With just under a week to go before the inaugural Directors Convention takes place in Jersey, the heavyweight line-up of local and visiting speakers has been finalised.

The one-day conference, which is organised by the Jersey International Business School and entitled ‘Can Jersey Survive?’, features leaders from business, sport, politics and the military who will discuss how Jersey’s private sector has to develop its skills to play a vital part in the future prosperity of the island.

Drawing on his experiences as a skipper in the BT Global Challenge, Jersey resident and independent training and development professional Will Carnegie has been added to the line-up. Having led a team of ten amateur sailors around the world, he will give an inspiring talk about the skills needed to survive under extreme conditions. Against a backdrop of challenging global market conditions and public spending and tax reviews, Minister for Economic Development Senator Alan Maclean will also take to the podium to talk about Jersey’s strategy for economic growth.

Those already confirmed as speakers are former Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mike Jackson, who commanded British forces in Kosovo, and entrepreneur champion, BBC ‘Dragon’ and CEO of Ariadne Capital Julie Meyer. Other speakers from the UK are corporate governance specialist and author of ‘A Practical Guide to Corporate Governance’ Richard Smerdon, social anthropologist Nicole Svatek, formerly of Virgin Atlantic, and Richard Hay, a specialist in offshore finance and International Tax Principal at Stikeman and Elliott.

Paul Masterson, Chief Executive of Durrell Wildlife, will discuss what aspects of survival can be learned from conservation whilst Managing Director of the Jersey Waterfront Enterprise Board Stephen Izatt will look at the future of Jersey’s Esplanade Quarter.

Completing the line-up are Director General of the Institute of Directors Miles Templeman and Stephen Platt, Director of JIBS, who will co-chair the event. They will pose questions to the speakers in a panel style debate that will aim to outline the key challenges and opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs in Jersey. Stephen Platt commented:

“Business leaders and directors across all sectors are currently faced with a bewildering array of challenges that won’t simply disappear. Many are running firms in an increasingly competitive marketplace, with tougher standards of corporate governance, rising expectations of director’s duties, a shortage of skills in a finite labour market and, for those in financial services, an industry that operates in often hostile market conditions.

“Juxtaposed with a public sector threatened with significant cuts, the performance of the private sector will be critical for Jersey’s future prosperity. This unique event will draw diverse views from a range of leaders to analyse the key issues faced by directors and suggest how those issues might be addressed.”

The JIBS Annual Directors Convention, organised in association with the Jersey Evening Post, takes place at the Hotel de France on 3rd November. Further details for potential delegates are available by contacting the School on tel. (01534) 816333 or e-mail info@jerseyibs.com. Ends.