Skip to main content

Energy Transition Now - Episode 16 with Sally Walker

Recorded on Thursday 17th February, in this episode of Energy Transition Now, David Linden speaks with Sally Walker, Consultant at Clarity Leadership and Founding Partner of Human Digital Thinking, on the topic of “The implications of an increasing dependency on data and technology.”

The discussion covers Sally’s background in cyber, the trust in technology and the opportunity that technology offers, and how future crisis and opportunity is being thought about by the energy industry as part of critical national infrastructure.

Sally, who according to the Sunday Times at one point was the best cyber spy in the country, now has a portfolio of ‘interesting stuff’, with people at the core of all her work. She has two main passions. One is the need for a ‘human in the loop’ as we exploit the potential of data, technology and artificial intelligence, whether in government, business or education. The other is leaving a better world for the next generation – and the imperative to convert the climate crisis into genuine change management, with traction from the smallest of local actions to the most global of international interests.


About Sally

Sally Walker

Sally Walker stepped out of the shadows two years ago after 25 years in national security; according to the Sunday Times, the best cyber spy the country had (she refutes that claim!) While in government she designed and led the stand up of the National Cyber Force, was responsible for the UK’s cyber operations, and prior to the ‘cyber world’ was the crisis manager with responsibility for the London Olympics security, for counter terrorism operations, and for support to military operations around the globe.

She now has a portfolio of ‘interesting stuff’. Roles range from senior leadership development, change management support, business mentoring and strategic advice to boards. While people are at the core of all her work, she has two main passions. One is the need for a ‘human in the loop’ as we exploit the potential of data, technology and artificial intelligence, whether in government, business or education. The other is leaving a better world for the next generation – and the imperative to convert the climate crisis into genuine change management, with traction from the smallest of local actions to the most global of international interests.

She is a mum of three boys, an ambassador for the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s project to map the habitat of the county, and she continues to be, as she was for nearly two decades in the civil service, a diversity champion looking for potential talent in everyone. A large rambling Victorian garden to restore protects sanity, while a dozen hens give some balance to an all male dog / child household (just).

DL:   Hello everyone. I’m your host, David Linden, the head of energy transition for Westwood Global Energy Group. And you’re listening to Energy Transition Now where we discuss what the transition really means for the oil and gas and the broader energy industry. Today, we’re going to talk about something that I don’t think certainly gets enough airtime. We’re going to discuss really, I guess our increasing dependency or reliance on data and technology and what that kind of means. And to talk to us about that, very excited to have Sally Walker on the podcast today. Sally has worked in national security for 25 years and has been labelled the best cyber spy in the UK, even if she might refute that claim. She has left the civil service a few years ago, and so we’re very lucky to have her on the show today. A very warm welcome, Sally.

SL:   Thank you, David. It’s nice to be here.

DL:   So, I did allude to, sort of, probably the biggest part of your career in that mini intro there. But just to get us warmed up, could you maybe just sort of give us a little bit more sort of colour on your background and what’s got you to where you are today?

SW:  What you mean you don’t have space in the national security community on your podcast each week, David? I think you should.

DL:   I was going to say, or is it a secret? But I thought that was maybe the worst joke to make.

SW:  But I’ve heard that one before. And no, I don’t have to shoot you. So yes, I was in the national security community, more specifically, the government communications headquarters, one of the three intelligence agencies for 25 years. A very proud career, not one I talk about a lot, but one where some of the themes and interests and strategic priorities, I think, are relevant. And as I’ve moved out of national security into the world as being an ordinary citizen, if you like, I actually think the conversation with the public over direction of travel around data, cyber, digital, call it what you will. There’s lots of terminology, and we can talk about that. I think our conversation is an important one. It’s not always an easy one. There are language barriers. There is a perception that if you’re talking digital and tech, it must be something the IT department are going to do for us and we need to get beyond that. And that’s why I agreed to do this. This conversation today, which I hope will be fascinating. I’m also passionate about climate change. I do a lot of work in my local community with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust around the future of our planet. I’m a mum, I’ve got children, and I think that, that combination of opportunity that’s coming across our radars is an inflexion point where we can make choices around who we are, around what our organisations represent and how we think about the big challenges and what we do about those. So that’s my that’s my sort of very broad interest spectrum at the moment and, and I in your capable hands to take that where you will.

