Manchester's MIPIM story: 20 years on

Jessica Bowles, Director of Strategy at Bruntwood


Reaching a milestone 20th year at MIPIM represents the perfect opportunity to reflect on the incredible progress Manchester has made since 1999, and how it continues to reinvent itself as a thriving, diverse and multicultural 21st Century city.

Of course, while looking back with collective pride on a number of important milestones that have helped Manchester cast off the shackles of post-industrial decline – hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2002, the discovery of Graphene at the University of Manchester in 2004, the launch of the Manchester International Festival in 2007 and of course the historic devolution deal in 2014 - we mustn’t forget about the challenges and opportunities the next 20 years will bring.

Just think about how technology is changing how we live and work. I keep coming back to the amazing notion that the jobs for two thirds of children in schools now haven’t been invented yet, such is the inexorable rise of disruptive technology.

Advances at pace in medical technologies and health informatics will mean that as a society we will be able to diagnose health conditions earlier and therefore hopefully live longer. Alongside a trend for urban living, moving forward, cities are going to have to look at how and where they provide services.

While change must be embraced and managed – it’s something we think about every day at Bruntwood - we as a city have to ensure that we remain globally attractive, connected and competitive in terms of skills.

We must do more - as many other post- industrial cities have to do – to address the big challenge of our time – social inequality. How we address this over the next two decades will be the true barometer of our collective success.

Thanks to our existing academic strengths and our devolved healthcare system, I believe Manchester is uniquely well placed to become a global leader in a number of the industries of the future, for instance in genomics and advanced materials.

The progress our city has made over the last two decades has not been down to the endeavours of any one individual, but instead to a collective effort of multiple organisations across the public, private and third sectors.

This strong partnership cemented by strong and visionary civic leadership has driven Manchester forward and is surely the only way that we will meet the goal of becoming a Top 20 global city by 2035.

Bruntwood is proud to have been part of Manchester at MIPIM for more than a decade and looks forward to many more years of effective partnership and helping our city tell its story to the world.

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