Moving Manchester Toward the Smart Age

High-level event by international think tank 2020Plus to position Manchester leaders to win in the race towards the Smart Age.

2020Plus Business and Civic Leadership Event

May 14 | 7:30-10:00 am

Endeavour Worldwide, Unit 6, Deva Centre, Manchester, M3 7BB

As the global race toward Smart Industries and Smart Lifestyles heats up, Manchester’s companies and civic organisations will need to decide whether they want to be front-runners or also-rans.

With its proud history of pioneer innovation, Manchester has been identified as a potential leading centre for Smart Industries, in which the analogue and digital worlds merge to create breakthrough approaches in science and industry. This potential can only be realised as leaders in key business and civic sectors understand the Smart Age and decide to enter the race now.

‘Playing a prime role within the Smart Age will require a bold brand of leadership which moves well beyond the normal metrics of management,’ says Mal Fletcher, Social Futurist and Chairman of the international 2020Plus think tank on leadership and social change based in London. ‘This new leadership will create cultures which focus on exceptions rather than norms and in which risk is the new status quo.’

The 2020Plus Manchester event on May 14 provides an important catalyst for new levels of confidence and creativity in Manchester’s business and civic sectors. It will gather leaders from companies, institutions, government and third sector organisations to share skills needed to engage with the Smart Age. The event is part of a project helping business and civic leaders in key cities around the world to identify opportunities for future growth. It is hosted by Endeavour Worldwide, a Manchester-based social enterprise focused on social entrepreneurship and leadership innovation.


In order to become a market leader in Smart Industries and Smart Lifestyles, Manchester must see a significant up-scaling in the quality of leadership available to companies and institutions.

‘A key part of this’, says Mal Fletcher, ‘will be about engaging the next generations in the race – particularly the Millennial generation (aged 18-34) and the even more challenging Generation Edge (aged 17 and under)’. Both generations share a globalised and digital mindset, which focuses on plurality of values and level-playing-field structures. This presents special challenges for leaders when it comes to inspiring loyalty and focused, strategic thinking.

Moreover, Generation Edge is showing signs of being a much more reformist and rebellious cohort than Millennials. This new generation will look to disrupt and re-construct any enterprise with which they’re connected, Fletcher believes.

‘The agitating impact of Generation Edge will be behind many of the truly ingenious ideas that will drive Industry 4.0,’ Fletcher adds. ‘Leaders need to be prepared to encourage disruption and deconstruction, whilst keeping the clear end goal always in mind.’

Together with his team Mal Fletcher tracks major shifts in new technologies and writes, lectures and broadcasts about their likely future impact on business, organisations and the wider society, preparing leaders to maximise their engagement with growth opportunities. Fletcher is well-known for his broadcasts on issues of social change and leadership on the BBC and other major media and press platforms.

Notes for the editor:

We warmly invite you to join us at the 2020Plus Manchester Event. Photos can be downloaded here.

About the organiser:

The 2020Plus Business and Civic Leadership Event is hosted by Endeavour Worldwide, a Manchester-based social enterprise focused on social entrepreneurship and leadership innovation. Based on the belief that the future of Manchester can be shaped positively by the resourcefulness of the people who live in the city, the group’s projects connect people to make a difference in their organisations, in the city of Manchester and beyond. Endeavour Worldwide proactively supports a collaborative innovation approach to the challenges Manchester faces now and in the future.

© Copyright with Mal Fletcher

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