Social enterprise AFBE-UK is to hold its first exhibition and conference to celebrate its diversity and inclusion successes across the country.
AFBELive 2022 will take place on Friday, 22 April, at the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) in London.
The theme for the event, which is also a celebration of AFBE-UK’s 15th anniversary, is The Future of Engineering: Sustainability, Innovation and Diversity.
The keynote speakers are Julianna Moats, system safety interface engineer at HS2 (High Speed Two) Ltd; Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central and Dame Ottoline Leyser, CEO of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
Dr Nike Folayan and Dr Ollie Folayan, co-founders of AFBE-UK, will deliver speeches on the background and growth of AFBE. Ollie is also the chairman of Aberdeen-based AFBE-UK Scotland, which was established in 2011.
Other speakers include Mark Martin MBE, co-founder of UK BlackTech; Janice Mair, director of people, culture and diversity at EnQuest; Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, public speaker and political commentator; former NBA star John Amaechi OBE, CEO of APS Intelligence and best-selling New York Times author; Shereen Daniels, managing director of anti-racism and racial equity advisory firm, HR rewired; Ortis Deley, host of Channel 5’s The Gadget Show and a host of others.
Industry speakers with a Scottish connection include Beena Sharma, managing director of Imperium Experts; Myrtle Dawes, solutions centre director at Aberdeen’s Net Zero Technology Centre; Dr Urenna Adegbotolu, AFBE-UK Scotland’s NextGen Coordinator; Dr Roy Bitrus, AFBE Transcend programme lead, and Mavis Anagboso, global head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Harbour Energy.
The event will include discussions on perceptions of engineering, social mobility, employability, racial parity in engineering, STEM education, preparation of graduates for the world of work and sustainable development.
Dr Ollie Folayan, chair of AFBE-UK Scotland, says, “We are very excited to be hosting our first all-day national conference. The event will be a celebration of AFBE-UK achievements and the wider progress made in diversity and inclusion.”
“AFBE-UK has grown its membership significantly and we are thrilled with the involvement of Scottish companies and individuals. The conference is the perfect opportunity for organisations and professionals in the engineering and technology industry fields to meet, share ideas and collaborate,” he continues.
Olayide Akinsomi, general secretary of AFBE-UK Scotland, has been on the conference planning committee since 2020. She says, “AFBELive is a celebration of diversity in engineering and of AFBE-UK’s contribution to it. The conference will showcase innovative ideas, while providing excellent networking opportunities with peers and industry giants. Don’t think about it, register now. It will be worth it.”
As well as hearing from a range of industry speakers, The Next Big Idea competition will take place during the conference where three students and three professionals will pitch their business idea to a series of judges in a process similar to the BBC TV programme Dragons’ Den.
As well as a cash prize, the winner of the competition will be matched with entrepreneurial mentorship to bring their idea to fruition.
AFBE-UK is delighted the following companies have chosen to sponsor the event: Mercedes F1 team, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Leonardo, Net Zero Technology Centre, Grass Roots, WSP, Harbour Energy, Cubic, Royal Academy of Engineering, UWE Bristol, Vattenfall, Northumbrian Water, Balfour Beatty, Subsea 7, Mott Macdonald, EnQuest and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB).
A dinner is also being held in the evening with a performance from saxophonist Yolanda Brown, a two-time MOBO award winner.
There are a number of sponsorship opportunities remaining and more information can be found at: https://afbelive.com/exhibitors-sponsors.
The event runs from 8:30 am to 9 pm on Friday, 22 April 2022 at the IET, Savoy Place, London. Tickets are available from the AFBELive website: https://afbelive.com/register.