Main SpeakersMain Speakers
General Manager EMEA, KEEN Outdoor
John has been Keen Outdoor’s General Manager EMEA for the last 12 years and leads the European Business from its European Headquarters in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He has also been President of the European Outdoor Group (EOG) and EOCA.
John joined Keen with 20 years of industry experience across a number of leading brands including Vice President of Commerce at O’Neill, nine years at Nike as the Commercial Director Director for Northern Europe and previously 10 years at Converse. John is also an Olympian Athlete. Being a player of the Dutch National Water Polo Team from 1973 – 1993, he was the Team Captain at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
Broadcaster & Journalist
Keme Nzerem is a Nigerian British journalist who works for Channel 4 News as a news anchor and reporter. He joined the programme in 2001. Keme studied geography as an undergraduate at the University of Sussex, and later received a postgraduate degree in broadcast journalism.
Mountain Guide Research and Consultant
Martin has over three decades of experience of outdoor activity provision, from instructional to strategic levels (as executive/director) for key national organisations across the outdoor sector. Previously the Director of Training at Plas y Brenin (Sport England’s National Outdoor Centre) Martin was co-author of the influential “Getting Active Outdoors” report in 2015 and is now a freelance consultant. He brings extensive experience of the design and review of numerous outdoor interventions (for the likes of Sport England, Forestry England, National Trust, etc.) and works in a train-the trainer capacity with a host of National Governing Bodies (Mountain Training, British Cycling, British Mountain Guides, etc.) with a practical understanding of global outdoor issues, and grass-roots delivery challenges, across the sector.
Martin’s presentation will focus on enabling a responsible return to the Great Outdoors.
GetOutside – Enabling a responsible return to the Great Outdoors. A thought provoking session to explore the lessons learned through COVID-19 and the boom in the outdoor participation ever since. Sharing insight from the pilot project in 2020 along with subsequent data, experience and anecdote from around the world this summer, we will explore how we can all work better together to: Engage the new visitor, embracing the opportunities and diversity as we welcome them to the Great Outdoors… Retail their new habits, helping people to recognise the role of the outdoors as we recover and reinvent, whilst we…Mitigate the challenges that the new visitor (and all their new habits) can present. Can we drive continued growth and increased diversity in a sustainable and responsible way? Let’s work together and work out how.
Focused on building Beyonk.com as a software provider and platform for experiences, whilst competing in Ironman, ultramarathons, Great Britain AG Triathlon.
Dr. Chris Kay – Carnegie Great Outdoors
Senior Research Fellow, Carnegie Great Outdoors.
About Dr. Chris
Dr. Chris Kay is a Senior Research Fellow working with Carnegie Great Outdoors. He predominantly works with wounded, injured and sick military personnel at The Battle Back Centre. This is delivered and researched by our staff on behalf of The Royal British Legion. At The Battle Back Centre, week long courses are delivered that encompass adaptive adventurous training and personal development for military personnel who are recovering from injury or illness. Chris’s research concerns the way in which participating in structured adapted outdoor and adventurous activities helps facilitate recovery, personal growth and aspects of psychological and physiological wellbeing. Chris is a Neurobiologist, and alongside his career in scientific research he has worked professionally as a rock climbing, mountaineering, kayaking and mountain biking instructor since 2007.
Harvey Alexander – Caravan and Motorhome Club
Joining the Club in 2015 as Director of Marketing and Membership Services, Harvey championed the rebrand of the Club as an inspirational and inclusive organisation representing like minded members who share a passion for the great outdoors.
As an ambassador for both the existing and next generation outdoor enthusiast, Harvey continues to explore innovative new ways of recruiting and communicating across the digital landscape. Recognising new trends in the market, Harvey introduced glamping to ensure that guests without a caravan or motorhome could enjoy the experience of staying on a Club campsite and members could continue to spend time in the great outdoors even when they stop touring.
