Capacity Grid

Plenary sessions

Tuesday 16th October 2.30pm

Matthew Taylor became Chief Executive of the RSA in November 2006. Prior to this appointment, he was Chief Adviser on Political Strategy to the Prime Minister.

Matthew was appointed to the Labour Party in 1994 to establish Labour’s rebuttal operation. During the 1997 General Election he was Labour’s Director of Policy.

His activities before the Labour Party included being a county councillor, a parliamentary candidate, a university research fellow and the director of a unit monitoring policy in the health service.

He was the Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research between 1999 and 2003, Britain’s leading centre left think tank. Matthew has written for publications including The Times, Financial Times, Guardian, New Statesman and Prospect and is a regular contributor on Radio 4’s Moral Maze.

Wednesday 17th October 3pm

Simon Fanshawe, consultant, broadcaster and non-exec director, is the co-founder of the ground-breaking consultancy astar-fanshawe, who work with organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to transform their performance. They specialise in using diversity and difference to enhance effectiveness of Boards, teams and whole organisations. They use drama and tools of engagement to catalyse debate and change, supporting managers at all levels, Boards and employees to bring about positive change and greater fairness and effectiveness in their work.

He recently co-wrote a ground breaking report on Diversity and Equality published by the IPPR.

He broadcasts regularly on TV and Radio. He frequently chairs and speaks at conferences.

He is Chairman of the governing Council of the University of Sussex. He was chair of the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, and sits on the Boards of The Brighton Festival and Dome and chaired the successful campaign to win city status for Brighton & Hove. He is a non-exec director of the leading social and environmental Communications Company Forster and also is Chair of Midnight Communications. He was a co-founder of the lesbian and gay equality lobby group Stonewall.

He published The Done Thing in 2005, a study of modern manners and behaviour, with Random House and is currently writing his first novel.


Thursday 18th October 11am

Rt. Hon Francis Maude, Cabinet Office Minister was born in 1953. He was educated at Abingdon School, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and the College of Law. He’s married with five children.

Francis practised at the criminal bar from 1977-85 and was a councillor for the City of Westminster from 1978-84. He was elected as Member of Parliament for North Warwickshire in 1983 until 1992.

In 1997 Francis was elected to serve as Member of Parliament for Horsham. In May 2005, Francis returned to the Front Bench when he was appointed Chairman of the Conservative Party. In July 2007, he was appointed Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

As Cabinet Minster he leads on Public Sector Efficiency and Reform; UK Statistics; Civil Service issues, including reform; Government transparency; Civil Contingencies; Cyber security; and has overall responsibility for Cabinet Office policy and the Department.


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