Manchester City Council

" Chance favours the Connected Mind "

Lovely to go to something brimming with positivity this afternoon. It's a special session of the Innovation Manchester Boardroom, one of a series of events, all around different themes, but all bringing people together from a wide range of backgrounds to encourage innovation and invention in the Manchester economy.

Today was a catch-up on the many projects that have come out of the Innovation Boardroom over the past eighteen months or so, projects like; Manchester Masters and Creative Break, the first aimed at giving some of our brightest graduates real and paid work experience in four different settings, the second aimed at doing similar for apprentices; FabLab, a model developped by MIT ( Massachussets Institute of Technolgy ) that allows people to get involved hands-on in Advanced Manufacture and prototype their inventions; Innovate with Confidence, a programme that changes the mindset of busy SME leaders that has already delivered growth into their businesses; MIF Creative, which took some of the world-leading producers involved in the Manchester International Festival and helped them work with young people from our local communities ( and too many more to mention ). The real point of the day though was not just to look at past achievements but to see how the work on promoting innovation can continue in these cash-strapped times. Manchester's past was based on innovation, but our future is even more dependent on it.

There are 28 responses to “ " Chance favours the Connected Mind "”

  1. Ice Says:

    We don't manufacture in this country anymore, and the people of britain are too lazy to do it! Let China do it instead, they will have the products made and tested before we have even got a proposal past a line of 10 managers!

  2. Aaron H Says:


    Can you do everyone a favour and shut up, just for a bit?

  3. ShyCat Says:

    Well said Aaron H.

  4. t matt Says:

    I second that Aaron, all this negativity. Thanks for the post SRL.

  5. Tee Says:

    'We don't manufacture in this country anymore, and the people of britain are too lazy to do it!' What an enlightened and well made observation. Could you point me toward the evidence supporting this view as I’m sure it will make for a very interesting read, to think Britain’s lack of production is as simple as laziness!

  6. Ian Says:

    Aaron H Says:

    Seems a bit harsh that

  7. Anti-Stalinist Says:

    Aaron H - Surely Ice is entitled to his free speech?

  8. Richard Leese Says:

    Ice is having his/her free speech. Ice is also wrong. We still make lots of things right here in Manchester and over the coming years through being innovative, efficient and productive, will make lots more

  9. Aaron H Says:

    Yes he can, anti-stalinist. And I've exercised man. I'd be interested to hear Ice's proposals for he aims to encourage local and national growth to tackle the emerging economic superpowers. Perhaps he could go to China and do a bit of research for us. And, hopefully, settle never to return.

    That's probably a bit harsh, you were right.

  10. Aaron H Says:

    Grammar police, and all those who find poor sentences objectionable - please enjoy ripping my lost post to pieces! It's very tiring working at the council these days, mistakes are slipping in.

  11. Doggo Says:

    Innovation is an imperative for any economy and should be actively encouraged and supported. However, to suggest that we need to become a nation of innovators in order to combat the current economic crisis is as sublimely ridiculous as Norman Tebbit's suggestion that we 'get on our bikes'.

    For each innovation that eventually gets to market hundreds must fail to do so. For all those that do get to market how many become major contributors to the economy? When I say 'major' I mean world leaders and not simply employing a handful of people?

    Also, take into account the time it takes for an innovative idea to actually reach the market and we'll probably be out of this recession and into the next one.

    Innovation has its place but the only answer in my opinion is to get people into real jobs and in significant numbers. I have voted in many elections but never have I seen a government come to power on the basis of RAISING unemployment. I'm sure that of the 2000 employees who are due to leave the council shortly possibly not one of them will produce an innovative idea of sufficient vision to become a world leader. Manchester’s economy should be based on a holistic vision that unemployment is wasteful in the extreme and the people of Manchester are already well equipped to push the economy forward if our leaders (both here and in Whitehall) could only see it and not be driven by dogma and ideology.

    Cutting jobs is not the answer and neither is innovation on it's own going to help realise the potential of this City's tremendous capacity to be a leading contributor to the Country's economy.

