Innovating out of recession workshop summary

With innovation seen as a key way for businesses to navigate the recession, the Innovating out of Recession workshop at our Annual Conference brought together an interesting mix of speakers and delegates to discuss innovative practices, measuring innovation and how innovation may change the industrial structure of the West Midlands.

Cliff Dennett from thoughtengine, co-author of Innovation in a recession (chapter 7 in the Fit for the Future book ), kicked off a series of presentations covering a range of innovation related topics. Cliff’s presentation focussed on ways in which we can explore cost-cutting but value adding activities.
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Environment and economy: Fit for the Future?

Environment & EconomyThe 2009 Observatory conference, West Midlands: Fit for the Future?, provided a forum for debate on economic recovery in the West Midlands.

One element of the debate concentrated on how to link the environment and economy better, based on chapters 4 and 9 of the Fit for the Future? book.

Delegates at the Environment and Economy workshop discussed Green Infrastructure, leadership and the value of the environment, aiming to understand how to embed the environment into regional policy making more effectively. Discussions ranged from the best way of doing this to overcoming what’s currently standing in the way.

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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.

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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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:

Acknowledging the cross-sector importance of culture

Cover of State of the Region Report 2008October has been an important month for colleagues at the West Midlands Regional Observatory.

Not only was the State of the Region Report 2008 launched, along with the Regional Integrated Economic Assessment, the Observatory held its annual conference, attracting a good cross-section of the region’s key thinkers and policy-makers. In all three cases, the importance of culture, particularly to the region’s economy, was highlighted.

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Sponsorship opportunities at the WMRO Annual Conference 2008: an update

The sponsorship opportunities available at this year’s annual conference are proving to be very popular. Exhibition stands from Geowise, ESRI UK and Renewal Magazine are confirmed with Renewal magazine also sponsoring the sustainable communities workshop and the Applied Research Centre in Sustainable Regeneration at Coventry University inserting flyers into delegate packs. Other companies are set to confirm in the next couple of weeks. Continue reading