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While there has recently been unprecedented global momentum around climate change and decarbonisation, biodiversity loss and nature protection continue to be widely disconnected from most conversations. Yet, the world’s leading biodiversity and climate experts acknowledge that biodiversity loss and climate change mutually reinforce each other and are being driven by the same human activities, hence they can only be tackled together. In December 2022, world leaders will gather in Montreal for the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) to adopt the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. How can Travel & Tourism fulfil its potential as a key nature positive sector and thereby lead the way to achieve the 1.5°C Paris Agreement target?
Julia Simpson, CEO and President of the World Travel and Tourism Council
Julia spent 14 years in the aviation sector on the Board of British Airways and Iberia and as Chief of Staff at International Airlines Group. Before joining British Airways, Julia was senior adviser to the UK Prime Minister. She held a number of key positions in the UK government and public sector, including Director at the Home Office and Department for Education and Employment; Assistant Chief Executive at the London Borough of Camden; and head of communications at the Communication Workers Union. Julia is on the Board of the London Chamber of Commerce.
Fred Dixon | President & CEO of NYC & Company
Fred Dixon is President & CEO of NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization. With more than 27 years of experience in the travel industry, Dixon has the overall responsibility for developing and implementing New York City’s tourism and convention development strategy internationally and in domestic leisure and business markets. At NYC & Company, he has built a sales and marketing team that is at the core of the organization’s strategy to increase visitation and economic impact across the City.
Dixon oversees 16 global offices comprising sales, marketing and press professionals in diverse feeder markets from Australia to the UK, China to Mexico and India to Brazil. Fred is a respected leader with positions on travel industry association boards and committees including the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, the U.S. Travel Association Board and Executive Committee, Tourism Cares Board and the U.S. Travel IPW Planning Committee.
Helen Usher | Co-Founder and Director, ANIMONDIAL
Helen is a communications and partnerships specialist who has been working for the advancement of applied animal protection and social impact for over fifteen years. Working with corporations, NGOs and academia, Helen has developed and delivered award-winning strategic global CSR initiatives in support of the delivery of the UN Sustainability Development Goals. Helen established the award-winning, specialist consultancy ANIMONDIAL with her colleague, Daniel Turner, to provide Travel & Tourism with impartial advice and practical guidance to better manage animal and nature protection. In collaboration with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), ANIMONDIAL most recently produced the report, “Towards Nature Positive Travel & Tourism”, which considers the necessary actions by this influential sector to halt biodiversity loss and lessen climate change.
Malcolm Turnbull | Former Australian Prime Minister
After serving nearly three years as the 29th Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull possesses a unique and incredibly timely understanding of the current geopolitical moment. In that role, he forged lasting connections with leaders around the world and speaks to the influence that their politics have on the world at large. During his tenure, Turnbull was also involved in key policy decisions that have not only altered Australian society but also have international implications for other countries facing similar issues-same-sex marriage, environmental conservation and energy crises, global trade, cyber security, and the ever-worsening refugee crisis.
Prior to taking public office, he was also a successful entrepreneur and businessman who worked his way to the top of a major global investment banking firm and founded several businesses at home and abroad. Extremely intelligent, humorous, candid and charismatic, Turnbull shares his valuable insights into issues that are impacting the world.
Darrell Wade | Co-Founder of Intrepid Travel and Chairman of Intrepid Group
Darrell Wade is the co-founder of Intrepid Travel and Chairman of Intrepid Group, the world’s largest adventure travel company. During the course of his career, Darrell has been recognised as a leader in entrepreneurship and as a passionate advocate for sustainable tourism. It all started 30 years ago, when Darrell and co-founder Geoff Manchester returned from an adventure through Africa with the idea of offering a style of local travel that would give back to the places and people they visited.
Darrell has since spearheaded Intrepid’s carbon management programme, with the company realising its goal of becoming carbon neutral in 2010. He was selected as one of the first group of Australians to complete Climate Project training with the Hon Mr Al Gore. Named as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year back in 2002, Darrell continues to drive a culture of innovation at Intrepid Group, resulting in the creation of new product solutions such as Peregrine Adventures’ new range of small ship cruises and day tour company Urban Adventures, which is now the company’s fastest-growing brand.
Arnie Weissmann | Editor in Chief, Travel Weekly
Award-winning journalist Arnie Weissmann has worked in virtually every aspect of travel media for the past 30 years. He created the industry's first destination information service
(Weissmann Travel Reports), authored a best-selling textbook and served as publisher of critical hotel and destination guides for the travel industry in the U.S. and U.K.
He was named editor in chief of Travel Weekly–USA in 2001, and also serves as executive vice president/editorial director for Travel Weekly’s parent company, Northstar Travel Media, the
largest business-to-business travel media company in the world, serving audiences in the Americas, Asia and Europe.