This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Monday 10 June 2024, 12pm to 1.30pm
  • Location: In-person only
    The Guildhall (Map)
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details


York and North Yorkshire are entering an exciting new era of devolution with the election of the first Mayor of the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority.

At an event presented in collaboration with Aviva, we discuss the opportunities created by this new decentralisation and the transformative power of good business. How can business and communities come together to harness these new opportunities, positioning York and North Yorkshire as the most innovative and inclusive economy in the UK?  

The city and region have been laying significant groundwork to drive strong collaboration across its economic ecosystem for some time. In June 2021, York was the first city in the UK to sign up to the Good Business Charter, an initiative promoting responsible business behaviour. Backed by the City of York Council, it has been adopted as part of its wider plans for its economic strategy. 

Our expert panel discusses opportunities to generate investment and drive job creation and business growth, and the value of ethical business. Speakers include Germán Lorenzo Ochoa, Deputy Director - Global Public Affairs and Communications at the MONDRAGON Corporation, Spain; Sally Dillon, Head of Transformation at Aviva; Stuart Paver, Chair of Pavers Ltd; and Andrew Lowson, Executive Director of the York BID.

How can the new mayoral authority drive new economic, social and cultural strategies to improve the lives of residents of York and North Yorkshire? What are the key business, enterprise and community actions that will be critical to ensuring we have an empowered and integrated approach to working with our new Mayor?

Come along and join in the conversation.

Please note: Due to the calling of a General Election, David Skaith, Mayor of the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority and Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council will no longer be able to participate in this event as planned. Instead our Festival event will be a pathfinder to an event we'll hold after the General Election.

About the speakers

Sally Dillon is Head of Transformation at Aviva. Sally is an expert in optimising  organisations through transforming customer, people, leadership, organisational design, process efficiency and resource prioritisation.

Germán Lorenzo Ochoa is the Deputy Director - Global Public Affairs and Communications at the MONDRAGON Corporation. He was previously the Asia-Pacific Director of MONDRAGON Cooperative Corporation in Spain, as well as Business Development Director, InterGroup Far East Ltd, Hong Kong, and International Purchasing Director, Eroski, Coop. Group, Spain. He is a regular Visiting Professor at the Mondragon University Business School and teaches at the Universidad de Deusto, Deusto Business School.

Andrew Lowson began his career undertaking commercial master planning and project management within aviation and rail, before working in economic development for a government agency.  He was given the opportunity to become Managing Director of a York based events company, where he expanded operations into the south of the UK.  Due to his experience of running a small business and working with multiple stakeholders, Andrew was appointed  Executive Director of the York BID in 2016, where he has instigated numerous business support programmes and sits on various city leadership groups. With his knowledge of the issues facing UK High Streets, Andrew is a fellow of the Institute of Place Management and sits on the government’s High Street Task Force.  Alongside his role at York BID, Andrew is an active business owner and part of a partnership that manages two York hospitality venues as well as THOR’s Tipi pop up bars, who operate in cities across the UK.   He also runs EventShed, a business that distributes event flooring solutions to businesses within the UK and Europe.

Stuart Paver is Chair of Pavers Ltd. He started at Pavers for a few months and ended up staying for 44 years, growing the business from two stores to around 180 before moving to Chair. Stuart has extensive experience in retail, traditional mail order, internet retailing, international supply chains, and more recently, AI in marketing. Charity is taking more time, working with international charities providing anything from mobile shoe factories for Leprosy colonies in India to providing frontline tactical medical equipment in Ukraine and locally sitting as a trustee on the Millie Wright Children’s charity.



Aviva University of York

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Hearing loop