Thursday, 30 January 2014, 5:00PM
Museum of London

Measuring Up Cities: Rough Around The Edges? (Panel Discussion)

Professor Tony Travers, Dr Hyejin Youn, Martin Houghton, Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli

Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli leads a panel of experts in discussion of the issues raised at the Long Finanace Measuring Up Cities Conference. The panel includes physicist Dr Hyejin Youn, Professor Tony Travers of LSE and Martin Houghton, an economicresearch consultant. Together they examine the issues raised during the conference. They debate the possible futures of city life and they discuss how vital it is that we understand the cities of today. 

The panel also accepts questions from the audience on the importance of data in governance, changing cities to adpt to a changing world as well as the necessity of infrastrucure projects like High Speed 2 and Heathrow's Third Terminal. 

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Professor Tony Travers is director of LSE London, a research centre at the London School of Economics.  He is also a professor in the LSE’s Government Department.  His key research interests include public finance, local/regional government and London government.  He is currently an advisor to the House of Commons Education Select Committee and also the Communities and Local Government Select Committee.  He is a research board member of the Centre for Cities and a board member of the New Local Government Network. He is an Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy.  He was a Senior Associate of the Kings Fund from 1999 to 2004, and also a member of the Arts Council’s Touring Panel during the late 1990s.  From 1992 to 1997, he was a member of the Audit Commission.   He was a member of the Urban Task Force Working Group on Finance.

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Hyejin Youn is a senior research fellow of the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the University of Oxford and a research fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. She is also a principal investigator of the research program, Science of Science Policy, funded by U.S. National Science Foundation.

As a physicist, she is interested in developing for mathematical, theoretical frameworks for the underlying general principles generating and governing the dynamics of complex systems especially in the socio-economic realm: cities and innovation. Her focus is mainly the creation of wealth and the generation of innovations. The question which unites various research efforts is: what are the mechanisms underlying wealth creation, innovation and technological change? Cities have played the privileged role in such areas, and generally in the development of human civilization. Therefore understanding cities in terms of how urban environments foster wealth creation and innovation is key to understanding and predicting the direction of our human society is taking.

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Associate Consultant at the economic research consultancy, TBR, Martin Houghton represents TBR in London, the Home Counties and the South East. He has nearly twenty years of experience in various aspects of economic development gained in a range of organisations covering the private, not for profit and academic sectors.

Following a successful career in manufacturing, both in the UK and overseas, he joined the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development at the University of Glasgow. Here he was involved in developing and delivering a wide range of support for business start-ups and the owner/managers of established small/medium sized firms. Martin subsequently joined the Planning Exchange (now part of the IDOX Group plc). At the Planning Exchange he carried out a number of economic and regeneration consultancy projects for clients including Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Executive, Scottish Homes and the Department of Agriculture, Northern Ireland.

In 2002 he moved to the South East of England and set up his own economic development consultancy. Following extensive collaboration with TBR, he has become part of their consulting team and leads their presence in London.

Martin's work focuses primarily on business clusters and working with the private sector in development initiatives. He has extensive experience of establishing ‘compelling offers’ to encourage businesses to engage, undertaking economic research and developing innovative projects.

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Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli is Emeritus Mercers' School Memorial Professor of Commerce at Gresham College, having held the chair from 2005 to 2009. His first degree was in Government from Harvard, followed by mathematics and engineering studies at Trinity College Dublin and a PhD from the London School of Economics in chaotic systems, where he was also a Visiting Professor.

Professor Mainelli is Executive Chairman of Z/Yen, the City of London’s leading commercial think-tank and venture firm, which he co-founded in 1994 to promote societal advance through better finance and technology. A qualified accountant (FCCA), securities professional (FCSI), computer specialist (FBCS) and management consultant (FIC), Michael began his career as a research scientist in aerospace (rockets) and computing (architecture & mapping). He later became a senior partner with accountants BDO Binder Hamlyn directing global consulting projects. During the 1990s he worked for the UK Ministry of Defence as Corporate Development Director for Europe’s then largest R&D firm, the Defence Evaluation & Research Agency leading to two privatisations. Career highlights include directing Z/Yen’s Long Finance initiative with Gresham College and the City of London Corporation asking “when would we know our financial system is working?” as well as creating the Global Financial Centres Index, Global Intellectual Property Index, London Accord and Farsight Award. Michael also conceived and produced the first complete digital map of the world in 1983, Mundocart (a 1980’s Google Earth), and the $20 million Geodat consortium cartography project.

Michael is non-executive Director of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UK’s national body for standards and laboratories), AIM-listed Sirius Minerals plc (potash mining), AIM-listed Wishbone Gold Plc; Alderman for Broad Street Ward (elected) at the City of London Corporation; Almoner for Christ’s Hospital School; Trustee of International Fund for Animal Welfare. Michael has held numerous advisory posts, for example with Hitachi UK, City University and HM Treasury. Michael won a 1996 UK Foresight Challenge award for the Financial Laboratory, 2003 UK Smart Award for prediction software, 2005 British Computer Society Director of the Year, 2011 Technology Strategy Board Challenge Award for financial avatars, and was awarded Gentiluomo of the Associazione Cavalieri di San Silvestro in 2011. Michael is a Liveryman, Worshipful Company of World Traders, Freeman, Watermen & Lightermen, and represents the Financial Services Group of Livery Companies.

Michael has published over 40 journal articles, 150 commercial articles and four books. Michael’s humorous risk/reward management novel, Clean Business Cuisine: Now and Z/Yen, written with Ian Harris, was a Sunday Times Book of the Week in 2000; Accountancy Age described it as “surprisingly funny considering it is written by a couple of accountants”. Their third co-authored book, The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions, based on his Gresham lectures, won the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Finance, Investment & Economics Gold Prize. Michael plays bagpipes, loves skiing and sailing and, with his wife, Elisabeth, he races and restores the 1923 Thames Sailing Barge Lady Daphne and sits on the world’s oldest sailing racing body, the Thames Match Committee. With an international family, Michael speaks English, German, French and Italian poorly, but even worse Spanish and Chinese.

To access all of Professor Mainelli's previous Gresham College lectures, please click here.

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