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Maurizio Bragagni info@bragagni.uk mauriziobragagni Dr Maurizio Bragagni MBA

BREXIT, BUSINESS AND A BETTER BRITAIN

@bragagnimaurizi mauriziobragagni

BREXIT, BUSINESS AND A BETTER BRITAIN

Designed and produced by: acumencommunications.co.uk

by Dr Maurizio Bragagni MBA


B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 01

INTRODUCTION 02 FOREWORD 06 ON BREXIT

09

WITH ONE FOOT IN MAINLAND EUROPE AND THE OTHER IN THE UK, HOW DOES GLOBAL CABLE MANUFACTURER TRATOS’ CEO CALL THE BIG EU DEBATE – STAY OR GO?

10

LOOK TO HISTORY – AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE – FOR THE FUTURE OF EUROPE

15

SENSIBLE NEGOTIATIONS THE KEY FOR MUTUAL GAINS

17

THE BRITISH EXAMPLE – BALANCE IS THE KEY TO BREXIT

19

BREXIT: IS IT REALLY THE BAD GUY?

21

MAY’S HAND ON THE BREXIT HELM MUST BE SUPPORTED NOW: FOR BRITAIN’S FUTURE

23

BRITAIN MAY WANT TO BE JUST A LITTLE BIT DIVORCED - BREXIT, NEXT STEPS

25

A BUSINESS BREXIT FORECAST

27

EXCITEMENT AND WORRY ARE RIGHT INGREDIENTS FOR GROWN-UP SPLIT

29

RABBITS AND HATS FOR MULTI-TASKER MAY

33

ON BUSINESS

35

INTERNATIONAL UNCERTAINTY AND THE CHALLENGES COMPANIES FACE FOR INNOVATION.

36

MAIN LINE FIBRE BOOST POTENTIAL WITH GRAYLING’S RAIL SHAKE-UP

41

FAMILY BUSINESSES: STRENGTH, GROWTH AND LONGEVITY

44

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: SO WHEN DID IT ALL START?

47

A BETTER BRITAIN

50

COMMUNICATIONS: BRITAIN’S BROKEN BROADBAND

51

TRANSPORT FOR THE NORTH: A NATIONAL ISSUE

53

HIGHWAYS: BRITAIN’S HARD SHOULDER ECONOMY

56

BIG PICTURE THINKING WILL GUARANTEE JOBS AND ECONOMIC HEALTH

57

LEARNING LESSONS ISN’T ENOUGH; WE MUST USE THE KNOWLEDGE

62

BETTER A THOUSAND TIMES CAREFUL THAN ONE REGRET

63

AS MRS MAY REVEALS PLANS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE LET’S NOT FORGET TO STAY SAFE

65

CHANCELLOR’S NOVEMBER 2017 BUDGET: THE POWER OF THE DISRUPTIVE AND THE UNPREDICTABLE

67

THE DAWN OF THE ECONOMY OF THE MIND THE ETHER ECONOMY

70

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

80

THE VALUE OF TALENT

85

INDEX 101


B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

INTRODUCTION

I want to mention everyone who has helped to shape my character, my values, and my career. My ancestors: those with whom I got the honour of sharing a part of their lives; My great-great-grandmother Emilia; my great-grandmothers Giuseppa and Rita; my great-grandfather Silvestro; my grandfathers Amleto, Amerigo and Pietro; my grandmothers, Maria, Viviana, Marina, (I was surrounded by love); my parents - my loving mother Giovanna and my father Germano (the only man that I have ever envied); my sister Sara, my brother-in-law Vincenzo; my nephews and nieces - Tommaso, Luca, Rita, Teresa; my loving wife Alessandra, my daughters Giulia Maria, Lucia Maria, Elena Maria and Anna; my family - my uncles Marcellino, Fulvio, Gabriele; my aunties - Anna, Silvana, Giulia; my Godchildren - Daniele, Fabio, Elettra; my parents-in-law: Franca and Pino; my teachers - in particular my English high school teacher Prof. Burroni, Prof. Rizzo, Prof. Teti; my book teachers- Don Luigi Giussani, Jack Welch, Mervyn King, Warren Buffett, Winston Churchill; my priests – Gilfredo, Evio, Virgilio, Juan Carlos, Severino, Francesco; my classmates in school and Universities - Domenico, Francesco, Federico, Rocco, Luca, Massimo, Teresa, Conor, Costa, Vivien, Maria, Roberto, Tim, David, Michele; my bosses - Albano, Marta, Ennio, Elisabetta; my mentors in business - Silvano, Alfredo, John Light, John Cooper, Thomas, Neil, Jeanette, Bridgett, Ottonel, Stephan, Leonardo, Alberto and Prof. Roberto Ruozi; my Cass supporter- Lorraine; my guardian angels - Elena, Martina, Enrico, Lucrezia, Sally, Denise and Paolo; my truth-seekers in the academy- Prof Paul Dobson, Prof. Ajay Bhalla, Prof. Gianvito Lanzolla, Dr. Alessandro Giudici and Prof. Davide Ravasi, in particular for his patience: my cluster mates - Simone, Sergio, Piero, Raffaella; my colleagues and believers at Tratos - James and Rodger Card, Kevin, Peter, Jon, Philip, Cindy, Veronica, Zilah, Rainer, Craig, Andrew, Barbara, Vincenzo, Francesco, Alan, Kath, Sue, Gianfranco, Chris, Billy, Caridad, Danielle, Fae; the Tratos shareholders/owners, who have given me their trust; my political friends and advisers – Rt Hon Theresa May, Nick Clegg MP, Alberto Costa MP, George Howarth MP, David Cameron, Arantza Tapia, Dominic Johnson, Simon Blagden, Mustafa Mohammed, Selva Pankaj, Rami Ranger and my friends from all walks of life.

This book maps the journey of my own thinking

In the UK it is all about how things will look from

through a seismic year.

this angle. But could Britain’s breakaway lead to

Thanks to Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Elizabeth Truss MP, for her interest in our Safer Structures Campaign during her visit to Tratos and to John Hayes MP, former Minister of State at The Department of Transport, for his consistent support for Tratos’ push for higher industry standards. Special acknowledgements: Special thanks go to Dott Leonardo Simonelli for his careful guidance, valued advice and support along every step of the Senate journey. Tom Flynn for his loyalty and enthusiastic work to support the campaign - despite holding opposing political views.

fissures in mainland Europe? We’ve seen, on a It comprises a series of articles and speeches put

smaller scale, instability rising in Catalonia and

together as we progressed through a landmark

Scotland. Is there a chance that Brexit could

event for the UK and Europe - and started to

break Europe?

get to grips with the ramifications of change on a world scale.

I was in favour of the UK remaining within Europe – it didn’t go that way for Britain - but I

While there may be apprehension in some

fiercely want ‘stay’ to be the outcome with Italy.

quarters about what’s on the horizon, there

Back in June of 2017 The European posed this

should also be huge excitement as we watch the

view: ‘The greatest threat to the EU lies in Italy, a

dawn of a new way of working, living and trading.

country on the edge.’

My thoughts often turned to the impact of the

The article went on to report: “Italian withdrawal,

Fourth Industrial Revolution, and its impact on education, jobs and the way we learn as we work. It’s clear that the need for investment in superfast connectivity and fibre to the home is something that can’t be ignored if we are all to continue to grow and prosper. But beyond all this there is investment in the most important thing of all – people – making sure we are all being the best we can be and doing the best we can do for ourselves, others and as

as the third largest economy within the Eurozone, would spell the beginning of the end for monetary union, and would shake the foundations of the EU in a way that Brexit will not. A major continental economy, one of the ancient European civilisations, Italy’s departure would be catastrophic for the EU.” Italy is a founding member of the EU and, although it hasn’t always been an easy relationship, but there have been plenty of gains – and I’d argue they’re worth the pain.

good neighbours to every living thing on a

A leave vote would see Italians in Europe

shared planet.

returning to Italy and losing their place in their

I have been lucky – I know I have. My adopted

adopted countries.

home, the UK, is still a land of opportunity for

I would favour change from within instead and

those with talent, a thirst for hard work and

a root and branch review of how The European

invention.

