Attending events is often fun and a great way to keep in touch with what other people are doing. After all, breaking ‘siloed’ thinking is one of the keys to success for resilience. We were delighted therefore to attend the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) conference ‘Bringing Safety to Life’, held at the IET in London in the second week of May. There were many inspiring talks on a broad range of topics and sectors, with safety and the role of the LR Foundation as the common theme across them.
The day kick started with a talk on strategy by guest speaker Adam Parr, former chief executive of the Williams Formula 1 team. In his own words, strategy is ‘the process whereby we overcome obstacles in order to achieve our goals’, and provided some examples of successful and failed strategies, together with a framework to define an effective strategy. He also had some motivating comments on good leadership, which he defined as making people leave a room happier than they were when they walked into it.
Talks from the morning session followed, including Professor John A McDermid from University of York on autonomous vehicles and their safety (and all the associated challenges). Professors Emma McCoy and Jennifer Whyte from Imperial College London talked about the role of data in making resilient and robust infrastructure – how to enhance critical ecosystems and the cyber-physical systems that support them continuously. Gijs van der Velden from MX3D showed us the process for designing and building a 3D-printed bridge for a canal in the city centre of Amsterdam, an exciting project in which Arup is participating. The morning session ended with Asher Kessler presenting on The Conversation – an interesting media outlet which publishes research, news and ideas from leading researchers. All attendees were invited to suggest ideas for new articles to be published.
Lunchtime included gorgeous views over the city from a nice sun-filled terrace, but it was also a busy time with two workshops in parallel – one organised by The Resilience Shift and another one about the role of technology accelerators, bridging the gap between the start-up and scale-up phases for tech companies. LRF’s initiative in this area was presented, with its own accelerator process putting companies in touch with industry leaders in different sectors.
The afternoon covered a range of different topics, from the importance of aviation refuelling safety to the fulfilling experience of apprenticeships at Plymouth Marine Lab. This afternoon session included an interesting panel session which featured our executive director Nancy Kete.
Professor Richard Clegg, Chief Executive of Lloyd’s Register Foundation, closed the event highlighting how much has been achieved to date for such a young organisation – only five years old- and made a final note on the importance of the impact that all grantees’ activity creates.
Overall, the event was a great opportunity to learn about LRF activities, meet old friends (some of which we’ve been collaborating with in the Resilience Shift), and make some new friends too. We’ve been delighted to be a part of it.