Wednesday 30th June 2021

Helena Anderson, Co-Founder, Ikigai Capital & board member Cheshire and Warrington LEP S&I Growth

Helena Anderson is the founder of Ikigai, a net zero investment consultancy, accelerator and developer. She also sits on the board of the Cheshire and Warrington LEP’s Sustainability and Inclusive Growth Commission.
It has a brief to inspire investment in a green recovery and clean growth in one of the UK’s most energy-intensive areas.
Helena set up Ikigai in December 2017 after two years at the UK Department for International Trade, where she was Head of Energy Capital Investment. Her responsibilities included shaping Government policy-aligned, private sector-led, energy projects, businesses and technologies.

Mark Atherton – Director of Environment – Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Mark joined the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) in May 2012 as Director of Environment for Greater Manchester and transferred to GMCA in May 2017. In this role, Mark provides strategic support to the Greater Manchester Green City Region Board and Partnership by leading the development and delivery of strategies, policies, research and demonstration projects for environment and low carbon work areas (Green City Region – Priority 7 of the Greater Manchester Strategy).

Current projects include the a smart energy demonstration projects, domestic energy efficiency programmes, community energy promotion, natural capital investment planning, climate change adaptation research plus developing joint work programmes between GM and several government departments, including hosting the Urban Pioneer for the UK’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

Prior to his current appointment, Mark joined the Northwest Regional Development Agency in 2002, culminating in the role of Director of Energy and Environment. In this role, Mark managed a project investment portfolio of circa £30m/annum, providing innovative and strategic leadership to the Agency’s work on energy & environmental technologies sector development; climate change and carbon reduction; sustainable consumption & production and environment quality.

Nick Baker – Deputy Director for Business and Engagement – COP26

Nick Baker is Deputy Director for Business and Engagement in the COP26 Unit, part of Cabinet Office, who leads on business, civil society, youth, cities and regions as well as sponsorship for the summit. Nick has held various posts within the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, both at home and abroad. Nick was the British Consul General in Montreal, where he led on promoting UK exports and inward investment, before working on the Caribbean and South Asia Region in London.

Stephanie Bax – Managing Director of European Operations – CAA ICON

Stephanie Bax is Managing Director of European Operations for CAA ICON. A division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), CAA ICON is the world’s-leading owners’ representative and strategic management consulting firm for public and private sports and entertainment facility owners/operators, professional franchises, and leagues. With more than 50 sports, entertainment, and public assembly projects and over 1,500 consulting engagements, CAA ICON has managed the development of many of the most successful venues around the world, including 11 professional sports leagues totaling nearly $20 billion. CAA ICON offers world-class service in the areas of project management, strategic advisory, feasibility and planning, and beyond.
Based out of London, Stephanie is leading CAA ICON’s expanding European division, managing a team of six regional experts based in London and Milan, and has been actively developing business and activating projects in Europe with a focus on the UK and Italy. Stephanie is a LEED Accredited Professional with 15 years of project management experience. She is currently serving as Project Executive for Co-op Live, a new 23,500-seat multipurpose arena in Manchester and previously served as Co-Project Executive for Stadio della Roma, providing project management services through preconstruction, prior to the sale of the team.
Prior to joining CAA ICON, Stephanie spent ten years with BTY Group as a Director. With BTY, she worked on such projects as the Richmond Speed Skating Oval, the Pan Am Games Aquatic Center, as well as the associated Athletes Villages in Whistler, Vancouver and Toronto. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Archaeology from the University of Saskatchewan and a Diploma in Architecture and Building Engineering Technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

James Blake – Director, Sustainability – Turley

James is a Chartered Environmentalist with 23 years’ experience in low / zero carbon development. James sat on two UK Green Building Council task groups that helped draft the UKGBC Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework (2019) and related guidance on Renewable Energy Procurement & Carbon Offsetting for Net Zero (2021).

