Lord Digby Jones
Former Minister of State for UK Trade and Investment and a Life Peer
Digby appears regularly on television, radio and in the newspapers, being known for his firm views on numerous aspects of life in a globalised economy. He is an active public speaker fulfilling his vision of promoting socially inclusive wealth creation and championing the UK’s role in the world as a home of global competitiveness.Speaker enquiry
Considered as one of the world’s most acclaimed business commentators, Lord Digby Jones is a gifted orator with the ability to communicate to a wide variety of audiences. Sharing the stage with some of the world’s leading politicians and entrepreneurs.
Digby was born into business. Some of his earliest memories are of life in a busy corner shop where he lived with his mother, father and older sister. It was here he learnt the first rudiments of business – important values that were never to leave him.
The young Digby showed early promise. He attended Alvechurch Primary School winning a scholarship to Bromsgrove School, a Public School for Boys. Digby was a keen sportsman playing rugby and hockey for the school and ultimately becoming Head Boy. Ambitious and full of life, he wasn’t averse to the occasional prank, but this cost him dearly a few days before he was due to leave school when he was expelled for “streaking around the quadrangle” for a bet.
During three years with the Royal Navy, Digby learnt about leadership, teamwork and the importance of constant communication.
His graduation from University College London was followed by twenty years with Edge & Ellison, a Birmingham-based firm of lawyers, where he worked his way up from Articled Clerk to Senior Partner. During these years he was intimately involved in all aspects of business from running the firm “as a business” to recruiting and managing several hundred employees. It was here that he developed a vision of business and its role in society, and began to believe firmly in socially inclusive wealth creation.
In 2000 he joined the CBI and was able to put some of these ideas into action. During his six and a half years as Director General he became known in the public arena for his candid, forthright attitude in his many media appearances.
Digby campaigned relentlessly on a range of issues including the move from traditional manufacturing of commodities to value-added, innovative products and services. He also lobbied against protectionism protesting that “it is a scourge which may well find short term popularity but inhibits growth, reduces wealth and oppresses the weak”.
In 2005 he was knighted for his services to business and became Sir Digby Jones in the Queen’s New Years Honours List.
When he left the CBI in 2006 he spent the next twelve months in the private sector as adviser to Deloitte and Barclays Capital, holding a variety of non-executive board roles, and was the unpaid UK Skills Envoy. In this role he became outraged about the levels of adult illiteracy and innumeracy in the UK, and made the point that we cannot hope to have a safer and healthier society if people lack self-respect or aspiration.
In July 2007 he was appointed Minister of State for UK Trade and Investment, becoming a life peer and taking the title, Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham. Forthright and loyal to British business, he spent the next fifteen months “doing it in a different way”. He did not join the party of government and without the ambition to progress in politics he concentrated on the business of promoting Britain across the world, travelling to 31 countries in 45 overseas visits.
A highly accomplished speaker, Digby shares his knowledge and enlightens audiences on world affairs, 21st century business, effective leadership and the war between public vs private sector.
Digby advises in a number of other paid and unpaid roles, fulfilling his vision of promoting socially inclusive wealth creation. He travels regularly across the UK and overseas, running his own business.
His fulfilment is complete when Leicester Tigers and Aston Villa win their matches.View more
Performing under pressure
“What can I say: I am a fan. You are informative, personable, entertaining and have a tremendous sense of humor. You captivated the audience here in New York. I received many compliments on your speech, your delivery and your charm.”
Bob Miano, Harvey Nash, USA
“He did a superb job with regard to his presentation, as always, and I appreciated the way he involved himself with delegates afterwards. He made a major contribution to the success of the event.”
David Cullen, Nisa-Today’s (Holdings) Limited
Fixing Britain: The Business of Reshaping Our Nation
This is the explosive, first book from ‘the face of British business’, Lord Digby Jones. With a renowned, no-nonsense, straight-talking approach, he is one of the world's most acclaimed business commentators. In his candid and forthright style Fixing Britain puts the spotlight on critical national and international business issues and lays out the essential reform urgently needed for the growth of our nation. Knowledgeable, authoritative and independent, Digby highlights how untenable the status quo is in the UK, and sets out how Britain can get back in--and stay in--the globalised race...More info
Fixing Business: Making Profitable Business Work for The Good of All
With society at a crossroads, Fixing Business: Making Profitable Business Work for the Good of All is an optimistic call to action for business leaders and decision makers everywhere. In it, Lord Digby Jones ‘The Face of British Business’, shows us why profit isn't a dirty word but an important part of socially inclusive wealth creation to improve every aspect of our society...More info