Parliament works. In the UK people lobby their

As Brexit inches closer it casts a long shadow.

MP – it’s accessible and it’s effective. In Europe we must lobby bureaucracy, and there’s nothing accessible about that.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

This single, lowering threat on the horizon

I have been lucky enough to meet some great

coloured my decision to stand for the Italian Senate

people in powerful positions – from David

and promote these thoughts, ideas and values.

Cameron and Nick Clegg to Theresa May and

I want to make a difference and believe I can

all of them impressed me with their own passion

make a difference.

for getting the job done and wanting the best for the people they serve. Politicians don’t get a lot

Europe has a very special place in the world.

of thanks.

It is a peacemaker (and has been ever since the end of the Second World War) and this is part of

Nick Clegg had more than his fair share of

the attraction for business.

criticism. He told me: “never give up on your own country.”

It is the largest free market and the most democratic region. Europe is organised to

So, this book is a collection of my thoughts,

provide care for its old, pensions and health care.

humbly offered at a time of great change. Anyone who wants to change things now needs

The self-destruction of Europe is a threat to

to make a stand now and do things better. Now

those who remain AND those who leave.

is the time, otherwise Europe will be destroyed

Security and immigration are issues that can best be controlled by working together – and there are many more. If Europe continues to fracture,

and the future for 2.5 million Italians working in Europe will hang in the balance. Now is the time, and our one chance, to make the right choices.

what happens then? We have the freedom to complain, ignore and point the finger, but no combined power or will to do anything about it. New generations are not sure what they’ll inherit, and neither are those who walked before them. It will be an uphill task to engage and appeal to them – and prompt positive response.

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FOREWORD

Above all years, 2017, has been a year of change. And that is from a man whose day-to-day business is the business of change. The industry I am fortunate to work within is one of the most exciting and dynamic in the world. When people think about cable, they don’t really think about it. Cable is what drives change, it’s what connects and harnesses change and there is very little technological advance in this world that doesn’t have some form of cable attached to it or built within it. So ‘another day in the office’ for me, and others like me, is all about the ‘what next’. That dynamic business landscape resonates across other areas of my life. Mine is a family business, and I love my family– and my business, two things I wouldn’t change! But if I can help change others’ lives and the lives of their families for the better, then I am proud to have helped. People are incredibly resilient, courageous and inspiring. Those who fortune has smiled upon have a duty to help; the life they enjoy now doesn’t come with guarantees and just one small change can turn fortunes on their head. So, I would urge everyone, however little time or money they have to give, to make this year the year to help where they can. We are all part of a much bigger family. This thinking must be adopted when looking at the infrastructure we live our lives within, too. Safety should be taken for granted by people living or working in high-rise accommodation, spending time in public buildings or travelling around the country. People expect to be safe. The work behind delivering measures fool proof enough to earn the right for safety to be taken for granted is harder – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Cost is no argument, no barrier. Here again I, and others, have been pushing for more challenging safety standards – and things have to change. I am passionately interested in politics - the ultimate change engine with the real power to make things happen nationwide and on a world scale. Of course that has to be handled carefully and managed fairly for everyone. Politicians need to stay connected to stay relevant. A good politician welcomes pressure with an open ear and a receptive mind. The best politicians listen, think - and act. Towards the end of 2017 I was invited to run for the Italian Senate elections in 2018.

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As an Italian-born British business leader I have been an active participant in Britain’s political

I am now a regular at Westminster, and delighted to accept invitations to bring a global perspective

community, a huge advocate of better relations with Italy and a key driver of change for good for UK

to UK business and enlightened thinking to some of the country’s infrastructure industries, from

PLC throughout the European community.

power to communications and transport.

Sitting at the head of a ground-breaking, innovation-led independent cable company, I have striven to

A devoted patron of the arts I launched the charity Esharelife – which provides an online

initiate and successfully conclude campaigns for better business.

sales-platform connecting artists’ work and customers - with a share of sales benefiting good causes – and 2018 will be the year it comes into its own.

White Papers examining the impact of fake cable on the UK’s ‘smart motorways’, pushing for real advances in fibre-to-the-home to speed up Britain’s broadband and secure its place as a developed

Now the sights are set on the Senato della Republica (‘the Senate’) – it’s somewhere I hope I can

world leader in industry and focusing on intelligent ways to tackle power losses during transmission

add value.

have seen the causes I support heard at the highest level. And I thank the team of talented people who support me in these endeavours.

Back in the UK I was pleased to see a Brexit breakthrough came at the close of last year, and in 2018 we should have a clearer view of the future for Brexit, for business and for a better Britain.

I continue to back a campaign to prompt closer attention to the fire safety capabilities of cabling in domestic and public buildings. It’s a cause close to my heart and I am robust in my challenge that newly

I have been vocal in my support for the positives Brexit has the potential to deliver and look forward

upgraded CPR standards don’t go far enough. In the course of this campaign I have taken the decision to

to the next steps.

lead from the front and announced that the specification of cable made by my company will, as standard, outperform the new requirements. I now call London home, with Tratos’ UK HQ in the capital and a purpose-built manufacturing base in

World events mean this is a time of reflection as well as a time for planning. I wanted to record in one place my own small efforts to affect change for good in 2017 – and hope I can look back on progress by at the end of 2018 with increasing encouragement for a safer, happier and healthier Britain.

Merseyside; but the course of business takes me all over the world. Comfortable working within the European market and beyond, I have been proud to see Tratos UK further develop into a market leader in power and communication cables. I have also been a keen and active supporter of the drive for constitutional reform in Italy, and the introduction of a two-house system that closely mirrors governance in the UK. Ahead of advanced Brexit negotiations I was delighted to broker an introduction between British-based businesses and former Italian Senate President, Senator Marcello Pera, President of the Italian Senate (2001-2006) as part of his push for a continued cordial relationship between the two nations.

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ON BREXIT

WITH ONE FOOT IN MAINLAND EUROPE AND THE OTHER IN THE UK, HOW DOES GLOBAL CABLE MANUFACTURER TRATOS’ CEO CALL THE BIG EU DEBATE – STAY OR GO? “It took Greenland Three Years to complete its Two-Year Exit from Europe. Greenland has a population smaller than that of Croydon and has one issue – fish.” Lord O’Donnell

There has been much talk about the volumes

Tratos has an unusual perspective on the UK

of red tape involved in being part of Europe.

condition. The company has one foot in mainland

The UK has been dealing with it for more than

Europe – Italy – and the other in the UK, where

four decades and, under all that tape, found

some of its manufacturing bases are located.

something worth the effort. This 50+-year-old family business was an early In the face of all of that enforced uniformity

adopter of a pan-European – then global – view

the UK has managed to take the best out of the

of the marketplace for its cable.

allegiance - and remain true to itself. Sterling remains while the UK immersed itself in an

One of the company’s sources of pride is its

open market.

insistence on building its factories in deprived areas to create jobs and wealth for local

A vote to go will trigger an avalanche of

communities. It did it in Pieve, Tuscany, and has

administration that will make the day-to-day

continued to follow the blueprint in Merseyside.

tape-taming

pale

into

insignificance

and

the chances of the UK emerging within the

Ask one of the management team if the company

prescribed two-year exit window are unrealistic

is Italian, Anglo Italian, European or global, these

at best.

days they’re more likely to say global, but its home is Europe. While voting to leave the European Union on June 23 might look like a straightforward step, just the process of leaving, never mind the aftermath, is fraught.

