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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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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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.

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Observatory Annual Report 2008-09

Observatory Annual Report 2008-09The Observatory has published its Annual Report for 2008-09 (PDF, 506kb).

The report summarises our work and achievements over the 2008-09 financial year.

A shorter summary will be produced for the annual conference, taking place in Sutton Coldfield on 20th October 2009. The conference will explore the economic future of the West Midlands.

For more information, contact Oliver Nicholls.

West Midlands: Fit for the Future?

West Midlands: Fit for the Future? Cover ArtOn 21st July, from 5pm to 7pm, the Observatory is holding a short drinks reception in central Birmingham to launch our book, “West Midlands: Fit for the Future?”

The book comprises ten chapters, written by ten different authors, reflecting their personal views on how the region can best place itself in readiness for the economic upturn, as well as highlighting any potential obstacles.

Our ultimate aim is to stimulate debate, promote discussion and influence policy on the future growth of the region. The focus is on the future prosperity of the West Midlands, rather than on the effects of the recession, exploring the region’s ability to maximise its potential as we move out of the downturn.

At our annual conference on 20th October 2009, delegates will be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised in the book, and help develop an evidence-based action plan for the region.

If you would be interested in attending the launch event, please email info@wmro.org or call 0121 202 3250.

Issues for the Observatory to take forward…

The Oracle newsletterThe quarter four 2008 (PDF, 685KB) edition of the Observatory’s new-look The Oracle newsletter, is now available.

This edition reviews our 2008 annual conference, “Better Evidence, Better Policy” with reports on all of the talks and workshops from the day, as well as the main issues that we will be taking forward in 2009.

Podcasts of the day are still available (view in iTunes or another RSS reader).

We welcome your comments on the issues that we’re planning to progress from the day.

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Briefings on current and forthcoming Observatory research

At our recent Annual Conference there were four printed briefing papers on the Observatory booth. These briefing papers introduce four key current and forthcoming research projects.

If you didn’t get a copy, the briefings are available to download below: