Chair, speakers & panellists (urban parallel session)

Investing in natural capital for urban areas

Chair - Tim Sadler • Executive Director (Sustainable City) • Oxford City Council

Tim is officer lead for Planning and Environment, Leisure, Parks and Communities and coordinates these functions supporting the city’s aim of becoming a sustainable city.  Tim is the Chairman of the Local Authority Trading Company Oxford Direct Services Ltd which has an external trading income more than £5 million.  Tim is a Non-Executive Director of the Low Carbon Hub a not for profit group which develops renewable energy funded through community investment and promotes a low carbon future.

Presenter - Robin Smale • Director and Co-founder • Vivid Economics

Robin has over 20 years’ experience in the economics of energy and climate, natural resources management, infrastructure, heavy industry and finance. He has led several hundred projects, mainly across Europe, North America and Oceania, covering a wide range of strategic, policy, quantitative simulation, econometric, financial and market analyses. The portfolio includes a number of ground-breaking analyses and contributions to key policy and commercial decisions. Robin heads Vivid Economics’ natural resources management and earth observation practices and contributes to the cities and infrastructure and energy and industry practices. He was a founder member of the UK Natural Capital Committee 2012–15.

Presenter - Jo Holden • Sustainability Manager • Peel Land and Property

Jo is a chartered environmentalist and leads on all aspects of sustainability for the Peel Land and Property Group, a northwest-based private company holding 37,000 acres of land and a £2.7 billion property portfolio across the UK. Before joining Peel in 2016, for 10 years she managed environmental matters for a large DIY retailer and held various posts at the Environment Agency, latterly delivering the Catchment-Based Approach. Jo is a member of the Greater Manchester Natural Capital Group and is helping to deliver Defra’s Urban Pioneer project in Greater Manchester.

Panellist - Ellie Robinson, Assistant Director of External Affairs, The National Trust

Ellie Robinson has been Assistant Director of External Affairs at the National Trust for 13 years, influencing public policy and political decisions on a wide range of environment and sustainability issues, from agriculture and food to water and climate change.  Currently, Ellie leads the Trust's national work on urban greenspace, as part of a new strategic innovation programme focused on the places where people live. This includes testing and developing new ways to help local authorities and communities fund and manage their public parks and greenspaces to secure them for future generations. Ellie has experimented with new tools like natural capital accounting to coalesce a significant multi-disciplinary evidence base into a simple but powerful case to invest in this vital asset, primarily for people's health and wellbeing.

Panellist - Ian Dickie, Director, eftec (Economics For the Environment Consultancy)

Ian Dickie, a Director of eftec, joined the core team in November 2007. He is also a member of the Natural Capital Coalition Advisory Panel, a Director of the Aldersgate Group, and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountant’s in England and Wales Sustainability Committee. He was an author of the Natural Capital Protocol and has directed natural capital accounting for the Duchy of Cornwall, London Boroughs, UK Water Industry and John Lewis Partnership. At eftec he has managed over £2 million worth of research for UK Government, including natural capital risk assessment and investment cases for the 1st Natural Capital Committee, and the development of national natural capital accounts. Ian was previously head of economics for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Panellist - Sarah Williams, Policy & Project Executive, The Land Trust

Sarah joined the Land Trust as Corporate Communications and Fundraising Executive in 2013 progressing into a new role spanning Policy, Research, Public Affairs, Project Management and Corporate Relations, building on her knowledge and experience at Envirolink, NWDA and Salford Professional Development.  Her focus is to raise the Land Trust's corporate profile with stakeholders and champion the importance of green spaces. She represents the organisation externally, being a member of Defra’s Greater Manchester Urban Pioneer working group and the Green Infrastructure Partnership as well as participating in other networks, not only influencing the charity’s strategic direction but also influencing national agendas.