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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

“Calm your mind; change your world” proclaims Michael Acton Smith in his new book

Calm - Michael Acton SmithMichael Acton Smith OBE is a leading serial tech entrepreneur, and founder of the entertainment company and global brand Mind Candy. Chartwell’s Leo von Bülow-Quirk met with Michael to discuss his latest project, “Calm”.

Michael co-founded Calm in 2012, a project that aims to make mindfulness accessible for all. Drawing from his new book and app, “Calm” (Penguin, 2015), he speaks about how to balance the ever-increasing need for calm with the realities of modern life.

In this podcast, Michael discusses the key messages behind “Calm”, the benefits of developing a start-up in London, the future of Mind Candy, and investment opportunities he’s interested in.

For more information on how to book Michael Acton Smith as a speaker for your conference or client event, please get in touch with Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call on +44 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Second Home: London’s workplace of the future is launched by Rohan Silva, an expert on the UK tech industry

Rohan Silva speakerRohan Silva, a global thought leader on the relationship between public policy and innovation, has just spent £3 million gutting an old carpet factory off Brick Lane in London to create a utopian workspace called Second Home. A former influential advisor to British PM David Cameron, Rohan was responsible for the Tech City initiative in east London which helped to increase the number of digital and technology companies in the area from 200 to over 2000 in just two years.

Second Home is a 24,000 sq ft office space that has no straight lines, has see-through rooms that look like fish tanks and where no lamp or chair is the same as the one next to it. It houses 23 hand-picked companies from tech, finance and media which have been chosen because Silva and his co-founder Sam Aldenton believe they fit the creative ethos and can benefit from bumping into each other in this very social workplace.

Rohan comments that the, “biggest companies in the world, I think, have understood the future of work for quite a while. If you go to Google’s Mountainview, every night there are talks and films playing. And they are spending a billion dollars on their new office at King’s Cross. What really frustrates us is that the growing creative companies that are doing the best stuff are usually in the crappest digs.”

The idea of Second Home is to plug that gap, and offer an office experience that emulates the tech giants’ space. Click here to read the full article.

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

“Unleashing Metro Growth”: Jim O’Neill delivers the final report of the City Growth Commission

Jim O’Neill speakerIn October the UK’s City Growth Commission, chaired by the economist and creator of the BRICs acronym Jim O’Neill, released “Unleashing Metro Growth”, an influential report explaining how the UK can boost its economy by facilitating the growth of London and its other great cities.

Jim believes that cites are “the most powerful engines of growth almost everywhere.” Writing in the report, he argues that “ambitious metro areas should be bold and demand enough decision-making power to put their best ideas into effect.”

The Commission, which was run by the RSA think tank in London, argues that more powers should be devolved away from central government to metropolitan areas, and identifies London’s Oyster smart card, enabling seamless travel, as a model for other cities to copy. Creating world class digital infrastructure is another key factor in driving city growth.

“Absolutely first class…there is real opportunity here”
British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomes
the Cities Growth Commission Report

Bruce Katz, Vice President of the Brookings Institute in Washington DC, served on the Commission. Here he cites a number of lessons the US can learn from the experience of the UK.

Click here to read the report in full.

For more information, or to book Jim O’Neill as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Alex Hickman at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8004.

Gerard Lyons, economics speaker, on why London is the place to be

Gerard Lyons speakerGerard Lyons, a leading economics speaker and Chief Economic Advisor to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, discusses why London is the place to be, and comments on how it can retain its new status as the world’s most favourite place to visit.

This claim was confirmed by the MasterCard Global Cities Index, which told us that in 2014 London will welcome a staggering 18.7 million visitors, making it the world’s number one place to visit. Gerard believes that it is London’s abundance of “cash, commodity and creativity” that has allowed for such titles. However, although London is bound to always be a top tourist destination, Gerard argues that the greater challenge will be to ensure it remains the number one place to work and live.

He advises that “London needs to play to its strengths, adapt and change and anticipate the changing drivers of the world economy…The capital has to remain open to inward investment and as receptive to global ideas as possible. I think it will — but it requires continued investment and change.”

Click here to read the full article.

To find out more about Gerard Lyons, or to book him as a speaker, please contact Alex Hickman at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8004.

Our urban future, as seen by economics speaker Jim O’Neill

Jim O'NeillWriting for City A.M., Jim O’Neill, the well-known economist, discusses our urban future by analysing how regional cities can match London’s success.

Jim argues that there is a job to do in generating stronger growth across urban Britain. He points out that chiefly we need a better infrastructure – developing connectivity across the UK and, critically, with international market. Jim believes this can be brought about in three ways:

  1. Improved connectivity between the midlands and northern cities.
  2. Recognise our existing assets – for example, at our universities talent and innovation are diversely spread.
  3. Find ways to incentivise universities to retain talent after graduation.

Jim goes on to say that like London, the “UK’s regional cites have talent and capital. In many cases the assets are there and ready to be realised. What is missing is the boldness to unlock this latent potential.”

Click here to read the full article.

For information on Jim’s speaking availability, please contact our Co-founder, Alex Hickman, at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8004

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