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Produced by:

Convened by:

28 Jun - 01 Jul 2021

Virtual event

8-10 December 2020

Telford International Centre, UK

2020 Speakers

Featured speakers

Terry Fuller

Chief Executive, CIWEM

Terry is Chief Executive of CIWEM responsible for the delivery of the Institution’s strategic aims and its services to members and the public interest. He has over 30 years’ experience as a water and environmental manager having delivered major projects in some of the world’s most beautiful and challenging locations.

Previously, Terry managed the rivers and coastal business for Jacobs Engineering and worked in their global business development group.

Terry is a member of CIWEM and has served the Institution on the committee of CIWEM's Rivers and Coastal Group between 2004 and 2011 and was chair during its 60th anniversary year in 2009. He has also served as a Board Trustee.

Terry has always been active in helping to influence policy and research, exemplified through representing CIWEM and the Institution of Civil Engineers at several conferences including an international conference on adaptation to climate change, held in China and a joint conference with The American Society for Civil Engineers held in Canada.

Terry firmly believes that water should be managed by considering the entire water cycle and all demands placed on water.

Dr Alison Lloyd William

Senior Research Associate, Lancaster University

Dr Alison Lloyd Williams is a Senior Research Associate in Sociology at Lancaster University. She is part of a team researching the social effects of flooding and other disasters and the contribution children can make to recovery and resilience building in the UK, other parts of Europe and Asia.

A key output of this work has been to draw on data gathered with flood-affected families to develop new digital flood engagement tools and other resources for children and adults.

Dr Chris Skinner

Research Fellow, University of Hull

Chris is a Research Fellow at the Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull, specialising in the numerical modelling of flood risk.

He has extensive experience sharing his research with the public using digital tools, including virtual reality, through his projects the SeriousGeoGames Lab and the Earth Arcade. He has run exhibits at events and festivals across the country, including at the Natural History Museum, and his Inundation Street flood awareness 360 video has over 1.25 million views on YouTube.

Eve Joseph

Sustainability Customer Engagement Lead, Microsoft

Eve is Microsoft's Sustainability Customer lead and is part the central Sustainability team dedicated to internal and external stakeholder engagement on sustainability.

Eve is focused on ensuring Microsoft teams have the necessary assets and expertise to include sustainability in their customer and external engagements while also taking part in public-facing engagements. Her goal is to grow awareness and perception of this work with core customer audiences whilst co creating sustainability-focused roadmaps and tools that ensure our products, services and expertise align to our 2020 commitments.

Tony Riggs

Head of Technology Innovation, Defra Digital

Tony is responsible for leading technology innovation for the Defra group, with a team that tracks emerging digital technologies and helps business colleagues practically explore the innovation opportunities.

He has worked in the environmental protection field for over 30 years. Having initially been an environmental scientist and then moving into the IT profession, Tony now has the fantastic challenge of connecting emerging digital technologies to the challenges of the Defra group.


Frazer Rhodes

Service Delivery Specialist, Environment Agency

Frazer has 20 years’ experience in flood warning and incident management fields and is currently working with the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS), the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) and Government Digital Service (GDS) to deliver an Emergency Alert capability for the UK.

Frazer’s substantive role is the Service Owner for the Environment Agency’s Flood Warning and Information Service on GOV.UK which provides critical flood information to 8 million users per annum.

Freya Crunden

Senior Environmental Consultant, Atkins

Freya is a Senior Environmental Consultant and Chartered Environmentalist in Atkins’ Infrastructure business. Freya leads sustainable design management on long frameworks and major projects, working particularly closely with the Environment Agency as Atkins’ Sustainability Lead for the Collaborative Delivery Framework.

Central to Freya’s work is inspiring behaviour change through engagement work, and putting in place effective tools and processes to empower and equip colleagues and clients to improve outcomes.

Myra Hunt

Joint Chief Digital Officer, Defra

Myra Hunt is one half of Defra’s Chief Digital Officer (job share Harriet Green).

Together they are responsible for driving the digital transformation of Defra - from designing new external services to modernising decades old legacy technology.

They have a shared background in delivering large scale global digital transformation programmes at the British Council and BBC. 

Catherine Wright

Executive Director of Flood and Coastal Risk Management, EA

Catherine is the the Executive Director of Flood and Coastal Risk Management

The Executive Director is responsible for setting the direction for flood and coastal risk management in England, manages key stakeholder relationships and gives expert advice to government to help develop and implement flood and coastal erosion risk management policies.