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Former Cabinet Secretary Lord O’Donnell, who served under three successive Prime Ministers believes that extricating itself from the 28-nation bloc would be one of the hardest challenges the UK has had to face. Talking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he said: “I’m in that camp that doesn’t think we can do it in two years. According to the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, a country gets two years to complete its withdrawal from the EU. This includes negotiating trade deals and other issues that will be affected from exiting the EU’s Single Market. Lord O’Donnell doesn’t think it can be done. ‘Leave’ campaigners have been quick to point to another country that fell out of love with Europe and voted with its feet, citing a ‘positive effect’ for Greenland when it withdrew from the EU. According to Lord O’Donnell there’s no comparison, thanks to the disparity between the size and complexities of the economies of both countries. “Greenland has a slightly smaller population than Croydon and it has one issue, and that’s fish,” said O’Donnell. “So with one issue, and a small population it took them not two years but three. We have multiple issues. The idea that we can do it all in two years I think is highly unlikely.”

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It’s more than just timing though. Europe has

When I look at our company I see that it is

Some of the family values that are held with

been an enabler for long-haul, big-growth

the whole of the group that is responsible for

high regard in business are loyalty and trust.

businesses like Tratos.

delivering the greater good, not just one isolated

Those values are at the heart of Tratos’ business.

manufacturing unit or research and development

So much so that the company would sacrifice

We have got to where we are in a landscape

lab. I can’t see how we can view leaving Europe

business before it compromised on its values.

we understand. We have brought jobs and

any differently – we simply see the UK as

Outsiders might, at first glance, view Tratos’

investment to the UK, and the UK has repaid

stronger as a part of the whole.

values as naive or reckless. In fact, it’s those

us – with manufacturing facilities that have

traits that have set Tratos apart as something

been incredibly successful and contributed to

We should consider how a UK outside of Europe

more than ‘just clever’. Honesty, loyalty and pride

our growth.

will look after 23rd June. While we can see

in delighting its customers, first and foremost

there may be short-term gains from an exit; UK While Tratos is a family business we run our

within its European ‘family,’ has resonated well,

cable manufacturers benefiting from potential

company as a corporation, with an external

thanks to its authenticity.

protectionist practices and home market gains,

management board. We are corporate, but we

we do not see this as an enduring advantage. A

This one, modern, innovation-driven corporate

retain family values. Those values have extended

flourishing home market for business will in turn

organisation and venerable family business is

to business for us, with one of our real stronghold

lead to less investment, reduced innovation and

convinced that stay is the only way.

markets in mainland Europe and the UK.

complacency brought on by reduced pressure to

We view this referendum from the perspective

be competitive.

of an Italian company, a British company and a

Weighing up the gains verses the losses brought

European one. We struggle to see the sense in

on by a newly drawn marketplace outside the EU

throwing out the good.

will need to be the priority if UK manufacturing

A few years ago Tratos was unknown outside of

First published June 2016

isn’t to shrink further.

its customers and those customers’ industries. Today the 50+ year-old business is active in providing infrastructure cabling for power, telecommunications, rail, construction and more.

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LOOK TO HISTORY – AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE – FOR THE FUTURE OF EUROPE President of the European Commission Jean-

Shared self-interest wasn’t the only foundation

Luke’s Parable of the Lost Son records a division

Claude Juncker addressed European diplomats

on which Europe was built.

of estate between two sons. Europe (the father) perhaps should give some thought to giving

and experts in Florence in French, rather than English, because the former was ‘slowly but

No. The countries were governed by people

those who have freely decided to leave their part

surely’ losing its importance.

who share the same values and were educated

of the estate, its good wishes for the future.

in the same area. Those five statesmen were speaking German, and all of them were Christian.

A fair deal has to be in everyone’s interests.

The foundation on which Europe was built was

It is perhaps more intelligent to analyse why the

Going on to call the ‘our British friends’ decision

Jewish-Christian and, with the differences of war

British people decided to leave, and how Europe

to leave the EU ‘a tragedy’, he switched languages

behind them, they worked together to build a

can be fixed.

for the rest of his speech.

new society: Europe.

This isn’t the first time Europe has had to square

Even further back in time the thinking is noted in

democracy and its language is the third most

its shoulders and weather unrest.

the Gospels.

widely spoken in the world, behind Mandarin and

His remarks were met with applause.

Whatever Mr Juncker’s view, Britain is an old

After Napoleon I’s Waterloo defeat, European countries gathered in Vienna, a meeting that saw the birth of Europe and generations of battle. “Historia est testis temporum, lux veritatis, vita memeriae, magistra vitae, nuntia vetustatis (Cicero)”. (History is the teacher and witness of times) After the terrible human disaster of WWII, six countries - Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium and Luxemburg - enemies until a few

Spanish. It may be that it is simply more practical to use English when it suits – and adopt English as the second language of each member state. French doesn’t make the top ten. The father in Luke’s Gospel tale was pleased to receive his son again, despite the pain of broken ties. An old story, but a good one. #LetsIntroduceEnglishAsSecondOfficial LanguageOfEurope First published May 2017

years before, decided to build a Europe with a common market at its heart. Some of Napoleon’s thinking was employed. He hypothesized that people are moved by fear or their own interests. The stakeholder nations put together a model around economic interests and a shared market in the belief that, sooner or later, Europe would share the same principles.

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SENSIBLE NEGOTIATIONS THE KEY FOR MUTUAL GAINS

one of those interests must surely be continued

I am proud to live and work in the UK, to have

trade with the UK. The UK is a key market for

a flourishing business, create jobs there and

many Italian industries, and likewise Italy for

benefit from the talent and skills we value.

the UK. I was fortunate to be among those who met While Angela Merkel has made it clear that the

with HRH Prince Charles during his recent visit

UK can’t expect the same rights as EU members

to Italy, and he confirmed the importance of

going forward, she was also at pains to issue

trade relations. We spoke about business and

the reminder that Germany and other member

the number of Italians currently working in UK,

states did not want this exit – but will deal

some 600,000; The Prince was very interested.

with it.

He also took some time to speak of his love of Italy.

The headlines followed remarks made by Italy’s junior minister for European affairs, Sandro

The European Union map will be very different

Gozi. What he actually said seemed closer to an

and we look forward to the challenges this

argument for reasonable negotiations where

may present. As a 50-year-old family business,

mutual gains were possible. He also added that

we were an early adopter of a pan-European

he felt ‘sure the UK is interested in having an

and now global view of the market place for

orderly and efficient negotiation.’ He went on to

our cable and we are fully committed to cable

confirm his confidence that the UK will know how

manufacturing in the UK, for us it is business as

to pursue its interests, as the European Union

usual. And so it should be for others.

would pursue its own. Many countries outside of Europe trade with

Newspapers last week claimed Italy is backing

He talked about commitment from both sides in

those within it – China and Japan for example.

limiting any potential damage in the relationship

Surely the understanding gained from 40 years

between the two nations.

working as a partner nation should be better

an ‘EU FIRST’ stance as Brussels prepares to get

used to ensure that Britain stays fit and in the

tough in Brexit talks. However, the headlines may

Immediate priorities included the status of

frame for business and international talent

have been a little exaggerated.

Italian residents in the UK and the financial bill,

during negotiations and after them.

but alongside these was the desire to continue to ITALY has backed the European Union in its

enjoy ‘a strong relationship to the UK on security

stance on Brexit negotiations – the position

and trade.’

First published May 2017

that Brussels should pursue the interests of

17

its member states as its first priority. Why this

As the head of a business with one foot in the UK,

should be heralded as headline news is puzzling.

one foot in Europe and customers world-wide,

Of course, the European Union has a duty to back

we are keen to read between the headlines. Italy

its member states and their interests first, but

and the UK have a very strong relationship and 18


B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

THE BRITISH EXAMPLE – BALANCE IS THE KEY TO BREXIT

Balance will be the key to Brexit success.

Aristotle proposed six possible constitutional

people have voted to “Leave” the EU, to defend

A compromise, where one party is happy and the

forms (Politics III.7):

their system that allows them to account for

other is not, is not actually a compromise. Tough

members of parliament and vote or remove them

negotiation is important, but those around the table will have to give a little, to get a little. So the parting probably should be bitter-sweet on both sides.

