Keynote Speakers

Antje Von Dewitz

Dr Antje von Dewitz – VAUDE

VAUDE: An inside into the company’s sustainability practices

As innovative and sustainable outdoor brand, VAUDE contributes to making the world a better place so that future generations can enjoy nature with a clear conscience.

In doing so, the family-owned company sets ecological and social standards worldwide. VAUDE is proving that companies can contribute to solving global environmental problems and also be very successful from an economical standpoint as well.

VAUDE has been growing at an above-average rate for years in the highly competitive outdoor market.

About Antje

Dr Antje von Dewitz sits on the board of the European Outdoor Group and is highly respected within the industry for heading up one of the best-known European outdoor brands and for pioneering sustainability within her own business.

After leaving the business for three years to study for her doctorate, Antje returned to VAUDE in 2005 as a Marketing Manager before taking over the management of the company from her father, Albrecht von Dewitz, in 2009 as CEO and continued to build upon the company’s practises for strong environmental and social responsibility policies.

Antje has a strong background in environmental protection and sustainability which she has used to help implement a strategy at VAUDE to have some of the strongest environmental ethics and working practices in the industry.

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson – European Outdoor Group

The EOG’s Single-Use Plastic Project – Evidence of an Industry Coming Together for Change

The Single-Use Plastics Project is an industry collaboration consisting of over 35 brands and retailers engaged in significantly reducing the impact of their single-use plastic packaging. Working together, they have been able to move from researching the issue, to sourcing solutions, and then testing concepts.

Different from many similarly-titled initiatives, the Single-Use Plastics Project outcomes were centred around a single industry – allowing the group to quickly design ambitious, innovative alternatives which cut across the entire sector. In short, the outcomes can be big, while remaining focused.

The project is open to all other members of the industry who see the inherent environmental, legal, and profitability risks of our single use plastics problem. Scott and his team view collaboration as the only means whereby marked improvements can be made and invite interested outdoor organisations to join the project.

About Scott

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.

Dylan Wyn Pugh

Dylan Wyn Pugh – Red Bull

Publishing with Purpose

At the centre of Red Bull’s marketing strategy is the philosophy of Publishing with Purpose, which has been instrumental in developing Red Bull into one of the most recognisable and influential brands in the world!

Dylan’s keynote will demonstrate how Red Bull has been built their global brands through athlete partnerships, while building upon and harnessing the brand’s credibility and publisher status.

About Dylan

Dylan is responsible for driving the commercial growth and marketing expansion of Red Bull’s properties in sports, culture, consumer products and media. He heads up the commercial team at Red Bull which includes working with brand partners to create video-led projects that inspire audiences to make the most of their time and talent.

Dylan also oversees the publishing team that produces The Red Bulletin, a monthly magazine that covers stories, features and product reviews to live ‘Beyond the ordinary’ distributed nationwide through airports, travel hubs, retail stores and universities.

For over 10 years Dylan has been evolving the business models of multi-platform publishing brands (The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun) to compete in a digital age. He is an ongoing adviser to multiple video-based start-ups. At home, Dylan struggles to turn down a sporting challenge and is a keen surfer, cyclist and mountain biker.

Richard Leedham photo

Richard Leedham – Outdoor Gear for Good

Outdoor Gear for Good is a new project to take unwanted outdoor industry inventory and to reuse or recycle it in the best ways that we know. It is being created for the industry and supported by the European Outdoor Group.

All profits go to outdoor industry approved charities that either promote participation in the outdoors or progress environmental improvement. Richard will highlight how this project could benefit your business and how you can get involved in this exciting new initiative that has sustainability and the environment at its core.

About Richard

Richard Leedham has spent most of his career in the outdoor industry, leading the Berghaus brand until 2018, as well as being a board member of the European Outdoor Group and the OIA for many years. Richard is now working on several initiatives including Outdoor Gear for Good.


Andrew Denton – Outdoor Industries Association

Our Chief Executive, Andrew Denton will take centre stage to deliver the conference 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.

Breakout Sessions


Mark Essex – KPMG

About Mark

Mark has a background in strategy. He uses critical thinking, and an analytical approach to come at questions from a different angle.

Mark has been thinking about Brexit for two years. The result was no surprise to him. On March 1 2016 he published his forecast: A vote to leave of between 51% and 53%.

Mark now leads an intelligence team which analyses the impact of Vote Leave on business.  A relentless optimist, Mark is determined to originate upsides from the referendum result.

Mark uses cross-sector experience and original thinking to publish on a broad range of topics focussed on original business models.

These include “Brexit, a perspective on bilateral negotiations”, “the Future of the Grocer”, “Reimagine Care”, “Reimagine Feeding Families” and “Healthcare: A timely strategy for Hospitals to manage demand”.

Sharon Kirby

Sharon Kirby – UDL

About Sharon

Sharon specialises in trade mark portfolio management and works across a wide range of sectors including publishing, food and drink, fashion, software and media.

