Speakers announced for the 2009 conference

West Midlands: Fit for the Future?One month to go until the Observatory’s 2009 conference – “West Midlands: Fit for the Future?” – on Tuesday 20th October at the Ramada Hotel in Sutton Coldfield.

Book online or fax us a booking form

Entitled “West Midlands: Fit for the Future?”, the conference will follow on from a book of the same name launched by the Observatory in July. The focus will be on the economic recovery of the region, rather than the recession, and how we position the West Midlands to ‘hit the ground running’. Delegates will be encouraged to discuss issues raised in the book and influence development of the evidence base to inform the Single Regional Strategy.

The speakers…
Our key-note address will be by Richard Woolhouse, Senior Economist at Centre for Cities. Richard is currently leading a major project on “Surviving Recession” for the Centre and will give the ‘big picture’ of recession and recovery to start off the day. Amongst other things, he will draw on his experience as a strategist in financial markets for Citibank and Credit Suisse, as well as an economic advisor to the Treasury and Inland Revenue.

In the afternoon, Daniel Gidney, Chief Executive of the Ricoh Arena, will give a more local perspective. As one of the region’s business leaders, he will focus on issues including skills, culture and tourism (including the Olympic legacy). Sir Roy McNulty and Cllr Roger Phillips, joint chairs of the Shadow Joint Strategy and Investment Board, will then make the link to the forthcoming regional strategy and the evidence base to support it.

The workshops…
There will also be a range of workshops and a question panel during the day. The workshops will cover innovation, engaging communities, skills, environment & economy and drivers for the future, building on the ten chapters of the Fit for the Future book. Speakers include Professor David Bailey (Coventry Business School), Dr Chris Upton (Newman University College), Simon Topman (WM Chambers of Commerce), Simon Slater (Sustainability WM), Julie Robson (Learning & Skills Council) and Zahid Nawaz (Equality & Human Rights Commission). There will be plenty of opportunity to have your say on how the region moves forward.

Still need to be convinced? This is a fantastic opportunity to have your voice heard, to be part of the ‘Fit for the Future?’ debate and influence the development of the new regional strategy.

*Places at the conference cost £60 incl. VAT

** Copies of “West Midlands: Fit for the Future?” are available free of charge

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