Sunday, 16 August, 2020
NEWSLETTERS Q3 2020
We believe that the best solutions are yet to be discovered and the best outcomes yet to be delivered. That is why we prepare organisations for change and help them implement it. We do this through an intimate understanding of their business, a relentless focus on delivery, the use of techniques that challenge the status quo and bridge traditional disciplines. We provide a range of services to public and private organisations including project and programme management, property consultancy, change management and strategy development and strategic advice. Contact us to discuss a project.
Sunday, 16 August, 2020
WHAT WE’RE SEEING AND WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
Infrastructure consumes energy, right? It’s a one-way street, right? Not necessarily! We’re seeing plenty of innovative examples which turn traditional models of energy consumption on its head and help form the foundation of a circular economy (see the brilliant Ellen MacArthur Foundation). The notoriously hot London Underground system is being harnessed to recycle energy into power for the local community at Bunhill, in London Borough of Islington. Plans are afoot by the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames to turn the Hogsmill Sewage Treatment Works into a power and heat source for the hospital and new development arising from its town centre vision. The power of buses in a north London garage are now being unleashed as it becomes a ‘virtual power station’, generating electricity from buses when they’re not in use. Finally, the capital has its first recycled rubber road in Bethnal Green, which is surely the start of something new and innovative for our roads.
WHAT WE’RE LEARNNG AND WATCHING
All of the examples above require partnership. The Bus2Grid and recycled road are public / private relationships that require innovation and investment by both parties. How did they get there?…better procurement. I can’t help thinking that more mission-based, creative procurement exercises as advocated by Mariana Mazzucato are a huge part of the solution – the pandemic and economic crisis has opened the door to innovate, let’s walk through.
Partnership is also vital for strategic planning in our cities and towns. Birmingham City Council have set themselves a ‘Route to Zero’ Taskforce. The Council are convening the NHS, Universities, the business community, faith communities, and young climate strikers to run inventive exercises that explore problems and opportunities, These sandpits are a new, exciting concept to us but they look like a brilliant complementary tool to Citizen Assemblies, like those led by colleagues in Lambeth and Waltham Forest.
Localism matters. As centralisation has been the modus operandi of the Government (with some dreadful results) and the new MHCLG white paper threatens to ‘devolve’ in ways that may not necessarily be productive, we’re refreshing our minds on the power of localism, by reading Bruce Katz, New Localism: How cities can thrive in an age of populism. Many of the initiatives set out above are underpinned by new localism in action and we highly recommend the book.
WHAT’S GOING ON
Black Lives Matter. As the short attention-span of media shift their focus, let’s keep our focus clear: Black Lives Matter. I’d like to share a few links for summer reflection in the lead up to this year’s Black History Month, when our talented young BAME team members will take control of our Sunday Edit.