Correct

Deviant

One Ruler

Kingship

Tyranny

Few Rulers

Aristocracy

Oligarchy

Many Rulers

Polity*

Democracy

from their seats. The UK is four countries governed using Aristotle’s model. Balance is in Britain’s DNA – perhaps we should consider looking forward to a strong Brexit, rather than a hard Brexit.

Britain’s constitution is a fine example of the benefits of balance and one that Aristotle would recognise and applaud. Indeed he was at pains to point out the benefits 300 or so years BC. It’s this approach to balance that should come into its own as the UK navigates its way out of Europe. The British example reflects Aristotle’s preferred model: Polity, Aristocracy and Kingship. Britain has a constitutional system with a Head of the State (‘Kingship’), and two chambers. The House of Lords (‘Aristocracy’), the upper house, checks and challenges the Government and the House of Commons (‘Polity’), which represents the people and holds real power in shaping laws and legislation, are the perfect illustration of Aristotle’s vision for democracy.

* Polity: a form or process of civil government He deemed this balance the most productive Polity, Aristocracy, Kingship.

or constitution First published June 2017

His approach balances the interests and controls of the dominant wealthy classes with those of the poor and ensures that the interests of the middle classes, those in between the two, have an equal voice. The unwritten constitution of United Kingdom and Northern Ireland is built around the combination of the three forces behind the politics: the command of one, of few and many; without the risk of the tyranny of one, the despotism of few or the oppression of many. The British parliamentary system is what matters. The democratic process in place is what we stand for. The parliamentary system is the guarantee of our rights and future. This is why the British

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BREXIT: IS IT REALLY THE BAD GUY?

and

Some experts saw the rising dominance of

unemployment and falling levels of pay have put

technology and automation as barriers to wage

the blame squarely at the feet of Brexit – but

growth – but I’m interested to find out how that

could we be doing more to master the process

could be laid at Brexit’s door? Actually I’m not

we are entering - and manage the fallout it’s

sure how technology is a barrier to wage growth

Headlines

flagging

rises

in

inflation

generating?

either. The key to career advancement and wage enhancement is surely to stay curious

If we continue to talk up a negative impact

and innovate.

enough, then the world starts to act accordingly. So there seems to be some very fast reactions to This is a confidence issue. The truth is no one

economic shifts without knowing exactly where

yet knows exactly how the future will be shaped

the cause lies. Assuming that Brexit is the villain

– but that is no excuse to sit back and allow the

isn’t perhaps the smartest move.

most negative within the UK community freereign to shape it.

Stability has to be the goal here. Big businesses come

from

small

businesses,

and

small

Even the most passionate Remainers have to

businesses that are home-grown tend to hold on

apply themselves to the next step in the UK’s

to their roots. In short, they stay in the UK.

economic growth. Already we know that the economy has held up better than anyone had

A strong Brexit negotiation performance is

imagined, despite dire warnings.

important, but so are the other things that will help small to medium-sized businesses thrive;

Consumer spending may have slowed, and

things like keeping corporate tax levels low to

inflation is starting to be noticed, but some of

provide that room for growth – and, where we

that reluctance to spend on bigger-ticket items

can, greater international trading with fewer

may be a result of natural caution while things

obstacles.

settle down. People seldom make big purchases when they’re not quite certain how the future

The rise of the micro-business community shows

looks.

that how the economy is made up is changing. Businesses started from home to cope with

Employers are, of course, extra careful. The

management of childcare or other dependants,

Chartered Institute for Personnel Development’s

or as a reaction to the potential to earn more

latest report noted that businesses were looking

and work smarter, are all great potential wealth

at 1 per cent pay rises on average for 2017, a

creators. Bigger businesses paying taxes and

rate that doesn’t tally with the Bank of England’s

employing people who also pay taxes boost the

reported 2.3 per cent rise in prices for March.

public sector services we all rely on: simple, balanced economics.

21

So while unemployment may grow in the shorter term, perhaps we could be looking at different employment models supplying a greater part of the workplace economy as micro-businesses grow and become two, three and four-people businesses. What is certain is that businesses, like ours, that operate in a world economy will continue to need people with insight and skill and talent. We will also require the technology to allow them to be the best they can be. Brexit, however it looks, however it feels, is at the door, and it is coming in. It’s just a question of how we welcome it. First published June 2017 22


B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

MAY’S HAND ON THE BREXIT HELM MUST BE SUPPORTED NOW: FOR BRITAIN’S FUTURE So, the dust is settling post-election and Mrs May

Winston Churchill is a great example of this. His

It’s not just jobs, healthcare, maternity leave and

is still standing: although now she has an even

early military career was not covered in glory,

social care provision it’s ‘my’ job, ‘my’ healthcare,

bigger pile of monumentally important change

yet with the advent of the second World War he

‘my’ maternity leave and social care provision.

initiatives to manage.

believed, and was determined, he was the man to make a difference. The military man, the war

So, information is key, and coming to terms with

It’s clear that Brexit, continued resolve in the face

correspondent and the strategist was by then

change is just as important. You may not enjoy

of her own exit, collaboration that stops short of

fully-rounded. He’s regarded now as an iconic

swimming, and avoid it at all costs, but if you’ve

coalition - and more - is a very tough day at the

figure, but getting there came at great cost.

just fallen in a river then swimming is going to be your favoured option. So we have to accept

office. Yet the Prime Minister is getting on with it. It takes courage to hold onto the determination

where we are and work with it.

In business mistakes are allowed as part of

to get the job done, and that courage has to

the innovation process – they are what real

come from self-belief. That’s the knowledge that

Remainers must re-engage and be part of

innovation is built on the back of. Risk-taking is

you understand what the goal is - and how to

the solution. The situation with the Brexit

encouraged in the commercial world, and the

get there. It sounds simple, but it is complex in

referendum in some ways mirrors the current

measure of the individual is often linked to their

the extreme.

situation with a hung Parliament. People who don’t agree about everything are going to have

ability to recover quickly and go on to astonish. Brexit has to be delivered. If everyone is to gain

to work together to get a result that people will

then there will be some pain on both sides, but

understand enough to accept.

even the most bitter pill is welcomed when it heralds a healthy outcome for all parties.

Decisions now about Brexit will be with us for decades. We have to agree what it needs to look

Above all of this is the importance of taking

like and how to find common ground with Europe,

the British people – and those in Europe – with

or there will be big losers. This country can’t

us, and we can only do that if everyone has a

afford another General Election as its stands

perspective and understands what it means for

on the brink of its own reinvention. We have to

their country and, biggest of all, what it means

give ourselves the best chance, now, of taking the

for them.

right steps. As we sweep away campaign slogans and the ‘he said, she said’ of the election it’s time

This is not about small things. It’s about some

for shared focus and contribution.

degree of change for just about everyone, and not everyone is a fan. Leading people towards

First published June 2017

a new way of doing things is much easier when they know what they’re losing, and what the gains are likely to be.

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24


B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

BRITAIN MAY WANT TO BE JUST A LITTLE BIT DIVORCED - BREXIT, NEXT STEPS So, the UK will get its ‘decree absolute’ March

Mr Davis has also said the timescale for any

2019 Brexit will flip Europe to a new status; that

transition period was likely to end in 2022.

of simply ‘ex’ - post Euro divorce. The UK wants a replacement free trade deal There will be issues and the dividing up of

with the EU, but talks can’t start until the EU is

who gets what and how it’s achieved is, says

satisfied with the progress made in the initial

the minister in charge of the process, more

“divorce” stage.

complicated than a moon landing. Mr Davis also went to some lengths to reassure Official negotiations are underway and the UK

that new arrangements for EU nationals would

is walking away from a single market and its

impose “practically no burden” on businesses, and

customs union. But, as David Davies has already

that the government’s approach to Brexit “puts

made plain, there will be some tricky territory to

jobs and prosperity first,” putting the control of

contend with along the way.

migration back in the hands of Westminster.