Zoe Brimelow – Brand Director – DUO

Zoe Brimelow is brand director at DUO, a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of packaging products to businesses including N Brown Group, Tesco, Joules and Thrift+. Zoe and the team at DUO are committed to helping companies create sustainable, environmentally low-impact packaging solutions, investing in innovation to develop market-leading products.

Andy Brown – Group Corporate Affairs Director – MAG Airports Group

Andy joined Manchester Airports Group in January 2020 as Group Corporate Affairs Director and leads communications, media and public affairs across the UK’s largest group of airports – the group sees over 60 million people flying through Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports every year.
Before joining MAG he spent ten years working for Transport for London, including managing corporate affairs on some of London’s most complex and politically-challenging infrastructure projects. Andy is also a Chartered Engineer and is passionate about transport investment as a tool for sustainable growth in all parts of the UK.

Richard Burrett – Chief Sustainability Officer – Earth Capital

Richard Burrett is Chief Sustainability Officer at Earth Capital, a sustainability focused investment group. He is an independent non-exec director of Triodos Bank UK (a leader in sustainable banking) and a a Fellow of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
He holds a BA in Modern Languages and MBA, both from Durham University.

Peter Cole – Principal Environmental and Sustainability Officer – Transport for the North

Peter, a Chartered Environmentalist with over 17 years’ experience, has recently stepped into role as the Principal Environmental and Sustainability Officer at Transport for the North, where he has been leading the development of TfN’s Decabonisation Strategy work as well as providing wider environmental support functions in relation to the TfN’s evolving monitoring and evaluation framework, and across its projects and programmes, including NPR.

Simon Curtis – Chair – Manchester Arts Sustainability Team and Manchester Climate Change Partnership Board Member

Simon convenes GMAST, an award-winning network of over 50 cultural organisations working collectively to address the climate and ecological crisis across Greater Manchester. He represents the sector at city level as part of Manchester Climate Change Partnership – the board which oversees Manchester’s Climate Change Agency and the development of city strategy and policy.

Will Ennett – Head of Sustainability – TalkTalk

Will Ennett is currently Head of Sustainability at TalkTalk and has over 15 years’ experience in building strong commercial partnerships across the TV, film, technology and telecoms sectors. Will is responsible the sustainability agenda within TalkTalk, a value provider of fixed line TV, mobile and broadband in the UK.

Will is chair of the Technical Advisory Group for Net Zero at Business in the Community. The group represent a diverse group of companies across sectors, who have provided webinars and factsheets to enable businesses to transition to net zero by answering questions on potential barriers, such as supply chain, carbon measurements and engaging employees.

Amer Gaffar – Director of Fuel Cell Innovation Centre – Manchester Metroplitan University

Amer Gaffar is Director of the £4.1m Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University. Amer is a passionate advocate for fuel cell and hydrogen technology and has successfully built consensus and momentum in Greater Manchester towards positive environmental practice and cleaner energy over the last decade.

Dr Marie Grifitths, Reader & Director of the Centre for Digital Business, University of Salford

Alexander Guslisty, Founder, BIG ATOM

Chris Harrop OBE – Group Sustainability Director – Marshalls Plc

Chris Harrop OBE is Group Sustainability Director at Marshalls plc. An accomplished marketing and sustainability professional and Fellow of IEMA with a proven global track record, Chris’ persistent contribution has ensured that Marshalls not only leads its sector but is also a world-class sustainable business leading on climate change, respecting people and made to last.

Nick Helm – Partner – Squire Patton Boggs

Nick Helm is an infrastructure partner with almost 20 years of sector experience gained in the UK and internationally. He specialises in advising on infrastructure project finance and PFI/PPP schemes, and increasingly in renewable energy, transport and other economic infrastructure. Clean air and decarbonisation initiatives are an important developing focus and Nick is active in advising on Clean Air Charging Zones.