During major incidents the Executive Director’s role is to support the national coordination of the Environment Agency’s response and to support their input into Government.  

Jim Walker

Flood Digital Manager, FCRM Digital and Skills

Jim has spent more than 20 years at the Environment Agency in a variety of Flood Risk Management roles. He is currently the Flood Digital Manager, and he authored the Environment Agency Flood Digital Strategy.

Jim and his team are responsible for digital transformation across FCRM. This includes growing digital services, improving digital working, developing digital skills / maturity and promoting digital innovation.

Emma Harvey

Programme Director, Green Finance Institute

An experienced and passionate green finance specialist, Emma Harvey joined the Green Finance Institute in 2019 and leads a portfolio of coalitions and projects including the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings, an industry-led collaboration with more than 150 individual members, focused on developing new financial products and solutions to help accelerate the decarbonisation of buildings.

Emma previously worked across several areas within Barclays Bank including product development, portfolio management and corporate debt structuring. Throughout this period she championed the green finance agenda, supporting the bank’s first green bond issuance and pioneering the Barclays green home mortgage.

James Vaccaro

Special Advisor, Triodos Bank

James is a strategist and systems thinker with a background in sustainable finance. He runs the strategy consultancy, RePattern – part of NOW Partners.

He is a Special Advisor to Triodos Bank (previously Director of Strategy and MD of the UK Investment Business), and Interim Director for the Climate Safe Lending Network.

James has served as a member of several advisory groups on sustainable finance at UK, European and international level including the Global Steering Committee for the UNEP Finance Initiative, where he was one of the founding developers of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking.

James is a Senior Associate of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainable, Senior Fellow (and previous Chair) of the Finance Innovation Lab, a director of Regen and an advisor for a small number of NGOs in Europe including the Club of Rome.

Kit England

Scotland Climate Ready Clyde, Sniffer and Climate XChange

Kit England is the project manager for Climate Ready Clyde at Sniffer, a sustainability charity that brings people and ideas together to create a sustainable and resilient society. He has worked on climate change for over 8 years, specialising in adaptation.

In his current role he set up and manages Climate Ready Clyde - a collaborative initiative of 15 public, private and voluntary organisations developing an adaptation strategy and action plan for Glasgow City Region; an area which is home to a 1.8m people and £40bn of GVA – a third of Scotland’s population and wealth.

Most recently, he has led work to develop Glasgow City Region’s first climate adaptation strategy.

He has also worked on research and capacity building projects for the Scottish Government, DEFRA and the Association of Directors of Environment Planning and Transport (ADEPT) and the Committee on Climate Change, in partnership with some of the UK’s leading consultancies, including AECOM and ARUP.

Prior to this, Kit led the climate adaptation approach for Newcastle upon Tyne. At the same time he was chair of the Core Cities Climate Resilience and Adaptation Working Group for over five years, comprising the UK’s ten biggest cities outside of London. Kit has also worked as an advisor to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on climate adaptation and social vulnerability, and advised both UK Government and the European Commission on developing and implementing adaptation action.

He is a chartered environmentalist, and a full member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment’s, participating in the organisation’s climate change and energy steering group. He is also part of ISO’s UK working group on climate change, leading the UK’s input into new standards for climate change risk assessment.

He is also a contributing author for the upcoming third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment, and was recently selected by EIT Climate KIC as one of their five global climate champions for 2020.

Outside of work, Kit is a musician, Dad, and heavy metal fan. He is also a voluntary director of Alston Moor Community Energy, a Community Benefit Society delivering community energy projects for Alston Moor in Cumbria.

Charlotte Spliethoff

Queensland Reconstruction Authority

As Manager Flood Risk Projects at the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) in Australia, Charlotte works collaboratively with a range of stakeholders on policies and projects related to flood risk management. QRA manages and coordinates the Queensland Government’s program of recovery and reconstruction works within disaster-affected communities.

QRA also has the legislative responsibility for coordinating the development and implementation of whole-of-government policies for managing flood risks, which sits within QRA’s broader remit to provide for appropriate measures to improve the resilience of communities to disasters events.

Charlotte has 12 years’ experience in a variety of roles and started her career in the Netherlands designing levees. This role included leading a chapter of the International Levee Handbook, for which she received the European Young Professional Award, awarded by the European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations.

Charlotte moved to Brisbane in 2012, where she joined engineering consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV leading all their flooding-related activities in Queensland. After 2.5 years in that role, Charlotte worked as self-employed consultant and as a programs manager for the International RiverFoundation, before joining QRA in 2017.

