I recently had the fantastic opportunity of attending the annual Guernsey Institute of Directors convention. Guernsey really leads the way in this with over 750 members - over 30 of whom are Chartered Directors. The opportunity for students to attend the event, provided by the Ana Leaf Foundation, is a real benefit of living on such a small, close-knit island. For those of us looking to make a difference in the world of business and politics, this was a real eye-opener.

Upon seeing this year's theme: 'Infrastructure', I found myself thinking, 'Oh dear, they're going to be talking about road works for three hours'. However, as I looked more closely into local issues over the week building up to the dinner, I found that this theme encapsulated a huge variety of areas. Infrastructure is transport links: how we get to and from the island, as well as getting about once we're here; infrastructure is education: how and where the next generation is going to be educated and, now, infrastructure is digital: how we communicate with each other and with the outside world.
Students were able to attend an informal lunch prior to the dinner which enabled us to discuss a variety of issues with experienced businesspeople including branch IoD chairwoman Linda Johnson, in a relaxed environment. Alistair Stewart, who would be moderating the evening's event, also attended the lunch. Despite living in the UK, Alistair had visited Guernsey many times and I feel I speak on behalf of everyone when I say he truly seemed to connect with local issues. Having a long chat really enabled us to get our voices heard and speak up about what is affecting young people in Guernsey. Alistair admitted to us later that our input at lunch time had guided how he led the debate in the evening.