Dr Michaela Kendall – CEO & Co-Founder – Adelan

Dr Michaela Kendall is CEO and co-founder of fuel cell pioneers Adelan (Birmingham, UK). One of the world’s first fuel cell businesses, Adelan commercialises a clean energy technology she co-invented in the early 1990s. Managing industrial R&D programmes funded by the US, EU and Chinese governments, Dr Kendall plays a key role in building the UK’s national fuel cell strategy, is the Hydrogen Champion for the UK and is going to COP26.

Paul Ladislaus MA MEng CEng MIChemE – Senior Process Engineer – First Graphene (UK) Ltd

Paul is a Chartered Chemical Engineer with 20 years’ experience in the Chemicals Industry in a range of operational, project-based and R&D roles. He joined First Graphene Ltd in 2018 and is based in Manchester, UK, where he manages a portfolio of technology development projects, some of which are directly related to energy storage and clean hydrogen generation.

Helena Mansell-Stopher – Founder & CEO – Products of Change

Helena Mansell-Stopher is founder and CEO of Products of Change, an online sustainability platform for the brand and licensing industry, and co-founder and conference director at the Sustainability in Licensing Conference. Helena has worked within the brand and licensing sector for over 20 years with extensive experience both at supplier, brand owner and retail level.

Dr Geoff Mackey – Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director – BASF

Geoff was brought up on a small family farm in South Armagh, N. Ireland, he read biology in Liverpool and followed it with a range of post graduate qualifications in Health & Safety and management including a sleepless MBA. His doctorate concerned the strategic business value of social networks.
He is a Director of BASF plc, responsible for a service portfolio in UK & Ireland and BASF’s Sustainability network in Europe.
A Fellow of IOD, RSC and IEMA, he has been within the BASF group for almost 20 years and advises a wide range of strategic and tactical groups inside and outside BASF covering private, public and third sector organizations in arenas including science, environment and further education.

Will Maden – Research Director, Miralis Data

Will has over a decade of experience in delivering substantial productivity improvements, efficiency gains and saving companies millions in the process.
With a Doctorate in Mathematical Modelling from Lancaster University, where he focused on logistics, he worked as a Lecturer but quickly realised that his talent for analysing data, understanding the commercial models and writing algorithms to tackle complex logistical problems and improve performance would be a business in itself.
Bar a stint as a Director of British Car Auctions, Will has worked as a consultant with an array of companies making huge savings and efficiencies to their organisations. They include British Car Auctions, Europcar, Shell, Co-Operative Group, Routemonkey, Ford and Hoyer.

Shoaib Mohammed – Assistant Director of Technical Services – Salford City Council

Shoaib mohammad is the Assistant Director of technical services at Salford City Council. As a charted Civil Engineer, he has delivered many major Infrastructure projects and place transformation programmes. Passionate about achieving net zero and has been introducing new initiatives in Salford.

Hayley Nixon – Commercial Project Manager, Salford City Council

Steve Oliver – Group CEO & Co-Founder – musicMagpie

Steve Oliver is the Group CEO and Co-Founder of musicMagpie, a leading re-commerce business in the UK and US specialising in refurbished consumer technology, disc media and books. Its simple mission is to be the smart, trusted and sustainable way to buy, rent and sell tech, whilst being ‘Smart for you, Smart for the Planet’.

David Parkin – Director at Progressive Energy and Project Director for HyNet North West

David is a recognised industry leader in the development of low carbon energy infrastructure. David is chartered mechanical and gas engineer and holds a MEng from Cambridge University, an MSc from Warwick University and an MBA from MIT.

After spending the early part of his career in the aerospace and defence sectors, David joined the energy sector in 2008 to develop Atkins offshore wind business before becoming Director of Power and Renewables. From 2014-2018, he was Director of Safety and Network Strategy at Cadent (formerly National Grid Gas Distribution), leading the formation of the Future of Gas programme to set out a strategy for decarbonisation of heat through the development of numerous projects, including HyNet and HyDeploy. David joined Progressive Energy as a Director in 2019 and is Project Director of the HyNet North West project, leading the consortium.

