Guildhall hosts student conference

CILT Student Conference: CSR and Humanitarian Responses in Transport

Date: 10/03/2015

Guildhall was proud to host the 11th pan-London student conference, sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).

Over 120 delegates participated in the event organised by Angele Cauthery and Christine Kajumba, London Guildhall Research and Enterprise, ably assisted by our student helpers. Co-chaired by Guildhall Reader Dr Stephen Shaw and CILT Regional Organiser Ian Tough, the delegates were warmly welcomed by our Vice Chancellor Professor John Raftery.

The theme of the morning session was Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), with an emphasis on responsibilities, accountability and coordination to deliver the ‘triple bottom line’: planet, people and economy. Hugh Sumner, former Director of Transport ODA for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, highlighted the underlying rationale for adopting CSR for the Games, and how it impacted on the triple bottom line from a transport and infrastructure perspective. Professor John Manners-Bell, CEO of global market research company Transport Intelligence, adviser to the World Economic Forum, and Honorary Visiting Professor, gave thought-provoking insights into the critical challenges for carriers in the supply chain that enables world trade across the Global North and South, including conflict zones.

The discussion of responsibilities and effective action in areas of conflict and natural disasters continued in an afternoon session on humanitarian responses to the needs of refugees and displaced people in life-threatening situations, where even basic infrastructure may not exist. Maggie Heraty OBE, now a freelance humanitarian logistician, engaged the audience with vivid illustrations of the critical role of experienced transport managers, drawing from her extensive experience as a Senior Logistics Officer with UNHCR in large refugee operations in hazardous locations in Africa, as well as relief operations that included the Sri Lankan tsunami.  Steve Agg, CEO Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport reviewed the role of professional bodies - and in particular the CILT - in championing CSR and humanitarian logistics, and their significance in professional education and training in this high-profile sector of the economy.

The discussion and networking continued with a reception kindly sponsored by CILT. The feedback from speakers and participants was very positive. Sid Foster, Chair of CILT London Region commented: ‘This year’s conference eclipsed our previous events due to the number of delegates and calibre of the speakers, ably assisted by the excellent organisation of the London Guildhall Faculty of Business and Law at London Metropolitan University, with outstanding support of the student helpers’.