2019 San Francisco Delegation
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, supported by our sponsors, took a cross-party delegation of MPs to the San Francisco Bay Area during the 2019 Easter recess.
The purpose of the delegation was to meet with Andrew Whittaker, HM Consul General to San Francisco, visit the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and a range of businesses working at the cutting edge of technological innovation.
The MPs also met with British entrepreneurs, businesses leaders, and others working in the Bay Area tech industry. The delegation learned about the latest technologies being developed and deployed by world-leading tech companies and spent time considering what this might mean for their constituents in the United Kingdom, and for the UK’s wider economy and society.
The APPG also spent time building on the UK-US business relationship by promoting the UK as a world-class destination for research and investment in emerging technologies, discussing what the UK Government could do to build on that position, and how host organisations viewed Britain’s place in the wider tech ecosystem. MPs also took time to discuss how host companies viewed the broader social, economic and political implications of recent technological advances.
Party: Conservative First Elected: 2015 Constituency: Havant
Alan is currently the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He is also the Founder and Chairman of the APPG on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Alan was formerly a PPS at the Ministry of Justice.
Since his election Alan has campaigned to put the economic, social, and political consequences of technological change, and the opportunities and challenges faced by the UK as a result of emerging technologies, at the heart of the policy debate in Parliament and Government. Alan has also written extensively in national and international press on the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Prior to entering politics, Alan had a successful business and professional career, having started and run his own small business, worked as a corporate lawyer in the City of London with Clifford Chance, and helped manage his family’s small business. He also invested in and advised a range of businesses, from an advertising and marketing group and an events business, to a technology start up. Alan’s main policy interests are the economy and business, including Britain’s leadership of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, education and skills, and social mobility.
Party: Labour First Elected: 2015 Constituency: Hove
Peter’s current Parliamentary roles include serving on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee. Peter is also the Vice-Chair of the APPG of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Peter is Chair of the Further Education and Lifelong Learning APPG and Co-Chair of the APPG on Southern Rail.
Prior to his election, Peter worked as an aid worker in Eastern Europe and the Balkans helping children and young people whose lives had been radically affected by the instability of war. The orphanage he setup in Romania still exists today. Peter moved on to work as a Special Advisor in The Cabinet Office in 2006, primarily working on social exclusion.
Since his election, Peter has prioritised job creation, investing in businesses, new housing and ensuring every young person has access to the best possible education.
Trudy’s current Parliamentary roles include membership of the Education Select Committee, Co-Chair of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board, Government appointed Ambassador for Apprenticeships, Vice-chair of the APPG for Nuclear and a member of the APPG for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Trudy is also a member of the APPG for Autism. Trudy is a PPS at the Ministry of Defence.
Trudy started her career at the UK’s Sellafield nuclear facility, working across the site in a variety of roles, including the Management Centre, Separation and Waste Retrieval, and Decommissioning. With the birth of her first daughter, her career moved to nursery owner and manager. The decline of village life in her home town inspired Trudy’s interest in local politics.
Trudy stood for election in 2017 on a platform of strong support for the nuclear industry, and attracting more investment in local road, rail and digital infrastructure. Trudy also has a keen political focus on health and education.
Anna’s current Parliamentary roles include membership of the Environmental Audit Select Committee, and the Welsh Affairs Committee. Anna is also Vice Chair of the Climate Change APPG and Vice Chair of Post-Brexit Funding for Nations, Regions and Local Areas APPG. Anna was formerly PPS to the Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade. Anna is also a member of the APPG for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Anna was a specialist adviser to the Welsh Government for over six years until 2014, where she worked with the First Minister for Wales to tackle climate change, introducing Wales’s ground-breaking legislation on Wellbeing for Future Generations and the Environment Act, as well as bringing in new sustainable development and energy policies. Before entering politics, she ran a small business bringing renewable energy investment and other businesses into Wales. Anna worked on international climate change issues with fifty regional governments worldwide to take action in the run up to the UN Paris Climate agreement.