    Unfortunately I don't own a bike and I have not got any great innovative vision so, like thousands of others, where do we fit in?

  12. nath Says:

    Ice, it is better to remain silent and appear foolish than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt

  13. Hmmm Says:

    Innovative thinking is something that needs to walk into the Coalitions headquarters and slap them around abit, Reading through a few news articles earlier on and noticed a wee bit about how they think making unemployed 19 - 24 year olds do voluntary work, not only are these jockey's messing around with how much they pay the unemployed who believe it or not have a rather mediocre existance anyway these absolutely fascists now want to make them work for free.... Slave labour springs to mind... Innovation is dead.

    I'm a young currently employed 19 - 24 year old but if i was on benefits and someone asked me to get out of bed in the morning to do voluntary work (full - time0 for no extra pay i'd tell him to go get his head tested, what innovative idea's have you got to oppose these jockey's in goverment eh or you gonna sit back and let them destroy GREAT Britain like Thatcher there already trynna sell stuff that belongs to the british people stinks of old tory ideals in a new tory suit. Egytian style protests be the next step im sure.

  14. Bruce Campbell Says:

    @Hmmmm, if you're a 19-24 year old then I'm an 80 year old crime-fighting nun.

  15. Hmmm Says:

    Sorry about my previous post, the spelling and grammar were not very desirable but as you can imagine as part of the next generation i'm extremely pis**d off with what the Coalition thinks is good practice... on who's behalf?!? It doesn't benefit the struggling working class families of Manchester thats for sure, Frontline cuts to our services and cuts to regeneration funding that was ear marked to change area's such as Openshaw and Collyhurst and yet bankers still get to pay themselves ridiculous amounts in bonuses whilst i can barely afford to heat my council flat, I've got to laugh because If i dont i'd no doubt weep but laughing only masks the anger for so long.

    As for the Innovation aspect of this blog, it would be great for Manchester to find it's niche again.

  16. Hmmm Says:

    @Bruce. What makes you think i would lie about my age range or for what possible reason would i have to lie about it?
    I'm actually 23.

  17. A. Geism Says:

    @Bruce Robinson

    Should Hmmm not be able to be smartly informed due to their age? Hmmm is older than some Councillors of our City.

  18. Ice Says:

    Well to answer to those who are living in a bubble, yes there has been a lot of innovation in this country to be proud of, but is it what we really need? Shouldn’t we be following through ideas from inception to completion (i.e product/service)?? What major export/revenue do we have for this country? Why has all industry gone abroad? And why do we have such a huge social welfare system? Why aren’t people made to work instead of given benefits all the time?
    I have referred to people of Britain being lazy (those who choose not to work and sit on benefits all their life and so a burden on the rest of the country) and I blame the government for this spoon feeding.
    For example, in the past years when the housing benefit system was reviewed, it was thought that money should be given to the claimant direct to pay the Landlord themselves – empowering the claimant to take responsibility! What with free money? What utter rubbish!! And has it worked or changed anything? NO!
    Tax credits – better than claiming Job seekers. Work 35 hours cash in hand (taxi driver would be a good one), declare low hours and claim substantial credits, isn’t that wonderful and so easy to do!!!! The flip side to that is also to never work more than say 20 hours or what the threshold is and you can again get credits, don’t you think this is making people lazy?
    The other point I want to mention about innovation and development is that there is too much red tape which deters people from taking risks and trying anything innovative. Only if you are a big corporate or have heavy financial backing you get anywhere.
    Have you thought where our engineers and engineering firms have gone? Most are retiring if not already with their machinery being bought out by investors from developing countries, is this fair on them? I think not, Quite clearly exploitation. Something innovated here is almost guaranteed to be manufactured outside this country. So what’s in it for England?
    Why are so many call centres outside the UK??? Because it’s cheaper, is that fair or just modern day capitalism? Oh sorry we do have good employers like a tescos or asda in every town but then are they UK companies? And where is the money going??
    My suggestion is that if you are a simple 9-5 pen pusher/white collar worker and possibly wound up in cotton wool, try opening your eyes and seeing the real world out there!!

