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London Chamber elect DCS Chairman at 139th AGM

I need to send Lord Dr Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE a rather BIG PUBLIC #thankyou as it was through his initial request to me via Liz Henderson that galvanized my intrigue and interest in joining the Black Business Association, as a founding committee member. Started exactly a year ago today [on 01.10.20] I embarked upon a new chapter with an ensemble of younger Black, London based entrepreneurs who were and remain equally as passionate about the plight of Black business in the UK. In the absence of ‘any genre of affirmative action’ and at best alluding to positive action, as far as Black business is concerned, we can and must do better. This is 2021 not 1921, but yet the prevailing systemic challenges continue to co-exist. Enough is enough, we cannot keep asking for permission, being denied and assuming that if we are polite and patient enough our prayers will be answered; though patience has a role to play. Additionally and more importantly, ‘disruptive technology’ will also be a big part of any future, sustainable and scaleable solution……. so why not join the LCCI and #BePartOfTheSolution…….??

Credit: LCCI / Black Business Association

Since the very beginning [August 2000], upon my return from an interesting and inspirational conversation with the legend himself, Herman J Russell [RIEP] of HJ Russell & Co, everything that I have sought to do within and across the UK public sector, in an attempt to foster greater emphasis on the need to engage with more diverse supply chains, has been heart wrenchingly futile and in many ways absolutely pointless. But it’s not been a complete waste of my time, in that many of the same #publicsector clients that were commissioning year in and year out _ homogenous Tier 1 led vertical supply chains to deliver ‘never-ending’ multi-billion pound parcels of work across the country, are now coming back to me for ideas [and disruptive solutions!!] on how to ‘improve their capital expenditure’. My common denominator is to extoll the benefits of ‘diversity of thought’ and the concept of the #digitaltwin solution that will completely revolutionise their organisations. That saving money is now the order of the day in a post-pandemic, post-furlough environ is not my real challenge, as saving them money will be easy. After all I’m a highly qualified, veteran PQS and apparently one of the best on the planet; so I am told [but that credit goes to God and my parents]; I’m just serving with #purpose.

No, my biggest and unrelenting challenge, the one that I have always been prepared and willing to take head-on is that of ‘cultural behaviours’, ‘ethics’ and ‘codes of conduct’ – those that the multi-generational customs ad norms have gripped Mother Progress in her tracks and forced her, at best, to stand still. Well, guess what, technology has arrived and is largely unforgiving of egos and/or tradition. Errors of judgement are also welcome too, just take a look at Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk today. In fact, you can rest assured, there is no going back to business as usual [pre-pandemic]; that old paradigm has long been resigned to history and Construction 4.0 has arrived, suitably in its place. I’m excited and hope you are too.

History of LCCI

In 1782, plans were made for a Chamber of Commerce in the Cornhill part of the City of London. The proposed plan incorporated an information office for business and trade enterprises to use for "consultation, opinion, advice, information and assistance". A subscription rate of not less than three guineas, a significant sum at that time, was suggested for the service. It took, however, another ninety-nine years of discussion before London had a Chamber of Commerce of its own. Finally on 25 July 1881, London Chamber was established at Mansion House in the City of London with 130 members. A number of these firms or their successors still play a role in London Chamber today.

The aim of the newly formed body was to influence public opinion, the legislature and to effect reforms that individual companies would not be powerful enough to bring about. It was agreed by those founding fathers that London Chamber was to be a Chamber for the London Metropolis and not just for the City of London. It achieved maturity with considerable speed and membership grew to over 3000 by 1892. This was a remarkable achievement for an organisation in just one decade.

From its earliest days the London Chamber's prime role was:

  • The development of international trade and the representation of the interests of the London trading community; and

  • Assistance to members in resolving day-to-day trading problems

Credit: LCCI Board Members

Supported by the current Chief Executive, Richard Burge, I am now with complete humility able to confirm that at the [One Hundred and Thirty Ninth] 139th AGM held at 1600 on 20 September 2021, at their 33 Queen Street offices in Central London, I was elected – without opposition – to join the Board of Directors. Born and raised a Londoner, of Nigerian descent, hailing from the East End [starting out on the Kingsmead Estate in Hackney]; this is the most rewarding, personal achievement of my almost 30year career, because now I can truly give back to my fellow Londoners and young people through the ‘language of global trade and ethical business’. It's always about 'service to others'.

Credit: DCS

My portfolio and immediate contribution by way of commitment to the board is not only to increase pan-London membership, but to cross fertilise international commerce with digital transformation. My focal point of Architecture, Engineering and Construction will be fused with my subject matter area of expertise, commonly referred to as Digital Twins via my role as a Gemini Ambassador for the Centre for Digital Built Britain, a JV between Cambridge University and BEIS. Internationally, and purely from an #ESG / #SDG perspective, given the immense growth potential, Mother Africa is squarely on my radar, if nothing else to export IP and ignite / inspire the next generation of #Digital Constructors across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Credit: London Chamber of Commerce & Industry

More updates to follow – so please, join me _ today, on Nigeria's 61st Independence Day and raise a glass to progress, making history and both ‘having fun and causing positive disruption’. It’s all just about to begin…………. 🚀🚀🚀🚀


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