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The first of its kind to be held in Stockport, the Transformation Greater Manchester half-day conference attracted a stellar line up of panellists and a sell-out audience to the 1883 suite at Edgeley Park.
Sponsored by Sharp UK in partnership with Marketing Stockport and Stockport County, over 150 business owners, leaders and influencers heard from eminent and respected entrepreneurs, experts in their field who discussed four particular pillars of transformation – Greater Manchester, Tech & Innovation, Education and Strategy & Culture.
Steering the discussions was the outstanding, award-winning, and thoroughly entertaining Christopher Maguire – founder of iMeg Partnership, Executive Editor of BusinessCloud and TechBlast and co-presenter of the Northern Spin podcast.
Leading the panel on the theme of ‘Transformation Greater Manchester’ was Lou Cordwell OBE. An undisputed Northern Tech Leader, Chair @ GM Business Board, Chief Creative Officer @ Magnetic North and Director @ ID Manchester, Lou believes Greater Manchester has the ingredients to be a science superpower. Joining the discussion on stage was Capital&Centric’s Tim Heatley, chair of pro-manchester Danny Simpson and former leader of Stockport Council Elise Wilson attending in her role as a Director at Growth Company.
Following the event Elise took to LinkedIn saying:
“An energising morning at Stockport County for #TransformationGM event. Hosted by the ‘Good News Champion’ Christopher Maguire, I was delighted to be involved in the panel and the hear from the always impressive Lou Cordwell OBE, Tim Heatley and Danny Simpson FIOD.
“The transformation of Greater Manchester is much more than one element but the consecutive, committed partnership working of energetic and creative people who call GM home. Thanks to Helen & Richard from Marketing Stockport and Nick Rose from Sharp for making it happen.”
Taking 10 minutes with Chris Maguire talking Tech & Innovation was Rob Dixon. A leading expert in AI, Rob is co-Founder of Dixon Humphreys Ltd and partners with businesses, academic institutions, and public sector organisations to fast-track their transformation into AI-enabled entities. In Rob’s words, AI is hyper-turbulent, disruptive but should be embraced as an “accelerator of purpose.” Joining Rob and Chris for the second panel discussion was Mark Williams of Sharp UK; founder of Tech North Advocates Naomi Timperley – recently appointed Innovation Director at Merseyway’s Innovation Centre; and musicMagpie CEO Steve Oliver.
After the event Naomi said:
“It was great to have been part of the Transformation GM event. I got the chance to talk about my recent trip to Hong Kong with Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates and my role as Innovation Director of Innovate Stockport.
“Loads of familiar faces and new ones. The brilliant Christopher Maguire was on top form hosting (his jokes were even better than usual ?).
“Thank you Stockport.”
Despite an impressive panel discussing how Education is being transformed, it as a 17-year -old Engineering student who stole the show! Having turned down the opportunity of being taken on as an Engineering Apprentice at Rolls Royce, Stockport College student Rhianna explained how she had opted to enrol on a T level course so that she had a better understanding of engineering ahead of taking up an apprenticeship!
Transformation is often triggered by an event or experience in either your personal or business life. In the case of Dr Philip Squire, founder of Consalia, it was the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 that had a profound effect on him and consequently the culture of the business – ‘you could have heard a pin drop’ before Dave Ansell, Chief Brand Officer at Vita Group and Stockport County – and Amman Ahmed, founder of Music for Pets spoke about their experiences of how they have managed transformation of culture and strategy in their businesses.
President of Stockport branch of GM Chamber, Sharon Seville said:
“It was a great event. It’s almost impossible not to get excited about where our town is going and how it fits in to the wider area.”
Winding up proceedings on stage, Chris was in conversation with Stockport County’s Chief Operating Officer, Tom Mahon. Tom, who for many years was leading proceedings at another ‘blue’ team over at the Ethiad stadium, has played a pivotal role in the transformation of Stockport County Football Club.
Despite being offered the opportunity to travel the world on the Formula 1 circuit, Tom chose instead to take up his position at Edgeley Park! Now, as Stockport County sit 6 points clear at the top of Sky Bet League 2, Tom and the team are reaping the benefits of introducing change to a club that now sits at the heart of the Stockport community.
Ben Horrigan, video producer and member of Marketing Stockport said:
“This was a fantastic event – I had high hopes but it blew my expectations out of the water. So many insights, takeaways and laughs. It’s set to become an annual thing, so if you’re a GM business person then keep an eye out for it next year.”