Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FutureEverything and The City Debate

I was delighted to be asked to take part in The City Debate. It's an interesting idea: assemble a big group of people who think about Manchester a lot and start an open conversation about what the future of the city should look like and the best way to get there. The festival describes it as "An ideas event for evangelists, cynics, digital artesans, policy makers, property magnates, media vultures, urban planners, you, and me."

Who else is going to be taking part? Sir Howard Bernstein (Manchester City Council) by video, Susan Woodward (Sharp Project), Roger Milburn (Arup), Mike Ryan (Manchester Digital), Dave Carter (Manchester Digital Development Agency), Lyn Barbour (Manchester City Council), Walt Crowson (Learning Skills Employment Network), Patsy Hodson (Manchester Communication Academy), Alice Morrison (NWVM), Nick Johnson (Urban Splash), Professor Alan Harding (Institute for Political & Economic Governance), Martin Carr (True North), Mike Emmerich (Commission for the New Economy), Colette Williams (Moss Side independent candidate), and Tim News (MIDAS). The BBC's Jenni Murray is going to be moderating.

Each of us had to write a statement summarising our views about where the city should be headed, and given the nature of my work I chose to focus on culture and creative industries. I'll post a link to it here when its online.

In the meantime I had to boil that statement down into a 140-character summary (that was fun) and I came up with this: "supporting small orgs, artists, writers + thinkers will ensure MCR's creative renaissance reaches beyond Salford Quays." Now I'm thinking going with revival instead of renaissance could've saved me a few characters. Ah well. You can check out what some of the other participants wrote on twitter by searching for #citydebate.

It's Friday, May 14 at Manchester Business School on Booth Street West from 3-5:30pm. Entry is free, but you have to book and tickets are limited. Come on down.

FutureEverything's full programme is online here. There's plenty going on all over the city, and the art strand has some especially interesting stuff planned this year.

(Photo by Mike Colvin via Wikimedia Commons)

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