Jericho Conversations

Business Life After The Virus: London in Recovery

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The UK economy cannot afford for London to take a beating

Here’s the summary of today’s Jericho Conversation on London in Recovery – with Professor Tony Travers, Director, LSE London; Georgia Gould, Leader, Camden Council; Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor, Culture & the Creative Industries, GLA; Shashi Verma, Director of Strategy and Chief Technology Officer, Transport for London; and Richard Brown, Deputy Director, Centre for London.

Thank you for joining us (if you did); and sorry you missed it (if you didn’t!). It was another great conversation.

“London will recover (and probably fast)
it always does”

Professor Tony Travers

Tony on London’s recovery

“The crisis will impact different sectors in very different ways. Some will be remarkably unaffected; at the other end – theatre, travel etc – it’s a very different story”

Some sectors will need support and protection for much longer than others – via furlough scheme extensions, for example. It may be a 20-year recovery for some”

“There’s a potential positive in all of this: a massive increase in office space means those who couldn’t get access to that space before, can now. For retail and restaurants, too. Exciting, new models will emerge”

“Inequality is not geographically-based. Politicians must think about levelling-up in terms of people, rather than in terms of place”

“COVID will have made government think about the serious risks of not getting Brexit right. Overall, central government has not yet thought-through the London economy well enough. Levelling-up needs more than one meaning”

Georgia on disadvantage, division … and renewal

“One in in nine businesses in Camden are part of the creative industries. They are at crisis point and many will cease to exist if something doesn’t change fast. They feed the heart and soul of London. They enrich our communities and support diversity”

“The London economy has not been working for everyone for a long time: low pay and lack of progression are stubborn issues. Those who have been the first to lose their jobs are those who are low paid”

“We must seize this moment to change things and address these inequalities. A big, collective mission that national government gets behind is essential. We’re not doing well enough on this at every level. Addressing racial inequality needs to sit at the heart of the policies we bring into recovery and renewal”

“We need to change the metrics by which we measure the recovery. We must think about wellbeing and what it takes for individuals to thrive”

Justine on culture as infrastructure

“Now is the moment to place the proper value of culture to our city”

“Culture is infrastructure … every bit as much as road and rail. It needs investment and government support accordingly”

“There is no evidence that philanthropy will pick up the tab for the funding shortfall. While some are trying their best to provide support, they have also been hit hard themselves. Bridge Investment is needed”

“Around the world, we have seen that the COVID crisis has amplified inequality. The disproportionate effect of COVID on BAME communities needs to be addressed. In London, we aren’t as open and equal as we think we are. We need a strategic look at how we can improve”

Shashi on devolved power … and focusing on the real, not the inane

“As we start to look to the future, we cannot forget the role London plays in the UK economy. But … the UK has a highly centralised economy, with very little devolution. It is extreme compared to the rest of the world”

“The shift towards devolved power is working – the current crisis must not be allowed to de-rail this”

“In the context of the increase in remote working, we must remember that there’s something about face-to-face contact that cannot be replicated by any other means.”

“Maintaining social distancing and getting back on public transport are mutually incompatible”

“The real issues that plague London are not being debated, in favour of Brexit and the current COVID crisis. We must focus on the real issues that face the city. Let’s concentrate on the real and not the inane”

Richard on incredible resilience in a very odd crisis

“London’s overall business turnover is slightly less affected than other UK regions”

“The good news is that people generally are not planning to leave the city in large numbers. 65% are saying they are still happy to live in the capital”

“There’s been a huge shift in people’s consumption habits. Research shows that people are now less likely to go to big sporting events; less likely to travel into London for shopping; and less likely to come into the city for restaurants and bars. Supporting London’s culture sector is also about supporting London’s global status”

“The Brexit issue is looming even larger now. There is an obvious workforce challenge. If we become more insular and more cut off from the rest of the world, recovery will be harder. London will need special attention from central government”

If you would like to (re-)watch the webinar in full
you can do so here.

#JerichoConversations – Next Up

Join us for Business Life After the Crisis: Disruption. It’s happening on Friday 26 June: 12.30 – 1.45pm (London).

The COVID crisis is giving many pause to consider disruption. Especially, that brought about by tech and AI. We all wonder about the direction in which it’s taking us.

The use of tech and smartphones in today’s Track & Trace is unquestionably a vital weapon in the fight against the pandemic. But they must be intentionally built to assist, rather than replace the people in the health care loop vital to success. What are the ethical limits of collecting and using such data? To what extent are some tech disruptors creating Frankenstein’s monsters without realising the full consequences?

More broadly, is there a danger of us sleep-walking into another crisis, partly tech. enabled, such as the great financial crash of 2008? How does the disruptive forward march of technology and the imminence of AI change the way we think and behave as leaders? What are the implications for regulatory frameworks?

The eleventh in the series of Jericho Conversations looks at three decades of disruption and asks what have we learned and what comes next? As we emerge from the COVID crisis, is this a genuinely disruptive moment or just another tweak to our constant uncertainty? Is there any longer any such thing as “the new normal” or is this just our new every-day?

The conversation will be led by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Principal of Jesus College, Oxford; Chair, the Open Data Institute. Our panellists include: Mikael Down, Banking Standards Board; Nikolas Kairinos, Founder,; and Professor Joanna Bryson, Hertie School, Berlin.

You can also listen to latest podcast on The Ethics of Disruption, produced in partnership with Stifel Europe. As with next week’s Conversation, it explores Artificial Intelligence and disruptive change.

#JerichoConversations – Join In

This note is being shared with the wider Jericho community – 4,500+ business leaders, politicians & policymakers, academics and experts, activists and campaigners, media and commentators. Your participation and support is what makes it special.

All Jericho Conversations to date are available on Do get in touch if you have thoughts or ideas to share or would like to find out more about Jericho and/ or working with us to help build a better society.

Keep well. Stay safe. Take care.

Robert, Becky, Becca, Roxi and Team Jericho
June 19 2020

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