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Managing the impact of infrastructure on the economy and environment

Note: This event has already taken place and cannot be booked.

As part of the ESRC festival of social science which is running between 2-9 November 2013, The Open University Business School is pleased to announce an event: Managing the impact of infrastructure on the economy and environment on Monday 4th November 2013 at The Open University, Milton Keynes.

Register here

The UK economy appears to be at a crossroads, in that pursuing austerity has not led to a return to sustained growth. There has been a clamour for investment in infrastructure as means of breaking out of the logjam of resolving debt and deficit crises. This clamour has a strong environmental basis as proponents of green investment promote it to re-balance the economy. There are inherent tensions between economic growth and how it is environmentally managed. This is the case for the UK’s fastest growing sub-region: Milton Keynes and its hinterland that as such provides the context for this event.

The event consists of a public debate between two experts who hold briefs for each of the perspectives. Evan Davis, the broadcaster and Visiting Professor at the Open University will examine increased investment in infrastructure to address the current challenges for the British economy. Keith Clarke OBE former CEO of Atkins Global and Chairman of Forum for the Future will propose that such investment should be carbon-neutral so as to manage the environmental and social consequences of this type of development. Philip Smith, Chairman of the MK Business Leaders Partnership will chair the event. Consequently, the local context and the audience it is mainly drawn from will be represented in both speakers’ presentations and the question and answer session.

The topic which the event addresses is both globally and locally current and relevant, but also reflects the issues underlying the Open University’s research narrative and its public commitment to promoting open society. It is also pertinent to the University’s intention to increase its engagement with its immediate local community by disseminating its research and expertise in social science more directly. By locally contextualising the global issue of balancing growth and sustaining the environment, this event addresses current and future concerns of the target audience


Evan Davies

Economist and BBC Presenter of the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, as well as BBC2’s Dragons Den and the weekly business discussion programme, The Bottom Line.



Keith Clarke

Former chief executive at the engineering and design consultancy Atkins.



Dr Philip Smith

Chairman, Global Utilities Ltd, Pulse Group Holdings Ltd, and the UK’s Landfill Community Fund regulator (Entrust).



Event details

Note: This event has already taken place and cannot be booked.

Start date: 4 November, 2013 at 18:00
End date: 4 November, 2013 at 20:15

Location: Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
UK region: South