As we transition will we be in or out of the

He reportedly said: “It is not to slam the door on

EU single market? Talking to The Times Mr

immigration. We will bring immigration down but

Davis pointed to the public’s desire to control

in a way and at a pace that does not cause labour

immigration. This, he said, can’t be done as a

shortages or, worse, undermine the nation’s need

single market member.

for new talent.”

The pro-EU Open Britain campaign group

In what appears to be the most complicated

reacted with some alarm, saying it was “truly

game of chess, there is no simple retracing of the

concerning” that Mr Davis seemed to have ruled

steps we took on joining Europe. But of course,

out staying in the customs union and single

even 40 years ago when we joined the European

market during the transitional phase. Chancellor

community, the UK had some non-negotiables.

Philip Hammond has already said the transitional

We shunned the Euro and stuck with sterling. So

phase should protect the “free flow of trade”.

Britain joined, but not all the way. It seems the plan now is to leave, but not all the way. The next challenge is to discover what that looks like. Things can only get more interesting. First published June 2017

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26


B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

A BUSINESS BREXIT FORECAST

We are past the turning point of the year; a good time for business people and politicians to take stock of gains, losses, what’s worked and what hasn’t and what the future holds. According to analysts there are, as ever, some very large challenges facing the British economy as it heads towards 2018. It is, after all, an environment shadowed by an event that is totally unique. What we need to understand is where on the scale Brexit sits. Is it a great big iceberg, partially hidden but potentially catastrophic if the right hand isn’t on the tiller? Is it something that will just mildly cool the economy? Or, handled correctly, is it something that is capable of delivering chills in anticipation of greater empowerment and prosperity? Britain had a very long convalescence after the crash of 2008. Its economy has been in recovery after the worst of the financial crisis and has now started to grow slowly, but steadily. Then, in June 2016, Britain jumped right back into turmoil. It voted itself out of the European Union and a political storm and commercial uncertainty followed. They say timing is everything and this perhaps wasn’t the best. So, we are not short of issues as we look toward the horizon – and a lot of them can be laid at Brexit’s door. Inflation is back, consumer spending is slowing; a result of jittery confidence emanating from uncertainty about what Brexit means. Some businesses have thrived; some remain locked into caution mode. 27

The facts are that inflation is at its highest level for almost five years and the pound has dropped against the dollar. Prices for everyday goods and services are high, people have noticed the change in the price of their weekly shop – and wages haven’t kept up. INFLATION IS LIKELY TO REMAIN A CHALLENGE AS THE BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS PROGRESS. The depreciation of sterling is raising import prices as well as slowing wage growth. Consequently, the UK economy is likely to struggle to maintain 2016’s growth patterns. UK consumers under the grip of tightening budgets will inevitably look toward more personal borrowing – and we know from experience that that is not the best for the economy. Brexit will be a long drawn out process; balancing the economy under these conditions is going to be challenging. We’ve grown used to falling interest rates. Eight million British people have never seen an interest rate rise in their adult life. That in itself is a very worrying statistic. The Bank of England has to control unsecured borrowing, minimise future risk and maintain a healthy economy – tricky to say the least. The UK’s relationship with Europe will be different. How policymakers achieve the change will shape UK economic success for generations. Brexit will inevitably have a slowing effect on the UK economy as it continues the race with its peers.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel. We may be talking challenges here, but not all of them are bad. The UK should remember that its economic life doesn’t start and finish with the EU. Trading around the world has its attractions, not least a bigger marketplace. So, negativity about the prospects for the economy isn’t helpful. Policy makers and forecasters have a duty to rein in gloomy predictions and offer a balanced view. It is true that you can talk up a downturn. The definitive vision of how Brexit will progress isn’t out there yet. A lot is talked about each side’s aims, but we really don’t know the shape of the ultimate outcome – including whether or

not Britain is definitively leaving the European Single Market. It all makes planning very difficult, but not impossible. Businesses like to plan longterm. Businesses with import interests have had to face a weaker GBP, and they’ve got on with it. However, there’s very little to inform a five or tenyear plan. We’re just going to have to recognise that this is an exceptional set of circumstances, and the most flexible will navigate it – and do well. Clarity as Brexit proceeds would be a massive advantage. Truth is though, the main negotiators are doing all of this for the first time – they are learning as they go. We are too. First published September 2017

28


B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

EXCITEMENT AND WORRY ARE RIGHT INGREDIENTS FOR GROWN-UP SPLIT Britain and Italy’s Relationship Will Remain Strong The Prime Minister addressed delegates in

Mrs May talked about exciting times and the

While in Italy she spoke about how the two

Florence with a promise – that the UK and the

worries that follow – but isn’t that the way of the

countries are working together to tackle shared

EU would part as friends and stay friends.

world? Excitement energises and encourages

challenges - Britain’s Royal Navy, National Crime

us to look for and embrace opportunity. Worry

Agency and Border Force working alongside their

Anyone who has broken one kind of relationship

is what stops fools rushing in. Its enthusiasm’s

Italian partners stop traffickers’ exploitation of

and had hoped of replacing it with another

natural seatbelt so we should welcome a worry

immigrants and a shared fight against terrorism.

will know how difficult that is – but for some it

or two as we sit down and buckle up for the ride. The Prime Minister is right to point to some of

does work. Britain and Italy have enjoyed a cordial

the most fundamentally important areas where

She went on to talk about opening our minds to

relationship and mutually beneficial business

partner-working is paramount. Working together

new thinking and new possibilities for a shared

exchanges for longer than anyone can remember.

here, and in commerce, makes us stronger, keeps

brighter future for everyone. The reality is

We have to invest time and effort to make sure

us better informed and provides a holistic view of

that, to achieve it, everyone has to commit, and

that those solid foundations are preserved and

issues that affect both countries.

commit at the same level.

extended. Mass migration and terrorism cannot be handled Mrs May went on to express a desire for the EU

in silos. Walking away from partnership in

and the UK to thrive side-by-side. Her view is that

these areas is to condemn ourselves to failure

BREXIT may be the dissolution of a partnership

across the most sensitive and imperative

– but the process has every chance of leaving

human challenges.

behind a viable relationship nonetheless. A storm is brewing and rolling around the world. Another mass execution by a rogue gunman in America saw people mown down while they watched a music festival in Las Vegas, shoppers and café patrons were killed as they enjoyed the sunshine in Barcelona. Climate change hasn’t gone away and North Korea’s nuclear programme rages onward. It’s clear that acting together is important. The UK and Italy will stand together, as will the other countries of Europe, against challenges presented by people and planet, because together is the only way.

29

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

Mrs May recapped on the decision to leave the

I was particularly pleased to hear Mrs May

Britain has EU rules and regulations enshrined in

Mrs

European Union by reminding us that the UK is

reference significant progress on how the UK

its legislation. Some we will want to change as we

implementation period, people will continue to

not leaving Europe.

will look after European nationals living here

grow into this new entity.

be able to come and live and work in the UK, but

and British nationals living in the 27 Member

May’s

assertion

that

during

the

with a registration system seems a sensible step.

The UK remains a family member, it’s just moved

States of the EU and also her acknowledgement

Mrs May urges us to be creative as well as

house. It still has shared values and a willingness

of the worry and anxiety that has surrounded

practical in designing ambitious economic

As the country moves forwards, the UK will

uncertainty around their status.

partnerships which respect the freedoms and

also want to continue working together with

principles of the EU, and the wishes of the British

EU countries to promote long-term economic

people – and I believe she’s right.

development.

citizens who have made their lives in the country

Things that won’t change are the UK’s belief

As she summed up Mrs May said that the UK’s

– that Britain wants them to stay, that they’re

in free trade, fair competition and consumer

fundamentals were strong: a legal system

valued and that Britain is grateful for their

rights. One commitment close to my heart is

respected around the world; a keen openness

contribution. In addition to the business savvy

the allegiance to high regulatory standards,

to foreign investment; an enthusiasm for

and their contribution to the economy the Italian

and, within my own business, we stand for being

innovation; an ease of doing business; some of

community in the UK has also been keen to bring

better than the minimum and driving up quality

the best universities and researchers to be found

and share its rich culture, from food and wine to

and standards.

anywhere; an exceptional natural talent for

to pool resource in defence of the family’s security, but it also has some of the freedoms that come only after a move away from the home

She went on with an emphatic pledge to the

you’ve known for the last few decades.

