It was a pleasure to attend a dinner hosted by Sacha Romanovitch (CEO) a couple of weeks ago, the first of a series of events as part of the launch of Vibrant Capital – a new initiative bringing together clients, influencers and experts to provide real insight on enhancing London as a great place to live, work and do business. The energy and passion in the room at the close-knit event was evident and it was clear that many shared the view that London is a unique city and already a Vibrant Capital.
Some key themes that jumped out at me as we discussed building on London’s existing successes included attracting and retaining top talent and ensuring a stable supply of affordable housing with good transport links and access to key facilities. It was felt that a strong community vibe and a vibrant social scene was also important. The topic of housing and diversity came up throughout the evening, highlighting that it is not only the provision of affordable housing that plays a big part in London’s appeal, but also building strong, diverse communities around those homes.
While attracting people to live and work in London is vital, we have seen Londoners increasingly working flexibly, which brought discussions onto the need for technology to support the growing trend towards a more agile way of working. Employers need to embrace this change if London is to remain an attractive global centre for doing business and technology must support the whole infrastructure as new sites for homes and offices are considered.
In addition, for London to sustain its presence as a Vibrant Capital, the need to encourage new innovation and attract tech start-ups will, in my view, play an essential part in the world’s successful cities of the future.
As the evening drew to a close, it was evident that there was no one solution, rather the need to have a multifaceted approach that would involve leveraging existing strengths and bringing together key components, diverse voices and opinions to enable London and its people to thrive.
Exciting as it is to see London becoming a more and more Vibrant Capital, I would welcome seeing some of its economic success shared more widely around the country. Bridging London with some key cities outside of the South East will take co-operation from central Government, different local authorities as well as the private and voluntary sectors to replicate what has worked so well to date.
Look out for Vibrant Capital week, coming up in May, which will publicise the insights and connections gathered!