The first half of 2021 is almost done, and for schools that means the end of the year. It’s bizarre to think we’re still in the lockdown inflicted on us at Christmas. I’m very pleased that restrictions have eased enough for us to enjoy the sunshine with friends and have those all-important end of year events like sports day and leavers’ celebrations.
There’s a strange feeling at the Chamber at the moment; the G7 summit has been the subject of so many conversations and events, and so much strategy and thinking for months now that we feel a bit lost without it!
Our G7 Fringe events were very well received. The Sustainable Growth conference gave businesses in the Duchy a wealth of information and guidance to help them diversify their offering and drive the green economy in Cornwall.
Over the four summit days we had six different hubs across Cornwall where businesses could watch live broadcasts from where I was stationed in Falmouth, and take part in different events and debates. The hubs were effective in making the business community feel part of the G7 climate debate and also gave the individual areas of the Duchy a chance to discuss what was needed in their local patch. This information was then fed back to Cornwall Council, so a productive few days all round.
I spent time in the International Media Centre (Falmouth’s Maritime Museum), as well as Cornwall House at Falmouth University’s Woodlane campus, which was a superb business and investment-focused exhibition we organised in collaboration with Cornwall Development Company.
I was blown away by the technologies and products we are developing here in Cornwall; one company has created a filter for washing machines that uses recycled fishing net to capture the dangerous microplastics and fibres released from clothing during a wash cycle. Use of the filter prevents 82% of these polluting materials from going into the sea with every wash – truly brilliant.
My lasting memory of G7 will be the passion, enthusiasm and drive of the young people I met over the four days. The incredible entrepreneurs in Cornwall House, the budding Y7 journalists (Youth from G7 countries) whose faces lit up as they boarded the world’s first hybrid boat in Falmouth harbour, and let’s not forget the protestors; young people and families peacefully protesting in the shallows on Gyllyngvase beach and attending a community fete in Church Street car park. It just shows how dedicated the next generation is to tackling the climate emergency, and it’s very reassuring.
Chief Executive Cornwall Chamber of Commerce
Deputy Lord Lieutenant
Old Truronian Parent & Truro School Foundation Trustee