Institute of Water announces speakers for 2018 Annual Conference

The Institute of Water is delighted to announce the speaker line up for the 2018 Annual Conference.

Titled ‘Shaping the Future’, this two-day event, chaired by Douglas Millican, Chief Executive of Scottish Water, will delve into topics such as innovation, the circular economy and digitalisation while presenting the opportunity to look closely at the growing expectations of our customers and society.


The speaker line-up draws in many influential leaders from across water companies, supply chain and regulators.


The Conference also incorporates some passionate debates. The new Thames Water Chairman, Ian Marchant, along with Ian McAulay CEO of Southern Water, will debate against the view that public-owned water companies will deliver better services for customers. Dr Kate Bayliss, author of ‘Bring Water into Public Ownership and Jonathan Ford, Chief leader writer at the Financial Times, will certainly be arguing case that they should be.


As the water industry continues its approach of looking outside for best practices and innovative ideas to take the sector forward, the Institute of Water welcomes speakers from the Institute of Customer Services, global technology giant Tata Consultancy Services and global corporation Nike.


The Institute of Water Annual Conference is one of the biggest and most respected events in the water industry calendar and is guaranteed to draw in some familiar faces and also many new ones too. As always, striving to inspire, to provoke debate and get the industry to sit up and think about the changing landscape.


The three-day conference takes place on 20th – 22nd June and will be held at the Glasgow Caledonian University, close to the city centre and easily accessed by road, rail or air.


Douglas Millican, who is also the incoming President of the Institute of Water, said: “This is a time of great debate around our industry and this year’s Annual Conference will be an ideal opportunity for colleagues from all over the UK to look closely at the growing expectations of our customers and society.”

“I look forward very much to welcoming delegates to Glasgow in June for a series of innovative and engaging conference events where we can all learn, create and share our ideas for the future.”


Lynn Cooper, Institute of Water Chief Executive said: “I’m particularly excited about this year’s Conference. Douglas has persuaded a strong line-up of Regulators to return as well as introducing a range of new speakers from inside and outside the water sector. The debates offer an opportunity for delegates to engage and get closer to the speakers and the subjects and I’m confident that our Conference will again have something to offer anyone with an interest in the water industry.

“Glasgow’s slogan is ‘People Make Glasgow’; I’d also say people make our Annual Conference and I’m sure there will be a warm welcome for all who choose to participate”


Bookings are now open and people are encouraged to book early to secure the best deals on travel and accommodation, and to ensure they don’t miss out on any of the specialist sessions or speakers. Places can be booked online now via the Institute of Water website.


Conference speakers and sessions

Embracing the Circular Economy

  • Phil Berry, Former Director Footwear Sustainability, Nike
  • Dr Mark Fletcher, Director/Global Water Leader, Arup
  • Bob Stear, Head of Innovation, Severn Trent Water
  • Richard Flint, Chief Executive, Yorkshire Water

Debate: “Delivering for customers will require companies to be ambitious and innovative”

Chair Dr Mark Fletcher, Director/Global Water Leader, Arup

For Motion

  • TBC, Ofwat
  • Peter Peacock, Chair, Customer Forum in Scotland

Against Motion

  • Jo Causon, Chief Executive, Institute of Customer Service
  • Alan Sutherland, Chief Executive, WICS

Water and the Environment

  • Sue Petch, Drinking Water Quality Regulator
  • Marcus Rink, Chief Inspector, Drinking Water Inspectorate
  • Terry A’Hearn, Chief Executive, SEPA
  • Professor Kala Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director, International Water Association

Debate: “Does ownership matter in delivering for our customers?”

Chair Rae Stewart, Director of Corporate Affairs, Water UK

For Motion

  • Dr Kate Bayliss, Author of ‘Bring Water into Public Ownership’
  • Jonathan Ford, Financial Times

Against Motion

  • Ian Marchant, Chair, Thames Water
  • Ian McAulay, Chief Executive, Southern Water

A Digital Future

  • Ananth Krishnan, Chief Technology Officer, Tata Consultancy Services
  • Professor Kala Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director, International Water Association

For further information or to book your place visit

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