Dear Members and friends,

It was a toss-up for lead billing in this week's newsletter between Inspire's great contribution to Arab Health and the very informative and stimulating talk Andy Burnham gave us. Sorry, Andy - Inspire edged it.  

Inspire is, as most of you know, Strategy’s digital publishing arm, creating bespoke marketing publications and media campaigns to support international trade, be that for whole sectors or individual clients. Arab Health, with its six figure footfall, is one of the most important global health sector events and Inspire's publication featured centre-stage at the UK government's Healthcare UK stand. Featuring many of the UK’s most prestigious names in healthcare, it flew off the Healthcare UK stand, prompting an urgent reprint on site in Dubai – no doubt a testament to the excitement and optimism surrounding the UK’s presence in the healthcare sector globally. 

Inspire’s Head of Development Karen Frieze (pictured here with Lord Kakkar who provided the foreword) and Strategy’s Deputy Chair Tracey Smith were on hand to take the plaudits. Lord Kakkar is UK Business Ambassador for Healthcare and Life Sciences, and has been a member of the Privy Council since 2014. Do check out the link and remember that we can generate this quality of editorial and marketing impact for any of you.

On to Andy's visit, amongst a diverse programme. He is Labour's candidate for the Greater Manchester mayor (May) election. It was a strong performance, with Andy wanting to engage actively with the breadth of business and other organisations around the table. Brexit revealed the degree to which those parts of England beyond the South East felt left behind, and investing in regional infrastructure and key social as well as physical areas will doubtless continue to be a key part of the debates in the major city region elections.

Other events this week saw us welcome the SSRO, the new MoD regulator, whose chair George Jenkins gave an insightful talk. Our Smart-Cities of the Future working group met this week to continue development of our case-study based capability document that will assist overseas officials and city leaders to immediately identify the broad scope of skills required to ensure a true smart-city project and to overlay UK competencies onto each. This will be launched by the team in Angola during March. We also initiated plans for the 2017 Smart Cities series of events to be held here at Grafton Street.

Limited space here to talk about next week, but we look forward to welcoming Ken Clarke and Adam Afriyie. Please check out the events calendar on the Strategy website. 



Peter O'Kane - Chairman, Strategy International