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2024 big debate

Event organised by ICE

14 October 2024
18:30 - 21:30 BST (GMT+1)
Institution of Civil Engineers
One Great George Street
London, SW1P 3AA
United Kingdom
Add to Calendar 14-10-2024 18:30 14-10-2024 21:30 false Europe/London 2024 big debate Institution of Civil Engineers, London

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Join the London Early Careers Network for a captivating debate that explores the intersection of nature-based solutions and effective climate action. We look forward to presenting four passionate industry experts who will present their perspectives, providing compelling evidence and case studies. This debate will highlight the potential challenges and unintended consequences of different approaches to sustainability. The floor will then be opened to allow you to challenge the debaters and ask questions to investigate further.

The Big Debate 2024 hosted by the London Careers Network argues the motion "we can harness nature-based solutions for effective climate action”. Can we ensure equitable distribution of benefits? How do we navigate ethical concerns like land rights and biodiversity preservation? And crucially, can nature-based solutions deliver the rapid change needed in our climate emergency?

We are looking forward to this event and to hearing your thoughts on the matter. Networking and refreshments will follow.


Institution of Civil Enigneers
One Great George Street


18:30 - 18:45


18:45 - 19:45

The big debate with arguments from both teams given

19:45 - 20:10

Audience Q&A

20:10 - 20:30

Closing statements and judging verdict

20:30 - 21:30

Event close and networking with refreshments


Toby Harding

Toby Harding


clinet director

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Toby Harding

Toby has spent over three decades in the water industry, covering all aspects of design, construction, commissioning and operation with contractors, more recently moving into consultancy. 

Working with most of the UK water companies on infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects and programmes, he has formed a deep engagement with water sector strategy and continues to develop his interest in the delivery of environment-enhancing solutions to the many challenges that our industry and society as a whole are facing. 

Toby chairs WSP’s Nature-based Solutions working group and is keen to embed NbS as the default approach to all water industry challenges. NbS and Integrated Water Management inherently involve multiple stakeholders with aligned objectives but often diverse funding constraints and missions. The need for excellent collaboration is evident and Toby is working with WSP’s water leaders to facilitate successful multi-benefit outcomes.

Claire Smith

Claire Smith

Mott MacDonald

managing editor

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Claire Smith

Claire Smith is a geotechnical engineer by training and worked for Peter Brett Associates (now part of Stantec) as a graduate but the main part of her career has been spent working as a construction journalist. Before joining Mott MacDonald in 2023 as managing editor for UK and Europe, she was editor of New Civil Engineer – the only woman to hold the post in its 52-year history. Claire has also worked as editor on Ground Engineering and Aggregates Business Europe, as well as other titles including Construction Europe, International Construction and Transportation Professional.

For more information please contact:

Kirsty Joyce