600,000 Italians in the UK – and indeed to all EU

I would echo the PM’s view that our defence of the stability, security and prosperity of Britain’s European neighbours and friends will remain – it would be foolish to turn our backs. Remain voters wanted more control over the decisions that affect their daily lives. Britain is an island nation and has never fully got its feet under the table with Europe – but it does want to be at that table. So now it’s down to Britain to stand apart yet remain inclusive. Something British and Italian people share is a love of innovation and a wealth

art, a particular passion of mine. The welcome will remain, and that’s a good step for everyone.

creativity and an indomitable spirit. Relations with countries outside the EU will be developed in new ways, but the UK, Italy and

My view? She could just as easily be talking

So the partnership isn’t over, the family isn’t

other countries within the EU will want to trade

about Italy.

irrevocably split and much that was good will

with each other – and there is no reason why this

remain - in Theresa May’s view for a properly

can’t happen.

executed Brexit.

With four decades of infrastructure to pick

of creativity. Both nations will be keen to explore

With that in mind, what we should be focusing our

through, things will take time to evolve. It will

fully what the next few years bring as the post-

thoughts on is how to ensure that what remains

take time to put in place the new immigration

Brexit dust settles.

are the gains for the UK and the members of the

system required to re-take control of the UK’s

family it is closest to.

borders.

Three rounds of negotiations are complete and

First published October 2017

progress on many important issues is emerging.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

RABBITS AND HATS FOR MULTI-TASKER MAY

It has to be the multi-tasking challenge of

publicly expressed reaction from the other side

all time. Theresa May will attempt to pull off

of the negotiating table, you can only try and

Brexit transition timing and an EU trade deal

anticipate - and ameliorate it.

simultaneously. That’s a challenge all by itself but one has to remember that, while she’s setting

So when you look at the pros and cons of this as a

about accomplishing this, she’s already busy –

strategy – promise everything now – she may not

running a country.

exactly be backing a winner. Unless, of course, a rabbit is in the palm of her hand as she withdraws

So is it possible?

it from that hat.

When Greenland took the decision to leave

Telling someone you’ve been with for 40 years

Europe it had one issue. Fish. It still took this tiny

that you’re leaving, that you’re going to do it very

country three years to make the break.

quickly and that negotiating that exit will share an agenda with one or two other things (like new

The UK has more complex issues, stronger ties

trade agreements and running one of the most

and more diverse investment in the relationship

influential countries of the developed world)

going forward. So why is the PM trying to pull

could be seen as a slap in the face.

rabbits out of hats when, arguably, all we really need right now is to know who’s wearing the hat.

But then it could also be seen as efficient, respectful and a way to move on that frees

Breaking away from Europe doesn’t seem like

business and communities to move on too and

something that should be done in a rush. Like

create new ways to work and live together more

most relationships, after four decades together,

quickly. Is that such a bad thing after all? Possibly

hurrying doesn’t seem to be the best way

not.

forward. There is always ‘baggage’ to be sorted out and a way of co-existing peacefully and

These are interesting times. They get more

productively to be navigated.

interesting every day. With every change, every step forward and every halting reverse there

Yet we can understand the promises of speedy

is opportunity for the innovative and the free

resolution. Under pressure to deliver, there’s an

thinking in business to advance. Disruption is

irresistible temptation to please and, perhaps,

good for business. Disruption doesn’t get much

overpromise.

bigger than this.

One of the hazards of her juggling act is how

First published October 2017 

Europe will react. You can’t seek to control the

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

INTERNATIONAL UNCERTAINTY AND THE CHALLENGES COMPANIES FACE FOR INNOVATION.

ON BUSINESS

The world is changing - there is new thinking and

of life will change beyond all recognition. And it

new skills, emerging technology and the creativity

won’t be the first time.

it enables – all of which is being harnessed differently - used differently - to change how

Early explorers discovered new continents and

we live, work, communicate and play.

brought diseases previously unknown to their inhabitants, wiping out indigenous populations

Pure innovation has to be powered by the drive to

with a sneeze. They helped themselves to others’

deliver added value: to make things easier, faster,

mineral and natural resources – from precious

safer, better - or less expensive. Sometimes these

metals to coffee and cotton – and changed the

gains come at a price.

ways of these ‘new worlds’ forever.

Standing on the edge of the fourth industrial

A commercial quake was triggered by the

revolution, it could be argued that it is as much

Portuguese.

about revolutionary thinking as it is about ground-breaking engineering – the two go

With it came slavery and mass manufacturing.

hand-in-hand.

England’s peasants became workers and a land grab saw rich native lands snapped up, driven by

While studying for an MBA I had the luxury of

a pure commercial imperative – some might call

time to connect to, and consider, the possibilities

it greed.

of this incoming disruption: this challenge to the way of doing things; this boundless opportunity.

It was the beginning of European domination of

I believe it is necessary to decide whether to sink

the world.

- or swim with our heads held high.

In 1497 India was the Empire of Cotton, one of

The dinosaurs became extinct because of an

the most sought-after manufacturing products

inability to adapt. Although some survive –

in the world. Cotton changed the way we lived,

ancient species like the shark, the turtle and some

looked and smelled (as we abandoned heavy wool

reptiles – they were in the minority. To survive

for something lighter) as well as the economy.

this latest challenge to the world, a self-created challenge, it is necessary to not only adapt, but adapt in the right way. A job for life will become a rare thing. It’s already

The market for cotton was interwoven with middlemen, entrepreneurial ‘pirates’ who held Europe to ransom at every step of the new musthave commodity’s journey.

on the endangered list. 90% of present white collar jobs will vanish. That means the very fabric

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

Eventually it was the British, with their massive

An individual’s own commercial value – what he

demand for Indian cotton to feed the mills in

or she ‘bring to the business’ – is on thin ice.

Manchester that drove out the middleman – and that’s a step that has been constant in economic

Professionals who command a premium for their

innovation.

skill today have something to share with those early textile millworkers as they contemplated

So, none of this is ‘new’.

the arrival of their nemesis - The Spinning Jenny.

In the early days of expanding international

Massive technological disruption; it’s been here

trade the disruption that eliminated the Asian,

for centuries, and it’s not finished yet.

Arab and Ottoman middleman was Portuguese, Dutch and later British naval superiority. Every

This fourth industrial revolution drives the need

generation has its disruptive technology. Today

for continuous learning. It’s been a buzz-topic for

that technology is the Internet.

some time, but life will take a more varied path as people leave education, gain skills, have their

There will be those that are `today’s middlemen’.

jobs change, re-educate and re-skill, change jobs

And it is all too clear what happens to them! So,

and move forward. Those that don’t prepare for

those in a service industry, those that don’t make

these seismic changes now, will be left severely

anything, `Mr’ or `Mrs’ white collar, would be

wrong-footed.

advised to stay on their toes and find something else to do as technology gets its feet under desks.

Take wholesale and retail for example.

Is there likely to be the arrival of a new breed of

For years robots have been working in a

Luddite? Workforces who smashed the machines

manufacturing environment, and intelligent

to postpone progress and preserve their jobs as

tracking, packing and stacking systems have

their new technology revolution takes its first

defined advances for retail warehousing. These

step and then breaks into a run?

are low-skilled tasks, but the robots – they’re getting smarter, they’re learning.

Realistically

today’s

workforce

is

already

in technology’s tentacles – it is glued to

We may have less than two decades before

smartphones and tablets. When people walk

automation of routine tasks ups its game.

they’re more likely to be ‘pod’destrians than pedestrians, plugged into their own personal sound track or conversations.