Charlotte is an active member of Floodplain Management Australia and Queensland’s Flood Community of Practice, the latter she helped established in 2014.

Sam Evans

Head of Natural Environment, GMCA

Sam is Head of Natural Environment at GMCA, leading the Combined Authority’s work to improve and increase investment in the city region’s natural environment through developing strategy and policy, delivering key projects and working with a range of partners.

This includes oversight of the EU-funded IGNITION and Natural Course projects and delivery of the Greater Manchester Local Nature Recovery Strategy pilot. Prior to this role, he led the development of the Mayor’s 5 Year Environment Plan and supported the development of Greater Manchester’s Natural Capital Investment Plan, both launched in 2019. 

Sam joined GMCA in October 2018 from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs where most recently he was Head of Strategic Coordination. Before that, Sam held various roles in the civil service, including working on local growth and devolution policy with the Liverpool City Region and designing and implementing the government’s policy on tackling bovine TB.

Before the civil service, Sam was an environmental consultant, working with businesses to reduce their environmental impact and to implement environmental management systems

Jacqui Bandy

Environment Agency

Jacqui Bandy is the Environment Agency’s Stakeholder Manager for the River Thames Scheme, which will reduce flood risk to 11,000 homes between Datchet and Teddington.

Jacqui is responsible for managing stakeholders, political relationships and reputation, including partnership working with major investors.

A Chartered Institute of Public Relations Accredited Practitioner, Jacqui has been involved in flood risk management for more than 10 years.

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen

Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen began her career in 1987 at Crédit Lyonnais Bank Nederland in Tilburg. From 1991 to 2007 she was responsible for the operational management of a veterinary practice in Oisterwijk and also worked as a freelance economic geographer.

In 2007 she became a member of the North Brabant provincial executive, with responsibility for a range of areas including mobility, infrastructure, supervision of the water authorities, and Eindhoven Airport.

From 17 June 2010 to 30 June 2014, Ms Van Nieuwenhuizen was a member of the House of Representatives for the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). She was the party’s spokesperson on integration, asylum policy and social affairs, and chaired the Permanent Committee on Finance.

On 1 July 2014 Ms Van Nieuwenhuizen became a member of the European Parliament representing the VVD. She served on the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) as fintech and benchmarks rapporteur, and on the Panama Papers inquiry committee.

On 26 October 2017 Cora van Nieuwenhuizen was appointed Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management in the third Rutte government.

Dr. Saleemul Huq

Director, International Centre for Climate Change & Development

Prof. Huq is also a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Environment & Development (IIED), where he is involved in building negotiating capacity and supporting the engagement of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in UNFCCC including negotiator training workshops for LDCs, policy briefings and support for the Adaptation Fund Board, as well as research into vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in the least developed countries. 

Prof. Huq has published numerous articles in scientific and popular journals, was a lead author of the chapter on Adaptation and Sustainable Development in the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and was one of the coordinating lead authors of ‘Inter-relationships between adaptation and mitigation’ in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007).

Prior to this, he was at Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) where he was in charge of management and strategy of the organisation. In 2000 he became an Academic Visitor at the Huxley School of Environment at Imperial College in London. 

Prof. Denise Bower OBE

Executive Director External Engagement, Mott MacDonald

Professor Denise Bower OBE joined the Executive Board as Group External Engagement Director in January 2020.

She is responsible for client and partner relationships, thought leadership activity and driving improvements in the delivery of major projects. 

Denise has had an impressive career in the infrastructure industry. 

She is very well known through her role as the executive director of the Major Projects Association and as Professor in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds.

Denise was a long standing member of the Infrastructure Client Group and has worked closely with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority to improve major project preparation and delivery. She has worked with numerous sponsor and client organisations, helping to shape major projects and programmes.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Adaptation and Resilience Champion for COP26 Presidency

Anne-Marie Trevelyan was appointed as the UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency on 7 November 2020.

In her role as Adaptation and Resilience Champion, Anne-Marie Trevelyan will engage the governments of the countries most affected by climate change and drive support from the international community and private sector.

Previously Anne-Marie was the Secretary of State for International Development from February to September 2020. She was Minister of State for the Armed Forces from 17 December 2019 to 13 February 2020, and Minister for Defence Procurement from 27 July 2019 to 16 December 2019.

Anne-Marie was first elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for the Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency at the 2015 general election.

Emma Howard-Boyd

Chair, Environment Agency

Emma Howard Boyd is the Chair of the Environment Agency, an Ex officio board member of Defra, and the UK Commissioner to the Global Commission on Adaptation.

