Britain is going through a difficult time, when its sustained ability to punch above its weight, economically and diplomatically, is ebbing. The end of irrational exuberance found the country ill at ease with itself, with rising inequalities and unhealthy nationalism, just when it needs to be fleet-footed in recognising that many of the traditional pillars of its strengths have changed. The need is to recognise other supports and partners and find a new common purpose after the pandemic. I live in hope.

nexusworking with impact

Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Spent the weekend at the nexus global europe summit in barcelona. An eye-opening weekend, with an amazing and eclectic group of very much future-facing leaders, whose company I was warmly welcomed into. I was speaking about building resiliency and foundations for an elusive peace in israel and palestine, especially during this most terrible and challenging of times. Hard to be hopeful, but engaging such a group of next generation investors, entrepreneurs, pioneers and philanthropists did feel a tad part of the answer, and credit to them for embracing this tough topic in what was a very real session. I think all agreed there really are lessons to be learnt from other seemingly-intractable conflicts like northern ireland, and economic prosperity, financial security, job creation and the other components of long-term sustainable economic growth are an absolute precondition for peace and stability, albeit necessary but not sufficient. All elements of "HOPE" are required: Horizon for politics, Overseas help, People and leadership, and Economic development. Diplomacy is 700 days of failure, and one of success. I also learnt tremendously from the other talks and sessions, especially on AI. A little more intelligence and impact needed in the region too.

the airport, airline and tourism nexus

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

I spoke at the rather massive passenger terminal conference, held fittingly at the abu dhabi-owned excel centre in london, next to the emirates airline cable car. Talk was on the links between airport (here's me on Oman TV, 6s in) airline and tourism, using our work in oman as a case study in how to optimise outcomes, meaning more high-value tourists for the country (including china), through leveraging and co-ordinating the different things these parties can bring to the table

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dipping into digital

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

I spoke at the future impact of ai and tech conference (trailblazing technology) about "mag-o", the online distribution company we set up last year, pretty trailblazing in its own way, and I very much enjoyed my work in its establishment: data science, devs, apis, coding, agile and a hundred other tech terms all things I know much more about than I did then; as ever though strategy and innovation the real watch words...

Attached File: TechConfProM.pdf

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in search of teleportation

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Hot on the heels of michael o'leary, I spoke in dublin last week on the future of travel, to a packed conference about the wonders and wizardry of the digital customer experience, my stock-in-trade these days...

Attached File: dublin.pdf

still banging the drum

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

A pr party to celebrate a decade of one of the world's biggest financial institutions, bank of new york mellon - bony-m to friends - wasn't a bad way to tweak my standard fare (p16) a bit towards the infrastructure are in which I now work; manchester airport as a national asset and all that...

Attached File: BNY Mellon - Manchester 2025 - final.pdf

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get them to come, and they will build

Friday, June 20th, 2014

A quite nice twist, I thought, on the much-maligned build it and they will come school of economic thought, which I used whilst speaking at the hilton hotel to make a point about a city that really wants to show its international colours. It all went down very well. You can read it here.

longingly looking at london

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Londoners get £69 each spent on the arts, whereas up 'ere it's just £4.60. On transport, it's £2,731 a head against £134. Is this just chip on the shoulder stuff ? Probably not, I argue in my latest newspaper blog and we need to use it to hang onto the capital's coattails and make sure we're in the market for powers coming down the line to london's mayor. It's also on the platform.

Attached File: menb14.pdf

beyond hs2

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

A whole new economic axis that would be the first serious contender in a century to seek to create a new mass of economic agglomeration that could really challenge london, anyone ? The liverpool-manchester-leeds hs3...

Attached File: menb13.pdf

what the papers say

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

It was a good week for manchester, with a supplement in the times ("its all happening in manchester, the world's most progressive city ?"), a front page piece in the financial times ("manchester outstrips london as vibrant place to live"), and another glossy pumped out, in which I majored (p29) on high speed 2 and skills, "a huge and fundamental problem" caused at least in part by a ridiculous degree of centralisation, as the economist too noted. Everything but a beach.

Attached File: bdeskmcr.pdf

good governance

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Here I am, waxing lyrical in my latest column on a subject close to my heart, and also quite a familiar theme, "words people associate with the battle for economic growth include jobs, tax, transport, inflation, culture, housing and retail. Few list governance (though the economist did a week later)...

Attached File: menb12.pdf

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