Midlands Engine Intelligence Community delves into megatrends at latest meeting

Date posted: May 28, 2021
a laptop showing analytics on the screen

Major trends that will affect our region in the future, the distribution and targeting of public sector funding and Public Health England’s ongoing work on inclusive and sustainable economies were highlights at the latest meeting of the Midlands Engine Intelligence Community (MEIC).

The MEIC meets quarterly to share intelligence and enable stakeholders to contribute to the work of the Midlands Engine Observatory and to explore opportunities to collaborate.

Rebecca Riley and Professor Anne Green of the University of Birmingham provided a briefing on their work analysing ‘megatrends’ in the region, involving benchmarking data and trends in cities.

A megatrend is a global and sustained change in the world so massive that it defies human intervention with examples including climate change, urbanisation and technological progress.

As part of their work, the team at the University of Birmingham looked at the city centres of Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton to understand the extent to which key international and national megatrends such as the rise of home working or the prevalence of e-commerce can have an impact on our region.

Attendees at the MEIC were also able to hear from Uju Okereke and Sean Meehan of Public Health England who shared their work on the ‘Inclusive and sustainable economies: leaving no-one behind’ project.

With life expectancy in England having stalled during the past decade, the project aims to utilise place-based action to reduce health inequalities and build back better.

As part of their work, Public Health England has developed an inclusive and sustainable economies framework for whole system action and illustrates that to achieve high levels of health, thriving communities, increased productivity and shared prosperity action is required across the social, economic and environmental landscapes.

There was also a presentation from Paul Sissons (University of Wolverhampton) who unveiled his new analysis of public spending in the Midlands Engine using Public Spending Statistics and other Government data.

The aim of this work is to provide new analysis of patterns of spending of relevance to the levelling up agenda.

Rounding out the meeting was Graham Harrison of the Lincoln College Group who unveiled his work with the Knowledge Ladder, a tool for advanced data analysis incorporating machine learning and predictive models.

Director of the Midlands Engine Observatory Professor Delma Dwight said:

My thanks to all of our partners who have shared their latest research with us, helping us to understand what’s really going on in our region.

If you are a data owner or engage with research and intelligence linked to any aspect of the Midlands economy, we’d welcome your input into the MEIC to help shape the work of the Observatory and set the Midlands on the path to a bright future.

Membership of the MEIC is available to any data owner or those who work with research and intelligence linked to any aspect of the Midlands economy.

For more information or to join the MEIC, please contact Midlands Engine.

The next meeting is scheduled for 9 September 2021.

For the latest on our region, subscribe to Midlands Matters, the official newsletter of the Midlands Engine.

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