On Wednesday 22nd March, the Redwood Technologies Group hosted its annual Redwood Lecture at the Coppid Beech Hotel in Bracknell. The black-tie evening centred on a keynote speech by ex-Minister for Trade and CBI Director-General Digby Jones, Lord Jones of Birmingham.
In addition, Group colleagues and local community representatives enjoyed a military-themed presentation and Q&A with Campbell Christie CBE, a former Royal Navy Commodore and Commando, who drew on his wide security experience in the Persian Gulf and Northern Ireland.
Lord Jones is best known as Minister of State for Trade in the last Labour government. The former law-firm principal first rose to public prominence during six years as Director-General of the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), for which service he was knighted before being awarded a life peerage in 2007.
After some amusing preliminary anecdotes, Lord Jones went on to deliver a hard-hitting speech on the importance of socially-responsible business, in which enterprise must fulfil its obligations not just of tax-generation and employment creation, but also of education and environmental protection.
Lord Jones reminded the audience that business is crucially important for the future of Britain and the world, not least as the sole ultimate provider of the revenues that enable the public sector to continue delivering its vital services.
Campbell Christie earlier talked through the development of psychological warfare and the long history of disinformation (today’s “fake news”) from before the Second World War to the present day.
This year’s event built on the success of the 2016 Redwood Lecture, delivered by best-selling author, Times columnist and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Matthew Syed. The 120 guests included local politicians and broadcasters, as well as figures from across local institutions such as education and athletics, and employees from the Redwood Technologies Group. Attendees were greeted with a champagne reception, followed by a three-course dinner.
Sean Taylor, Redwood Technologies Group CEO, said:
”I’m delighted that our third Redwood Lecture saw such a strong turnout from across the local community and it was great that some of our international Group colleagues were able to join us as well. We were fortunate to have two inspirational speakers and I’m grateful to both Campbell Christie and Lord Jones for their outstanding contributions towards the evening’s success. The strategic and educational themes discussed resonated strongly with our own experiences. The academic excellence and whole-business thinking that run throughout our team are the foundations on which we build our technology and our business. It was a highly enjoyable evening and we look forward to the next lecture.”