DL:   Perfect. And just for folks who are listening, I mean, we will post your bio, I guess, onto our web page. But what is it that you’re doing now? So, you know, you on a conference circuits or are you working with different people just to give a bit of colour as to how you’re maybe putting some of that into action, would be helpful for folks to hear.

SW:  Yes, so I guess I didn’t actually say, well, what I did even when I was in. So, my final job was as director of cyber. So, I ran the UK’s offensive cyber capability operations against others. So, lots of people look at it and go cybersecurity. I get that. I understand it, lot of media coverage. There’s less on the offensive side. What does that mean? We can come back to that. So, transitioning from that world into something else is interesting and challenging because I’ve got a background in crisis management. I’ve got a background in cyber. But actually, my true interest is in people. So, what I found myself doing now is talking to people. Yes, a little bit of keynote speech and conference, working with people, a lot of leadership development. I work with a company called Clarity, who do leadership development for top teams across all kinds of sectors. And I’ve got my own consultancy company talking about how we specialise in human cognition and how that can go awry, which is fascinating. So, a bit of a portfolio.

DL:   Very interesting. I guess, you know, I remember when we were talking first preparing ourselves for this, just to sort of think, well, what is it we’d like to talk about? You sort of talked about three key areas or themes that do run through that, and you’ve alluded to it a little bit here. Could you maybe sort of just summarise those for us because I think those will walk will through those, I guess, through this podcast and why it’s relevant and how that’s important to data to technology, but also to the energy industry specifically. But maybe if we start there, this sort of just to get people comfortable with what your lens is as such, if you can still give us, give us a bit of an intro to that.

SW:  Yeah, of course. So, the company I run now is called Human Digital Thinking. And why did I call it that? Because I think those three components are vital in modern society. I think it’s really important that we retain our humanity, in a world where we are inundated by data, the opportunity of technology, a lot of what we’re doing is being automated. We need to remember that ultimately machines are driven, coded, run by people and as a human brain in the loop there somewhere. And we also need to be mindful of what can happen when the system goes wrong. And you need a human who is actually identifying that problem and making decisions and doing something about it. Digital, because that’s what we’re here to talk about, trust in technology, the opportunity that technology offers us, the fact of more data, more information than was previously comprehensible. I think each of us has something equivalent to the library of Alexandria at our fingertips on a daily basis. Do we use that? It’s a different question. Is data actually plastic? Is it something that we generate forget about and then becomes a rubbish heap for us to cope with in the future? But we live in a digital society, hyperconnected, huge volumes and speed, and that is challenging how we operate, how we think we lead our organisations. So that’s the digital component and then the thinking bit. That’s because I came from a world of crisis management. You know, terrorist attacks, 911, big things which can be perceived as how do we respond to a problem once that happened? But actually, all of the, all of the core learning from those difficult experiences through right through to the London Olympics, was how do you prepare for the big catastrophic challenges? Because it’s the preparation that matters and it’s the thinking in advance that’s important. And I think that’s part of the conversation you and I were keen to have today is, is the industry energy industry really thinking about the opportunity and crisis that’s ahead of it and making the most of that opportunity and being strategic and thoughtful in its approach?

DL:   Absolutely. Absolutely. I think you’re right. I mean, I was very keen to have this conversation because people they think very often in silos, and they don’t think across all the different complex questions that are out there. And data and technology can be both, I guess, an opportunity and a risk, right? The way you know, I work in a data business, realistically. So, I see this every day in terms of how we operate, but you know, the industry as a whole, but also your point around how you respond to a problem, how you think about a problem, and we’ll come on to that, I think that’s hugely important, not just in terms of the security of, I guess, the energy system, but also our planet realistically and how we think about that. So that’s why I thought this would be a great conversation to have as well. So why don’t we start to dive into some of that then. Right. So, there’s the first aspect, the human aspect of it and your point that you made that there needs to be, if I’ve interpreted correctly that is, that there needs to be a human element in all of this, in the kind of data, AI, cyber type world. Can you maybe just explain a little bit more on that? What is what does it mean to be human, I guess, in that world?

