Southampton’s predominant businesses, thought leaders and community organisations have pledged to collaborate to make their ambitions for Southampton’s economic growth a reality and build a better city for future generations.

Southampton City Council’s inaugural Future of Work Summit, held at MAST Southampton on Tuesday 31st January, was hailed as a catalyst for creating more sustainable working environments in order for the city to thrive in a world defined by increased digitisation and the race to Net Zero.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Leader of Southampton City Council, said:

“The Future of Work summit was a great event that brought together businesses of all shapes and sizes, organisations and partners, to discuss how we not only navigate an ever-changing economic landscape, but collectively find solutions, take advantage and maximise on the opportunities the future world of work can bring to our city.

“It was clear that Southampton is well-placed to become leaders in future growth areas, from maximising our marine and maritime, becoming a destination city, to bringing the skills and jobs of the future here through the green economy.

“We are rightly an ambitious city and to tackle the problems of today, we have to look to the future, equip our businesses and people to be ready for it, while ensuring that local growth benefits are felt by local people, creating more jobs, skills and prosperity for all to take advantage of.”

The Summit attracted more than 100 of the city’s innovators, academics, business and community leaders – named ‘Southampton Futurists’ by Cllr Kaur – to listen and participate in inspirational talks, interactive panel discussions and sprint sessions.

Keynote speaker Andrew Carter, Chief Executive of the Centre for Cities focused on the factors that would shape Southampton’s economic future.

A focus on People, Place and Prosperity was discussed by Dr Debbie Chase, Director of Public Health, Southampton; Anthony Painter, Director of Policy and External Affairs, CMI, and Ben Clark, Director of Future Worlds, University of Southampton.

A panel discussing ‘The Global Marketplace for Skills’ comprised Roger Gorman, Founder and CEO of ProFinder; Martin Pardey, Director of Hays Technology; Andy Tourell, Head of Sustainable Logistics, Ocean Infinity, Southampton; Nazrene Mannie, Exec Director at GAN Global; and Anna Thomas, Co-Founder and Director from the Institute for the Future of Work.

A ’Future Ready’ Southampton was the topic for Claire Hughes, Head of Business and Law, Solent University; Matthew Hill, Economic Development Manager, Southampton City Council; Zoe Huggins, Chair at Workforce South; Liam Doe, Co-Founder and CEO, Old Bond Store; Ismail Ahmed, Manager at Upton Training, and Tim Riches, Executive Director of Navigatr.

Southampton City Council’s Strategic Skills Manager Sajid Butt was a driving force behind organising the well-attended event.

Integrated Marketing Specialists Carswell Gould is the media partner of Southampton City Council’s Future of Work. Its Creative Director Ed Gould chaired the event with Nella Pang, Founder and MD of Omega RE.

Ed said: “There are moments in time where their right people, ideas and ambitions come together – The Future of Work summit is one of those moments. I was proud to be a part of it and look forward to seeing how things develop as we move forward.”

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