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Final Lineup Confirmed for Liquid City

The UK's Brightest Urban Theorists Convene for Liquid CityIn case you missed it last week, we can announce the full lineup of special guests for our next salon, Liquid City, on October 12. At the event we’ll we exploring how to engineer an innovation culture in a city – what conditions, be they physical, financial, social or otherwise, are required to foster and intensify great ideas and pioneering companies?

Our first guest is someone who has been drawn to the bosom of the coalition government and tasked with making East London one such innovation hub. Eric van der Kleij is CEO of Tech City, a grand project from the Cameron administration designed to turn the patch from Old Street to the Olympic Park into ‘the digital capital of Europe’, by drawing in both established technology companies (Cisco, Vodafone, Google and Intel have all committed to new sites) as well as exciting startups. He’s an ideal choice for the position, having started his own anti-fraud company Adeptra as well as advising the government on entrepreneurship and investment for a number of years. To hear more about his vision for London’s burgeoning tech scene, check out this interesting interview he gave to the Independent.

Joining him is Andrew Carter, head of policy and research at thinktank Centre for Cities, who are ‘dedicated to improving the economic performance of UK cities’ – exploring the ways that everything from private investment to public transport and social housing can affect the economic vibrancy of urban areas. This has been Carter’s field long before he joined the Centre last year, having worked with development agencies and other bodies to help improve regeneration and financial inclusion, particularly in London. He also headed to the US to study how cities like Boston, New York and Baltimore were taking on the challenges of urban economic growth. You can check out some of his research on the Centre’s website: a case study on Derby’s potential growth and a paper on the importance of cross-border collaboration between different urban areas.

Finally we have Max Nathan, a PhD student researching the impact of cultural diversity on innovation at the LSE Cities program. He has a remarkable pedigree in urban theory: he helped set up the aforementioned Centre for Cities and ran their research program until 2007, was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Urban and Regional Development, and is an associate at the thinktanks Demos, The Work Foundation and ippr. He also advised the UK government’s Department of Communities and Local Government on regeneration strategy. You can read a selection of his published papers and work in progress on his website.

So a fascinating trio of individuals, all with a tremendous amount of experience in knowing what works in cities and what doesn’t when it comes to encouraging innovation and a blossoming local economy – between them, us and you the audience we should have a pretty good blueprint for London’s future by the end of the evening. Advance tickets are available here; keep an eye on our Twitter feed to find out if and when they start running out, and whether you can buy on the door. It’s a unique chance to discuss our precarious city with some of the people making the decisions on how it should be developed. Don’t miss out!

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Posted by in Events | September 26, 2011 1:47PM |

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