Simon Payne, CEO, Sole Responsibility

Simon is the co-founder of SoleResponsibility, a sustainable resale business for footwear and clothing in the UK. The business has a simple goal to work with and support the fashion industry by offering a responsible solution and ‘give seconds a second chance’

Grant Peggie – Director – British Business Bank & NPIF

A Director in the Venture Solutions Team at the British Business Bank, Grant leads the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund. Previously he led the Bank’s work on regional finance. Before joining the Bank he was Head of Strategic Partnerships at Innovate UK where he was responsible for better connecting innovation and business support for innovative, high growth companies.

Jonatan Pinkse – Professor of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Director of Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at the Alliance Manchester Business School.

Jonatan Pinkse is a Professor of strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship and Director of the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at the Alliance Manchester Business School. His research on corporate sustainability, business model innovation, climate change, and the sharing economy has been published in prestigious management journals and is highly cited.

Gordon Rogers – Head of Long Term Strategy – United Utilities

Gordon champions sustainability and the responsible business agenda to build legitimacy and resilience in the UK water industry. He has recently joined United Utilities to establish a new long term strategy team to lead bold ambitions on carbon reduction, climate resilience and emerging approaches such as systems thinking and the circular economy.

In his previous role as Head of Sustainability at Yorkshire Water, Gordon embedded the Six Capitals and Integrated Reporting approaches to provide a richer understanding of impact and value that could be applied to shape more sustainable decision-making, strategies and investment choices. By working closely with the Board, and having established its Social Value Committee, Gordon and his team worked to shape the culture and corporate strategy of the business. They successfully delivered a wide range of sustainability improvements through a cross-business programme of environmental, financial and social priorities. He aims to build on this success with United Utilities to continue driving the UK water sector.

Gordon is also the chair of trustees at the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation, helping shape the Foundation’s strategy and governing the distribution of donations to a wide range of good causes.

Holly Smith – Project Lead – Want Not Waste

Holly is Project Lead at Want Not Waste, an award-winning student run zero-waste shop at the University of Manchester. She also studies B.Sc. Psychology and completed her dissertation on the role of identity and food waste behaviour in students.

Jack Snape – Analysis Manager – Transport for the North

Jack has a PhD in physics and has worked as an analyst in the Civil Service and in Local Government across a range of policy areas, including higher education, manufacturing, climate change and transport. Jack is now the Analysis Manager at TfN, leading the development of TfN’s Analytical Framework, a new suite of software tools that provides a consistent approach to data, modelling and appraisal across travel modes and regions of the North.


Julian Wells – Director – Whitecap Consulting & Fintech North

Julian is a strategy consultant with over 20 years experience in financial services.

Whitecap Consulting is a regional strategy consultancy based in Leeds, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Newcastle and Birmingham. FinTech North (FTN) is an ecosystem facilitator which helps build the FinTech community across the Northern Powerhouse.


Tricia Williams – Chief Operating Officer – Northern Rail

Tricia Williams joined Northern Rail in September 2020 in the new role of Chief Operating Officer responsible for the overall accountability for the day-to-day running of our train service. Tricia has held a number of senior Operational and Executive roles throughout her career and has led large-scale transformation programmes to improve Operational Excellence and Customer Experience. Most recently, Tricia was Chief Customer Officer in Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and before that held the role of Chief Operating Officer whilst the Airport was investing £1bn to modernise its facilities. Prior to that, Tricia held a series of senior roles in United Utilities.

Gary Woodhead – CEO & Co-Founder – CurveBlock

Gary Woodhead, CEO/Co-Founder of CurveBlock, recently acknowledged as Innovator of the year & StarUp of the year finalist for kick starting the digital democratisation of the construction sector, ultimately pushing to make the public the primary financial beneficiary, via the construction and sales net zero energy positive houses, all underpinned by FinTech & Blockchain technologies, whilst also embracing 9 of the 17 U.N.Sustainability Goals.