37

Almost a third of British jobs could potentially fall foul to breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, possibly more.

38


B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

Automation would do what it always does -

Computers are better at crunching through the

Of course the big question is do we really need

This industrial revolution, the one we’re owning

productivity would increase and create fresh

leg-work of some areas of police investigations

all this technology. Given a choice would some

and living through right now, has huge potential;

job opportunities. But if they’re getting smarter,

– we now have face recognition technology,

turn off the phone, ditch the tablet and go for a

potential for good. Costs drop when efficiencies

why restrict robots to those lower skill areas?

Britain has one of the most densely watched

walk or communicate or interact with each other

increase. This revolution will work smarter

Driverless cars have arrived – where does

CCTV communities and a fingerprint match, if

without the benefit of Skype or a shared gaming

because it is smarter, we have a tiger by the tail,

that leave taxi, lorry, bus and train drivers? Old

the system has it, is the work of seconds rather

experience?

we need to learn how to train it, not tame it.

science fiction movies are proving to have been

than days. Like all industrial revolutions, this one is like

The biggest beneficiaries of innovation tend to be

But it’s important not to forget who built the

no other. It’s not steam or water – Industrial

the providers of intellectual and physical capital.

machines. Humans did.

Revolution 1, it’s not simple electric power to

fairly accurate in their depictions of how life is lived in the future.

create mass production that defined the second

This latest revolution has seen the commercial

The smart money is on finding ways to work

Perhaps the machines, once they’ve learned to

one. The Third used electronics and information

winners come from left of field. Not the biggest,

better with the technology, and to do that people

worry, need to worry about what humans will

technology to automate production. The Fourth

fattest corporations, but leaner and hungrier

need to educate themselves better and – now -

build next – it may well put them out of a job!

moves on the Third, the digital age, dipping into

entrepreneurs with ideas and passion.

So, it is important to be smart and stay smarter.

more often. Society can’t afford to box itself into the ‘low skilled’ bracket, it must train better and with relevance. Upskilling, creative and critical thinking will be highly valued, as will emotional intelligence, something that AI has not quite mastered – yet.

Modern cars have diagnostic systems – robots are carrying out incredibly delicate surgical

and share information. These communication

pure speed of it. The pace of these 21st Century

avenues were not always here, and the world is

breakthroughs has no historical precedent, and

still learning how to use them ethically as well as

it is disrupting almost every industry in

for entertainment and enlightenment.

There are AI systems that can perform clinical diagnoses on patient records by ploughing

things (IoT) and robotics are already here. They’re driving predictive and automated

But humans are not on the endangered list quite

devices which, in turn, collect more data, enabling

yet. Cyber security, for example, is a career born

machine learning. Also, conversely, their learning

from new technology and it’s not the only one.

and challenged less by what they seldom explore.

now uses social media platforms to connect, learn,

What does define all the change this time, is the

almost total accuracy rate.

narrowcast, being shown more of what they ‘like’

More than 30 percent of the global population

surgeon is sitting a continent away.

through thousands of records in seconds, with an

they are walking blindly from broadcast to

this fourth dimension for industrial change.

procedures on people – even when the senior

Artificial intelligence (AI), big data, the internet of

serves to narrow human horizons which means

a range of different aspects that together create

The job market is evolving and right now it’s not entirely clear where it will go. Business is having to change. People have a handle on the world, usually in a pocket or a bag, and they expect to

AI has been around for more than 50 years, but

drive everything from it. Mobile phones will

suddenly it’s stepping into the spotlight. One of

even track you should you get lost and still have

the more useful degrees has to be those involved

it with you. So, businesses are going to have

in the development of artificial intelligence.

to collaborate more to ensure their systems

every country.

The gathering momentum of innovation and the

The world is more connected than ever. It is

speed of disruption are hard to comprehend,

possible to find out more about an individual

even for the best informed.

before or after meeting up than ever before – and the same is true of business.

So, welcome to the fourth industrial revolution. The choice is there as to whether to embrace the

weapons,

disruption. Businesses must adapt, die or simply

surveillance and video tools, they’re even used

resign themselves to stay a turtle, shark or lizard.

Drones

are

now

deployed

as

for some deliveries. Our phones speak, they house our personal assistants, they can even

First published October 2017

remind us that it’s time to apply more sunscreen.

talk to each other and their customer service is 39

integrated and smooth.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

MAIN LINE FIBRE BOOST POTENTIAL WITH GRAYLING’S RAIL SHAKE-UP

I was heartened to hear of Transport Secretary

My company, Tratos, is one of a number of

Chris Grayling’s move to open up the rail market.

smaller, more agile and innovation-focused specialist businesses that could be instrumental

Giving smaller independent contractors a chance

in making fast-track changes for a more efficient

to compete has got to be good news. I’ve been

Britain, using the rail network as a conduit.

a strong supporter of a sensible shake up for allround benefits and I’m not alone in welcoming a

Tratos, for example, has the ‘smart’ fibre cables

new model that includes smaller franchises, joint

that easily shoot down arguments on the

operators for train and track and looking again at

expense/disruption of installing Fibre to the

the viability of some of the rail network’s long-

Home and removing slow-lane copper. Our

mothballed routes.

solutions for piggybacking routes to source include floating cable, fibre optics that can use

Part of his thinking around reopening old lines,

existing cable sheathing, and cable that can be

many of which have remained unused since the

pulled through at the same time as its copper

Beeching cuts of the 1960s, is to ease strain on

forerunners are stripped out.

other services and part is to open new areas for housing and development.

As old railway tracks are brought online – some to help open up new areas for housing

This is particularly interesting when you consider

and development in line with Chris Grayling’s

how else, with some bigger thinking, that move

plan – it would make sense to investigate the

might go further to benefit UK PLC.

programme’s viability as a deliverer of fibre

We have been pushing to be part of the solution to Britain’s broken broadband and the rail

optics, laid in tandem with new rail infrastructure cabling.

network, particularly an expanded one that brings

A re-think around the rail network – with its

redundant routes online, has long had us thinking

inherent costs and disruptions on the way to end

about fast fibre connections as well as faster

benefits – should be harnessed for maximum

rail commutes.

benefit. These arterial routes across the country

In a dynamic business like cable, innovation and broader, brand new thinking, coupled with experience and a grasp of the art of the possible means that even the most unexpected avenues should be explored. Just because something

have the potential to take fibre directly to already established communities as well as new build conurbations and business clusters. The time to do that thinking is now. First published November 2017

hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean it can’t be.

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FAMILY BUSINESSES: STRENGTH, GROWTH AND LONGEVITY “Family means everything to me, my country, my adopted country, my wife, children and relatives - and my Tratos family” Dr Maurizio Bragagni Every business model has its strengths and

Tend to the people, and they will tend to the

weaknesses. Family businesses have always

business – John Maxwell

made up a significant proportion of the commercial landscape in the UK. One of the

The success of family businesses is measured

oldest, Mornflake, is still keeping it in the family

by their ability to involve and engage siblings,

which founded it - in 1675.

spouses and offspring so that they take responsibility, commit, deliver genuine value –

Family run businesses are, by design, built for

are valued - and share in the gains. One of the

endurance rather than speed. They are the

most intelligent things a family business can do is

marathon runners of the commercial world, an

organise its people – all of its people – well.

attribute that is down to their constant planning for ‘the long game’ – in order to pass on the

A

business to those who will follow.

advantages in terms of solidarity and shared

well-integrated

family

team

has

huge

vision and these companies usually outperform If you think of some of today’s stand-out long-

more traditionally structured businesses over

established businesses, most of them were

the years as they build for a shared legacy.

started as family concerns and many remained that way. Mine is a family business - but the

Family-led businesses are often forward thinking

business embraces a wider Tratos family; the

and behind the success of some of the most

colleagues from outside the family, that we are

well known brands. Look at premier chocolate

fortunate enough to have on our team, and it has

maker Perugina from Sansepolcro in Tuscany

a majority of female shareholders.

founded by Italian business woman Luisa Spagnoli; or pasta maker Buitoni, from my own home town (both now owned by Nestle). Both built successful businesses with strong values with particular focus on social responsibility and innovation.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

The senior team within family organisations is

A Lot Of People Have Gone Further Than They

Long standing family businesses are good at

Investing in your people’s aspirations is time

generally more stable, which provides security

Thought They Could - Because Someone Else

weathering the storm: they’ve seen a few in their

and money well spent. So is fostering a culture

for customers and suppliers as well as non-family

Thought They Could – Zig Ziglar

time. Right now growth is slower and change

of innovation. For any company that can be a

appears to be the thing that is defining everything,

brave step – because not all innovation works.

