About the speaker
Philip Owen is an Engineering Scientist who spend over 20 years working in new product development until ICI, his employer at the time, received the benefit of financial advice from the City of London and borrowed too much money. For 10 years he worked independently as an innovation consultant helping organisations such as the European Space Agency and the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency turn their ideas into civilian products. This brought him into contact with Russian technology almost from the beginning. Extraordinarily, neither side has asked him to be a spy. After the dotcom collapse caused all UK R&D spending to decline, he moved his business focus to advising on trade and investment in Russia, where it has been ever since. He owned a consulting firm in Russia where he spent considerable time. After 24 years of dealing with Russia, he is full of improperly formed opinions (they are formed on real experience) about Russian life and politics.
Oligarchs, women seeking husbands, spies, hypersonic missiles, dictators, mind-altering bots prowling Facebook. Ask a typical British person about Russia and these are the ideas that come tumbling out. Russia is not a land of saints administered by the wisest of judges but the popular view is also inaccurate. Philip will try to give a realistic view of what makes Russia far more important to a UK no longer in the EU than current attitudes amongst the British establishment might suggest.