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Future Humber

Let’s Talk Place – What does the Humber mean to you?

9 June 2023

Place. It can be an emotive word. Places trigger memories, good or bad, and contribute to who we are as humans. We have favourite places, and we have places that mean something to us, either alone or with others. Place is where we call home, where we explore, and where we make a whole bunch of new memories. Places are unique.

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It was with great pleasure that we had the opportunity to explore the concept of place and how we can use emotional value in place marketing. On Destination Monday, at the launch of Humber Business Week 2023, we hosted an event at the MKM Stadium which brought together over 150 business people with a panel of experts, a poet, and an artist to work towards creating a collective narrative that will inform how we talk about the Humber. We were also delighted to have been able to welcome representatives from all four of the local authorities in the Humber region.

Introduced by Bondholders Chair Bill Walker, the event was presided over by John Till, a Founding Director of place specialists thinkingplace. John was joined by a panel comprising Tim Shaw, Chief Executive Officer at KCOM, James Trowsdale, Strategic Lead for Culture at North East Lincolnshire Council, Charlotte Bowen, Founder and Creative Director at The Culture House, and Jane Stafford, Chief Executive Officer at Hull University Students’ Union.

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The topics covered were the importance of being part of the national conversation, the impact of collaboration and a unified voice, the need to harness the power and energy of the young people in our region, and playing to our strengths, such as promoting our vast waterfronts and our leadership in the green economy.

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Attendees were encouraged to contribute through a game of stand-up/sit-down and then followed roundtable discussions, led by volunteer facilitators (thank you to those that put themselves up for the job!) to find things to add to the ideas board. Some great ideas were put forward as to how we can improve what we have and shout more about what we are already doing. Thank you to Edenic Group for creating and facilitating this activity.

From the conversations and the ideas, artist Calvin Innes of Pace Communications created a huge painting representing our collective sense of the Humber, showing a vibrant and exciting region with a mix of people and places. It is available to buy by private auction. Please email to learn more. A huge thank you to Calvin for this amazing piece which added colour to our event and we are sure will continue to inspire wherever its new home will be.

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Then followed a poem from Vicky Foster. You can hear this on our podcast of our activity during Humber Business Week.

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Under big skies, we meet
in a buzz of light and voices
Would you like to come and join us?
We’ll show you how we built this.
At the water’s edge, we’re reaching
over flat lands and rolling fields
touching wold and coastline
feeling towards Europe
If you don’t hear us yet, turn your head this way
We’re the secret speaking in the rising wings of birds
in revolution, in wind’s harvest
We’re speaking in the tongues of trawlermen, technologists, students, artists, carers, planners, thinkers, triers, of green budding leaves and pulsing tides
We are a living lab, a breathing space
If you don’t see us yet, turn your face towards us
by train, by sea, by air
See how we work here, how we’re working it out
We can sing it, we can write it
It’s in our ships and cables, buildings, spires and cranes
Beneath shifting clay, find chalk
Find solid ground, rich veins

During the event, we were able to show people our new place marketing and recruitment brochure Your Move. I think it was well received!

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Thank you to everyone who came to the event and contributed to its success. We hope that you found the session useful and inspiring and that you have some more tools to be able to shout more about all the great things we have happening in the Humber.

Thank you to Neil Holmes Photography for his hard work on the day and for all of the photos you see above.

Charlotte bowen linkedin
John till linkedin
Deb oxley twitter

Some fantastic media coverage on this event including this write up by Dave Laister of Business Live Humber