Prior to the Caravan and Motorhome Club, Harvey spent seven years at Eurotunnel delivering award-winning digital sales and marketing strategies. His early career was spent working in a digital marketing agency, Adams Creative Marketing, where he devised and implemented digital marketing strategies to improve website performance and optimise clients’ ecommerce journeys
When Harvey isn’t working you will find him in the great outdoors. Whether running or cycling, he loves nothing better than hurtling down mountains in Wales or climbing over mountains in the Lake District.
About The Club
The Club has been operating since 1907 providing an inclusive community for its members to enable them to make the most of their leisure time and holidays in the open air. The Club offers a choice of 2,700 campsites in the UK and abroad and represents nearly one million members.
Daisy Rogers – Liberally
Founder and CEO
Daisy is a professional fine artist, creative director, writer and the founder of Liberally, a ground-breaking creative talent and content agency. Established during lockdown 2020, Liberally is a non-profit amplifying minoritised voices across gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability and LGBTQ+, to create space to belong. Liberally represents exceptional diverse creative talent and helps purpose-led brands speak to diverse audiences authentically and meaningfully. Liberally Quarterly digital magazine celebrated its second issue in May, showcasing the stories and work of over 25 creatives through an intersectional lens.
Daisy is a proud queer, neurodivergent woman and mother of three young sons. She believes strongly that marginalised communities must have space to ignite self-expression and visibility, without their narratives getting lost in translation. Daisy draws on two decades of communications experience working with global brands, as she contributes to making the arts, advertising and media industries more inclusive spaces for all through the power of creative storytelling.
Daisy’s presentation will focus on “The secret to speaking to diverse audiences better.”
There is an undeniable diversity, equiality and inclusion problem deeply woven into our society. Brands-as arbiters of trends and influencers of opinions-have a responsibility to lead the way to meaningful, long-lasting change. It also just makes good business sense. Daisy Rogers, founder of diverse creative & content agency Liberally, will share with you the secrets to revolutionising how you speak to diverse audiences-both externally and within your company. Learn how to authentically widen your customer bse and how to recruit and retain more diverse employees. See the direct benefits to your brand’s bottom line and business growth whilst making a tangiable social impact. With a Q&A at the end of her talk, and a safe space where it doesn’t matter where you are right now, only that you are willing to listen, you will leave the workshop with clear next steps for immediate action.
Pauline Shepherd – European Outdoor Group
Head of Market Research.
Pauline has worked all her career in research both agency and client-side.
Pauline runs the research services for the European Outdoor Group working in the outdoor sector with outdoor sport brands and retailers.
The work covers consumer insight such as outdoor participation levels, and market data measuring the performance of the outdoor sectors in the UK and across Europe.
Another key focus is supporting the EOG work on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability, and at the highest level, investment in these practices are an essential part of ensuring there is a viable future for the outdoor industry and preservation of nature.
Outside of work Pauline enjoys outdoor swimming and walking, and learning about Doughnut Economics.
Pauline’s presentation at OTS will focus on the latest sales data and consumer trends for the UK market including a look at outdoor after Covid-19 and relevant emerging trends.
Scott Nelson – European Outdoor Group
Prior to joining the outdoors industry, Scott worked for Apple for several years in retail customer experience, and co-managing special environmental projects. He completed an MBA at the University of Cambridge focusing on digital transformation and sustainability, and worked as a consultant for Patagonia. Currently, he is the Programme Manager for the European Outdoor Group, managing key initiatives including the Single Use Plastics Project.
Scotts presentation “Addressing poly bags in the UK – the Single Use Plastics Projects”
The system is built, and the partnerships are in place for November launch. At least two UK-specific trials are currently underway with encouraging consumer feedback. If enough of us work together, we can seriously decrease the costs associated with this initiative, and our invitation is simple: join us.
