Live blogging the Observatory’s Annual Conference

West Midlands: Fit for the Future?Our 2009 Annual Conference, titled West Midlands: Fit for the Future?, takes place tomorrow in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham.

You can keep up-to-date with comments and tweets about the conference as it unfolds on the day using this CoverItLive liveblog (replay the liveblog here).

You can add comments directly in the liveblog itself or by sending a tweet containing the hashtag #wmroconf09.

All the content surrounding the conference—slides, photos, useful links, videos, blog posts, tweets, and so on—is being aggregated on this Pageflakes. Again, tag any content you want to share with wmroconf09.

The conference is on Tuesday, 20th October. The liveblog will open at 10am.

Challenge or opportunity? How to plan for climate change

Blog ACtion Day 2009 on Climate ChangeToday is Blog Action Day 2009, when more than 8,000 blogs from 146 countries are discussing issues around climate change.

Here’s our contribution to this global initiative.

In a few weeks’ time, we’ll publish the findings from our state of the region dialogue on climate change titled Challenge or Opportunity? How to plan for climate change.

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Feedback on Sharing Information Digitally event

Cutout figures connected by green light

We hosted an event on Sharing Information Digitally on 7th October 2009 at Millennium Point in Birmingham.

We tried a new structure for this event—part traditional presentations, part practical sessions—and thought we’d share some feedback on the event (from attendees and ourselves).

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Debate on the future of the region is picking up pace

Fit for the Future? Green InfrastructureThe West Midlands: Fit for the Future? debate is picking up pace, with the Observatory today publishing an eleventh chapter to add to the original book of ten chapters (pdf, 5.7mb).

The Forestry Commission’s Bill Heslegrave felt so strongly about the inclusion of green infrastructure in a debate on the economic recovery of the West Midlands, that he submitted a chapter of his own (pdf, 928kb).

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Blog Action Day ’09 Climate Change

Blog ACtion Day 2009 on Climate Change15th October is Blog Action Day 2009, an annual event when bloggers around the world post about a common issue on the same day.

The aim is to raise awareness and encourage discussion around a global issue.

This year’s topic is climate change.

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Roundup from Sharing Information Digitally event

Cutout figures connected by green light

Yesterday’s event at Millennium Point looked at the whys and hows of making public data more accessible.

There were also some practical discussions looking at using social media and online tools to improve sharing data and information.

Richard Wilson, from Sandwell PCT and Chair of the Population & Society Group, chaired the day. You can listen to his introduction:

This post rounds up all the main speakers and resources from the event.

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Birmingham is ‘best performing city’

Selfridges store in Birmingham

According to the Cushman & Wakefield European Cities Monitor 2009, Birmingham is the ‘best performing city’ in the country in terms of improvement on last year’s ranking.

The influential survey of 500 of Europe’s largest companies shows Birmingham rising seven places from 21st to 14th as the best European city for business, overtaking Manchester in the process which fell to 16th.

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