A little about the organisers of Vision 2020 Leicester

The organisers of this event have a shared but diverse set of interests in working together to develop a Vision for 2020 for Leicester and Leicestershire. We thought you would like to know more about our organisations and the collaboration that has lead to us bringing you this event.

Our aim is to:

  • Create a vision of the socio-economic environment of Leicester and Leicestershire in 2020 and the impact of new technologies on business
  • Contextualise emerging technologies and their potential for the creative industries sector in Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Raise the profile of Leicester and Leicestershire and in particular the Cultural Quarter and Phoenix Square and Digital Media Centre among the business community
  • Raise the profile of the creative sector in Leicestershire’s well earned reputation for creativity, with key stakeholders in the city and region

Through our collective interests, we intend that participants will have an enjoyable and stimulating day, and that the Vision of 2020 resulting from the event will contribute to the growth and sustainability of Leicester and Leicestershire’s creative economy.

Who we are:

Amplified Leicester

Amplified Leicester was funded by NESTA in 2009-10 (see NESTA report) as a city-wide experiment designed to grow the innovation capacity of Leicester across the city’s disparate and diverse communities, and to share new skills which are fast becoming essential in 21st century workplaces and communities. It was inspired by the potential of this unusual city to nurture a unique creative environment. The project is an exemplar of the ways in which transdisciplinary academic research can impact on the wider community. The result was a transferable model in two stages:

Stage 1:
Cocoon – the creation of a trusted collaborative space where deep diversity flourishes, ideas flow, and social media connects.
Stage 2:
Emergence – a public trusted collaborative space where this ethos can expand and grow.

In 2010-11 Amplified Leicester is supported by the NLab Social Network, funded by HEIF to help small businesses respond to the opportunities and challenges of new media. NLab founded the CreativeCoffee Club networking group. Phoenix Square Film & Digital Media Centre hosts fortnightly CreativeCoffee Club meetings and monthly Amplified Leicester talks.

Professor Sue Thomas developed both Amplified Leicester and the NLab Social Network. She directs the Transliteracy Research Group, exploring the impact of transliteracy in business, education and the arts, and is the author of several books, most recently the internet travelogue Hello World: travels in virtuality. She is currently writing a history of cyberspace. She works across the Faculty of Humanities and the Institute of Creative Technologies at De Montfort University, and one of her key roles is to identify synergies between business and academic interests, especially in relation to the impact of social media and amplification.

Amplified Leicester’s contribution to Vision2020 is the promotion of emergent amplification and future-thinking via Keynote Speaker John Thackara, Keynote Presenter BT, and an unconference to explore and develop the ideas of the day.

De Montfort University (DMU)

DMU is a dynamic organisation, formed from a diverse range of specialist institutions. Its long history of excellent teaching, learning and research is founded in the technical and trade education of the late 19th Century. DMU has special arrangements with more than 80 universities and colleges in over 25 countries, and is based in the heart of the City of Leicester. It has approximately 20,500 students, 3,240 staff, and an annual turnover in the region of £132.5 million. It is a leading institution for professional, creative and vocational education. DMU is one of the highest performing modern universities for research, in receipt of income of £4.3 million. The academic excellence of the university was proven in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, where nearly half of DMU’s research was rated as ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’. The main areas of research activity at DMU are concentrated in a number of key disciplines. There are also a range of multi-disciplinary Research Centres, including the Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT) and the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development.

Dr Tracy Harwood, Senior Research Fellow of the IOCT, is part of our organising group. Her research specialisms are in relationship management and network marketing, currently working in various online community and creative industry contexts, where embedding digital technologies is a focus. The IOCT sits at the intersection of science and technology, the arts and the humanities and research is centred on two broad themes: ‘Quality of Life’ and ‘Cultural Horizons’. In addition, through the IOCT, DMU has been working in partnership with Phoenix Square Film & Digital Media centre to support development of its digital programme and Tracy was DMU’s lead in the development phase, working with partners Leicester City CouncilBlueprint and Phoenix Arts.

Thus, with Tracy’s expertise and research interests, and with backing of the IOCT and DMU, the aim in working with Vision2020 organising colleagues is to raise awareness of research outputs, the university’s business related activities and of its support for the Phoenix Square digital offer.

LCB Depot

Leicester Creative Business (LCB) Depot aims to help support and develop creative industries in Leicester. It does this through the provision of high quality workspace both at LCB Depot and Phoenix Square. We also host a seminar programme, networking events and enterprise support programmes. LCB Depot is keen to support Vision2020 because the event will inspire creative industry businesses to imagine the threats and opportunities that the future could hold and allow them to start thinking about ways to meet them.

LCB Depot is represented on the organising group by Katherine O’Sullivan, Marketing and Service Development Manager of the workspaces at Phoenix Square. If you would like more information about the spaces, please email Katherine.

Phoenix Square Film and Digital Media Centre

In the heart of Leicester’s Cultural Quarter showcasing the very best in cinema and digital entertainment in the East Midlands.

A dynamic mix of world-class entertainment and events, spanning the breadth of independent cinema, new media, creative technologies and electronic arts, our programme includes exhibitions, performances, festivals, artist residencies, off-site projects, workshops, education activities, seminars and conferences. The movie screens have the highest specification technology, the XpanD 3D.

We have developed a unique and important partnership with Leicester’s De Montfort University that enables us to present the most exciting and progressive developments in art and technology in the DMU Cube, a purpose-built exhibition space.

Digital production facilities include a TV studio, editing rooms and sound and graphic suites and a gaming suite. These state-of-the art production spaces are designed to accommodate small-scale production needs and service a variety of film and broadcast projects at a competitive rate.

The Cafe Bar, the ‘Screen Lounge’, offers a wide range of enticing food and drink together with the unique opportunity to experience digital media presentations in a stylish and contemporary environment. With WiFi technology, the Screen Lounge is a fantastic place for lunch, meetings, or to enjoy a few drinks with friends.

So our aim in being part of the Vision2020 team is to enable our venue to be showcased to participants, and also to be participants ourselves as a host, as part of our programme of exciting events and as a hub for the creative industries in Leicester around film and digital media, taking the vision from the event forwards.

One LeicesterLeicester City Council

Leicester City Council is the Local Authority for a vibrant City. We serve the 300,000 residents and deliver services to them that encompass waste collections, traffic and road regulation, schools, social services and other services. Our ‘One Leicester’ vision is a city wide strategy to improve life in Leicester over the next 25 years and forms the foundation for the changes the council, and its partners, want to see in Leicester – the vision is being supported by all of the members of Leicester Partnership, the citywide group that represents the main public, private, voluntary and community organisations in Leicester.  We want to showcase the City as a multicultural centre for regional excellence in the field of arts and business.  The Council is host and partner to many of the events held in the City from carnivals to conferences, including Vision2020.

Prospect Leicestershire

Prospect Leicestershire is the economic development company charged with delivering physical regeneration, inward investment and sustainable business growth across Leicester and Leicestershire, committed to successful collaboration with key partners and the business community.

Vision2020 provides a platform to raise the profile of Leicester and Leicestershire and in particular the exciting and ongoing regeneration and developments that have taken place in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter.  With Leicestershire’s well earned reputation for creativity, the event will provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate creative thinking at work by involving Leicestershire’s creative businesses, and in tapping into the collective knowledge of the business community in general to support its future development.

Sue Tilley is leading Prospect Leicestershire’s involvement in Vision2020. Sue is Head of Inward Investment and, with the Inward Investment team, works to support businesses looking to locate in Leicestershire. Sue can be contacted on 0116 225 4010 or 0788 074 5876. Visit Prospect Leicestershire for more information.

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