SW:  My best examples are very, very parochial and local. But I think that’s what brings it to life. My mother built a house, and she then spent about 12 months trying to get the bills for her energy and her phone and everything else arranged. And the computer decided that because the house didn’t exist and the address wasn’t in the system, that she wasn’t a customer. And the distress this caused over 12 months was quite profound, and it was because there was a glitch between the real world and the virtual world and at the individual level that is almost impossible to overcome. A second anecdote, I looked at my energy bills yesterday, and for some reason, I haven’t got to the bottom of this yet. I’m consuming twice as much electricity this year as I was last year. Now there may be reasons for that, lockdown, children getting older and more ever more dependent on electronic devices. But it seems anomalous to me. I can just imagine, the response I will get when I try and challenge my energy consumption, with the system, which will say that is what the meter tells you, is your energy consumption and therefore that is your bill. And we are good moral citizens who operate within a rule of law that says we should trust the data in front of our eyes, and we should trust the system and we should pay our bills on time. And these are all good and proper things. But I also come from the world of national capabilities that saw the energy supplies, the networks, the data systems supporting terrorists and criminals and others as legitimate targets. Now that’s a difficult conversation because I’m not going to go into capability and what we could or couldn’t do. All I can defend is the proportionality, the ethics and the very, very considerable legal controls around use of those capabilities. But we live in a dangerous and unstable world where we do have hostile adversaries who do not operate within that rule of law, and they have the same opportunities that we do without the same constraints. And so, the barrier to me between the national security system our energy security, our economic security, the framework of protection for society, the safety of our society is a bigger conversation. And I can only illustrate that through the anecdotes of me in the case of an energy bill and my mum not being able to pay her bills. But I make, and make that connection very deliberately. From the very strategic big picture to the experience of people on the ground. I think we can all recognise that, yes, we think the system works, but do we have faith when the system doesn’t work, that there will be an equitable and quick resolution? Or will we be on hold for the rest of our lives while we try and fight our little corner? That’s where the human in the loop becomes absolutely vital. And it’s a human in the loop, looking down at the individual in their experience and the human in the loop, looking up and asking thoughtful questions and saying, is this a glitch or is this a problem?

DL:   Yeah, I mean, I maybe I look at it sometimes when we’re looking at autonomous vehicles as an example and when is the human important there and what level do, we go to? You know, there’s huge excitement in the EV world that you can go, electric vehicle world, that you can go to autonomous vehicles, and you never need to have a human involved. But I guess recent experience and a complexity in making that happen kind of tells you do need a human involved, no matter how good the technology is and the data that’s been fed through to that machine, which is, you know, making our lives easier, better, cleaner, et cetera.

SW:  Technology is great when it works, and technology when it doesn’t work is actually incomprehensible because the one thing a computer cannot do, that the human brain can do is identify the error within itself. A human can stop and say, I’ve made a mistake. A computer doesn’t know that it’s got bad data, that it’s got corrupted processing because it, that is the one thing that it can’t do. And I’m sure there’ll be brilliant, AI, sorry, artificial intelligence experts out there saying, ah, but if you, fundamentally somebody has to code that thing to do that process in order to come to that conclusion and say, I should never say never in the world of technology, but it isn’t, the design process is run the script to run the programme. Get to the end.

DL:   It is a machine, I guess, at the end of the day. So, if you are in the energy industry per se and you are trying to think about this and you’re a leader in that in the industry, let’s just say what is it that you can be doing that you need to? Well, first of all, you need to understand, I guess, either you can then be doing to help manage that, to realise that if there is a glitch, if you know, if there is that disconnect and the human stays in that loop, what is it you can ultimately be doing?

