Back in 2003 Sarah and I started a joint venture with one of our customers called ‘Liverpool back in business.’ We’d just been selected as European Capital of Culture for 2008 and our venture was going to take advantage of this renewed interest in all things Liverpool and give visitors to the city ‘insider’ tours of a place getting ready to welcome the world. We bought the domain name, engaged partners, tried it out, set up a website. Did everything, in fact, except sell our idea to enough people. Too far ahead of the game? Maybe, because now it looks like Liverpool really is back in business.I’m here at West Africa House, opposite the Liver Buildings, for a book launch. And to see and celebrate what two of my friends, Fiona Shaw and David Parrish, are contributing to the well being of our city. And I’m here to talk business.
Yes, normally this blog concerns itself more with the society and structure of Liverpool than the grubby business of making money. But the blog is, let’s face it, part of the website of the business that’s kept me and Sarah going these past 20 years. And it’s business, trading, commerce, creativity and ideas that help pay for the running of the city. That turned the little port into a city in the first place. So business does matter, even though I don’t usually talk about it much.
We’ll come back to David and his book, bur first Fiona and what she’s up to.Fiona Shaw is a writer, editor and publisher. She runs Wordscapes and published Sarah’s book back in 2010. And now she’s part of the editorial team who have just launched ‘The City Tribune.’ It’s a website as well as a publication with an international remit to look at what makes cities work and connect with each other.This first edition looks particularly at Liverpool. With articles on culture, planning, business, music, theatre, industry, science, technology, football and tourism.
It’s a good read and its publication ties in with the International Festival for Business that’s begun in Liverpool this week.Obviously I wasn’t queuing up to see David Cameron open the Festival the other day. But I am glad it’s here. Particularly if it generates jobs and income for the Liverpool City Region (which I gladly note the IFB literature is calling it, rather than tired old ‘Merseyside’).
There’s a lot of talk of ‘investment’ about though and I’ll be keeping an eye on that. In case, for example, the city were to get served up as a cheap labour market you can ‘invest’ in and make off from with fat profits for your distant shareholders. I’m more interested in ideas that create money that’s made here, stays here and improves the quality of the lives of everyone who lives here. As you’ll know if you’ve been around this blog a while, I’m no fan of global capitalism and its austerity politics so I’ll be looking to welcome honest and ethical business ideas. Because that’s what this city deserves.
Anyway, let’s put the soap box away for now and have a look around while we’re waiting for the book launch to start.
I’m no fan of the place as you may know, but it’s been a great success with many and has finally linked the town centre with the waterfront.
Until I turn the next corner and I see this.
Astonishingly they were a sort of camouflage. Now obviously any enemy vessel could clearly see that ‘There’s a big multi-coloured ship over there.’ But the clashing stripes and directions made it very hard to tell how far away it was. Whether they worked or not still seems to be the cause of some debate.
And being down here at the Pier Head on a pleasant evening, I do what I always do.
Continuing round the block the magnificent buildings from the city’s wealthy past keep coming.
So what a grand place we have here for our IFB visitors to see?
David Parrish is a business adviser who particularly concentrates on the creative businesses. He’s worked with businesses in over 30 countries, including with us, a sense of place. His new book is primarily a ebook.
‘Chase One Rabbit – Strategic Marketing for Business Success’ is 63 ideas about what it says. Not necessarily to be read all in one go, but whenever you’ve got a few minutes to spare. Like having Dave inside your phone with a good idea just when you need one!
Dave had just written ‘T-Shirts & Suits’ nine years ago when we first got to know him. Since then we’ve both been each other’s customers as well as friends. So it’s great to be here to see the new book launched.
So welcome to Liverpool all you International Festival for Business delegates from all over the world. Enjoy yourselves, have a good look around, talk to us and get a real sense of our place. As you can see from just this walk around one block and this look at what some of us are up to it’s a very special place, this place we call home. In fact, just like you probably think about your own place, we think it’s one of the greatest cities on Earth. The great City State of Liverpool. Welcome.
More about how to get ‘Chase One Rabbit’ here, plus reviews of the book.
And you can pick up your copy of ‘The City Tribune’ from (amongst others) Camp and Furnace, Baltic Social, Unit 51, the Bluecoat, the Culture Hub at Mann Island, Leaf, Bold St Coffee, the Albert Dock’s IFB pop-up and Oomoo on Smithdown. You can also read it online.