'An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous’. How does that apply in the 21st century?’
It was Henry Ford who asked this question and last night, John Fleming, Executive Vice President Europe of Ford Motor Company, presented his Roscoe Lecture to debate the answers around this.
Liverpool-born John was introduced by LJMU Honorary Fellow and old school-friend Jack Stopforth, who was previously CEO of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, and is now a Director of the Big Partnership. Jack talked about their old school days together and the different paths they took in their careers, both leading to an impact on society, locally, nationally and internationally.
Addressing the audience at St George’s Hall, John stated how "Liverpool is a fabulous city to come back to" and the pride he feels at how it has been built into the place it is today. He then took the audience through the evolution of Ford and the changes the company has faced to improve over the years. This included a look at how Henry Ford changed manufacturing processes and improved conditions for workers, giving everyone the chance to be prosperous. John led the audience through the principles of Henry Ford and how his thinking still applies to the company, but also society, today.
John joined Ford in 1967 and started working at the company's Halewood facility on Merseyside. He is now responsible for new product introductions and managing expansion and labour negotiations in key markets around the world – all of which are critical to the company’s ongoing competitiveness.
You can listen to John Fleming’s Lecture again here