Emma serves on a number of boards and advisory committees which include Menhaden PLC, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project and the European Climate Foundation. She has worked in financial services for over 25 years, in corporate finance and fund management. 

As Director of Stewardship at Jupiter Asset Management until July 2014, Emma was integral to the development of their expertise in the corporate governance and sustainability fields.

Her previous board and advisory roles include:

  • Chair and trustee of ShareAction
  • Vice Chair of Future Cities Catapult
  • Director of the Aldersgate Group and Triodos Renewables PLC
  • Chair of UKSIF (the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association)
  • Member of the Commission on Environmental Markets and Economic Performance and the Green Finance Taskforce

Hugh Ellis

Town and Country Planning Association

Hugh leads on policy development, briefings, and engagement with central governments and politicians. In 2018 he led the secretariat for the Raynsford Review setting out a blue print for a new planning system in England.

Hugh has co-authored three books, including ‘Rebuilding Britain’ and ‘Town Planning in Crisis’ with Kate Henderson, and ‘The Art of Building a Garden City’ with Katy Lock and Kate Henderson for RIBA. 

He was closely involved in the passage of the 2004 and 2008 Planning Acts, including providing evidence to public bill committees and working closely with parliamentarians on both Commons and Lords committee stages of subsequent planning legislation. Hugh has given oral evidence to the House of Commons Select Committees on various planning inquiries. He has led on TCPA campaign work on planning out poverty and planning for people, and he is a strong critic of policies such as Permitted Development.

Hugh sits on the UK Government Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Planning Sounding Board. Hugh regularly delivers workshops to local authorities for the TCPA including with Oxfordshire County Council on place-shaping, in Warrington as part of the North West Improvement and Efficiency Partnership climate change skills programme, in Wales on climate change adaptation, and with the TCPA New Communities Group on issues such as strategic planning.

Hugh has also delivered a number of local training sessions and local conversations on the invitation of Elected Members on planning committees, such as in Derbyshire, Oxfordshire and Sheffield. He is also the MC for the TCPA’s music event ‘Land of Promise’. Prior to joining TCPA in March 2009, Hugh had been the national planning advisor to Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland since 2000. After spending a number of years working for the Coalfield Planning Cooperative on community planning projects. He has a Doctorate in Land Use Planning from the University of Sheffield, and he is an Honorary Professor at Queens University, Belfast.

Karen Thomas

Head of coastal management, Coastal Partnership East

Karen began her career in marine surveying before joining the Environment Agency as a Coastal Officer in 1999. She has worked in flood and coastal management for over 20 years and it remains a genuine passion.

Karen has been involved in large capital projects and coastal developments such as London Gateway and Bathside Bay proposals, alongside Managed Realignment Schemes at Abbots Hall and Wallasea Island. 

She has led innovative projects to develop estuarine flood risk strategies and delivered and reviewed Shoreline Management Plans: always considering how we will be managing the coast for the future and how best to build in resilience for climate change and sea level rise in UK and with EU partners.

Karen was also directly involved in the 2013 tidal surge which significantly impacted Norfolk and Suffolk Coastal communities and worked closely with agencies and communities to speed recovery and consider future resilience, taking the role of Flood Ambassador. In 2015 she joined the Water Management Alliance and supported coastal Internal Drainage Boards, landowners and estuarine communities in developing community-led approaches to tidal flood risk management. This work led to broader understanding of our management of water and land in the coastal zone and the need for integrated solutions between agencies, communities, landowners and businesses to manage coastal flood risk and erosion.

In 2019 Karen joined Coastal Partnership East as Head of Partnership and has already been involved in a range of adaptation and innovative projects with the CPE team. She has recently taken up the role of Adaptation Champion for the LGA Coastal SIG Adaptation Working Group. With the majority of the Norfolk and Suffolk coast facing some of the highest EU erosion rates our coastal communities are already losing their homes and businesses to the sea and Karen is keen to deploy adaptive solutions that meet the short and long term needs of our coastal populations whilst moving towards a climate resilient coast.

Rebecca Pow MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Defra

Rebecca Pow is the Member of Parliament for Taunton Deane and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

She formerly held the roles of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, PPS to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and PPS to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 

In 2018, she was awarded a Green Heart Hero Award by The Climate Coalition, a coalition of over 100 charities and community groups across the UK, for being the "Greenest New MP" for her environmental work. She was instrumental in gaining extra protection for ancient woodland and veteran trees; bringing forward the ban on microbeads and for getting soil health on the agenda.