SW:  It’s a great question, I think. I think the challenge I would pose to the leaders in your industry is, do you want to be trusted? And I use that term very deliberately because I think the journey, we’re on and the one I’ve tried to illustrate through the most low level of consumer stories, is the journey from privacy and security, which is where we started the cyber security journey, to one of trust. Security implies a mindset of, I need to build my walls higher to protect against the big and the bad outside and to stop them coming in and stealing the things that I view as precious. A trusted world is a more complex landscape where you are not concerned about people coming in and stealing your high value data. But one way you are thinking more holistically about whether your systems are functioning or malfunctioning, whether they are understandable and explicable or not. And you’re also thinking about your leadership and your reputation because these things are important in a world where things can and will go wrong. Look at the building industry and Grenfell, look at any number of examples of catastrophic failure of the system and system leadership, one could argue. And so, I would project forward 10 years and say the huge opportunity of going green and of using big data and of being inclusive to the whole of society and all of those various agendas we’ve got. Diversity and inclusion, CSR, Green Planet, digitisation, these are massive agendas. So, it is an opportunity, but also, we need to do the thinking now as to how to join all of those up and bring them together and drive a single change programme that that has a common thread. I believe that common thread is trust, if you have trust in your value system for your organisation. If you want to run trusted systems, and trusted services, that requires values based leadership, not value based leadership, and by value, I mean predominantly commercially driven with everything else added on afterwards. So, I think it is a I think it’s a shift. David, you can tell me whether for the energy community, that’s a profound shift or a, you know, an incremental change. But certainly, within the national security community that I came from, we were starting on that journey of thinking much more broadly and holistically about what national security really meant. And it is a journey and a direction of travel that will need to continue over the decades in front of us.

DL:   So, it’s an interesting one because I guess that I’d like to talk a little bit more about it later, and I think obviously there are values based leaders out there that try and place that type of those values is at the core of their business. But at the end of the day, they’re often a business, right? And ultimately, their main raison d’etre their main rationale for being such is, is to make money. And what makes money right now is, you know, depends on where the oil price sits or which subsidies, which energy sources are receiving the subsidy. You know whether offshore wind is being subsidised versus another. So, you’re going to follow the money, as such, not necessarily a case of what’s the right thing to be doing at this stage, so that you’re planning appropriately going ahead. And I think that’s, it’s an interesting one because we’re talking about, I guess, complexity of climate change and how to solve that, and how to bring businesses, governments, individuals along. When we talk about data and technology, what I find interesting is, you know, some of the ethical debates around, like geoengineering and using technology to change the planet. So, I’m actually reading a book right now by a lady called Elizabeth Kolbert, who just talks about the intervention of humans in society, but then also the future around the case. So, if you do start to create more clouds over the years using technology, well, that has implications. And as such, that’s done with a values approach. I appreciate that and that you’re trying to do the right thing, but also the implications of that are difficult to understand because of the complexity of the system.

SW:  So, it’s interesting, isn’t it, because I came from the public sector where a lot of this values debate was taken for granted actually sometimes wrongly, there are plenty of people. I mean, I think by definition, you start off life in public service from a values based approach. But there are millions of people in the public sector, and it would be completely false to label them all as somehow having a different value system that is more around the public and that sense of duty. I find extraordinary depth and richness in the commercial sector of values based leadership. Equally, I found a piece in what you said the interesting around, you know, follow the money. Some of the most extraordinarily public minded people I met during the pandemic when I did some local community work, are extraordinarily wealthy, but chose to give their time and their money without any celebration or any fanfare because, that is who they are. But they made a choice and they made choice day in, day out about both their time, which is immensely valuable, their expertise and their connections, which are immensely valuable. And occasionally their actual bank accounts, and organisations are the same. They have a values system. They are making choices. They’re making choices about where to invest. They’re making choices about which data to pay attention to, and something that struck me again through doing COVID work and local government work, as we talk about the rollout of technology and the opportunity. We saw it with schools and the fact that everyone went online and then realised that some kids do not have phones and laptops and the devices that connect us to the nervous system of the globe, because their families are too poor, or for a variety reasons. But I work in in bits of Gloucestershire, where there is no 3G signal yet and there is no fibre. But also, some sectors of those communities have no online banking. And yet we’re designing systems. And that’s partly personal choice. It’s partly history and heritage. It’s partly poverty and deprivation. A whole range of reasons. But as people, I very rarely hear people talking about those to whom the opportunities that they’re excited about cannot apply because we all think the world looks and sounds like us. I’ve been a diversity champion for 10 years in the civil service. I was one of the very few senior women. I worked a lot in the military. I was often the only girl in the room. It comes with its challenges, but it also taught me a lot of compassion, empathy and thoughtfulness around who else isn’t here. So sorry, that’s a long answer, but values is a choice. Values is individual values is also organisational, and I think any organisation that pays attention will hopefully be surprised by the richness of contribution it already has within its workforce and within its personnel.

