Bilderberg Group's 2016 Meeting Includes These 10 Members From The UK

Some names may surprise you.

This week, around 130 of the world's most rich and powerful figures will gather at the top-secret Bilderberg conference in Dresden, Germany.

The four-day event runs from Thursday until Sunday, and is an annual opportunity for those from the banking, academic, political and business worlds to mingle confidentially.

<strong>Dresden in Germany, where the controversial conference will run this week</strong>
Dresden in Germany, where the controversial conference will run this week
Sean Gallup via Getty Images

No agendas, resolutions, votes or policy statements are made as a result of the conference, but some criticise it as an opportunity for a global elite to come together and decide on actions that affect the lives of billions of people.

Prominent figures, such as Ryanair's Michael O'Leary, ex-CIA chief David Petraeus and the Dutch King are among those on the guestlist.

But ten Brits have also been invited. Here's who they are and why Bilderberg is so interested in having their ears:

Marcus Agius
Marcus Agius is chair of the British Banker Association, a trade group which lobbies on behalf of its members.

Among those banks it represents are HSBC, JP Morgan, Lloyds and the Bank of India.

In 2012, the association was stripped of its role as the rate setter for Libor, one of the fundamental standards for global financial markets.

Agius is also a former group chair of Barclays and sits as a non-executive board director on the BBC Executive Board.
Douglas Flint
A former BP non-executive director, Scottish-born Douglas Flint is a specialist in multinational financial reporting and treasury operations.

He is now group chair of HSBC, a position he earned after a boardroom battle back in 2010 and is a regular at Bilderberg.

Flint is thought to have attended five of the last six top secret conferences.
Helen Goodman
Labour Party
From the House of Commons, Labour MP Helen Goodman is also on the confirmed guest-list for this year's event.

She has served in numerous briefs in government, including the Treasury and Department for Work and Pensions.

2016 will be the Labour MP's first time at Bilderberg.

She memorably came under fire last year for tweeting a “bizarre” criticism of health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s wife.

The MP for Bishop Auckland wrote: “If China is so great, why did @Jeremy_Hunt ‘s wife come to England?”
Sir John Sawers
Lewis Whyld/PA Archive
Sir John Sawers was chief of MI6 for five years, before moving into offering strategy advice to governments across the world.

The 60-year-old Warwickshire-born businessman was formerly a foreign affairs adviser to prime minister Tony Blair.

He worked on the Northern Ireland peace process, helping broker and implement the Good Friday Agreement, and also headed up a review into Iraq that considered regime change in 2001, two years before the decision to go to war.
Guy Standing
Guy Standing is a University of London professor, and founder of the Basic Income Earth Network, an NGO promoting basic income as a right.

He has held a number of senior academic positions, including at at the universities of Bath and Monash (in Melbourne, Australia).

Professor Standing has previously declared universal basic income a "21st century economic right" and wrote in a book published in 2011 that globalisation was to blame for pushing more workers into a new social class - the precariat.
Zanny Minton Beddoes
ullstein bild via Getty Images
Zanny Minton Beddoes is the editor-in-chief of The Economist, and as such is considered one of the most influential voices in financial journalism.

The publication's first woman editor, Beddoes earned a degree in PPE from Oxford before winning a Kennedy Scholarship at Harvard University,

She attended Bilderberg in 2015.
John Kerr
A former diplomat, John Kerr is deputy chair of energy giant Scottish Power and also sits as a crossbench peer in the House of Lords.

The Highland-born magnate was principal private secretary to two Conservative chancellor's under Thatcher - Sir Geoffrey Howe and Nigel Lawson.

Lord Kerr is 74 and also chairs the pro-EU Centre for European Reform.
Dido Harding
Anthony Devlin/PA Archive
Baroness Dido Harding is telecoms firm TalkTalk's CEO and sits in the House of Lords on the Conservative benches.

In 2014, she was crowned as one of the ten most influential women in the BBC Woman's Hour Power List.

She is one of only a handful of female chief executives of FTSE 250 companies, and was previously managing director at Thomas Cook.
Martin Wolf
Martin Wolf is the Financial Times' chief economics commentator. He was awarded with a CBE in 2000 “for services to financial journalism”.

He has been a forum fellow at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos since 1999 and was previously a member on the Coalition government's Independent Commission on Banking.

Born in 1946, Wolf was described by Prospect magazine as "the Anglosphere's most influential finance journalist".
Demis Hassabis
Lee Jin-man/AP
One of the youngest bunch of Britons attending Bilderberg this year, Demis Hassabis is an Artificial Intelligence researcher and gamer.

Of Cypriot-descent, the London-born neuroscientist has a double first from Cambridge in computing.

In 2010, he co-founded DeepMind, a machine learning startup. His company was acquired by Google just two years later for a reported £400 million.

He is now vice-president of engineering there and leads AI projects.
<strong>Bilderberg has often attracted high-levels of criticism</strong>
Bilderberg has often attracted high-levels of criticism

Previous attendees at the secret conference include David Cameron, George Osborne and ex-shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

The conference is usually picketed by protestors, often dubbed conspiracy theorists, who believe it is largely a lobbying event that yields no transparency over what discussions take place and how politicians' decisions will affect policy in countries across the globe.

Officially, the Bilderberg group bills itself as designed to "foster dialogue between Europe and North America".

The group's 2013 conference was held in Watford, North London.

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