Tag Archives: economy

Startedin – Edinburgh comes to the City of London

The event began with Frank Ross – who Convenes Edinburgh City Council’s Economic Development activities.

"Pitching" the Edinburgh
“Pitching” the Edinburgh Offer – Frank Ross

It’s about graduates and about computing, academic excellence, spinouts and innovative startups. There are 15 incubators in Edinburgh – Creative Exchange, Carbon Innocation, Techcube; lots of others.

There is a danger that incubators are operating in isolation – it needs to be joined up – so we’ve established the online portal Interspace – to make it easy to do business in Edinburgh.

It’s about quality of life, quality of jobs and quality of city! He pitches the city and he’s proud of it.

Amazon has been in Edinburgh for over 10 years

“We run major chunks of Amazon from Edinburgh” says Graeme Smith of Amazon

Graeme Smith presents Amazon
Graeme Smith presents Amazon

And here is what they get up to:

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Skyscanner – it’s about the quality of life in Edinburgh

Richard Lennox from Skyscanner – this is how he sees it:

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He’s from Carlisle. “I’ve always wanted to work in a global scale technology business”.

Why Edinburgh not London?

It’s not tangible – but it is about the quality of life in Edinburgh.

Here are my more detailed notes and liveblog in Storify

 

 

Bristol is Open

Bristol is a great place – and there’s always a lot going on.  I to the launch of Bristol is Open and here is the liveblog:

Creating the world’s first open programmable city!

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C4CC is amazing – what next?

C4CC-LOGO
The Centre for Creative Collaboration
will close on 17 December 2014

C4CC will close at noon on 17th December 2014.  For 5 years, we have supported collaborations between Universities, businesses, staff and students and creative freelancers.  In the past two years we have also worked with Small and Medium Enterprises across London as part of the London Creative and Digital Fusion project – supporting more than 200 businesses directly ourselves.  We’ve also helped to form and support 37 start-ups creating over 100 jobs.

We’ve spoken to our resident projects and partners about the closure over the past month or so – and this post will, I hope, let a wider group of friends hear the news directly from us.  To cut a very long story short – our funding has finished, the University of London has decided not to support us further and the lease on our building expires early next year.

I talked to Lloyd Davis recently and we recalled the excitement of getting the keys early in February 2010 – and how big and empty the space seemed.  The project was scary and exciting at the same time.  It’s worth remembering that, when we did the research for the project (in 2008/9) there were very few spaces in London that we would now recognise as co-working or collaboration spaces.  So it was a bit of a leap in the dark – and a testament to the vision of our early supporters, especially Sir Graeme Davies who was
Vice-Chancellor of the University of London at that time.

We will hold an event on 12 December at C4CC to share our experiences, tell stories and celebrate what we’ve all been part of – if you would like an invitation, please let me know.

My plan is to ‘to do my own thing’ again as an independent consultant and adviser; I’m looking at a number of opportunities for 2015.  I’ve learnt a lot of new (and I hope useful!) things in the past 5 years – and I will be happy to help other people and projects to benefit from my experience.  So if you’d like to talk about opportunities to work together, please get in touch.

I am on social media as brian_condon or add a comment to this blog.

Women in Leadership

Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO of Mitie, speaking on Women in Leadership: Breaking Down Barriers.

David Docherty says Ruby is one of the few women running a FTSE 250 company.

Ruby at NCUBRuby starts by saying “It’s a rare thing to be both female and Asian and be at the top of a FTSE business”

Women have a massive role to play. We need gender equality at the top of businesses and we need to celebrate diversity. I was successful because I joined a very young organisation in a very young industry. We had fewer hierarchies and could think about talent differently. The Chair and CEO said ‘we’ll teach you’ as they knew I hadn’t done it before. It needs mentoring and support at different levels in women’s careers.

When I became a mother – it was almost impossible to juggle everything. I took 2 years out. The non-execs of MITIE didn’t really understand that, but it worked. She also chairs the Women’s Business Council – and that’s about understanding the barriers at each stage of a career.

It starts early in schools and colleges and Universities – and it’s about setting aspirations. Needs more collaboration on careers – and this is pretty weak still. We’re still grappling with understanding how and where to recruit the right graduates for example.

Loads of barriers – how do we start a business – where do we get the mentoring and support we need.

While things have changed over the past 25 years – there is still much to do on diversity – beyond gender. Need to make sure young people demand and expect equality in the workplace.  More work to do.

We shouldn’t underestimate how far we’ve come – and culture is slow and difficult to change. We do need to support people to rise through the ranks.