DL:   So, I know that was meant to be about data and technology and the human aspect. But you’re right, it sort of drove us towards the values piece, and I think is worth just saying that this concept of sustainability is by its nature, values based. And so, it’s therefore organisations that are leaders in that space are extremely strong on their values, right? You can go as far back to someone like a Unilever, let’s just say right, and the work that they’ve done and companies like that, and not just the energy sector right. There are obviously, some companies in the sector, which are clearer values based than others, and that’s maybe, you can have a broader discussion here, but I could see your point around values and the importance and what that therefore means. But you also therefore come back to the point around humans and data technology. Well, I guess what you’re doing is partly protecting the human value and the values that you espouse as part of that, and leadership needs to make sure that that’s clear the organisation.

SW:  Absolutely right.

DL:   How about we sort of switch gears a little bit then and talk about that sort of dependency? So, you alluded to some of the things that can, that can go wrong. Essentially, if you are dependent on that, could you maybe just elaborate a little bit around that, and you touched on it a bit? But how do you need to think about that, if you are dependent on a digital world, how does the government or an organisation need to think about that?

SW:  So, you need to do that dual hat of opportunity and risk, constantly. How can I make this better on so many in various ways? How could this go wrong? And my query into the energy sector in particular is, do you give enough strategic time and attention to the long term risks to your industry, and particularly around the risk from your technology and from your data? And I say this out of genuine interest and some concern because the cyber security journey that the nation has been on over decades, we have made extraordinary progress. But that, the driving force behind that, at least at a national level, was around security. The mantra was secure by default, our system secure. It was driven into a recognition and understanding and poor national expertise around the vulnerability of our communications networks and the fact that we were designing systems to meet consumer demand for convenience, not any market demand for security. And that intervention was required through policy and through standards to change that dial, with an extraordinary level of investment of time and energy and expertise, that dial has shifted, not as far as it needs to, if you read the government reports on just how extensive financial fraud is from cybercrime and so on and so on, we still have profound vulnerabilities and real areas of it that require attention. But that’s the here and now, and that’s built on the expertise that we had. I stood up the National Cyber Force, which in conjunction with a military counterpart, I was the civilian lead, and there was a two star general who was the military lead. The cyber force was about using capability against hostile states and our adversaries. But of course, therefore, we understand a little bit more about what might come down the pipe at us. And we’ve seen it play out in the media. We’ve seen Colonial Pipeline and taken out by ransomware, a criminal act and actually a reasonably unsophisticated attack, and that caused huge damage and cost an awful lot of money to deal with. We’ve also seen problems like the Texas infrastructure suffering from, I think, just lack of investment and falling over and crippling societies and communities for a period of time. So we know that our reliance on energy, there’s a direct, for psychologists in the audience I’ve got a background in experimental psychology, for the psychologist in the audience, if there are any, that old triangle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the fundamental things that man needs to survive, you know, shelter, food, warmth, there’s a cartoon version that put Wi-Fi on the bottom of that and then another cartoon that for battery on the bottom of that, you know, we actually now expect to be connected and we expect to be able to charge our devices every night. We need energy supplies, and we need connectivity, that is now what it means to be human. And of course, lockdown showed that even more profoundly, those two things are critical to how we operate. So, energy security and national security have become intrinsically linked. Is the energy system being built with a mindset of we could be a target for criminal actors, even hostile state actors at a time of conflict? And that is perhaps not your normal or average board conversation, but it might be one that’s worth having now and again. But the more important conversation, of course, is what happens when this system goes wrong. And there’s two ways of making something go wrong. You can turn it off or slow it down, and you can overwhelm it and speed it up. And I’m married to an engineer, so we have interesting conversations about how my mind works and how his mind works. So, forgive me for any stereotyping, but it’s born out of 20 years of, you know, interesting conversations.

