It was a school lunch with a difference. The future was painted in vivid colours at Moreton Hall School near Oswestry when a former pupil came back to talk attention-grabbing economics, technology, global issues and an imminent app which diagnoses health problems.
Shropshire girl, Zanny Minton Beddoes is now economics editor for the Economist magazine, lives in Washington and is responsible for coverage of the American economy, Western economic policy and issues relating to globalisation.
With a brilliant delivery, she captivated pupils, sponsors, business guests and representatives from all walks of life across the county gathered for the sixth Moreton Hall Business lunch. An event which Principal Jonathan Forster said was “the best yet.”
In a sweeping panorama of topics, Zanny Minton Beddoes captivated her audience with firm views on recessions, emerging nations, the challenges of living longer, driverless cars and a digital revolution which she firmly believes is set to accelerate.
Zanny also believes that Britain should stay in the European Union. Her parents Stewart and Ilse Minton Beddoes who live in south Shropshire were in the audience to hear her speak for the first time on such a platform.
While Moreton Enterprises and the school’s many young entrepreneurs were profiled when students talked about the extensive business portfolio they have built up in the years since their predecessors helped transform and save a vital service.
When threatened by cutbacks, Gobowen train station's booking office was taken over in July 1993 by girls from the school, ably led by David Lloyd, a former geography master.
And the business acumen absorbed then by that one amazing project, led to industries which operate at the school and year by year, experience a healthy turnover.
Several of today’s girls explained how the experience had led to them looking at a future in the business world.
Spurred on enormously no doubt by the astonishing success story of talented and charming old girl, Zanny Minton Beddoes.
"We think everyone was rather envious of Zanny's ability to speak so comprehensively and clearly without really referring to any notes! The whole event was very professionally organised and together with the impressive presentation from the Moreton Enterprises Team, sets Moreton apart from its peer group." John Simpson - Investec (Sponsor)