Speakers & Panelists in 2020 Include

Jonty Ashworth

Jonty Ashworth

Property Development Manager, Bicester Heritage

Jonty is the Property Development Manager at Bicester Heritage, the Centre of Excellence at the core of the historic motoring industry. Bicester Heritage has trailblazing plans to deliver the UK’s first 425 acre experiential resort to champion automotive motion of the past, present and future. His background is major project delivery and master planning, providing a diverse range of projects in motorsports, leisure and tourism. Project examples include: Zhejiang International Circuit, China; Royal Air Force Museum, London; BMW Park Lane , Born Electric showroom; Media City UK (BBC), Salford; BMW UK HQ and various Jaguar Land Rover projects.

Hugh Blaza

Hugh Blaza

Hugh enjoyed a highly successful career as a commercial property lawyer, leading one of the major real estate firms in the country. Having graduated from University College Oxford and trained in the City, Hugh returned to Oxford in 1986 where he now works as a consultant to the property community. He believes that whilst there is much to admire in recent developments, the plans which are being forged to harness and accommodate the activity in the region will make the next few years the most exciting in the region for decades.

Philip Campbell

Philip Campbell

Commercial Director for Milton Park, MEPC

Philip joined MEPC in 2006 with nearly 20 years’ experience in commercial real estate. Philip works alongside the asset management team, developing relationships with potential clients and looking after large offices and laboratories at Milton Park. He is passionate about helping businesses with their evolving accommodation needs and enjoys demystifying complex real estate issues to make office moving easier. Philip is an active figure within the local community and can often be seen jogging round Milton Park at lunchtimes.

William Cooper

William Cooper

Partner, Harwell Campus Management

William Cooper qualified as a chartered tax adviser with KPMG and subsequently as a corporate treasurer before spending many years at Land Securities, the UKs largest listed REIT/Developer.  William held several financing and investment roles and prior to leaving was the group’s Corporate Finance Director. William transacted over $19bn of acquisitions, disposals and financing.  Notable transactions include the $6bn acquisition of the Secondary Market Infrastructure Fund; the $800m acquisition of the X Leisure Retail Fund and creating a $500m Infrastructure Debt Fund. William has also advised family offices/high net-worth individuals on real estate and debt restructuring.

Will Gompertz

Will Gompertz

BBC Arts Editor

Will Gompertz is a world expert on Modern Art and was voted one of the World’s Top 50 Creative Thinkers by New York’s Creativity Magazine. Will’s latest book “Think Like an Artist: Imaginative Ways to a More Creative and Productive Life” was released by Penguin in July 2015. A witty and inspiring read, it identifies ten lessons to be learned from the greatest artists across history, to give us tools to unlock creativity and thrive at work and in our personal lives. As a writer, he has penned numerous articles for, among others, The Times and The Guardian. His book, “What are you Looking At? 50 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye”, was published by Penguin in Autumn 2012. Will was previously a Director of The Tate Gallery and in 2009 he wrote and performed a sell-out one-man comedy show about modern art at the Edinburgh Festival. He is currently BBC Arts Editor.

Dr Caroline Livingstone

Dr Caroline Livingstone

Head of Property, Culham Science Centre

Caroline is the Head of Property for UKAEA at Culham Science Centre which includes responsibility for management of the Commercial property at Culham Science Centre as well as the Culham Estate, its existing buildings and  the development of new buildings for both UKAEA and commercial property use.  Caroline’s role includes involvement in the development of the Harwell Campus as UKAEA are majority landowner and Harwell Joint Venture partner. Caroline was previously General Manager of Begbroke Science Park on behalf of the University of Oxford.  In her time there the site more than doubled in size and introduced a series of new business models for innovation, research collaboration and campus management. Caroline gained her PhD in Biotechnology from Sheffield University before working for UKAEA (then AEA Technology) at Harwell where she managed a variety of government research and export promotion programmes as well as the Marketing Department.

Nigel Tipple

Nigel Tipple

Chief Executive, OxLEP

Nigel joined Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) in June 2013 and has made his mark with energetic and inspirational leadership. He spearheaded the bid for the Oxford and Oxfordshire City Deal, the EU Structural and Investment Fund and Strategic Economic Plan submissions and is assisting the county’s businesses into a period of exceptional growth. Oxfordshire is already a powerhouse of innovation and wealth creation and Nigel is focused on building upon the region’s unique strengths to deliver economic success through the commercialisation of innovation. Nigel has over 20 years’ experience in the formation, development, operation and management of Public/Private sector organisations.

Richard Venables

Richard Venables

Director, VSL & Partners

Richard was educated at St Edward’s, Oxford and Exeter University where he gained a geography degree. He commenced his surveying career in 1989 at Gerald Eve in London. He joined James Offen and Partners and in 2002 jointly started VSL. Richard has considerable experience in office, industrial, retail, development and investment agency work. Richard dedicates considerable time and energy to economic and cultural development in Oxfordshire. He is a board member of Experience Oxfordshire and Active Oxfordshire, a member of the Ashmolean corporate circle, a member of the Oxford City Council Economic Growth Steering Group and Chair of Reciprocate.  Richard was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Oxfordshire in 2017 and High Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 2018/19. Outside work he is a hockey fanatic playing at Oxford Hawks Hockey Club and an enthusiastic park runner.

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