BEI Weekly Update
Apr 12, 2024

BEI Weekly Update - 12th April 2024

Dear Members and Friends,

There’s been plenty of coverage of Lord Cameron’s visit to Washington this week. As a former diplomat, I’m reminded how international perceptions of political leaders can sometimes differ significantly from how they are seen at home. Without a doubt, though, a former Prime Minister occupying the role of Foreign Secretary will certainly carry a particular weight. Our sister organisation, the British Foreign Policy Group, will shortly be starting work on its well-established Annual Survey of British public opinion on the UK’s place in the world. With so much uncertainty and risk on the international agenda and in an election year, I’m sure the survey will attract even more attention than usual. If you’re interested in getting involved, do let me know.

Meanwhile, this week we heard on Tuesday from speakers from Arup and Gleeds on “Developing Education & Social Infrastructure”. Investing in the development and maintenance of education infrastructure is crucial both for providing students with access to a safe and supportive learning environment and for ensuring that educators have the necessary tools to deliver quality instruction. Gleeds shared findings from their involvement in a G2G project in Peru within the Bicentenary Schools Programme, while Arup reflected on the insights gained from their involvement with the Global Programme for Safer Schools (GPSS).

On Wednesday, a number of our members joined a Strategy International-hosted event, the first in our new Election Watch series led by Senior Adviser Nick Forbes. The topic was “Is Achieving Greater Social Value Through Procurement a Political Vanity Project?”. In the light of the forthcoming election and what we know already of Labour’s agenda, this is definitely a subject on which most members will need to become well briefed, if they’re not already. While there may be nuances when it comes to international development, the broad lines of “social value” have across-the-board application and this was a great opportunity to consider what new emphasis might be attached to social, labour and environmental conditions in public procurement. The next in the series, also I’m sure of interest to BEI members will be on ‘Strengthening National Security & Resilience in Global Omni-Crises’, which will take place on Wednesday 24 April from 1600-1700. For more details please see the events page of our website.

Next week, we will be taking a look on Thursday 18 April at ‘Operating in Complex Environments’. I’m very much looking forward to chairing this virtual event and contributing some experiences of my own alongside a (more) eminent panel which will include Alex Johnson, Project Consultant, Eagle Scientific; Justin Hedges OBE, Executive Chairman, Prevail Partners; and Elinor Raikes, Vice President & Head of Program Delivery, International Rescue Committee. I do hope you can join us.

Congratulations to member CDP, the not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies and governments to manage their environmental impacts, on the publication of their recent report ‘Stewardship at the Source: Global Water Report 2023’. The analysis, based on 3,163 large companies globally who responded in response to investor interest, documents how they are responding to water security challenges, with demand predicted to rise by up to 30% by 2050, in response to the world’s growing need for food and energy. The report reveals that, as a result of water pressures, 1 in 5 companies are facing supply chain risks which could have a substantive financial or strategic impact on their business.   As many members are working on water resilience solutions, I’m sure this report will be a vital companion.

Closer to home, it might be helpful for members to have an overview of what we have planned for the rest of this quarter. Do take a look at the graphic. If it prompts you to think of other subjects you’d like us to address, do please let me know.

