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). He is on the LEP executive board and its main connection into the wider business community. James qualified as a chartered surveyor and has over 20 years’ experience in business in roles based in London and Bristol. He is involved with a wide range of organisations and partnerships in the city.

Paul Appleby, chair of Bristol Media and a consultant on the growth of the creative industries and the skills agenda. He works with Creative Skillset accrediting university media courses and with the LEP on the Creative Skills Hub. Having managed a BBC career spanning 30 years and a BAFTA Award, Paul’s aim is to support the industry in the area, and help individuals find the right careers. The Bristol area is now recognised as a centre on a triangle with London and Manchester, with a great technology community and lifestyle culture, so the future is bright.

Nick Sturge, centre director of the award-winning Bristol SETsquared Centre and director of The Engine Shed, the soon-to-be-opened enterprise hub in Brunel’s original station at Temple Meads Station. SETsquared accelerates early stage, high-tech, high-growth businesses through coaching, mentoring, skills, introductions to investors and office space. Nick co-founded a technology startup which listed on the stock exchange and has been on the board of several start-ups, established companies third sector organisations. He is a past chairman of the Bristol Institute of Directors.

Nick Hounsfield and Tobin Coles, co-founders and directors of The Wave UK. They are developing a world first inland surfing lake in South Gloucestershire with the core aim of delivering world class leisure/sport facilities, education and beautiful outdoor space for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. The proposed development is scheduled to open in the coming 18 months. They are on an exciting journey and want the rest of the Bristol region to join them.

Ned Cussen, a chartered surveyor and property consultant with Jones Lang LaSalle, one the largest property consultants in Europe and also in the South West. He is also a visiting professor at the University of the West of England and a director of the Business West Initiative. He has been in practice in Bristol for more than 30 years. Has been involved in many of the major development projects in and around Bristol; also many regeneration projects throughout the UK and mainland Europe.

Roger Griffiths, a social entrepreneur and broadcaster involved in several community and social action projects. He is chair and director of strategy & partnerships for Ujima Radio CIC where he is also a radio-presenter. His show is a mix of soulful music, topical interviews and informative talk. He is also MD for 2morrow 2day Community Consultants connecting businesses and organisations with many talented communities in Bristol. These initiatives include consultation, media, employment and diversity projects. He is currently writing a book about the American Deep South comparing and contrasting America and Britain during the term of the first black president.

James West has more than 15 years’ experience in mechanical engineering and is the co-founder of Crux Product Design with many patents to his name. Following his Masters in mechanical engineering, he worked in the food processing industry in California before moving to Hewlett Packard in Bristol developing computer tape backup drives. With an ambition to work in the fast-paced consultancy sector James worked for Bristol-based Kinneir Dufort for a short while before setting up Crux in 2003 with a focus on providing product design and engineering consultancy services. He has helped grow the business from a two man operation to a 13-strong team in its Bristol office and a further 13 in an office in Mannheim, Germany. Along with Crux’s management team, James has been responsible for growing a client base to include 20-plus blue-chip companies. James has become a specialist in providing mechanical engineering and design services to the medical drug delivery devices sector working on new injection devices and inhalers. Crux also provides services to the consumer goods and sports markets and had significant success designing the Team GB cycling helmets for the 2012 Olympics.

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