I read to my children and now my grandchildren, although nowadays they read to me! Books can take you anywhere (a bit like stepping into your very own Tardis).
The forces of rapid urbanization, climate change and natural resource depletion are so great that now is the time for different professions to combine together, with a clear focus and determination, to help solve these critical issues which will impact on the lives of millions of people for generations to come.
Seventy-five years later, I am proud and humbled to be able to pay my deepest respects to the Veterans and survivors of what must have seemed an interminable and terrible campaign.
There simply aren’t enough trees available at present; when pests and diseases are causing major losses of biodiversity, and when we are increasingly aware of the contribution that plants make to our quality of life, and can now make to a circular bioeconomy, we simply have to be more cautious, more vigilant and more demanding, very demanding, in tackling this major environmental risk.
I hope the centre will continue to inspire the next generation of automotive designers, engineers and researchers to innovate through collaborative research projects with manufacturers, suppliers and of course with academia.
I visited SafeLives for the first time in 2016 and, as I have said on numerous occasions, that memorable day fired my interest in domestic abuse. I did know of people who had suffered from it, but I was both shocked, and horrified by just how many thousands of people across the world live with it.
During my recent visit to India in November, I had the great good fortune to meet some of the children who have benefitted from the $11 million Quality India Education Development Impact Bond. It was a great treat to meet these charming children on my birthday and wonderful to hear about the beneficial effects from the improved quality of education as a result of this initiative.
As we stand at the milestone of seventy-five years since the end of the Holocaust, it is natural to reflect on how far we have come and what society might have learned since those dreadful events.
Throughout my life, I have tried, in whatever very small way I can, to foster greater understanding between people of different faiths, to heal divisions and to remind people of so much that we share in common as opposed to what divides us. Indeed, as it says in Psalm 133 “behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”.
The Holocaust must never be allowed to become simply a fact of history: we must never cease to be appalled, nor moved by the testimony of those who lived through it. Their experience must always educate, and guide, and warn us.