Creating the Future 2019


Opening Remarks
Roger Weatherby, CEO Weatherbys Private Bank

Chief Executive Roger Weatherby welcomed our guests and introduced the three topics for the day: the future of democracy, how recent advances in neuroscience and technology are set to revolutionise medicine and healthcare and the ever more urgent need to prevent climate change to protect the environment.  He also explains the rationale for Creating the Future.

Please scoll down to watch the video, read Roger's speech or listen to the podcast.


"First, a very big welcome to you all – our partners, customers, friends and the amazing speakers who have given up their time to talk to us.  I am excited by what lays ahead, none of which would have been possible without my colleagues at Weatherbys, and Forgather & Our Generous Gene – who have worked tirelessly to bring you something special.
Last year’s conference was a step into the unknown. I knew we wanted to engage with all our clients, potential clients, introducers & friends on a very different level to that of a transactional banker.  Transactions can be done by machines.  Relationships are, perhaps, the meaning of life.  And it will be how we relate, as human beings, that will decide our collective fate in the years to come.  The world is changed.  Old assumptions have been bludgeoned, social norms challenged, institutions humbled, the environment in crisis – and the speakers we have assembled for you today tell me this is just the beginning.  Far greater, and more traumatic change lays ahead – but also, I am told, extraordinary opportunities for those literate about the future, and willing to challenge the status quo.
Most of us know something of the extraordinary issues that face us, but when we chose the 3 main topics of today, we had no idea quite how timely these topics would be.
Every day – there is news of the extreme stress that many of us suffer under. Stress from work & the technology that means that we are essentially open all hours, 24/7.  This stress I born of a broken contract, between the needs of the human and the needs of the market.  As physicist Amory Lovins says, “The markets make a good servant but a bad master, and a worse religion”.
And then there’s the stress of knowing that currently 225,000 people will develop dementia this year, that's one every three minutes.  1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia.  Both my parents had it and I’m pretty sure everyone in this room knows someone with the horrific shadow over them.
And yet the brain remains a mystery – massively complex, little understood, a humbling challenge.  But there is light in the darkness. Extraordinary advances in neuroscience and technology are making startling inroads, which we will hear of later today. 
Every day – indeed every minute there is news and comment on climate change, the environment and the future of our planet.  The operating system of humanity is under attack, from, ironically, humanity.
Even if you are sceptical about climate change - companies, investors, regulators, governments and consumers are increasingly acting and this shift will have the most momentous effects on our personal wealth and the wellbeing of us all. Every astronaut will tell you it makes no sense to damage your own spaceship.  But we have.  Within a generation we must repair that damage.
Every day – and indeed it feels like every second, there is news and comment about the failures of our democracy.  But it’s not just the UK where old models of governance have failed to keep up with modern opportunities and threats – as news from Hong Kong or the United States, or Russia, or Italy, or South Africa reminds us.  Can democracy reinvent itself for the world that is arriving, digital, distributed and environmentally challenged?
It may sound a bit grand, but I want our bank to be on the right side of history.  After all, the philosopher Daniel Dennett said “The secret of happiness is to find something more important than you are - and dedicate your life to it”.  For many of us - we think we have done that, by building successful businesses and hopefully successful families.  But that is just the beginning.  Today, we will consider many of the questions the future is asking us – the ‘bigger than me’ questions we must address for our businesses and children’s sake. I hope it motivates us all to think about what we can do – for unless we do, our families’ lives will only become more difficult…or even impossible.
This is a room of the educated, the successful, the well connected, the curious. And these extraordinary times require your extraordinary skills, with the assistance of an extraordinary bank [said with a smile]. Mark Twain said, history doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.  At Weatherbys we’ve been around long enough to be a small part of history and I hope we can help you to build the future we need.
I hope you have an interesting day."


Listen to Creating the Future 2019. We have created podcasts of each of our exceptional speaker’s talk and our CEO’s opening speech which you can access or download using the link below.


As with last year, Creating the Future explored some of the world’s most challenging and exciting issues. You can access video footage of each of our speaker's talks using the link below.


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The views and opinions expressed by the speakers are those of the speakers alone and are not those of Weatherbys Bank Limited