2021 Virtual Economy Summit


November 30 - 11:00 am


December 1 - 03:00 pm

Click to Register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/2021-virtual-economy-summit-tickets-181657561657

Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA)

Website: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/institute-of-welsh-affairs-iwa-5331439653
Join us as we explore the main economy issues facing Wales in a post-Covid-19 world.

2021 Virtual Economy Summit

Join us at our 2-day Wales Economy Summit as we hear from experts on the issues facing Wales’ economy in a post-Covid-19 world.


Day 1

Session 1: 11.30am – 12.15pm

Q&A with the UK Minister for Levelling Up, the Union and Constitution

We are happy to announce that Neil O’Brien MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, will be joining us to reflect on the future of Wales’ economy in a UK context.

Session 1: 12.30pm – 1.00pm

Q&A with the Minister for Economy

We are delighted to be joined by Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Economy, who will share his reflections on the Welsh economy as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, including a discussion on decarbonisation, digitisation and ‘Levelling Up’.


Session 2 : 2.00pm – 3.45pm

‘Levelling Up’ in Wales

We will shortly be launching a short IWA paper summarising our reflections, findings from engagement with stakeholders and a series of recommendations on the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda in Wales, including comments arising from our Economy Summit. This panel discussion, followed by an audience Q&A, will address themes including:

  • Reflections on ‘Levelling Up’ and the changing economic development geography
  • Economic policy at a local level – are local authorities and civil society organisations prepared for the new reality? What is the vision for local economic development across Wales?
  • Growth and inclusivity in economic development – what is the UK Government’s position on this debate, and how might they use ‘Levelling Up’ to promote that position?


  • Professor Paul Boyle – Vice-Chancellor, Swansea University
  • Dr Helen Tilley – Senior Research Fellow, Wales Centre for Public Policy
  • Derek Walker – CEO, Wales Co-operative Centre
  • Cllr Rob Stewart – Leader, Swansea Council


Day 2

Session 3: 11.00am-12.30pm

How to decarbonise the everyday economy?

Decarbonisation will require overhauling every sector of the economy, not just those at the technological frontier. But there is evidence that many firms in foundational sectors like care, utilities and construction find it hard to adopt new processes and technologies, and are often ignored by innovation policy.

In this session, we will discuss the actions that policy makers can take in order to encourage the reduction of emissions without disrupting the provision of everyday essentials, by focusing on finance, research & development and skills.

Additionally, following the launch of two of our Foundational Economy reports, looking at business support and the impact of regulation , this panel discussion will also include a short presentation of third paper in the series, focusing on innovation and skills.


  • Dr Laura Reynolds – ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Cardiff Business School
  • Karel Williams – Emeritus Professor, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester
  • Gerry Holtham – Managing Partner of Cadwyn Capital LLP and Hodge Professor of Regional Economy, Cardiff Metropolitan University


Session 4: 2.00pm-3.00pm

What will COP26 mean for the post-Covid-19 green economic recovery in Wales?

This session will build on our Re-energising Wales 2 report. It will be a reactive session focussing on the outcomes of COP26.


  • Sarah Hopkins – Director, Cynnal Cymru | Sustain Wales
  • Edward Evans – Director, Civil Engineering Contractors Association (Wales)
  • Andy Regan – Mission Manager – A Sustainable Future, Nesta Cymru
  • Agathe de Canson – Policy Adviser, Green Alliance


The event, kindly supported by the Wales Co-operative Centre and Watts Gregory, will take place on Remo.

You will have the opportunity to submit questions and comments to the panellists during the sessions.

The Summit will also provide opportunities for networking throughout both days.

Please note: tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.