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This week at our innovation centre, Plexal, we were delighted to host the Future Cities Forum’s all-day event: “Innovation Cities: economy, creative clusters with cultural infrastructure, housing, and communities” in partnership with the Infrastructure & Projects Authority, Homes England, and the V&A.

The Future Cities Forum debates the latest global urban investment, regeneration, planning and design issues - and this week’s event looked specifically at the creation of world-class innovation districts supported with affordable housing, and discussed how the creative industries, tech sector and sport are proving vital for the growth of the UK economy over the next decade.

With over 80 leaders from UK national and local government, the cultural sector, investors, developers, universities, city planners, and architects in attendance, discussions covered the cultural, economic and place-making possibilities of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and 5G alongside the developments in the film production sector, fashion industry, heritage, and tourism.

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As a hub of ideas, talent and technology committed to innovation, we were proud to help bring together voices and host discussions in these important areas, with the themes of the event’s fascinating sessions ringing true of what we are cultivating here on our campus.

Here East CEO, Gavin Poole, took part in one of the day’s panel discussions on “AI: a brave new world for cities” and Here East COO, Mike Magan, delivered the opening remarks to kickstart the event reflecting on Here East’s mission to fuel collaboration and empower local communities to drive progress and prosperity.

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Last year, Here East marked ten years since winning the bid to transform this site into the innovation campus that the event was hosted in yesterday. While the infrastructure may have changed drastically - our ethos has always stayed the same.

This year, we welcomed many new tenants to our site that are at the forefront of the latest technology, and at SXSW we unveiled our Virtual Twin - the Here East campus in virtual form, which will be able to be explored from all corners of the world.

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However, it's the people who live and work in East London that make this campus home and drive innovation. Training for local young people and bridging the digital divide are of paramount importance to us. It’s why we believe so passionately in bringing all of these different skills together and creating a circular pipeline of talent within our space.

Here East will continue to be a place where collaboration, creativity and knowledge sharing flourish. We will strive to provide an environment that nurtures innovation, supports the growth of talent and empowers individuals and organisations to thrive.

This is precisely why we are so passionate about the important issues that were discussed at this week’s event. We all have important roles to play in making sure London and the UK continues to pave the way as a leader in innovation.

To learn more about Here East’s monumental year, download our 2022-23 Impact Report here.

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