WinchBiz: the opening session and pitches

Liveblogged notes from the opening session of the first WinchBiz Unconference. Prone to error, inaccuracy and howling crimes against grammar and synatx. Post will be edited over the next 48 hours.

Councillor Rob Humby, Winchester City Council

This is a really unique event – there’s a lot of officers in the room – and they’re nervous that I’ve been let loose. There’s no agenda – it’s up to you guys. Nothing is off the agenda – except potholes.

It’s not business as usual – we’re going o get a lesson for you. What ideas do you have that can feed into our economic strategy. What do you want? What do you want from the city council. I speak to a lot of businesses that don’t think the city council is relevant to them – let’s change that.

The theme is “How can Winchester be a premiere business location?”

It’s 250m2, 120,000 people in the area. It’s not just the city – it’s the district. Be open minded. We want to hear your ideas. Thank you for coming along, and for your input. Keep in touch with us – we have a range of events through the year.

This day is about being creative. We can all look at how the city goes forward. We’re all in new times, both the businesses and the council. It doesn’t matter who you are, what the name is on your door – you have to get on with and work with everyone. You need a wishbone, a backbone – and, most importantly, a funnybone. You need to be able to work with people and enjoy working with people.

Joseph Holmes, strategic directior

The council is developing a. New economic strategy, and one of the purposes of today is to input into that.

There are 8,000 business in Winchester, 6,000 micro-enterprises. £4.8bn value of local business turnover. It’s England’s 11th top performing places, according to the Grant Thornton index.

There’s £0.3bn to be spent on capital investment by the council in the coming years.

Session Pitches

  • Winchester to aim to be know as a centre of excellence for design, media and technology.
  • Creative design & makers create a positive financial and social impact on a place – what can be done to make more of that in Winchester?
  • Winchester Design Festival – disrupt the idea that WInchester only has history and coffee shops. Open doors, inspire and elevate our neighbourhoods with a Design Festival.
  • Apprenticeships allow upskilling for workers, and let’s talk about why they can help your business and why you should take them on.
  • GDPR, such a sexy word, let’s share experiences and insights.

  • What is that council’s starting point for WInchester to be a premiere business point – and what’s the time scales
  • How can we balance our heritage with a. More contemporary creative culture? What can we do weigh our public spaces? What are the quick wins?
  • Where are all the young people, and who can we attract and retain them?
  • Why don’t we put the arts, creative and culture st the centre of WInchester’s identity – it will encourage both businesses and visitors. And how do we retain young creatives?

  • We need a long-term sustainable co-working space supported by the council. Too many pop-up gains some following and then lose them. We need somewhere where 100 to 150 people can work and network.
  • How do you keep Winchester mobbing? Should it keep moving?
  • Places, spaces and people are all connected – how can geography hello solves the business problems of the city?
  • Is our level of customer service consistent with the aspirations of the city? Should we train customer-facing staff better? Do we need a Winchester Standard of Service – or even an award.
  • As Winchester develops, it will face more risk. Could we see within the business community a shared awareness of risks and opportunities.

  • What do Winchestians want from fitness and exercise?
  • It’s not always possible to bring people together – how can we use digital and social tools to connect companies within and without businesses?
  • Digital businesses need excellent broadband, and we need it across the whole of the district. Can we learn from others’ examples?
  • We all want great talent and services – but we also need sustainable housing for key workers.
  • What can we do to grow and support small businesses in the rural areas of the district.

  • Could we create a ritual or agritech centre of excellence.
  • Digital transformation of business and using social media.
  • Fluid connectivity across multi-modal transport – walking, cycling, busses etc across the whole of the district.
  • How do we make connections with business across the whole of the ares, not juts inside the city and outside the city.
  • We need the right kind of accommodation for the next 20 years. We’;be lost 1m sq ft of offices over the last 10 years.
  • Business is always in the news. Can Winchester do something different and better to make good business news stories?
  • How do we eat more of our own lunch? How can we find local businesses to work together?
  • We all need to achieve success though people. Illness through stress can take 23 days of people time in a working year. How can we move the responsibility for wellness at work to the individual, to help them enjoy their role?
  • How do we turn these ideas into practical programmes?
  • Do we need a maker space in central Winchester?
  • Big picture session – what will WInchester look like in 2050?
  • Prosperity without growth. How about increasing the effectiveness of productivity without requiring more space to be used?
  • Can WInchester become the forefront of gender equality. Globally, we’re looking at 100 years for gender equality. Let’s beat that.