UP North – Innovative thinking from the North to unlock a more prosperous future for all
A public events series bring together thought leaders from the public, private and academic sectors to discuss the unique contribution the North of England can make to a range of challenges the UK faces, and deliver on the promise of unlocking prosperity and closing regional divides. Hosted by the universities of the N8 Research Partnership, in collaboration with the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).
UP North: Innovative thinking from the North to unlock a more prosperous future for all encompasses a series of public events, inviting regional and national policymakers, local experts, and renowned commentators to discuss the unique contribution the North of England can make to a range of challenges the UK faces, and deliver on the promise of unlocking prosperity and closing regional divides.
The events will be hosted across the North of England by the N8’s member universities, and chaired by significant regional figures including Jennifer Williams, Northern England correspondent for the Financial Times.
The first UP North event was hosted by the University of York in June as part of the York Festival of Ideas, and examined the need for a new approach to urban regeneration through inclusive growth and by harnessing the power of major employer institutions, education providers and social enterprise to deliver more equitable and inclusive economic outcomes for everyone.
The second event in the series was hosted by the University of Liverpool in October, as part of the fringe programme at the Labour Party Conference, and considered how to level up living standards through tackling digital exclusion and closing the ‘digital divide’.
- Read a summary of the event
- Read a blog post from panel members Prof Simeon Yates and Dr Emma Stone, examining the potential for a Minimum Digital Living Standard
In November, the University of Sheffield hosted a day of debates at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s Factory 2050 facility on the opportunities and challenges for Innovation-led Growth. We’ll be publishing a summary of the event in the coming weeks.
- Review the full agenda for the day (Google Drive)
- Watch a short video summary of the event (LinkedIn)
- Catch up on some of the panellists’ thoughts (X/Twitter)
- Read a comment piece by Vice-President of Research and Innovation Prof Sue Hartley on what is needed to develop a world-leading innovation ecosytem in the UK (University of Sheffield)
Future events in the series will look at issues including the role of culture in the regeneration of cities and towns, the huge potential for the North presented by innovation in various industries, and how closing the gap in incomes, skills and opportunities can contribute to more resilient futures for people, places and the planet.
Themes, timings and locations, and booking details for the subsequent UP North events are outlined below. Please check back regularly for updates as event details are confirmed.
Event Title: Transforming Coastal Communities
Host: Lancaster University
Date: 6th December 2023 (3 – 5pm)
Venue: The Platform, Morecambe LA4 4DB
Tickets: Book tickets
Event Title: Developing a Sustainable Health and Social Care Workforce
Host: University of Leeds
Date: 18th January 2024 (5:45 – 7:30pm)
Venue: Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, Leeds LS2 9JS (online joining option available)
Event Title: Regeneration of De-industrialised Places Through Creativity, Culture and Heritage
Host: Durham University
Date: 7th February 2024
Event Title: Geography of Discontent: Finding innovative solutions to support ‘left behind’ regions and neighbourhoods
Host: University of Manchester
Event Title: Skills for the Green Economy
Host: Newcastle University
This page will be updated with further details about each event – including how to book your place – over the coming weeks. You can also keep updated by subscribing to the N8 newsletter via the form at the bottom of this page, or by following @N8research on X (Twitter).
Dr Annette Bramley, Director of the N8 Research Partnership, said:
“We’re looking forward to bringing the UP North series of events to venues right across the North, and for the fantastic range of contributors they will bring together to spark conversation about the North’s role in regenerating the country’s communities and economy at this critical time.
“Through research and innovation, Northern universities will play a key role in unlocking prosperity within the region, and we hope our UP North events will inspire both people and businesses to think about how together we can contribute to addressing inequalities and realising a more prosperous future for all.”
The RSA’s Chief Executive Officer, Andy Haldane, said:
“We’re very pleased to be able to be partnering with the N8 Research Partnership on this calendar of events across the North of England. This is a hugely important time for the economy, and for the Levelling Up agenda. By combining our forces on this programme, the RSA and the N8 can help to make sure that the cause of addressing regional inequalities is taken seriously across the board in the run-up to a general election. Too often, the needs of the North of England are not given a fair hearing, and this series is part of an attempt to remedy that.”