DL:   We have some experience so that’s fine, go on.

SW:  But when people ask an engineer how they would break the system that they have patiently and carefully built, it is not a comfortable conversation. It is not their go to their natural go place. So, you need someone in the system who says, yeah, that’s fascinating, it’s a great design. How would you break it? Because once you know how you can break it, you’ve got another set of things you need to do. I think my challenge into the energy industry is, you are now, whether you recognise it or not, hopefully some of the, you know, the criminal acts and the damage and the national security situation that’s playing out, particularly with respect to Ukraine, is really bringing this into sharp relief. You are part of our critical national infrastructure. Those words have been used for a long time and I know they’re taken extremely seriously, but they’re brought into even sharper focus, I think now. What does that mean? It means that you, the services that you run, the infrastructure the provide is somebody else’s view of opportunity. So, you are not controlling, managing, leading your system. You are part of a global system where you can be, might be, attacked, exploited and used for hostile purposes. And I think, you know, I would encourage anyone listening to read the recent advisories that are coming out of the American system on how we globally think about and prepare for any further destabilisation in Ukraine because there is an anticipation that will have repercussions. No, that isn’t a Gypsy’s warning that’s not intended to scare anyone. This is actually part of a strategic and systemic campaign to raise the bar. But it does bring it into sharp relief that this is now part of the ecosystem that we are all part of.

DL:   Is it fair to say? So, you know, one of the things that is sort of hotly debated, shall we say, in energy circles, put it in those words, is. That question of whether if you are, for example, let’s call it the gas crisis, at its simplest level, you know where you’re very reliant on imports, relying on other states to supply you with the energy that you need. If you’re in a situation where you go, well, do you know what the way of solving that is to speed up the energy transition and create more local renewable energy sources, primarily I guess so you’re not reliant on imports of that commodity, the commodities or sun as much as we get, let’s say, the U.K. and they say the wind here and other parts of the world will be slightly different. Is it fair to say that what you’re saying still applies because essentially, you know, it’s just a different problem? So, the problem is you’re relying on faraway nations to ship gas to you. Instead, you’re relying on a local network that could be disrupted by anybody. As you say, it’s still an opportunity for somebody. So, the principles around when you think about the energy transition, people think about it from a geopolitical perspective, right? Well, now we’re not relying on the Middle East we’re more relying on something else and therefore, critical minerals, for example, you know, from other parts of the world, so Congo, et cetera. Well, hang on. Yes, still, but the problems still persists. So, there is still an energy security question that can be or needs to be managed. It’s just the type of problem is slightly different in that sense. So, a cyber-attack, the ability for a glitch to happen will increase, right? Because there’s that greater disconnect, because your digitising everything, et cetera, et cetera, because you’re trying to make local and automated. So, is that a fair thing I’m interpreting for what you’re saying there?

SW:  Yes. And I think, I think what I would encourage leaders to just pay attention to is, have they already got in their mind’s eye, a view of what the problem is. So, when they put the question to a wider audience, the question is closed. Because if you put, if you pose the question around, how do we solve the logistical challenge, if you know, if the taps gets turned down or turned off at a distant point, how do we solve that? You will get very clever minds applied to that problem. But what hasn’t happened is open that up to, what are the secondary and tertiary consequences of that? Or have we actually missed the wood for the trees? And this isn’t the major challenge that we face. So, for example, what happens if someone turns to the pipes on too hard and actually, we get oversupplied with gas. Now that that’s probably something where someone who knows the energy industry turns around and says that couldn’t happen. Good, test it please, really? Do you know that that couldn’t happen? And just because it doesn’t make sense commercially? So, what happens if someone tried to do that? Some deliberately manipulated assist. So, the offensive cyber mindset, the attacking mindset is how do you use the system against itself? How do you use the design criteria and whether it’s human? We have biases, instincts, emotions, ways of processing information, and we are actually quite easy to manipulate, sadly, I know we all think that we are beyond that, but it is actually quite easy to manipulate us. And actually, I think one of the things we are learning is, it’s actually easier than we would like to manipulate these systems of systems of machines and codes and computers than we would like. We can put, bad data streams through we can put unexpected load through, we can put you can manipulate the system and those who were responsible for that look, look at you in disbelief and say, but why would anyone do that? And the answer is because they can. So, the, and it comes to trust, if you want to run a trusted system, you need to know that people cannot do unexpected things to it. Not that it doesn’t make sense for them to do that. And it is, I think that is a different mindset.

