Leaders' Lunch - "We need Leaders who listen - and act on behalf of us all" (JEP - 27 October 2021)

There has been lots of talk about “building back better”, even as far back as when we were mid-pandemic at its worst, we recognised that this was an opportunity to reset.

I was honoured to be a part of the Economic Council, the group of independent, but highly experienced Island leaders drawn from all sectors of the economy and brought together by government to inform the debate on what came next. The Council’s report entitled “New Perspectives”, issued in December 2020, is still highly relevant. As we head towards next year’s elections, I wholeheartedly believe that this really is an opportunity for us all to design the future Jersey we all want and need.

We’ve all proven how adaptable we can be over the last eighteen months. How changing operational practices and digitising processes isn’t impossible or expensive, in fact it’s enabled boosts in productivity and opened eyes to potential that couldn’t have been seen before. Sticking to “the way we’ve always done it”, is no longer an option. The world has changed, and we have a lot to offer it.

That belief isn’t just held by me, but by many leaders across the Island. It’s one of the reasons why the IoD Jersey decided to launch the campaign to encourage a more diverse and experienced range of high calibre candidates to stand in June’s elections. We need the right leaders in place to take us forward. At the same time, we want to encourage all Islanders who are eligible, to get out and vote. Every single vote really does matter, with our first past the post system, it could be the difference between your candidate winning or losing.

So, for this year’s annual Leaders’ Lunch at the Royal Yacht on November 25th, we have a panel of former, current, and future leaders of Jersey who with the input of the audience, will discuss the vision for the Island. We will be asking if we have the right foundations in place to flourish, or should we be doing something different? The pandemic is still causing challenges and this winter is likely to see various issues with supply chains and labour, exacerbated by Brexit. We aren’t looking for a big “whingeing session”, or the bemoaning of what we had and used to do, we are looking forward and what we can all collectively do to overcome some of the hurdles and challenges. This is our opportunity to work collaboratively together and set the agenda for utilising Jersey’s unique and asset rich attributes, but ensuring they are fit for purpose in today and tomorrow’s world.

On the panel is Frank Walker (former Chief Minister/Chair of Digital Jersey), Jennifer Carnegie (President of Chamber of Commerce/Chair of Jersey Business), Henry Humpleby (member of the Youth Parliament) and Michael Oliver (Economist and former economic policy adviser to the government). The event will be moderated by BBC News presenter, Eliza Philippidis.

Kindly sponsored by HSBC, the lunch is an opportunity for all attendees to join in the debate and inform those who are going to stand as candidates next year, what the needs of our Island are in order to sustain the economy and protect our way of life.

Ahead of that debate, over the next few weeks in the JEP business pages, we are talking to various sector leaders and asking them to share their thoughts on what is needed to ensure success. We will be hearing from hospitality and tourism, agriculture, construction, and retail. All of these sectors are facing their own challenges, but they also all recognise that this is a time of opportunity.

A good leader doesn’t just see the obstacles, or the rewards. The kind of leaders who we want to be sitting in the States Chamber next year, are those who listen and act on behalf of us all. Those with a passion for our Island, no matter what their backgrounds, and those with the life experience to understand that being the best is about working together. This isn’t just about business and the economy, this is about protecting jobs, lifestyles, and the unique character of our Island.

I hope that over the coming few weeks and months, those who are thinking of standing next year, will listen to the various voices of our Island and that others will be moved to stand for election. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on November 25th.

IoD Jersey Leaders’ Lunch, sponsored by HSBC: Thursday, 25 November. 12pm-2pm. The Royal Yacht Hotel & Spa, St Helier.

The lunch is expected to sell out quickly. Tickets, which will include lunch, can be purchased via Eventbrite. https://www.IoD.je/news-and-events/events Members and non-members are both welcome.

You can also read the Economic Council Report on the gov.je website. https://www.gov.je/news/2020/pages/EconomicCouncilReport.aspx

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