Digital pebbles

Clarke Mulder Purdie on PR, media and other random topics

Posts Tagged ‘hothouse’

Hothouse Foresight 2009 launched

Posted by amandapurdie on November 24, 2008

On Wednesday, we launched Hothouse Foresight, a research initiative to explore the economic, political, business, societal and media trends that will shape the operating environment in 2009. To mark the launch, we assembled a stellar cast of speakers including Paul Mason, Economics Editor, BBC Newsnight; Holger Schmieding, Chief European Economist, Bank of America; Professor James Woudhuysen, De Montfort University; and, Edward Mason, Independent Diplomat.

In line with our approach to the research, the speeches and discussion was broad ranging. It covered everything from the impact of energy saving light bulbs to economic restructuring; European expansion to the evolution of the Anglo-Saxon capitalist model.

The event – hosted at London’s Soho Hotel screening room – attracted over 70 senior communicators representing companies from many sectors.

If you would like to listen to an edited podcast of the session click here.

Paul Mason, Newsnight

Paul Mason opened his presentation with insights from his travels in the US, to cities such as Detroit which have been at the sharp end of the credit crunch. He also focused not just on the short-term economic impact of the current downturn but also explored what it means for the Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism, consumer expectations and policy-making.

holder_bigHolger Schmieding – a self-confessed optimist – talked about prospects for the UK and European economy over the coming year. He said it is likely that this recession will last longer than six months or so and we could be well in to 2009 before we start to see economic growth. He also suggested that – if you remove the impact of government expansion in the last decade – the UK has been growing at a similar rate to most countries in the Eurozone. Looking to the future, he suggested that this may indicate that UK growth in the next decade will be more line with the rest of Europe.

james_bigProfessor James Woudhuysen is currently finalising a book called Energise! which looks at how we can begin to address the world’s energy needs. He challenged the presumption that energy is a scarce resource and that we need to move beyond this ‘austerity mentality’ which punishes individuals for using energy and instead focus on creating scientific solutions to the energy crisis.

edward_bigEdward Mason presented his views on what an Obama presidency would mean, prospects for the EU Reform Treaty and what would potentially be the global trouble spots in 2009. He suggested that it is likely that continuity, as much as change, will define the Obama presidency as he continues to further and safeguard US interests across the globe.

The launch of Hothouse Foresight was the culmination of months of work and planning. Hothouse Foresight is part of our commitment to underpin PR and communications with insights into what is shaping business decision-making, consumer purchasing and policy-making. We will be using the research with our clients to develop high impact comms programmes over the coming year.

If you’d like to know about Hothouse Foresight, or what the trends mean for your business or sector, then do get in touch. We’d love to meet up for a chat over coffee.


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Tightening the Green Belt?

Posted by markpratt on May 1, 2008

Last night the first seminar in the 2008 Clarke Mulder Purdie Hothouse series, hosted by spiked, took place. The subject discussed was ‘Time to build on the Green Belt?’corn

The debate asked the question: should we unbuckle the green belt, view the countryside as a solution to the housing crisis and allow developers to build, or does Britain’s countryside need to be zealously protected from the danger of suburban sprawl. Video excerpts of the speakers can be viewed here.

Michael Owens, Head of Development Policy at London Development Agency raised the simple fact that there needs to be 209,000 new houses built annually within the next twenty years to cope with increases in population and changes in household structure. The only solution is to remove planning barriers, develop more urban conurbations, invest in strategic infrastructure and allow developers and architects the freedom to innovate.Only then can we see the innovation needed to affect the housing crisis.

Paul Miner of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) rejected the idea that Green Belt preservation policy was redundant and proclaimed it more relevant than ever in preventing sprawl. Whilst acknowledging the housing crisis, he claimed that over 600,000 homes currently lie empty and developments needed to be focused on brownfield land to avoid the prospect of the sprawling urban rural fringe and satellite towns.

Penny Lewis, editor of architecture journal Prospect, reinvigorated the debate by asserting the absolute necessity of building on the Green Belt, whilst suggesting treating developments on a case-by-case basis would ensure Great Britain’s natural beauty would be preserved. She regarded the fear of urban sprawl as a symptom of a broader issue – the cultural problem of self-hatred, the need to diagnose organic development as an expression of societal ignominy.

Academic, columnist and broadcaster Tristram Hunt offered an impassioned defence of the countryside, aligning the Green Belt with the BBC, NHS and rule of law as uniquely British. He derided the North American model of endless suburbs and suggested Northampton was emulating this model in, what he regarded as, the destruction of an entire civic city. He also suggested the sub-prime crisis would catalyse a backlash against the suburbs and strengthen the need for clearly demarcated cities and countryside.

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