Dear Members and Friends,

I hope that you have all had as good a week as we have in Strategy International. I certainly started the week on a real high having watched the Federer, Djokovic Men’s Final concurrently with the Cricket World Cup on Sunday evening. I suspect that the England team are still celebrating and as a backdrop to this we are in the final week of the Prime Minister’s tenure. It is also good to see the Women’s Netball Team doing so well. Next week could be both challenging and interesting and we are promised 32 degrees centigrade in London!

We have run the following events in Strategy International this week:

Tuesday 16 July Ambassador of Afghanistan to the UK Said T Jawad.
On Tuesday morning, we were treated to a brilliant roundtable discussion with the Ambassador. He shared an update about upcoming infrastructure projects and opportunities in Afghanistan; spoke about the country’s relationships with its neighbours; and gave us an update about the ongoing peace process. The country's strategic geopolitical position makes it an important territory to consider.

Tuesday 16 July “The Energy Challenge in the 21st Century” Philip New CEO The Energy Systems Catapult.
Philip talked us through the huge energy challenges that we face as a society which are more than achievable through a massive move away from the internal combustion engine and replacing all the gas boilers in our homes as soon as possible! We have held several events on this topic over the year and it will also involve a large investment in our infrastructure. We had a very lively debate and Philip’s passion for this subject shone through. We will have to pursue digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonisation in addition to overcoming the socio-political challenges to make this a “cool thing to do.” While writing this I received an email from my energy provider congratulating me on being an energy hero by saving 1.31 tonnes of CO2 (the average person generates 6 tonnes of CO2 per year) which is the equivalent of planting 655 trees!

Tuesday 16 July The Use of UK Aid in Enhancing UK Prosperity.
On Tuesday, BEI hosted a team from The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) as they facilitated a consultative focus group discussion on UK aid’s focus on enhancing mutual prosperity. There was great discussion and contribution from participants on the pros and cons around the pursuit of secondary economic benefits for the UK and for UK plc.

Wednesday and Thursday the 17 and 18 July. The Future Group Final Accelerator Programme Event at Sandhurst.
This mixed cohort of Directors which is both pan sector and a mix of the public and private sector has been a quite outstanding group that has really bonded and generated excellent team spirit. The final event took place at Sandhurst where they discussed and explored the ethos of Serve to Lead, before having a tour of the Royal Memorial Chapel and Indian Army Room. This was followed by a Black Tie Dinner where the course members were joined by their CEOs/MDs and we all participated in a fascinating strategic leadership discussion. It was a late evening for a number of our members, but we started the final day with some light exercise under the tuition of a physical training instructor before moving in to a Board Level Exercise where each of the Directors rotated through key Board appointments. This Course is going from strength to Strength and we look forward to the next Course starting in September.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Best wishes,


Seumas Kerr CBE - Managing Director, The D Group

Event Highlights:

Tuesday 23rd July 2019 – The D Group
Discussion of report on post 18 education and funding 
Philip Augar, Practitioner & Writer

Tuesday 23rd July 2019 – BEI
The Current State of UK Aid  
Richard Gledhill, Outgoing ICAI Commissioner
Dr Marcus Cox, Director of Agulhas

Tuesday 23rd July 2019 – BEI
DFID Communications Strategy 
Mel Rouse, DFID Head of Partnerships and Branding
Michael Haigh, Deputy Director, Strategic Communications