Introducing ‘Big Ideas Live’: Sky News brings together experts to discuss the critical topics facing the UK

Tuesday 5 October 2021
On Tuesday, 12th October, Sky News will launch the first in a series of live thought-leadership events across the country

On Tuesday 12th October in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, Sky News will launch Big Ideas Live, the first in a series of live in-person events designed to bring together a diversity of views from around the country in a bid to brainstorm solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing the UK today.

The broadcaster’s biggest names will be joined by business leaders, industry commentators and political players in an interactive, conference-style setting to explore ideas surrounding the most prominent issues in our society. Each event is designed to address one area of specialism – ranging from Business and Economics, Arts, Climate, Science and Health, and Technology.

Held at Magna in the former Templeborough steel works in Rotherham, a symbol of South Yorkshire’s industrial heritage, the first event will explore ‘How to fire up UK business & the economy in the wake of the pandemic’. Sky News’ Economics and Data Editor Ed Conway, Business Presenter Ian King, and presenters Trevor Phillips and Samantha Washington will host panels and interviews with guests including the former Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, the Chief Executive of Siemens UK Carl Ennis, UK Managing Director of Arla Foods, Ash Amirahmadi, climate activist and former Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid and CEO of Smart Green Shipping - Diane Gilpin. There will also be contributions from an in-person audience of regional business voices.

Analysis from the Sky News data journalism team will explore what the data tells us about how the pandemic has impacted UK business and the economy. The event will focus on the future of jobs, the future of green growth and the future of the North as a powerhouse for economic growth post-pandemic.

The event will be live streamed across the Sky News’ website and app as well as appearing throughout the day on the Sky News TV channel. You can join in the conversation on Sky News’ social channels using the #BigIdeasLive hashtag.

John Ryley, Head of Sky News said: Sky News has proven through the past 18 months that we provide a vital public service to make the critical topics of our day accessible and relatable to our viewers. This is an ambitious next step to take Sky News’ specialists live into communities around the country and examine some very big ideas.

“Our Business and Economics Specialists and Data journalists are the among the best in the business, so this first topic was an obvious choice. Big Ideas Live will step away from rolling news and instead create a format to break down the important issues of our time, starting with reigniting UK business and the economy.

Sky News is available to all free of charge via Sky TV channel 501, Freeview 132, and the live international streaming service on the Sky News app and website, as well as 24-hour breaking news coverage and analysis across our social channels. 

Full event details can be found below. For further information please contact

Ed Conway – Sky News Economics and Data Editor; Winner of Wincott Data Journalism of the Year Award 2021 – will explore the big questions defining the current economic climate in the UK.  

Helen-Ann Smith – Sky News Business correspondent will present original Sky News data analysis on the challenges facing the future of jobs, green growth and regional growth post-pandemic. 

The Future of Jobs

Post-pandemic, where will new jobs be created and in what industries? And given record vacancies, where are the workers to do them?

Hosted by Ian King, Sky News Business Presenter.

The Future of Green Growth

How can established businesses build back green? How can new businesses challenge them? Is there an inevitable tension between the environment and the bottom-line?

Hosted by Samantha Washington, Sky News presenter, including of Sky News’ Daily Climate Show.

The Future of the North

Can regional identity and pride drive regional growth? What makes the North unique and how can it take advantage of this post-pandemic? Can the “levelling up” agenda help?

Hosted by Trevor Phillips, Sky News presenter, including of Trevor Phillips on Sunday and the Great Debate.

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