Future Fit Conference: Meet the speakers

Meet your speakers for the 2019 Future Fit Conference:


Key Note Speakers


 Azeem Azhar

Why You Should Actually Care about the Future of Work
Azeem Azhar

The world of work is changing. But why are we dedicating so much time and energy to discussing the future of work? It’s not the first time society and the economy has undergone such a major shift. Even though artificial intelligence, automation and gig work are disrupting some job markets, technological change has happened before. In fact, it’s happening all the time. So where do these conversations originate from - who cares, who should care and why? In curating his newsletter Exponential View Azeem Azhar reckons he’s read up to 60 million words on the societal implications of technology. This makes him the ideal person to accompany us on a deep exploration of the changing world of employment. 

Award-winning product entrepreneur, Azeem Azhar, is the curator of Exponential View, a strategist and analyst with a wealth of knowledge in the business of technology. He currently works as the senior advisor in Artificial Intelligence to the CTO of Accenture whilst serving as a member of the editorial board of the Harvard Business Review. Azeem founded PeerIndex in 2010, applying machine learning to large-scale social media graphs to make calculated predictions about web users. As an investor, he scouts for tech start-ups, particularly in the AI sector.


  David Russell

Connecting Minds; Creating The Future
Professor David Russell

With just over one year to go before the doors of what will be the largest food and beverage operation in the world open David will take us through a first hand, sneak preview of the journey – from what to expect on and off site, the F&B innovation and creativity which will be on show for the world to see at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Professor David Russell is the Chairman of Russell Partnership Collection – three companies who deliver strategic food consulting, hospitality technology and philanthropy with over 600 global clients.

David led the creation and delivery of the Food Strategy for the London 2012 Olympic Games, delivered the same role for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and has recently been appointed to the Rugby World Cup in Japan 2019. He has pioneered food and drink technology solutions within a diverse and vast range of organisations, with everything from ExCeL London, The BBC, English Heritage, House of Commons, Arsenal Football Club, the United Nations and many more in between.

David read Hospitality Management at Leeds, is a Freeman of the City of London, a Professor of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure and a qualified nutritionist. He is regularly named in the top 10 list of most influential individuals in the UK Food and Leisure Sector and has presented over 250 global keynote addresses and has had published in excess of 400 articles. 

 Declan Curry

Beyond Brexit
Declan Curry

With Britain's departure from the European Union just days away, what are the prospects for the UK's economy and society? Broadcaster and journalist Declan Curry has been thinking and writing about business, politics and the economy for more than 25 years. He will share his perspective on how businesses and consumers might adapt to this historic change. Well-known for his direct speaking and occasional wit, he'll explore how your industry might prepare for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and outline some of the other global issues we should be talking about once we've stopped banging on about Brexit every hour of the day ... 

Declan Curry is a journalist, speaker and presenter, famed for his role as business correspondent for BBC Belfast, drawing on his vast journalistic experience and knowledge of current affairs. Having been writing and speaking about business and the economy for more than two decades, Declan has chaired a multitude of conferences, facilitated company meetings and hosted awards ceremonies. Declan’s TV and radio presence have seen coverage of his economic explanations globally, including daily broadcast segments from London for ABC News in the United States. 



Rob Holdway

Rob Holdway

Rob Holdway, one of the UK's leading eco experts, presented Channel 4’s reality tv show ‘Dumped’, in which 11 unsuspecting people were parked on a landfill site and left to forage to survive. A product designer by trade, Rob was the project director for the seven-metre-high WEEE man (waste electrical and electronic equipment) sculpture now on permanent display at the Eden Project. Rob advises some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Dell, British Airways and L'Oreal, on how to make their businesses and products more environmentally friendly, while improving sales and saving money.

Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis

Having spent a lifetime heading some of the world’s most successful hotel groups, including Best Western Hotels and Landmark Hotels, Richard Lewis brings nearly 40 years of industry experience to his role as CEO of Northern Powerhouse Developments.

With a strong marketing background and in-depth knowledge of industry-changing technology, Lewis is regarded as one of the most experienced operators within the international hotel and leisure sector.

Facilitated by

Peter Hancock

Peter Hancock, Chief Executive, Pride of Britain Hotels

Peter Hancock became Chief Executive of Pride of Britain Hotels in 2000, a consortium of never more than 50 privately owned luxury hotels and the official hotel partner of the National Trust. Peter is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a Fellow of the Tourism Society and was presented with the Diamond Award for 2012 by the Academy of Food & Wine Service of which he is also a Fellow. He is a professional after-dinner speaker in his spare time and writes regular articles for The Caterer. 

Book your tickets now to enter into a world of positive disruption and pave the way to an invaluable future for the meetings and events industry.