Second Cities Symposium

11 December 2018

Recently hosting the Second Cities Symposium, Newcastle demonstrated that it means business when it comes to delivering a smarter, more connected and globally competitive future for the city and wider metropolitan region.

The event, keenly attended by EPS staff, gathered the knowledge of leading industry professionals to tackle the big issues that might impede the next steps of Newcastle’s post-industrial era.

Key issues examined included the lack of governance structure and clearly defined brand. In other words what it is the city is trying to achieve, and who is instrumental in realising this vision?

A further issue explored was that the Hunter Region is losing its young talent, talent who are arguably the drivers of the innovation that Newcastle requires to remain globally competitive. The need for greater efforts to connect young people to education and employment, and how to create an attractive liveable place to retain them was debated.

The symposium drew from the experience of other ‘Second Cities’ to explore which efforts have been both successful and less successful in other contexts. The overarching message was that Newcastle and the Hunter should champion its strengths, resources and skills to stand out as a unique destination with its own distinctive offerings.

Key take homes from the engaging and thought-provoking event, targeted at both public and private attendees, were:

  • Be bold! Set unrealistic targets, and experiment with different initiatives for the advancement or benefit of our city and region, and don’t be afraid to fail;
  • Be an active conduit in facilitating relationships between the people who influence our city and region (both public and private sectors); and
  • Watch this space for the potential of future ‘City Deals’, but don’t sit back and watch, be part of the action and make it happen!

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