Rewilding conversations about place with Claudette Forbes

Back in the summer of this year, the UK Government launched its Innovation Strategy which set out how the UK plans to become a global hub for innovation over the coming years. It recognised the critical role that place-based innovation is going to play on that journey.

One of the many things that place leaders need to take into account is not just how successful that economy is in monetary terms, but also how inclusive it is in societal terms. How can the innovation economy benefit everyone is a question we’re interested in at the Catapult and earlier this year we announced a new Research Commission on Inclusive Innovation which is going to be getting under the bonnet of some of these issues, and identifying some of the best practice that’s already emerging from across the UK. But when it comes to place leadership, who sets the vision of a place? And how brave are we prepared to be when it comes to listening to the multitude of voices in any given place.

Our guest on this episode is Claudette Forbes who’s held a number of senior roles across local and regional government, including the London Development Agency where she led a £125m London-wide regeneration programme. She’s also led numerous city development, economic development, and holistic local area regeneration programmes and she’s a strategic adviser to local authorities, government, non-profits across the UK. 

Claudette grew up in an inner-city area which was regenerated following race riots in the early 1980s, and she’s passionate about combating poverty and deprivation in urban areas. 

She’s a faculty member of the Whitehall & Industry Group and she currently holds a number of Non-Executive Director positions including the Future of London, and the Connected Places Catapult. 

Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (


Show notes:

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