Wes Streeting is the Labour MP for Ilford North and a current member of the Treasury Select Committee. He chairs several APPGs and is an officer of the APPG on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
He was first elected at the 2015 general election, having previously been Deputy Leader of the London Borough of Redbridge. In his professional life he has worked outside politics as a senior manager and Chief Executive for several voluntary and private sector organisations working to improve access to education: from an anti-bullying campaign in over 10,000 schools across Britain to running a national charity that supports people from under-privileged backgrounds to gain entrance to university. Wes has a passion for education following his own experience growing up in a low income area and being the first in his family to go to university.
Wes read History at Selwyn College, Cambridge and he is a former President of the National Union of Students. Wes is also a Vice President of the Local Government Association and a patron of LGBT Labour.
In February 2019, Nigel was appointed as Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party with responsibility for young people. Up until this point Nigel had served as PPS to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) since the 2017 General Election. Prior to that, Nigel served on the DCMS Select Committee in Parliament. Nigel is also an Officer of the APPG for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Nigel started his career as a consultant for Arthur Andersen and Deloitte, both in London and Los Angeles. He later worked as the Industry Head of Travel for Google from 2010 until the 2015 general election.
Between 2011-2014, Nigel was a councillor with St Albans District Council representing the Wheathampstead Ward. Nigel has an interest in technology and tourism.
Visits & Meetings
British Consulate General
MPs held a roundtable meeting with senior consulate staff from the Foreign Office and Department for International Trade to discuss local UK-US business relations and the work the consulate is doing to support bilaterial trade and investment with the United Kingdom.
Later in the week the APPG had dinner with Andrew Whittaker, HM Consul General to San Francisco, to discuss his work with tech companies on the West Coast and opportunities to attract further investment into the UK from Silicon Valley and across the United States.
The APPG had a working lunch with Oracle CEO Safra Catz to discuss high-level issues relating to emerging technologies and UK-US business relations, as well as what the UK can do to better position itself as a partner for the United States in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
MPs also took part in a series of roundtable discussions with senior Oracle staff on topics ranging from the future of artificial intelligence and cloud computing to the skills and education needed for individuals (and countries) to succeed in the 4IR.
The APPG was joined at this meeting by Helen Moore, Department for International Trade Head of US Tech at the British Consulate.
MPs visited Facebook HQ in Menlo Park to discuss emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented and virtual reality. Closely related issues like AI ethics, data privacy, and skills were also high on the agenda.
After a trial of the latest Oculus Virtual Reality products being developed by the company, APPG members also pressed Facebook on concerns about the impact of social media on public discourse in democratic societies – including the security of elections and the safety of those participating in them. MPs were keen to point out that more work needs to be done to prevent online harms and ensure technology is a force for social good.
The APPG met with Google’s Global Policy Head for Emerging Technologies to discuss artificial intelligence, responsible innovation, and how Google is pushing the boundaries in a range of areas from AI to IoT and AR/VR.
MPs also discussed education and skills, as well as issues relating to data privacy and cybersecurity.
Uber Advanced Technologies Group
The APPG toured Uber’s Pier 70 R&D facility in San Francisco to learn about their work on autonomous vehicles, battery technology and Uber Elevate.
A wide-ranging discussion was held about the future of urban mobility, the need for both human-driven and autonomous vehicles over the next decade, and the role of both public transport and small-scale aerial transport in building an integrated urban transport network.
The impact of emerging technologies and innovation on the environment, and the contribution the 4IR can make to both reducing urban pollution and fighting climate change were also discussed.
MPs toured Lockheed’s Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) to learn about cutting-edge R&D into advanced materials like Graphene and NanoCopper, their work using additive manufacturing, and other space sciences research.
The APPG also took part in roundtable meetings on a range of Lockheed Martin projects in the UK, as well as learning about future opportunities for the company to invest in Britain – from quantum computing to battery technology.