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Expert economist Gerard Lyons on why London will remain Europe’s leading powerhouse

This week Boris Johnson released a major new report written by Gerard Lyons, expert economist and Chief Economic Adviser to the Mayor, looking at the London economy from a global perspective.  It examines London’s success in a range of sectors, from attracting new investment to technology and tourism, and identifies opportunities and challenges of the future.

Gerard remains optimistic about the future of London, regardless of whether that future lies inside or outside of the EU. In addition to its traditional strength in finance and law, London has seen recent growth of new clusters of activity in areas such as technology, the arts, creativity and culture. London is also the world leader in employment in high value-added sectors (1.5 mExpert Economistillion), compared to New York (1.2 million) and Los Angeles (784,000) – no other European city makes it into the top five.  Added to this, the proportion of workers with tertiary level education qualifications in London is 53.7%, followed by Madrid (47.2%) then Luxembourg (45.9%). In New York, often viewed as our major competitor, it is 35.7%.  Combined, Gerard argues, these factors will help to maintain London’s status as Europe’s powerhouse regardless of its status within the EU.

While there are many reasons to remain optimistic, the report also warns that major challenges lie ahead still: the high cost of living, housing, and need for investment in transport to name a few.  However, Gerard argues, these challenges will remain whether we choose to leave or remain in the EU.

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

If you would like to find out more about Gerard’s speaking topics and availability, please get in touch at

Beware of “growthspeak” warns Steven Poole, an expert on the manipulative power of language

Steven Poole, a frequent cultural commentator and critically acclaimed author of “Unspeak” (2006), has warned that as the UK election draws near, it is going to be difficult to avoid an avalanche of Growthspeak. He notes that the term economic “growth” is so familiar we can easily forget that it’s a metaphor, and is quick to point out that nothing is actually growing.

Economic growth, Steven explains, means that some number representing GDP is higher than a previous such number. He goes on to say that there are well-known problems with taking GDP as a measure of how excellent everything is; for example, the economy might be “growing” even as income inequality goes up at the same time.

Because we associate growth with positive things, Steven demonstrates that the economic metaphor of “growth” helps persuade us that policies leading to such growth are always good. However, he argues that “growth is good when it is ‘steady’ or ‘strong’, but bad when it is ‘unsustainable’…[therefore] growth might be cancerous rather than nutritious.”

Click here to read the full article.

For more information on how to book Steven Poole as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

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