Change Makers Live returns to The Spine

More than 100 business leaders and representatives from across the Liverpool city region and beyond gathered for the second annual Change Makers Live Conference 2024 at The Spine, hosted by Downtown in Business.

Change Makers Live is a national business & innovation conference designed with the aim of exploring innovative solutions to the challenges facing the UK and global economy in the twenty-first century. This unique event invited some of the county’s leading entrepreneurs, academics, thinkers, and politicians to join us to discuss the key issues that are affecting businesses across sectors, not just in the UK, but around the world and start to offer innovative solutions to address these difficulties.

Speakers such as Jo Phillips, former adviser to both Paddy Ashdown and Bob Geldof and Nathan McNamara, chief executive DB3 Group joined us to give talks at the event, which was sponsored by Knowledge Quarter, BDP Design, Bruntwood SciTech, Connected Places Catapult, the House of Wisdom Group and Liverpool BID Company.

In the first talk of the day The Future is Co-operation, Rose Marley, chief executive Co-operatives UK, discussed how co-operation affects everything from AI to public funding and why it’s important to change makers.

KQ Liverpool’s assistant chief executive Emily Robson chaired an Innovative Design & Placemaking panel discussion, which brought together change makers Ged Clouser, principal architect, BDP Design, Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Sciontec and KQ Liverpool, Jessica Bowles director of strategy, Bruntwood SciTech, and Chris Bishop, Senior Project Manager, Muse to discuss Social Value In Place Making and how companies and new developments can contribute to their communities.

The How To Catapult Growth panel talk, facilitated by Alex Cousins, (business director of Connected Places Catapult) featured Rachael Stevens, (Knowledge Quarter Liverpool), Natalie Reeves-Billing, (Author), and Ruth Wood, (chief executive, Mersey Maritime) who discussed business growth and the best methods to foster and drive growth in various sectors and industries in the region.

Delegates enjoyed a delicious lunch before an insightful session with Tim Heatley, Co-Founder, Capital & Centric a ‘disruptor’ property development company, who shared some of his insights and experiences on current affairs in the property industry. He discussed regeneration and creating demand in a place where it doesn’t exist, and how this can help to rejuvenate a stagnant economy.

The conference ended with the important point that We Can’t All Be Scientists And Professors!, as we heard from Elaine Bowker (principal, City of Liverpool College), Sophie Gilmore (chief executive, HybridTec), Emily Robson and Steven Hesketh, Hospitality Hero, who discussed how diversity in sectors and careers is key.

Frank McKenna, chief executive of Downtown in Business, said:

“This year’s Change Makers Live Conference saw some amazing insights from our members and many of the delegates form valuable and long-lasting connections.”