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TechWeek: Snap chat with Alison Cambray

Posted: Friday 30 October 2020

PwC CI’s climate change specialist takes a quick time out with Channel Eye ahead of Jersey TechWeek.

What’s your job title and where do you currently work?

Senior manager, PwC Channel Islands LLP

Please tell us about yourself?

Originally from London and an environmental scientist, I’ve been working in sustainable development policy and practice for 20 years. I’ve worked with businesses and governments around the world to integrate the implications of global megatrends into economic development strategy and decision-making. Since returning from maternity leave at the beginning of 2020, I’ve been leading PwC CI’s work on the future economy for Jersey, and I’m the CI firm’s ESG and climate change specialist.

How did you end up in your current role?

I married a Jerseyman. I transferred from PwC’s global Sustainability and Climate Change practice into PwC CI a few years ago. I have been very fortunate that I have had the opportunity at PwC to apply my skills and experience in new ways in the Jersey context.

Can you give an overview of what you are doing at TechWeek?

I’m participating in the Digital is the Economy session on Thursday 22 October.  I’ll be talking about the findings from our recent publication “Upskilling the Channel Islands workforce for a digital world”, in which we’ve estimated the jobs at risk now, and in the future, in Jersey from waves of automation. There’s also a really positive message here – there is potential for just as many, if not more, jobs to be created if we can upskill our people and harness the business opportunities arising in all sectors of the economy.

What’s new and exciting in your field for 2020?

2020 has been a very strange year for obvious reasons. But the emergence of the “build back better” agenda has really exciting potential. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redirect and accelerate investment to do two things, together:  maximise the opportunities arising from the fourth industrial revolution, and drive the urgent transition needed to a sustainable, net zero economy. We are at make-or-break points on both of these, the interface between them is important and innovative, and we have the chance to shape the future.

How do you think the Channel Islands can become a player in digital innovation?

Jersey has always found creative ways to innovate to provide what the world needs. We already have so many of the ingredients for an accelerated digital economy here in Jersey. What we need is a faster pace of change, in an inclusive way that doesn’t leave anybody behind. It means government leading by example.  It means supporting sectors and businesses to transform.  And it means thinking differently about life-long learning for all. The result will be staying relevant as a jurisdiction, raising productivity, reducing inequality, and playing our part in the transition to the “new” economy.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

Aged 11, I was given a copy of the “Blue Peter Green Book”.  It set out page after page about how we humans were destroying the planet. I couldn’t understand why people didn’t do more to fix things, and I decided I wanted to be part of the solution. Sometimes I find it incredibly sad how little progress we’ve made in the 30 years since. But I remain an optimist.

What do you do in your downtime?

Run around after my two small boys, so I don’t really get any downtime.

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