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Breakthrough Cities Workshop: Business Model Innovation for Urban Challenge...

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Newcastle upon Tyne

United Kingdom

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A one-day workshop bringing together decision-makers from the North East along with innovative SMEs. The purpose is to develop new business and engagement models to solve complex urban challenges. The specific focus of this event will be addressing health and wellbeing challenges associated with an ageing population.

Background: Cities face many complex challenges that cut across organisational silos and where no “silver bullet” solution exists. With ownership of both the problem and the solution distributed across multiple players, traditional approaches to procuring products and services aren’t able to facilitate the kind of breakthrough innovation needed. Too often, the result is a lose-lose-lose scenario for city authorities, SMEs and citizens.

How can we instead create win-win-wins? What are the business – and engagement – models for city councils and SMEs needed to achieve this? And how can we accelerate and scale the adoption of innovative solutions?

These are some of the questions we’ll be looking to address in this one-day workshop – the second in a series of three events around the country delivered by Volans, a UK-based think tank and agency for transformational change, in partnership with Innovate UK and KTN.

The workshop will be led by John Elkington, a renowned thought leader and writer on sustainable business, along with others from the team at Volans. Drawing on real-life examples both from the local region and elsewhere in the world, they will offer insights and tools designed to help participants develop business models that deliver positive impact at scale.

Why Ageing? As of 2016, 18% of the UK population – almost 12 million people – is aged 65 or over. In the North East, the proportion is slightly higher than the UK average: ranging from 19% in the city of Newcastle to 33% in Northumberland. These numbers are expected to continue rising over coming decades.

An ageing population brings with it a range of social and economic issues that call for innovation across private and public sectors. These include:

  • Tackling social isolation, creating inclusive communities and bridging generational gaps.
  • Addressing poor health outcomes that are exacerbated by high rates of inactivity, smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity.
  • Equipping older people to be part of the innovation economy and to engage with new and unfamiliar technologies.

These challenges aren’t unique to the North East, but, with assets like the National Innovation Centre for Ageing at Newcastle University already in place, the region offers an ideal test-bed for solutions that can be scaled and replicated elsewhere.

Who’s this event for?

  • Innovators across all sectors with an idea that can help create a healthier, happier, more prosperous society in the context of an ageing population.
  • Decision-makers from relevant local authorities and service providers across the North East.
  • Academics and researchers with relevant expertise.

Why attend?

  • An opportunity to network with decision-makers and innovators.
  • A chance to be part of developing new solutions to an urgent challenge.
  • Exposure to best-in-class research on and examples of business model innovation to solve urban challenges.
  • A rare opportunity to take time out from the day-to-day to reflect on your own approach to leadership, innovation and value creation.

For more information, please contact Richard Roberts (r.roberts@volans.com).

Join the conversation on Twitter: #BreakthroughCities

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Newcastle upon Tyne

United Kingdom

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