Stuart Moore – Planet Neutral CIC
Planet Neutral is a Community Interest Company which means its focus is on action and not profit! It aims to offer good value, practical methods of decarbonisation. We work with community groups, businesses, and individuals, with a key focus on the outdoor industries. The key ethos of the company is to use collaboration and partnerships to reduce costs and save carbon. With surplus funds and donations, the company aims to facilitate projects that benefit the wider UK community but perhaps otherwise would not make strict economic sense, including sustainable transport initiatives, rewilding projects, and water-saving devices.
Stuart has come from a background in renewables, the outdoors and conservation. He first met Andrew Denton at Kendal Mountain Film Festival and from there an idea was born! Their vision was to create support for OIA members who needed help in reaching the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030! Stuart and Lucy (Co-Founder partner) have worked closely with the OIA on producing the ‘Net Zero’ document and are now working with several of the OIA members in measuring their company’s emissions.
When Stuart isn’t working, he is pursing his love of the great outdoors, whether that is biking, kayaking, hiking or snowboarding.
Stuarts presentation “Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there!” will give a brief overview of the climate crisis and the urgency for us all to act now. It may be too late but if we all pull together, we can achieve more! The Outdoor Industries need to be at the forefront of change and lead others to a better future.
Aneela McKenna – Mor Diversity
Aneela is a Scottish Asian living in the Scottish Borders and working globally. For 20+ years, she has worked in a variety of public and private sector diversity and inclusion roles. Her time is split between Diversity and Inclusion consultancy – Mòr Diversity supporting organisations with their D&I policies and strategy, diversity training, workshops, audits and reviews, and, as the Scottish Parliament’s Diversity, Wellbeing and Inclusion Manager on a part-time basis. She also runs a multi award-winning cycling business with her partner in Scotland with diversity and inclusion firmly at its heart.
Aneela has worked across various sectors including professional outdoor sports, brands, third sector and corporate organisations – inspiring others to champion diversity through leadership. Throughout her career she has worked closely with leadership teams on culture change and supporting staff and managers to deliver and implement positive outcomes leading to the creation of inclusive working cultures. She brings an open minded approach to inclusive leadership – a desire to understand how others view and experience the world, and a consistent focus on empowering individuals to be the best they can be.
Additionally, Aneela is a professional mountain bike coach, guide and mentor. Recently appointed as the co-Chair of British Cycling’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group, Aneela’s passion and commitment to diversity and inclusion has been publicly recognised: notably receiving a ‘Women in Leadership’ award at the Scottish Ethnic Minority Impact Awards, and ‘Local Hero of the Year’ for her services to widening participation in cycling at the Scottish Mountain Biking Awards.
Charles started his career as an Outward Bound Instructor, but gave that up when he returned to a wet, dark, windy, & cold UK. Fortunately it coincided with the transition of the Outdoor industry to AthLeisure roots. He started his career in retail at Rohan, became a mature student, then got volunteered to teach Performance Sportswear Design & has ended up with some Ingredient Suppliers. He is meant to focus on teaching the PSD pathway at the Royal College of Art, but is more visible at Performance Days & the Functional Fabric Fair. His work has always had the theme of the next generation of materials, especially in relation to progress in sustainability. Others highlight his best ability as dumbing things down so everyone else can understand the issues.
Clothing has the reputation of being the 2nd most polluting industry on the planet. The relative cheapness of it over the last 50 years has led to the rise of Fast Fashion which has cemented poor practice. The Outdoor Industry has experienced problems trying to raise the retail price point, however profits have continued based on the model of selling more. Is everything associated to this area of the Outdoor Industry evil? The issues around micro-plastics have hit synthetics, the information about the Uyghur coerced cotton growers, the draining of the Aral sea exposed by Stacey Dooley, the dodgy chemicals (beyond PFCs), have all added to the guilty embarrassment around textiles.
If we can not change the buying habits of over consumption, can we make the consumption good for the planet? Patagonia, The North Face, Timberland, & other brands have started to source textiles from ReGenerative Agriculture because of what it offers: Climate Positive garments.