DL:   As always, the problem with these things, we are pretty much running out of time on this, but we, you know, we’ve covered a lot of good ground. And I think it’s, it’s a good angle for people to cover because they don’t always think about this, right? And that’s the whole point of this podcast is to get people to think about some of the other things that they can’t always look at day in, day out or maybe not even thinking about. So hopefully it’s raising some good questions for folks as well. But sort of in closing, you know for you, what is it? You sort of got a few, I want to say wise words, but a few sort of tips, or if you were to sort of summarise it, what is it that fundamentally it needs to be done a little differently now. You sort of said it’s I guess already, but just for the listener, what is it ultimately, that essentially, we need to do a bit differently here?

SW:  So, it’s not it’s not words of wisdom by any means, because what I believe in doing is asking questions to get people going away and thinking. And even if you go away thinking, I don’t agree with the word of that. Brilliant, I think society generally and with respect to our planet, our nation our security, we really need to think about it occasionally, even if we walk down the street and go, job done. I’ll leave it to someone else or I’m already doing that, or whatever doesn’t matter. As long as the neurones get firing, that is that, you know, we each possess the most extraordinary computing power the world has ever known. It’s called our brain. And when we harness our brains collectively, we are the most extraordinary species and for good and for ill, we’ve done we’ve done amazing things. My challenge to the, to the community would be this. You are faced with extraordinary opportunity. You have a green agenda to deliver, with literally the hopes of the planet in your hands. You are critical national, international, global infrastructure, and there are a set of obligations and expectations that come with that and a community of people who want to help and want to lean into that conversation in order that we build systems and ecosystems that can be trusted. You deliver to each and every one of us. So as citizens of the country, as residents, having a trusted ecosystem of energy supply. To me, that means green and reliable and affordable and all of those good things. But I suspect it means the same to each and every one of us. You’re vital, and we’ve had that conversation nationally, at very senior government levels with the telco industry. The conversations, are there, are starting and developing and maturing with other sectors. I would just say, do you realise how important you are? Please be open minded, connected and thoughtful about the opportunity that you have in front of you. Because to me, each and every person on this podcast is part of our national security, is part of our economic security. Maybe think about that. What does that mean for you?

DL:   Super. OK, Sally, thank you so much for that. I think that was a very good message to finish off on. I was going to say some of my own wise words, but I’m not going to try, as you said, they’re not wise words. It’s something to think about.

SW:  But I agree from the perspective of needing just to get people to step back and think sometimes. So, I do enjoy our conversation on the values side, I think in particular as well and also how that, how that sort of resonates very strongly with anyone who’s touched on the concept of sustainability more broadly, as well, as to how does that play out here? And I like your angle around the kind of you all or part of our national security, ultimately right, or energy security. I think that’s a very powerful message. So, thank you for that. Really appreciate it. Thank you so much for taking the time.

SW:  Absolute pleasure, David. Thank you.

DL:   Perfect. And thanks everyone else for this thing as well. Hope you enjoyed this. Please make sure you subscribe and talk to you next time.


Copyright and Reproduction

This website contains material which is owned by or licensed to Westwood Global Energy Group. This material includes, but is not limited to, the design, layout, look, appearance and graphics. You may not modify, reproduce or distribute the content, design or layout of the Website, or individual sections of the content, design or layout of the Website, without our express prior written permission. For media enquiries, please contact [email protected]

Sign-up to receive alerts of new podcast episodes and the latest Energy Transition Insights newsletter

View all the previous, current and future episodes of the Energy Transition Now podcasts;

Podcast Listings