In Trends

UK chooses HK for its biggest trade event abroad

Ministers and speakers gather in the UK and Hong Kong to mark 50 days till the GREAT Festival of Innovation (2) (1)

The UK to showcase the best of British innovation in Hong Kong this March with top industry leaders and innovators taking part in the GREAT Festival of Innovation 2018.

World-leading innovators from the UK and Asia will take part in the GREAT Festival of Innovation, which will be held in 50 days’ time. The Festival will be a platform to connect the cutting-edge businesses and brilliant thinkers who will drive trade partnerships of the future, while highlighting the UK’s position as a global centre for innovation.

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Held from 21 to 24 March 2018 at Asia Society Hong Kong Centre, GREAT Festival of Innovation will showcase over 100 speakers across 60 engaging sessions, panel discussions and interactive workshops which will explore how innovation and technology is set to change the way we work, live, play and learn in the future.

Leading the discussion will be an impressive line-up of some of the world’s brightest minds, business pioneers, innovators and policy makers from UK and Asia. Some of the key speakers set to take the stage include Charles Bowman, Lord Mayor of London, Paul Priestman, Chairman of PriestmanGoode, Richard Deverell, Director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Tea Uglow, Creative Director of Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney, and Eiji Uda, Chief Technology Innovation Officer of Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.

The core programme of the GREAT Festival of Innovation will explore four key themes over its four days.

The first two days will be dedicated to the theme ‘work’ and ‘live’. The first day will discuss topics such as sustainable energy, cybersecurity, FinTech, workplaces of the future and a discussion on some of the most pressing issues around artificial intelligence.

The second day the discussion will move to the way we live, and explore a wide range of topics from smart cities to autonomous transport, and sustainable farming to alternative energy sources.

More interesting for our readers are definitely the third and fourth day. Day three,  speakers reimagine how we ‘play’, discussing how innovation, technology and creative thinking will alter the future of fashion, luxury, art and sport in a climate in which consumers are becoming curators. Highlight speakers will include Chester King, Founder and CEO of British eSports Association, Tom Aikens, Chef, Tristram Hunt, Director of V&A Museum and a leading historian and journalist, and Duncan Pescod, CEO of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

Day four, the Festival will conclude with insights into the future of education and learning. Through talks and hands-on events led by educators and students alike, audience members will understand how leading sectors are engaging with learning institutions to strategically link higher education, research and business to help create tomorrow. Andre Fu, architect, designer and Founder of Andre Fu Living will be among the key names to feature on this day.

Attending the Festival will be business leaders and decision makers, with a strong delegation coming from the UK looking to create new business partnerships with their Asia counterparts.

Supporting the Festival is a rich Culture Programme showcasing the best of British talent. Taking place across multiple venues, in unexpected places and into the evenings, the Programme will showcase the most captivating music, dance, visual art, literature, theatre, food and drink and moving image in the UK today.

From storytelling to soundscapes, live music to wearable technology and even immersive food and drink experiences, the GREAT Festival of Innovation promises to tell the story of UK culture in a truly original way. In conjunction with the invitation-only Festival will be a host of satellite cultural events open to the public, the full programme of which will be announced shortly.

Marking the 50-day countdown, the UK International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said the Festival showcases a country prime for investment opportunities.

UK International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said:

“In 50 days, the GREAT Festival of Innovation will bring together the best entrepreneurs and the most advanced technology from across the UK and Asia to explore how we will work, live, play and learn in the future.

“Led by my international economic department, this festival will be a major showcase for our talent, creativity and design on the world stage. From smart robots and cities to autonomous vehicles, the UK is already a global technology hub and the festival will help secure that position for generations to come.”

Director General, UK Department for International Trade in Hong Kong, Paul McComb said:

“Taking part at a historic moment for UK and Asian economies, the event highlights that the UK is open for business and committed to Asian trade partners. The Festival will serve as a platform for creating new life-long partnerships, strengthening relationships between British and Asian business leaders and investors that will drive a future of free trade and prosperity.”

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The first round of announced speakers from the UK joining the GREAT Festival of Innovation includes: Dr. Liam Fox, UK International Trade Secretary; Charles Bowman, Lord Mayor of London; Tristram Hunt, Director of V&A and leading UK historian and journalist; and Ian Stuart, CEO, HSBC UK, to name a few.

Among the Asia-based speakers: Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, GBM, GBS, JP, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China; Andre Fu, Founder of Andre Fu Living; Eiji Uda, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for Tokyo 2020; and Duncan Pescod, CEO of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

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