Maclaren Memorial Lecture


Start Date: 23 May 2017

Start Time: 5:30 PM

End Time: 7:30 PM

Duration: 2 hours

Capacity: 250

Venue: Sumpner Lecture Theatre, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET › View map

Admission price: Free

Event Capacity: Full

The MacLaren Lecture is an annual event held jointly by Aston University and the Chartered Management Institute. The event has run since 1953, and has attracted major speakers from business and industry. It commemorates the life of James MacLaren, one of the most eminent industrialists in Birmingham’s history. MacLaren was one of the founder members of the Birmingham branch of the Chartered Management Institute and was the first chair of the Birmingham College of Technology, an antecedent of Aston University. He was particularly known for developing links between industry and education.

This year's lecture will be given by Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI, Director-General and is entitled ‘Unlocking regional growth – spreading prosperity to the whole UK’

In this lecture, Carolyn will look at prospects for the British economy post-Brexit and the current situation for the UK’s regions and nations.

Taking inspiration from the Midlands, she will ask what firms can do to raise productivity and prosperity across the whole UK.



 Networking and refreshments


 "Unlocking regional growth - spreading prosperity to the whole UK" - Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI, Director-General


 Lecture ends


Carolyn Fairburn

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI, Director-General

Carolyn joined the CBI as Director General in November 2015 following a 30 year career in British business. She spent her early career at McKinsey before taking on a range of senior leadership roles in the media industry. She has also held non-executive plc board positions spanning the manufacturing, services and banking sectors.

At McKinsey, Carolyn advised companies across the UK in a range of sectors specialising in digital transformation, and as partner led its UK media practice. As BBC Director of Strategy, she led the BBC’s digital strategy and ran its transmission arm. In 2003, she created and launched Freeview, one of the UK’s most successful new digital TV services. From 2007-2010, Carolyn was Director of Group Development and Strategy at ITV.

Carolyn has extensive boardroom experience, including as non-executive director of Lloyds Banking Group, The Vitec Group, Capita plc, the Competition and Markets Authority, the UK Statistics Authority, and, from 2008-11, the Financial Services Authority.

From 1995-97, Carolyn was a member of the Number 10 Policy Unit, where she advised on health and social services. She began her career as an economist at the World Bank, before joining the Economist magazine as a business and financial journalist.

Carolyn holds a first-class degree in Economics from Cambridge University, an MBA with distinction from INSEAD, and MA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an honorary fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

Carolyn is married with three children and lives in Hampshire.


  • Refreshments provided
  • Free event

Enquiries contact

Questions about this event should be addressed to Events Team at or by telephone on 01536 207461.

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