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Guest Lectures | Warwick Summer School

Guest Lectures

Our Summer School offers a programme of weekly interactive guest lectures with eminent figures from the public and private sector. The speakers who come to the Summer School cover a range of topics to broaden your education, insights and views, and allow you to ask questions and debate the topics they discuss.

The 2024 Warwick Summer School Guest Lectures:

Jonathon Porritt

Jonathon Porritt is an eminent writer and campaigner on sustainable development. For the last 30 years, Jonathon has provided strategic advice to leading UK and international companies to deepen their understanding of today’s converging environmental and climate crises. He is also focused on intergenerational justice, supporting young people in their activities around sustainable development issues as they face a future defined by the twin crises of the Climate Emergency and Biodiversity Emergency.

He is President of The Conservation Volunteers and is involved in the work of many other NGOs and groups. In 1996, he co-founded Forum for the Future, a leading international sustainable development charity, working with business and civil society to accelerate the shift toward a sustainable future. Jonathon was formerly Co-Chair of the Green Party (1980-83) and Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90). He stood down as Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission in 2009, after nine years providing high-level advice to Government Ministers, and served a ten-year term as Chancellor of Keele University (2012-2022).

Jonathon was awarded a CBE in January 2000 for services to environmental protection. His latest book, Hope in Hell (Simon & Schuster, 2020, revised 2021) is a powerful ‘call to action’ on the Climate Emergency.

Headshot of Jonathan, in a blue and white small check shirt
Women smiling with hands clasped together sat on a red sofa. She has long brown hair and wearing black trousers, top and heeled shoes and a red blazer

Satnam Rana-Grindley

Satnam Rana-Grindley is the Director for Communications - Corporate Brand in the Marketing, Communications and Insights team at the University of Warwick.

She worked at the BBC for 21 years as a Broadcast Journalist and Arts and Culture Correspondent, followed by 3 years at the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership where she set up and led the integrated marketing and communications directorate. She was also part of the Senior Leadership Team responsible for setting organisational strategy.

With a passion for strategic storytelling, Satnam has successfully transferred her journalism skills into leadership. She is passionate about the region, its communities and creating transformative outcomes that help build a better future for society.

Professor Ciaran Martin

Professor Ciaran Martin, CB, is a Professor of Practice at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, as well as a managing director at Paladin Capital and the holder of several other advisory roles in private sector cyber security. He writes and speaks frequently on cyber security in major outlets across the world, and was named on of the most influential people in European technology by Politico in 2022.

From 2014 until 2020 he set up and then led the United Kingdom’s world-leading National Cyber Security Centre, within the intelligence agency GCHQ on whose board he sat. This was the culmination of a 23 year career in UK public service which saw him serve in senior roles in national security, constitutional and economic policy.

White male smiling with short grey hair and wearing a navy blue suit and tie with a white shirt

Some previous speakers have included:

Professor George Akerlof

An American economist and University Professor at Georgetown University, he won the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

For our 2019 Summer School, Akerlof delivered a guest lecture ‘Phishing for Phools’, based around the economics of manipulation and deception. 

Seema Malhotra

Seema Malhotra is the Labour and Cooperative Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston and Shadow Minister for Skills. Her primary policy interests are in the economy, business, and equalities.

Seema's talk focused on the ESG Agenda and Purposeful Business.

Vicky Pryce

A British economist, Vicky is currently Chief Economic Adviser at the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

This session focussed on gender equalities; how Market Failures occur and why markets won't solve it left to themselves.

Priya Lakhani OBE

Priya Lakhani OBE is the Founder CEO of CENTURY Tech, the award-winning artificial intelligence education technology company. In 2008, Priya left her career as a barrister to launch a fresh cooking-sauce business, which through its charitable foundation provided millions of meals and thousands of vaccinations to the underprivileged in India and Africa, and funded several schools.

In this talk Priya discussed the move from FMCG to AI, looking at entrepreneurship - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Krisi Smith

'Chief Mixologist', Author, Creative Director and Co-founder of Brighton based tea company, Bird and Blend Tea Co. Krisi, along with her partner Mike Turner, have built their brand to be the UK's most loved independent tea blenders.

This talk was particularly interesting to aspiring entrepreneurs and many students have visited Krisi's Bird and Blend Tea shop on the iconic North Laine in Brighton and in Nottingham during their visits to the UK.

Owen Bainbridge

A proud member of the England Blind Football Team, Owen has collected 70 caps so far for his team, winning silver and bronze medals at tournaments across the world.

In this talk, Owen shared his individual approach to business and how communication is key to leadership and teamwork. Having captained his country on two occasions, he knows how it feels to lead under pressure; a key skill for any business owner.