Her clients range from start-ups to established companies with registrations in over 60 countries, including Blacks Outdoor Retail Limited and Opinel SAS.

An expert advisor on global searching and filing strategies, Sharon manages oppositions and invalidation actions, as well as complex litigation, overseas.

She routinely carries out opposition work and related procedures before the UK and EU Intellectual Property Offices. Sharon has also carried out domain name recovery work before The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN).

Prior to UDL, Sharon worked in private practice in London. Before joining the profession, Sharon worked in legal publishing and information management.

Steve S Presenter

Steve Scott – Kendal Mountain Festival

About Steve

Steve has been an active member of the Kendal Mountain Festival team since 2004. He is responsible for the creative development of the festival, key brand & sponsor partnerships and for programming new specialist and environmental content.

A former designer, creative director and a brand consultant, Steve has been a mentor and guest lecturer in higher education. His outdoor credentials aren’t too bad either – he was a professional national team skier, ski coach and an accomplished professional paraglider pilot – he lived in the Alps for over 10 years which saw him develop an anglo/french adventure sports school which covered snowsports, paragliding and climbing.

His career subsequently took him to Scandinavia for 3 years where he trained with the word’s best Telemark ski athletes in Norway, he toured with a pro Telemark demo team and coached junior ski racers at the Oslo Ski Club.

With his wife and co-director Jacqui, he now combines a busy life with their large family and a demanding work schedule growing the Kendal team and opening up new business opportunities with international partners.

Steve is now on of the UK’s top presenters specialising in adventure sports culture; he regularly hosts events and presents on-stage both on Tour in the UK and at events overseas.

He was recently invited to join a group of ‘Changer Makers’ by Patagonia inc. as part of a community of environmental activists for his work in developing ‘Adventure Activism’ events around the UK.

OIA Partner Presentations

The OIA’s Partner Presentations are a number of special slots ove the two day conference where we’ll hear from OIA member organisations about some of their key current campaigns and how they are having a positive impact on the industry.

Mike Seaman

Mike Seaman – Raccoon Events

The National Outdoor Expo 2021

Following his success with The National Running Show, Mike will inform delegates of an exciting new show, the National Outdoor Expo. This new B2C event is set to take place on 27th – 28th March 2021 at the NEC, Birmingham.

The event has 4 core objectives: increasing participation, growing the market, giving back to the industry and being environmentally conscious.

Do not miss Mike’s presentation to find out more about this exciting new venture for the whole of the outdoor industries.

About Mike

Mike has spent 16 years of organising events and exhibitions all over the world. He is the CEO of Raccoon Events, the company behind the award-winning National Running Shows in Birmingham, London and Paris.

Cath Flitcroft

Dr Cathrine Flitcroft – British Mountaineering Council

The Climate Project

Climate change is already affecting large parts of the world, including upland and mountain areas that we love and which form the basis of our outdoor activities.

In 2020 the BMC is launching a range of ways to highlight and act against climate change and reduce our impact on the environment. We are therefore launching The Climate Project which will be an ongoing campaign.

About Cathrine

Having completed a BSc in Environmental Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, Cath spent many years in the Scottish wilderness as an archaeologist.

She then undertook her PhD at Edinburgh looking at Blanket Peat initiation in south west Scotland. She moved to the Peak District in 2000 and began working with the Peak District National Park Authority (Moors for the Future) as Research Manager and Blanket Bog expert.

In 2006, Cath joined the BMC as their Access and Conservation Officer. Her work covers a wide range of areas including policy and legislation, providing Secretariat to the Mountaineering APPG, campaign work, and leading on the BMC’s sustainability and climate change work.

Liz Beverley

Liz Beverley – Ordnance Survey

Helping more people to get outside more often

GetOutside is the consumer-facing participation initiative for GB, firmly focused on helping to get more people outside more often. Find out how your brand can join the industry to engage with the initiative, and build a collective voice and to drive mass market participation.

About Liz

Liz joined Ordnance Survey in 2001 and has been leading the GetOutside initiative since 2015. She has grown the OS GetOutside Champion programme from 15-60 ambassadors over the last 3 years and the GetOutside initiative is now engaging over 1 million people a month across web and social.

Passionate about shifting perceptions and driving behavioural change, Liz firmly believes that helping to break down some of the barriers to leading an active outdoor lifestyle will encourage people to step over ‘their’ threshold.

Josephine Lavelle

Josephine Lavelle – The Forestry Commission

About Josephine

Josephine is responsible for marketing, communications, arts and learning at Forestry Commission England. She has nineteen years of marketing, membership and fundraising experience in the leisure, tourism and environmental sectors.

She is passionate about connecting people with the outdoors in innovative and engaging ways. Using brand partnerships like the Gruffalo she has helped double visitor numbers at forest visitor centres over the last four years.