What we need to do in 2022 in The City of London

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2022 is the year in which to make things happen. In society in general and in our personal and professional lives, there’s an appetite for moving forward and nowhere is that feeling stronger than in the City of London.

Our values and our actions

In part, that feeling is embodied in the movement of the tectonic plates that will be happening around the City’s governance next year - not least, in the elections in March for members of Common Council, then in Spring for several Aldermen, and then in June for the two Sheriffs. It’s in these democratic events that we have our say about the values we wish to see in our representatives and wish to uphold as a community, the causes that we feel are important to champion, and the actions we want to be taken to turn those values and priorities into meaningful, long-lasting progress both at home and on the world stage.

It seems to me that our individual and collective feelings on the running of The City, on business, on charity and on the community, are the more acute given the events of the last two years. They also continue to be exacerbated by the ongoing challenges: of Omicron, the environmental imperative, and the discrepancy between job vacancies and skills availability.

Challenges and progress

As I write, Boris Johnson is contemplating yet another lockdown - something that nobody wants, so Covid-19 continues to be something we must learn to navigate and handle. We are certainly leaps and bounds ahead of where we were a year ago.

On another note, The City has a role to play both in supporting more ethical and sustainable investment, and also to highlight the work done so far. In 2021 UK 'impact' start-ups raised £2 billion, with businesses created to tackle sustainable development goals receiving a 127% investment increase since 2018.

Last October, the City of London Corporation undertook its own commitments to the environment with their Climate Action Strategy in the wake of Boris Johnson’s announcement that the UK would be aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.  The City Corporation committed to:

  • Achieve net zero carbon emissions from its own operations by 2027
  • Achieve net zero carbon emissions across their investments and supply chain by 2040
  • Support the achievement of net zero for the Square Mile by 2040
  • Invest £68m over the next six years to support these goals of which £15m is dedicated to preparing the Square Mile for extreme weather events

Furthermore, we are in the process of building a post-Brexit reputation for both The City and the UK. To represent ourselves as very much open for business. It’s a message of which the world at large is aware, as the remarkably stable economic forecasts show. We cannot afford to take our foot off the gas in showing what we are truly able to do.

My thoughts

In a speech I made at Glaziers Hall recently, I outlined the three things that I deem to be a path to addressing these and other priorities for The City, both now and ongoing.

I believe there’s an important job to be done in three areas: marketing and promoting The City, in marketing the Livery itself, and in helping to bring a greater focus and support to charities and causes in and around The City. As a professional marketer, I’ve spent my life building global brands, which I see as the most valuable assets that any company or community has. I believe it’s the further development of ‘The City of London’ brand that’s now essential to support our collective and individual prosperity and to help our community move forwards.

As a lifetime member of The City of London community, and someone who has been a member of the Livery for near my entire career, I am a believer in its power to do good on multiple levels.

Over the coming weeks we will all, hopefully, have a little time to enjoy a lull from our busy daily lives. In those quieter moments, with a little time to contemplate the year ahead, I hope you will be inspired to think about what you yourselves want for The City of London moving forward, the values you hold dear, and what you want from the upcoming elections.

It’s a time for reflection and reconsideration. With all this divisiveness around us, what are the things we can do in The City to unify? These are my thoughts, and I would like to know yours.

I would be thrilled if you would register your support FOR my candidature for non-Aldermanic Sheriff for 2022-23, via the following link.