A scientist by training, a former BBC, ITV and C4 reporter, specialising in the environment, farming and gardening, Rebecca has also worked for the National Farmers Union. She previously sat on the Environmental Audit Committee and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, was an active a member of many environment All Party Parliamentary Groups, including the APPG Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees; the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group and the animal welfare APPG.

She is a former member of the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee and was also given a ‘Giving Voice’ Award by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in 2018.

Tony Juniper CBE

Chair, Natural England

Tony Juniper CBE is Chair of the official nature conservation agency Natural England. Before taking up this role in April 2019 he was the Executive Director for Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF-UK, a Fellow with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and President of the Wildlife Trusts.

Until January 2018 he was an independent sustainability and environment advisor, including as Special Advisor with The Prince of Wales's International Sustainability Unit.

From providing ecology and conservation experiences for primary school children, making the case for new recycling laws, to orchestrating international campaigns for action on rainforests and climate change, his work has sought change at many levels.

Juniper speaks and writes widely on conservation and sustainability themes and is the author of many books, including the multi-award winning bestseller ‘What has Nature ever done for us?’ published in 2013.

Tony began his career as an ornithologist, working with Birdlife International. From 1990 he worked at Friends of the Earth, initially leading the campaign for the tropical rainforests, and from 2003–2008 was the organisation's executive director. From 2000–2008 was Vice Chair of Friends of the Earth International.

He was the first recipient of the Charles and Miriam Rothschild medal (2009) and was awarded honorary Doctor of Science degrees from the Universities of Bristol and Plymouth (2013). The Ladybird guide to climate change, co-authored with HRH The Prince of Wales and Emily Shuckburgh, was published in January 2017. His latest book, ‘Rainforest‘, was published in April 2018. In 2017 he was appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE).

Jacky Huson

Southwell Flood Forum

I have lived in Southwell, Nottinghamshire for over 40 years, raised 3 children and continue to work in my home-based business well past retirement age!

Flooding in 2007 and 2013 caused huge upheaval to my life and work - I had to relocate my business temporarily while I lived in the building site that my house became. To misquote - “Once might be an accident, twice might be a coincidence, three times looks like a habit” and I was not prepared for flooding to become a habit. Thus Southwell Flood Forum was born within a month of the July 2013 flood.

We researched our flooding mechanisms, learnt a new vocabulary and found out which organisations would help us reduce our flood risk, developed community resilience and set up a Road Closure Scheme. Many residents provided a wealth of information on their experience of flooding, ideas for mitigation, as well as wielding spades to clear the 'culprit' watercourse and hotspots of historical and flood-related debris.

Nottinghamshire County Council is midway through engineered mitigation work, NFM has helped 'slow the flow' and the Forum continues to refine and review its role in keeping our town a safe and attractive place to live.

John Curtin

Executive Director Flood & Coastal Risk Management, EA

The Executive Director is responsible for setting the direction for flood and coastal risk management in England, manages key stakeholder relationships and gives expert advice to government to help develop and implement flood and coastal erosion risk management policies.

During major incidents John’s role is to support the national coordination of the Environment Agency’s response and to support their input into COBR.

James Bevan

Chief Executive, Environment Agency

Sir James Bevan joined the Environment Agency (EA) as Chief Executive in late November 2015.

Sir James has had a long career in government. His previous roles include:

  • UK High Commissioner to India
  • Chief Operating Officer, UK Foreign Office
  • Visiting Fellow, Center for International Affairs, Harvard

He has also held a number of senior posts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office including posts in Washington, Paris and Brussels.

Sir James has a BA Honours in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex.

He was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 2006 and was awarded a Knighthood in 2012.Sir James was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Sussex University in 2012.

Julie Foley

Director of Flood Risk Strategy and National Adaptation, EA

Julie is responsible for leading the development of the Environment Agency’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy working with government, risk management authorities and other partners.

Julie has been in the Environment Agency for 13 years and was formerly Area Director for the Environment Agency’s Kent and South London Area.

Her accountabilities included leading over 600 staff who work on issues relating to flood risk management, spatial planning advice, pollution control, water abstraction licencing, industry regulation, environmental crime, fisheries and biodiversity, waterways as well as incident management response.

James Perkins

Team Leader Policy Statement and Planning, DEFRA

James joined the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in June 2019 to work on flood and coastal erosion risk management policy.

Prior to this James worked on sport and gambling policy at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for five years.

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