In the world of facilities management – it’s very male dominated. Don’t focus on your differences – focus on your talent. Difficult to achieve but we can make progress on this – at every single level. Young people need the biggest possible aspirations – and it’s time to make sure this happens and that people see the opportunities and are able to grasp them.

Q- what role doe employees have to play in helping with career guidance?

Ruby says that school is very different from the workplace – we need to help young people to understand what work is like – and there’s a role for existing employees to help with this. It’s very important that graduates and others are supported in the early stages of their careers.

Q – what is in the gift of the government?

Flexible working is very important – and affordable childcare for families (not just for women). There are specific things government can do. They’ll say there’s no money – but they have to spend money on something.

How can universities help?

Better workplacements, a better understanding of the role of outsourcing – not always the most popular of industries.

Q – which countries have better working practices than the UK?

Ruby says the US is better in certain areas – but she doesn’t like quotas. We have a multi-level problem. We seem to have issues at each level in our organisations.

Q – how about the difference between the best person vs the best team issue?

She says if you pick the best person they should find the best team [errrm].

Q. – role of apprenticeships

Ruby says they are as important as graduates and often better. We have about 500 apprentices and this is more than the number of graduates we recruit. They are very important to us.

Q – re aspirations and people recruiting “people like us”. How can we change this?

Select talented people and give them responsibility early – be less hierarchical – fast track people to big roles early.

Q – re lifelong learning – how to implement in business?

Ruby responds that we need to make developing people integral to the role of the business – send them to a business school – make sure you keep them up to date – very important.

Q – who helped you develop and who mentored you?

Partner in accounting firm, CEO of SERCO – provided her with encouragement and support. I wish I’d had more confidence and self belief. We also need to develop cultures where ‘getting things wrong is an important part of every day”

Q – Ageism is an issue for women – often they are considered ‘past it’

A – Not about age – it’s about ability to deal with change and deal with rapidly moving markets. We need to help women get back into work – it’s a big untapped market and they need to be brought back into the workplace.

Q – How do we deal with demands on women to be the main Carer especially as parents get older. How do we change that?

No easy answer. It’ll take a long time – but increased flexibility in working will help – fitting more things around work. Changing society is a tough call.

Q – what could businesses do to help fathers play a bigger part especially when their children are younger and need someone to go to them

A – Boards need to be family friendly – once that happens things will improve.

Q – re leaving for extended periods to have children vs the idea of ‘backing off’

A  Once you’re out of the workplace – the phone stops ringing and no one is interested. This is very difficult.  It is very hard coming back in  – and you just have to make it work.

Q- do you need to behave like a man to make it in business?

A – It’s a shame if women feel like that – it’s important that people are prepared to be themselves. I always tried hard to be me and I think that’s the way we can make progress.

Drawing Conclusions at #INCAftth

Moving into the final plenary – here’s the liveblog

FTTH Council / INCA UK Workshop

As part of the first FTTH Council Europe Council conference in the UK, FTTH Council and INCA – the Independent Networks Cooperative Association are collaborating on this workshop on the UK scene.

Here’s a quick audioboo overview of the Opening Plenary session:

Some views from Malcom Corbett of INCA:

And here’s the liveblog made during the session:

Public Sector Network GB – a dis-invitation

I’ve just been sent an e-mail dis-inviting me from the PSNGB meeting in Leeds.

Bit of a shame given that I’d received a confirmation and bought my rail tickets on the strength of that confirmation to travel from Kent to Leeds.

I’ve advised a number of local authorities and others on digital infrastructure and public service transformation – Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Leicester.  I work with communities on Next Generation Access and chair the NextGen series of events.

I was planning to liveblog/tweet the event in Leeds for nothing because I think that the PSNGB stuff should be visible – it’s important to all of us.

Anyone else been treated like this?

Here’s the confirmation

Here’s the e-mail:

 

Dear Industry Colleague

Thank you for your application to attend the PSNGB Roadshow event on 10th or 12th July. Unfortunately demand for places has greatly exceeded supply and we have to prioritise public sector requests followed by PSNGB members, where only one place is available per member organisation. Therefore I am very sorry but on this occasion we are unable to offer you a place.
However I would like to extend an invitation to attend a future PSNGB meeting as a guest if your organisation is not already a member. These meetings provide members with the opportunity to participate in the debate around the rapidly evolving PSN market place, to network with other suppliers and to understand how we are developing key areas of the relationship with the PSN Authority and the other public sector stakeholders.