I look forward to seeing you soon,

David Landsman 

Executive Chairman

British Expertise International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 18th April 2024 09:30 - 11:00 BST: Operating in Complex Environments - Join us for a panel discussion on Operating in Complex Environments. This event will explore the challenges encountered when working in complex markets, covering safety, risk management, team management and project delivery. Speakers from Eagle Scientific, Prevail Partners and International Rescue Committee (IRC) will offer insights, lessons learnt and practical solutions to current challenges.
  • 23rd April 2024 10:00 - 11:30 BST: Kenya - Opportunities in Infrastructure, Energy, and Climate - We are delighted to be hosting colleagues from the UK Department of Business and Trade based at the British High Commission in Kenya for a deep dive session on the opportunities for UK businesses in infrastructure, energy and climate.
  • 23rd April 2024 15:00 - 16:30 BST: USAID: Developing Strategies - Join us for the latest event in our series exploring the practicalities of working with USAID. This event will offer members the opportunity to hear from USAID colleagues about the USAID Policy Framework and the processes of advancing Country Development Cooperation Strategies (CDCSs).
  • 24th April 2024 16:00 p.m. - 17:30 p.m. BST: ICAI Review: International Climate Finance - A new review from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) assesses whether the UK is on track to meet its international climate finance commitments. Join Chief Commissioner Tamsyn Barton and other stakeholders to discuss the findings of the report and how UK aid can be used most effectively to meet this monumental global challenge.
  • 24th April 2024 16:00 - 17:00 BST: Strengthening National Security and Resilience in Global Omni-crisis - In the midst of unprecedented geopolitical pressures, Labour has committed to a Strategic Defence and Security Review in its first year in office. In terms of resilience, Labour has already committed to proactive measures to embed this at the very heart of Government, including a new cabinet sub-committee on resilience and a Minister for Resilience in the Cabinet Office to take a ‘cross-department’ view of the key issues and required responses.
  • 25th April 2024 08:45 - 11:15 BST: Maximising the UK’s skillset in achieving SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure - As part of the Lord Mayor’s Coffee Colloquies series, British Expertise International and The D Group are pleased to present a special session exploring the UK’s role in achieving SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. Our panel will discuss how the UK, by working in partnership, is contributing to SDG 9’s goals in the UK and globally.
  • 30th April 2024 15:00 - 16:30 BST: SME Wider Community Engagement with the FCDO SME Advisory Forum - BEI is delighted to announce the collaboration towards supporting the members of FCDO’s SME Advisory Forum to engage with the wider SME community. Join us for our first virtual meeting led by the FCDO SME Advisory Forum members: Charlie Duff, Managing Director and Vice President, Alinea International and Sue Griffiths, Managing Director, Social Development Direct.
  • 1st May 2024 16:00 - 19:00 BST: Climate Change Networking Evening - Join us for an evening of thought-provoking conversation. Our keynote speaker this time is Dr Steven Wade, Technical Director at AtkinsRéalis. Steven will discuss several “wicked” climate change problems with rapid increases in risk affecting large numbers of people in the UK and internationally, and reflect how our approaches to risk assessment and adaptation planning have changed since the 1990s.
  • 8th May 2024 16:00 - 17:00 BST: The Devolution Arms and Place Race - Both main political parties have flagged an increasing commitment to regional devolved decision making. For Labour, greater economic devolution is a key pillar of their emerging industrial strategy. They are actively empowering local leaders to bring their knowledge to bear and tailor economic policy to support growth and aligned implementation of their core missions.
  • 14th May 2024 09:00 - 10:30 BST: FCDO Development Director: Indonesia & Minister-Counseller Development in UK Mission to ASEAN - Join us as we host Amanda McLoughlin, FCDO Development Director in Indonesia for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), as well as Minister-Counsellor Development for the UK Mission ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations), who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Indonesia and in partnership with the ASEAN Secretariat.
  • 16th May 2024 16:00-18:30 BST: Addressing the Skills Gap - Join us for an in-person round table on Addressing the Skills Gap. Pearson will provide a better understanding of the current skills gap in the UK and globally. They will also discuss solutions for employers which build towards a sustainable approach to developing skills that is able to respond to future economic and global transformation, especially in the infrastructure and climate change sectors.
  • 23rd May 2024 16:00 - 17:00 BST: Britain’s Place in the World: Linking Foreign and Defense Policy with Trade - Labour has spelled out its view of ‘progressive realism’, which sees the UK becoming more active in promoting a values-based global order. In addition, Labour’s industrial strategy is clear on the need to identify ‘global champions’. From a range of sectors, these businesses are highly productive and create thousands of well-paid jobs. Labour has made it clear they understand the need to create a stable environment for these global champions.
  • 12th June 2024 16:00-17:00 BST: Britain’s Place in the World: Does Charity Begin at Home? - The Labour Party clearly recognise the importance of the UK’s investment in development. They have stressed the importance of focus and prioritisation of effort aligned to the UK’s core strengths, while continuing to support the poorest countries and communities globally. As a key pillar of UK foreign policy and tangible evidence of the UK’s soft power, the specific plans and priorities will be important beyond the development community.
  • 26th June 2024 16:00 - 17:00 BST: What is Infrastructure for Opportunity and Does it Mean Game Over for Levelling Up? - Labour clearly sees the link between infrastructure investment and wider economic growth. They have expressed their intention to drive quicker and cheaper delivery of major projects, unlocking private sector investment. The announcement of the British Infrastructure Council signals Labour’s intention to turn this into reality.
  • 3rd July 2024 16:00 - 17:00 BST: Britain’s Place in The World: Using UK Soft Power More Effectively - If Labour wins the election, they will be keen to ensure that the UK’s reputation on a global stage becomes part of its toolkit to drive economic and social prosperity. From their commitment to the culture and the arts, to their belief in the strength of the UK’s reputation across sport and education, soft power has a key role to play.

Register for an upcoming event →

External Events

  • 30th April - 1st May 2024: Innovation Zero 2024 Agenda: Innovation and Leadership in the Low Carbon Transformation: Innovation Zero, the UK's largest sustainability conference, returns to London Olympia for the second edition on 30 April - 1 May 2024, alongside its new co-located event, Infrastructure Zero. Join our Director of Climate Resilience and Infrastructure, Alexandra Barnes, as she chairs a panel titled “The Future of Water: How we Advance Resilience in a Changing Climate” at Innovation Zero 2024.

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