Paul Davies – The British Mountaineering Council
Paul has spent 20yrs+ in the Elite Sport world, starting as an Exercise Physiologist working for the British Olympic Association and taking a number of roles on the way to becoming Performance Director for England Netball and then for British Wheelchair Basketball. Paul has had a lifelong passion for the outdoors, having climbed both in summer and winter across many regions of the UK. More recently he’s focused on hill walking, either with family, friends or solo.
Mike Seaman – Raccoon Events
Mike is the CEO and founder of Raccoon Events, the company behind the National Running Show, The National Snow Show, The National Cycling Show, The National Outdoor Expo and OutsideAndActive.com. He is a keen runner who loves ultramarathons and generally being outdoors at any opportunity.
Raccoon Events operate media properties that deliver year-round content and advice to specialist, self-identifying consumers that share a love of being outside and active. They also organise large-scale exhibitions that are well-timed, community-driven, tightly focused and passion-led. They bring buyers and sellers together to see cutting edge innovations in a fun and exciting way.
Mike’s presentation with focus on the evolution of consumer events in a post-pandemic world – what has changed and what has stayed the same.
Consumer Confidence, The All Secure Standard 2.0, Theory in practice at September’s National Running Show South and the National Snow Show, Update on the National Outdoor Expo.
Jen Lowthrop – Peak District National Park Foundation
Jen Lowthrop is the Chair of the Peak District National Park Foundation. Jen grew up in the Peak District and has always loved enjoying and supporting the great outdoors. She is passionate about helping more people experience and appreciate the benefits of our beautiful national parks. Jen runs Feel Good Do Good a digital consultancy that helps ‘Make Organisations Happier and Do Work Better’. Jen is also the founder of Coworking Corner, a new coworking space in Matlock and a travel blog She Gets Around.
Jen’s presentation will introduce the Foundation, what we do and what our #70kfor70 fundraising campaign has delivered referencing the 70th anniversary of the Peak District this year and hopefully inspiring support.
Andrew Denton – Outdoor Industries Association
As well as welcoming delegates, opening and closing the conference and AGM, Andrew will be presenting the OIA’s Annual Review and apart from presenting his own sessions he is the main moderator for the whole event.
Our Chief Executive, Andrew Denton will take centre stage to deliver the conference agenda and explain what the OIA had been doing over the last 12 months.
Andrew has been working in the outdoors since 1984, starting his career in outdoor education and then moving on to a series of senior management & ownership roles in businesses such as Rohan, Mountain Equipment, Sprayway, the Outdoor Sports Company and now ownership of several indoor climbing walls.
He is best known as the modern founder and co-owner of the international technical brand Mountain Equipment where he built the brand over 17 years and then sold in 2003 to The Bollin Group. Andrew has been CEO of the OIA since August 2011.
Robert Brigham – Outdoor Industries Association/Ellis Brigham
As Chairman of the OIA’s board, Robert will present the OIA AGM and will open and close the whole event with Andrew Denton.
Robert Brigham has been Managing Director of the specialist outdoor retail chain, Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports for several years, having worked in a variety of roles at the company since he was a teenager, starting out in-store.
He moved into accounts and the warehouse department, before working on delivering new stores and improved back office systems as Operations Manager.
Born into the outdoor industry, all Robert wanted to do from an early age was work in his father’s business.
Robert has been an OIA Board Member since May 2018 and Chairman since March 2019.
Andy Green – SportPursuit
Andy is Commercial Director at SportPursuit, the UK’s leading flash sale site for outdoor and sports enthusiasts. He has worked in the Outdoor trade for 20 years now having previously been Merchandise and Logistics Director at Outdoor & Cycle Concepts.
Andy passionately believes in the physical and mental benefits of participating in sports and the outdoors and is keen to bring this passion to the Development Board. He spends his spare time outside, trail running, hiking and skiing.