  19. Star Gazer Says:

    The committee report published on line today needs to be backed up by factual data. I should imagine hardly any of the highest paid Managers who face job cuts actually live within Manchester boundaries.

    This is important to note if you consider where Manchester sits in terms of deprivation. The cuts are savage and there is no escaping the fact that difficult decisions have been forced upon you.

    However, will there be a commitment to retaining the staff at all levels in the organisation who live within Manchester boundaries ?

    I know some people will find this unpalatable but I feel it will help alleviate the inevitable flight from the City as the cuts kick in.

    By the way I actually think you have done your best despite all the criticism levelled at you Sir Richard.

  20. Aaron H Says:

    Star Gazer

    Not only is that an incredibly parochial outlook, but would you also hire someone for a job solely on the basis that they lived within Manchester, at the expense of someone who was infinitely more qualified but lived, for argument's sake, just over the river in Ordsall?

  21. Hmmm Says:

    i guess Bruce is 80 year old crime fighting nun then! should quickly take up VER so you can concentrate full time on your extra curricular activities.


  22. Help - reply to Ice Says:

    To Ice - My wife worked in the textiles business for 25 years and found out that she was working for peanuts - to make a ladies woolen coat from start to finish for £2.00 and guest what the major stores charge you £75.00 for the same coat - that is why nobody works in that sector anymore .

  23. Ice Says:


    To Ice - My wife worked in the textiles business for 25 years and found out that she was working for peanuts - to make a ladies woolen coat from start to finish for £2.00 and guest what the major stores charge you £75.00 for the same coat - that is why nobody works in that sector anymore .

    Yes I agree, all a form of modern day capatalism/exploitation. The government is to blame!!

  24. Star Gazer Says:

    @ AH - Yes parochial might be a term you would use to describe my stance.

    However, what about the three Ps the Council now stands on and the freedom of speech you refer to earlier and above all else stopping the flight from the City.
    Perhaps you think it is ok for Manc folk to have the lower paid jobs. If it is so good then live here too - Often the best people don't get the managerial jobs it is those who have had the better life chances - I would still be arguing this even if the government had not shafted Manchester.

  25. Ste Says:

    So Let me get this right , you must work in the area you live in ? what a wally !!

  26. Aaron H Says:

    OK Stargazer.

    Your discontent seems to be pointing in the wrong direction. As a manager within the council, I would totally agree that a percentage of managers are certainly not the best people for the job - but that's not a rule of thumb just within MCC, but almost every other workplace you can think of.

    Secondly, it is quite possible for people to become proud of a place that they were not born in. Presumably you are a Mancunian - Does the concept of people adopting this City as their own, despite being born outside its boundaries, and being determined to make it better, not strike you as a perfect example of the pride you are talking about?

    And don't let yourself down by wittering on about life chances - the majority of people working within the council in management positions are 'regular' people who do not have a priveleged background. Some of them may have got to where they are through skullduggery and political nous, but that's a set of characteristics, not privelege.

    'If it is so good then live here too'.

    I already do, within the city boundaries, and I love it here and want to stay. I am from the midlands originally, and I'm proud to work for Manchester - rather than bleating about lack of opportunities trotting out the old excuse of 'others with better opportunities', I went out and found those opportunities for myself.

    Perhaps with less of the Sky (and navel) gazing you could do the same?

  27. Hmmm Says:

    @Star Gazer

    the goverment hasn't obviously used any logical thought process when deciding the outcome of the working class folk around the country otherwise it would have noted to itself that the changes it's "inflicting" will be the reason why they do not get re-elected next time round... Clegg will disappear into the nothingness he came from and Cameroon will another unliked ex priminister and it will be another Labour goverment "left to pick up the pieces" as the coalition likes to put it, for the hard working low paid folk of this country. I just hope that when Labour do get bk into Downing Street they dont make the same schoolboy mistakes they did last time round, Because we can sit here and blame the coalition till the cows come home but the fact remains that Labour lost so this mess falls on their heads.

  28. Mr X Says:

    @ Star Gazer
    Manchester's population has been increasing since 2000. By 71,000 or 17%.



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