Sunday, 4 March 2012

March 2 - The Nash Room on Pall Mall

Today we were at The Nash Room on Pall Mall. This is a majestic old building with lots of history. The building is decorated with statues and works of art, with portraits of members of the royal family and old battles like the Battle of Trafalgar. Some of these are hundreds of years old.
Our first speaker was Dr David Hughes (whom I had previously heard speak in Qld). He gave his thoughts on leadership in the global food industry. World popoulation is predicted to increase to 9 billion by 2050 but where is this growth likely to occur? Dr Hughes raised our awareness of population trends. Japan is predicted to reduce by 30 million over the next 40 years whilst Asia and Africa are likely to increase by 1 billion each. This creates opportunities.

Dr Randwick presented on the economic power of agriculture. Who has power? is it farmers - large or small? large traders/merchants eg. supermarkets? is it agribusiness eg. seed, chemical, fertilizer companies? This discussion made me stop and think and recognize that the changing dynamics and challenges ahead with increasing competition for resources, in particular water, global agricultural power is likely to continue to change - placing increasing pressure on local domestic production.
We had an interesting address by a consultant who runs his own business coaching senior level executives in both private and public sectors. His expertize lies in discretely helping these individuals make positive impacts with assurance, confidence and demonstrating leadership. He gave us tips on energy, passion, body language, etiquette and speaking techniques. His influence had all our scholarship group self assessing!

The day concluded with a brilliant guided tour through Parliament House and Westminster Hall.The history here is very rich. The architecture of Westminster Hall is grand and has stood for nearly 1000 years. The rest of the parliament buildings were re-built following the bombardment of World War 2. This place has amazing stories which go back through history including Guy Fawkes' attempt to blow up Parliament House, William Wallace, Rob Roy, Knights of the Round Table, Winston Churchill and many, many more. A truly remarkable history. Unfortunately we were unable to take photos because of security. We were very privileged to be taken on this tour as Westminster Hall is not otherwise open to the public.

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