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Reading 2050: What is the Future of the Tech Economy in Reading?

Reading has a rich history going back to medieval times and a reputation for change and adaption to economic pressures and technological change.

Location and connectivity have been the single most consistent factors in Reading’s economic evolution.  Most reminiscent in Readings economic history is the 3Bs: ‘Beer, Biscuits, and Bulbs’ dating back to the 1800s and the industrial revolution.

More recently we coined the acronym ‘the 3Is’: IT, Investment and Insurance. A stark change from the three B’s this is a major transformation from a manufacturing secondary sector economy to a Knowledge based, tertiary sector economy.  From factories to offices,  from transporting goods and services by land to transporting deals, knowledge and information via the internet, from blue collar  6pm-6pm manual jobs to  white collar 9pm – 5pm and 24 /7 trading.

Even so the 3Is are evolving  to be more specialist. Energy and life sciences feature widely in our economy.  We are going big scale Microsoft HQ to co working space for entrepreneurs, we are becoming more niche digi-tech, fin-tech, bio-tech nano-tech.

This makes for a very interesting future and something we must respond to in planning and regenerating our city especially as the pace of change is becoming more rapid.

Will place determine our economic landscape or will we simply become a convenient place for the sectors of tomorrow to land and grow?  Can we fuel the future sectors in Reading with people, places to live and a life style they want? What will the next three letter acronym be to describe Readings economy?  Will it only be three will it be more or less? Does it matter?

Please join Nigel Horton-Baker from Reading UK for a lecture: ‘What is the Future of the Tech Economy in Reading?’

The lecture is part of the ‘Economy and Employment’ theme of the Reading 2050 lecture series, which provide a platform to discuss how Reading should evolve into a smarter and more sustainable city by 2050 (www.reading2050.co.uk )

Admission to the lecture is free.

The SBE, Barton Wilmore and Reading UK, established the Reading 2050 group in 2013. The Reading 2050 lecture series is structured around three themes, which underpin the Reading 2050 vision:

*Place and Environment
*People and Lifestyle
*Economy and Employment

In 2017, the School brought together expert speakers to discuss Reading’s heritage and history, the future of its transport and energy and the impact of climate change and floods. A discussion on Reading’s Art and Culture was facilitated in 2018, and there are other Reading 2050 events planned for 2019.



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