Events roundup: March 2020 | IPT

After a disrupted end to 2019 we were back in full flow from January; running 18 events on some of the most pertinent and talked about policy issues. Bringing experts from industry and academia into Parliament to create productive and open discussions for the benefit of all involved. Below are the events we delivered in March, and the main details raised during the discussion.

We are of course disappointed to be stopped in our tracks. But our main concern is everyone eventually returning to work, and to our events, as healthy as possible.

Low-Carbon Cluster Clubs

On Monday 02 March, we hosted a dinner discussion between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled ‘Creating Low-Carbon Clusters to Tackle Climate Change.’ The discussion was chaired by Darren Jones MP, Select Committee on Science and Technology and welcomed guest speakers Stephen Marcos Jones, Director General at UKPIA and Professor Jan Godsell, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy at the University of Warwick. The discussion focused on the role of industrial clusters and the ways in which businesses could work together to create a net-zero carbon cluster by 2040.

Main points raised:

  • The requirements for success, including considering infrastructure, supply chain and available skills.
  • The Government has a role in supporting industrial clusters through specialised training, information, research and technical support.
  • There are potential difficulties in integrating a wide range of businesses.

Changing Lives: Broadening the UK's Cultural Economy

On Tuesday 03 March 2020, we hosted a breakfast meeting chaired by Rt Hon Damian Green MP, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. He was joined by Bob Shennan, BBC Group Managing Director, BBC and Alderman William Russell, Lord Mayor of the City of London Corporation. The discussion focused on how to broaden access to arts programmes and further engage and equip communities with the creative skills to improve wellbeing, skills and enterprise.

The main points raised:

  • There is limited and inconsistent provision of quality arts education in schools and the importance of investing in arts education and viewing it as an essential part of the curriculum which equips future generations with the creative skills needed to succeed in Industry 4.0.
  • Culture’s importance to the wider economy and the advantages of the current mixed economy which supports the creative industries in developing skills, ideas and creative talent.
  • The role that cultural institutions can play in combatting cross-generational issues including increasing self-esteem and reducing feelings of loneliness and social isolation amongst the young and elderly.

What goes around comes around

On Monday 09 March, we hosted a Dinner Discussion between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled ‘The Future of Urban Mobility.’ The discussion was chaired by Lilian Greenwood MP, Select Committee on Transport and welcomed guest speakers Katy Taylor, Commercial and Customer Director at Go Ahead and Dr Genovefa Kefalidou, Assistant Professor in Human Computer Interaction at the University of Leicester. The discussion focused on exploring the Urban Mobility Strategy and the benefits of encouraging active travel.

Main points raised:

  • New mobility services are important in reducing emissions.
  • How people can be incentivised to use public transport and incorporate exercise into their daily commute, including user-led innovations.
  • There are potential risks for the future of urban mobility such as the safety of new methods, exclusion of non-internet users and protecting personal information and data.

Raising the Roof: Addressing the Housing Crisis

On Tuesday 10 March, we hosted a breakfast meeting between parliamentarians and industry representatives. We welcomed guest speaker David Thomas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Barratt Plc and the discussion focused on how to tackle the challenges facing the housebuilding sector, including   for small and medium housing developers, and how to assist the large scale provision of affordable quality housing across the UK.

Main points raised:

  • The growing skills shortage in the construction industry is exacerbated by Brexit as the sector is heavily reliant upon migrant labour. To meet housing demand, it is important to promote and invest in apprenticeships and specialty training in trades such as bricklaying and carpentry.
  • Despite initiatives to help first-time buyers to get on to the housing ladder, the current unaffordable rental market inhibits saving and contributes to the schemes and home ownership being inaccessible for many people.
  • The importance of ensuring housing quality and sensible planning decisions as well as the potential of alternative building methods from the traditional brick laying to meet the demand for the swift large-scale quality house building.

Healthy living, healthy ageing

On Wednesday 11 March, the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a breakfast meeting between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled ‘Supporting Healthy Ageing.’ The discussion welcomed guest speakers Philippa Fieldhouse, Managing Director of Richmond Villages, Bupa and Professor Simon Conroy, Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Leicester. The discussion focused on acknowledging the challenges faced by an ageing population and how people can be supported in later life.

Main points raised:

  • Acknowledged the importance of recognising the last stages of life, encouraging a society of conversation and changing attitudes towards independent living
  • There is a potential of a mixed model of housing provision and intergenerational living
  • Considered the need for a holistic view of healthy ageing, incorporating healthcare, housing, community and employment.