Glass: The World’s Most Important Material?


Everyone knows about windows, bottles and domestic glassware, not to mention perhaps their phones and other screens. There is at least one use which is arguably as important, if not more so, than any of the above. To find out more, you will have to attend this lecture! Three eminent UK glass experts will talk about the importance of glass in the world and in the UK. As well as manufacturing, they will discuss research, decarbonisation and even glass art.


Mark Holford is a tech investor who spent most of his career working in international insurance in the City of London. He is one of the UK’s leading collectors of contemporary glass. His collection consists of 200+ pieces, a third of which is on loan to The World of Glass in St Helens. Mark is privileged to be the Patron of The World of Glass, The Contemporary Glass Society and The Guild of Glass Engravers, as well as being a Court Member and Charity Trustee of The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London.  He represents the Glass Sellers on the Membership Council of Glass Futures. He is also a Past Master of The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.

Richard Katz is the Chief Executive of Glass Futures. He has had a long career in the glass industry including many executive and non-executive roles. During his career, Richard started a number of glass manufacturing companies and served on the Board of the British Glass Manufacturers' Confederation. He was Chairman of Royal Brierley Crystal and personally held both Her Majesty's and HRH Prince Charles' Warrants. He was previously Master of The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London.

David Dalton is a research chemist with 44 years of experience in the glass industry.  He led research at the British Glass Industries Research Association in Sheffield from the 1980’s before taking the political lead at BGMC 15 years ago. He is a passionate advocate of glass technology and supporter of research & development and most recently has chaired the EIUG, the political body representing energy-intensive industries in front of the government in the UK.  He leads on guiding like-minded sectors including steel, chemicals, paper, ceramics and cement, alongside glass in guiding policy development in government to support carbon reduction and innovation investments to help position the UK at the vanguard of future global manufacturing.