Briefing for Future City chairs

Chair briefing

Speaker briefing page for ‘London and the future: Will we still be a major player in the world in 2050?‘ on Friday 8 October, to be chaired by Simon Fanshawe

Initial script

Welcome to the fifth and final debate in the Future City debate series ‘London and the future: Will we still be a major player in the world in 2050?’

Yesterday’s debate ‘Is London missing out on the potential of new technologies?’ was reported to be very stimulating and enlightening.

These debates are part of the Story of London Festival being organised by the Mayor of London.

There are over 100 different events across London about the city as a site of innovation, future challenges London faces and how we might shape that future.

The festival runs until 10 October and there are guides available at the desk outside.

More information at:

We would like to thank the British Library for hosting these debates. This debate series ties in with the ‘Inventing the 21st Century’ exhibition it is hosting until 28 November, which is part of its part of the Innovation Season.

The exhibition is a celebration of British ingenuity which explores the stories behind some of the most iconic inventions of the century’s first decade. You can find more out at the British Library Web site or ask a member of staff.

This debate is being recorded and some of it may be filmed. The audio will be made available online in due course.

If you want to Tweet about this debate please use the hashtag #FutureCity (which you can also see on the slide behind me along with the URL for the series).

Intro to debate itself/scene setting

Say the speakers will talk for 5 minutes each.

Introduce each speaker with their biography before they speak.


Running order: [Ensure running order is correct on speaker briefing page, with biographies]

Professor Lisa Jardine, Centenary Professor of Renaissance Studies, Queen Mary, University of London Jude Kelly, artistic director, Southbank Centre Peter York, social commentator, writer and broadcaster Julie Meyer, founder and chief executive, Ariadne Capital James Woudhuysen, Professor of Forecasting and Innovation, De Montfort University

Keeping to time: Each panellist has been briefed to talk for 5 minutes and told they will have time to develop their point in the panel debate and audience discussion.

We have found that some speakers don’t speak into the mic: please look out for this!

Panel debate

Please play it by ear re how long the initial panel debate takes. Up to 20 minutes OK.

Make sure debate is balanced: If it seems too positive or negative, or there is too much consensus play devil’s advocate.

Audience Q&A

30 minutes or more desirable.

To the extent you can develop a few key themes and encourage questions around them.

Take questions in groups of three if you can.

Ask people to wait for the mic. [This is for recording and so people can hear you clearly.]

Please recap the questions/points, directing each question to a particular one or two speakers, and encourage speakers to only respond to questions/points that they have something to add to.

Challenge poor or evasive answers and/or ask questioners if they were satisfied with the answer they got.

Wrap up and Thanks

Ask speakers for final remarks, in reverse order to introductions. 1 minute each.

Thank the speakers. I am sure they will stay around to talk.

We have to leave the Conference centre by 8:30 pm.

Thanks again to the British Library for hosting.

And that wraps up the Future City debate series for the Story of London festival. There’s a couple days left of the festival, the last day is Sunday 10 October, so you can still get along to some of the events.