Dear Members and Friends,
Our British Expertise International Smart and Future Cities Working Group met this week to debate the challenges faced by municipal leaders in meeting national objectives in areas of sustainability, connectivity and interoperability of systems. The UK’s strength in Good Governance and Standards is highly sought-after and when combined with our niche skills in urban planning and design create a compelling message – which UK Export Finance indicated they would be keen to endorse.
Expo 2017 being held later this year in Astana, Kazakhstan will focus on Future Energy to support Astana's development of a sustainable green economy. It is fantastic, therefore, that our Working Group has been invited to host thought-leading workshops in Astana and Almaty around the options for Smart and Future City Developments during Expo 2017. Both workshops will be hosted by the local Mayors and will be opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, our President.
Brand Britain is something brought sharply into focus by Brexit. When parts of the world see us as turning inwards, what is the nation's USP? How is it deployed in a distinctive and compelling Trade and Investment push? Rita Clifton spoke to The D Group on Tuesday. Thought-provoking ideas from a universally acknowledged leader in her field about the nation's unique mix of tradition and creativity/modernity. Think Burberry. Think the 2012 Olympics.
Also, on the home front, some challenging observations about 'Brand Business' and how it needs to build its case, particularly around issues of fairness and openness, before it can expect its voice to be heard.
A favour please, The British Foreign Policy Group, funded by Strategy International, is collaborating with a new technology platform Sentiment360 to gather views on the UK's foreign policy priorities. There is just one question, you can write as much or as little as you like and you can do it here. This is just the start of the roll out of a new set of online tools to help develop a more effective national conversation around the UK's position and choices.
We rounded off the week with a very special art opening for English artist, Alexander James's exhibition – All Icons Are False in aid of The Gynaecological Cancer Fund. The GCF supports leading oncologist Dr Susana Banerjee’s ground breaking work into precision therapies for gynaecological cancer treatment research at The Royal Marsden. Thank you to all that attended and supported this valuable charity. This unique show has been highlighted in The Londonist as one of the top exhibitions to see this month, make it a mission to take a look before it closes at the end of May.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Tracey Smith - Deputy Chair, Strategy International