Every Wednesday Afternoon at 4pm BST throughout November

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In association with the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Centre for Competition and Regulatory Policy at City, University of London

What are the Beesley Lectures?

Now in their twenty-ninth year, The Beesley Lectures were founded by Professor Michael Beesley, one of the most influential regulatory economists of his time. Held in partnership with the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Centre for Competition and Regulatory Policy at City, University of London, the series attracts the foremost thinkers in government, industry and academia.

The lectures address the latest developments in energy, water, transport, telecoms and banking regulation as well as competition policy. This year’s series comes at a time of enormous societal change which provides an opportunity to reassess as we seek to build back better.

The series attracted over 1000 attendees in 2019, including economists working for regulators, competition authorities, companies in regulated sectors or in consulting, as well as policy makers, academics and lawyers.

This year, as we all adapt to a new normal, the lectures will be all online. A leading economist or industry figure will speak for one hour and a specialist will provide a 20-minute response before handing over to the audience for questions.

LECTURE 1 | 4 November 2020

A critical appraisal of the state of competition in digital markets

Lecturer
Jason Furman, Chair, Digital Competition Expert Panel

Respondent
Eliana Garcés, Director of Economic Policy, Facebook

LECTURE 2 | 11 November 2020

Behaviour change, public engagement and Net Zero

Lecturer
Richard Carmichael, Research Associate, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London

Respondent
Robert Metcalfe, Assistant Professor, Boston University

LECTURE 3 | 18 November 2020

(Re)Evaluating approaches to the full fibre rollout

Lecturer
Alex Blowers, Head of Regulatory Affairs, CityFibre

Respondent
Luisa Affuso, Chief Economist, Ofcom

LECTURE 4 | 24 November 2020

Lessons from COVID-19 in protecting consumers and supporting the NetZero transition

Lecturer
Jonathan Brearley, Chief Executive Officer, Ofgem

Respondent
Richard Sweet, Head of Regulation, Scottish Power

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Beesley Lecture Series 2020

Click between the tabs to view different Wednesday lectures

Lecture 1 | 4 November 2020
Lecture 2 | 11 November 2020
Lecture 3 | 18 November 2020
Lecture 4 | 25 November 2020
16:00

A critical appraisal of the state of competition in digital markets

The benefits and challenges of digital markets are highly debated and the United Kingdom has an opportunity to seize the full potential of the digital sector, increasing the benefits for consumers and fostering an even more vibrant ecosystem for businesses. Are digital platforms natural monopolies? Are current levels of competition adequate? Is greater competition in digital platforms possible? To what extent are existing competition tools fit-for-purpose in their current format? These are all crucial questions to answer in order to unlock the full opportunities of the digital economy.


Lecturer

Jason Furnam - Digital Competition Expert Panel Photo
Jason Furman

Chair , Digital Competition Expert Panel

Respondent

Eliana Garces - Facebook Photo
Eliana Garcés – Facebook

Director of Economic Policy , Facebook

16:00

Behaviour change, public engagement and Net Zero

The IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels strengthened the case for pursuing greater efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In May 2019, the CCC recommended a UK target of net-zero emissions by 2050, and this has now also been adopted by Government which is now legally committed to delivering it. Breaking with previous messaging to households to make small and easy changes, high-impact shifts in consumer behaviours and choices are needed that are consistent with the scale of the climate challenge, build optimism and commitment, and give weight to new ambitious narratives that inspire wide public participation.

Policy to deliver rapid societal change and technology adoption for Net Zero is unchartered territory, but it must help to redirect the flow of household spending away from high GHG-impact products and services and towards the commercialisation and mass-adoption of low-carbon alternatives. How can public policy best facilitate much greater behavioural and societal change towards net-zero emissions scenarios? How can we overcome the remaining barriers frustrating consumer choices? How can policy avoid creating a context that makes it easy for people to justify inaction? How can feedback systems be developed to build momentum across behaviour change, policy and industry?


Lecturer

Dr Richard Carmichael - Imperial College London Photo
Richard Carmichael

Research Associate, Centre for Environmental Policy , Imperial College London

Respondent

Robert Metcalfe - Boston University Photo
Robert Metcalfe – Boston University

Assistant Professor , Boston University

16:00

(Re)Evaluating approaches to the full fibre rollout

Digital connectivity is critical for UK consumers and is a major source of strength for the economy, so full fibre is the UK’s digital future, providing people with more reliable, faster, and future-proof broadband. The shift to working from home following the coronavirus has heightened the benefits that full fibre will bring. Some estimates suggest that connecting the whole of the UK to a Fibre-to-the-Premises broadband ISP network by the end of 2025 could result in a £59bn economic boost, and could bring half a million people back into the workforce by 2038. Promoting a competitive market for full-fibre infrastructure build means encouraging other companies to build infrastructure in competition to Openreach. However, some commentators warn that red tape, supply chain restrictions and punitive business rates on fibre infrastructure currently undermine the investment case and are slowing down the roll-out, meaning that the industry could struggle to reach the ambitious targets set by Government.


Speaker

Alex Blowers - CityFibre Photo
Alex Blowers

Head of Regulatory Affairs , CityFibre

Respondent

Luisa Affuso - Ofcom Photo
Luisa Affuso

Chief Economist , Ofcom

16:00

Lessons from COVID-19 in protecting consumers and supporting the NetZero transition

Over the peak impact of the virus in the UK, low electricity demand and much higher than usual penetration of renewables in the energy network has represented a management challenge for the network operator. This presented auseful rehearsal for the 2025 coal free target, helping to get to new protocols for energy management, pushing forward the launch of a new inertia product and preparing for the long-term high presence of renewables in the system.How can regulation ensure that the costs and benefits of transitioning to a low-carbon energy system falls fairly? What has the coronavirus taught us about balancing the intergenerational interests of consumers?


Lecturer

Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem | Beesley Lecture Series
Jonathan Brearley

Chief Executive Officer , Ofgem

Respondent

Richard Sweet - Scottish Power Photo
Richard Sweet – Scottish Power

Head of Regulation , Scottish Power

Speakers

Jason Furnam - Digital Competition Expert Panel Photo

Jason Furman

Chair, Digital Competition Expert Panel

Dr Richard Carmichael - Imperial College London Photo

Richard Carmichael

Research Associate, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London

Alex Blowers - CityFibre Photo

Alex Blowers

Head of Regulatory Affairs, CityFibre

Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem | Beesley Lecture Series

Jonathan Brearley

Chief Executive Officer, Ofgem

Eliana Garces - Facebook Photo

Eliana Garcés – Facebook

Director of Economic Policy, Facebook

Robert Metcalfe - Boston University Photo

Robert Metcalfe – Boston University

Assistant Professor, Boston University

Luisa Affuso - Ofcom Photo

Luisa Affuso

Chief Economist, Ofcom

Richard Sweet - Scottish Power Photo

Richard Sweet – Scottish Power

Head of Regulation, Scottish Power

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