Consequently understanding the business, from

from changes to the earth we share to, for some,

But a culture that welcomes fresh thinking and

the ground up, is even more important for family

seismic shifts in trading partnerships.

looks on mistakes as something as necessary as

work colleagues, however family businesses are often less willing – or even able – to take risks. Some of the disadvantages are meaningful, but

in the workforce, both for their own learning and

not without their solutions.

for the confidence of colleagues around them. In

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here and it

that is the kind of company that will make its

addition to starting at the bottom and working

isn’t for the faint hearted – it is bringing change

Clever family business leaders sign-up to a

people want to work harder and be the best they

their way up, younger members entering their

and counter-change is the route to survival and,

meritocracy for non-family members in the

can be.

families’ businesses are wise to ensure they

beyond that, success.

business and ensure that relatives in key

acquire the right qualifications.

positions are up to the job and that their being

breaking a few eggs to make an omelette – well

I am proud of my family and the company it has Again people are the key. People expect to

built - and I am excited by the prospect of what more we can do.

appointed to the post would pass an interview-

Leadership is not a job title; it works when there

work in an environment that inspires. They

based selection – you can’t inherit respect, it has

is genuine flair accompanied by colleagues’ trust

want to be proud of the work they do, the way

to be earned.

and acknowledgement of equal-handedness.

the company does business and the footprint

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower – Steve Jobs Leaders who inspire loyalty and hold on to good people create an environment where everyone is fully invested in a business – and that is very much like a family. Ideally those from the family and outside it will sit around a table where everyone has something of value to offer.

45

First published January 2018

it leaves as it makes its way through the world. Family businesses have an advantage here. They are often nimble enough to have a shorter decision-making process, so can act faster. They will also, generally, have a value culture which is shared. Often this is pointed towards doing good and helping people. These features have a commercial value – people want to stay with a company they love and are proud of – and be a part of change for good.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: SO WHEN DID IT ALL START?

People have, so far as we know, always traded

He made Westerners aware of dazzling and

with each other but it could be argued that one

alien-looking Chinese inventions we take for

of the first true entrepreneurs was that most

granted today. Marco explained China’s concept

famous son of Italy, Marco Polo – or even his

of paper money for example.

father Niccolo´and his uncle Maffeo. Polo described coal (not on the radar at home This pair targeted The Orient and spent years

until the 18th century), is reputed to have

wheeling and dealing and forging trade links. As

introduced eyeglasses to the West and brought

soon as young Marco was old enough – at 15 - he

back with him one of the most detailed accounts

met his father for the first time, when he came

of the Mongol postal system, a complex network

home from his travels, and was co-opted into the

of checkpoints and couriers that allowed Kublai

family venture, spending more than two decades

Kahn to administrate his empire.

in India and China alongside his elders. There is debate about how many of Marco The Polos were high-end merchants. They

Polo’s achievements are true and how many

traded silk, gems and spices, but they were also

are the result of his own early attempt at self-

seen as strategically valuable for their ability to

aggrandising ‘fake news’.

travel freely. They’re part of the early story of the creation of that pioneering trade route, The

Whatever the scale of the exaggeration and the

Silk Road.

element of truth, Christopher Columbus carried a well-thumbed copy of his book “The Travels of

In one of the grandest demonstrations of the

Marco Polo” on his voyages to the New World.

benefits of ‘friends in high places’, alongside their trade interests, Marco, Maffeo and Niccolo were

Marco’s writings certainly inspired, but new

also employed as emissaries for the Mongol

explorers took a wrong turn en-route to India

emperor Kublai Kahn and moved about his

and instead found America.

territory with impunity. Marco was also among the first Europeans to describe many of the advanced technologies found in China.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

Marco has more in common with today’s entrepreneurs than we might think. He started early at 15. Entrepreneurs like Lord Sugar and Sir Richard Branson did the same, having business interests as schoolboys. His journey reads like a fantastic adventure – but isn’t the development of the internet and the rise

A BETTER BRITAIN

of AI just as fantastic? He ended life wealthy and left a legacy that is still studied today. Staying curious and looking at the potential for transferable skills or finding and concluding mutually rewarding partnerships are still as important in business today. First published January 2018

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COMMUNICATIONS: BRITAIN’S BROKEN BROADBAND Why is Britain ignoring the solutions to go slow Broadband? Fibre to the Home broadband doesn’t exist in the

• Gas, water, electricity are into-the-home

Tratos wants to be part of the UK’s solution. It is

UK. There are the privileged and proactive few

routes explored and exploited in other

one of several smaller, more agile and innovation-

who currently enjoy the speeds that many of our

countries and with all utilities investing now

focused competitors that could be instrumental

worldwide counterparts are achieving but viable

a smart grid to monitor resources flowing

in making the change with more than 20-years’

and available solutions are being ignored.

into homes, fibre optic rather than copper

experience in the UK and Europe and has the

could be adopted - and broadband can

‘smart’ fibre cables that shoot down some of BT’s

effectively piggyback.

arguments on installation expense/disruption as

• British business is telling Government it can ‘no longer remain silent’ about

patchy broadband and how companies’ performance is being “severely affected”.

• Even investment now will still see Britain left lagging by up to seven years as it struggles

about a mismatch between broadband buying and what is being delivered.

to catch up.

• Significant challenges – whether they are architectural, heritage, rural have been

• Broadband, a report backed by 121 crossparty MPs calls for BT to be forced to sell

copper gives way to fibre.

the right solution

• I ndustry regulator Ofcom is concerned speeds that small firms believed they were

• Government needs to open up the race for

Note: Ofcom ruled for a separation of BT and Openreach’s interests. A White Paper on Britain’s Broadband– first published February 2016

worked around – other countries have found ways around these problems.

the country’s leading broadband provider, Openreach. •  Technology

Britain’s broadband is in danger of developing has

moved

faster

than

into a block on the country’s economy as

anticipated and the UK remains reliant

alternative routes to high speed connectivity and

on its existing copper network as the way

huge gains in download pace - available now - are

forward.

ignored.

• Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) is not Fibre to the Home (FTTH) but the fibre advantage

Tratos Ltd, a global player in fibre optic cable,

isn’t making the last mile to premises – what

points to some of the advanced technological

we are sold is just a dream.

solutions that are smart enough to bypass

• BT owns the existing infrastructure, but other options exist – Tratos has technically

current network gatekeepers – and are available to UK.com today.

advanced fibre optic cables that can travel

efficiently through other utilities’ routes to

This Anglo-Italian cable manufacturer presents

homes and offices

a UK, European and global view of Britain’s position in this report and calls for urgent action to protect the country’s position as a leading economic power.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

TRANSPORT FOR THE NORTH: A NATIONAL ISSUE

What we need to ensure optimum and consistent

The rate of traffic growth has slowed over the

performance for business is infrastructure

last 20 years. Motor vehicle traffic saw a pre-

projects that are properly funded and thought

recession peak of 314.1billion miles in 2007.

out for the long-term.

Then it fell for three consecutive years – the first consecutive falls since traffic records began.

Commuter and leisure public transport and

Today we’re back into a growth cycle.”

road traffic as we know them today will change. Things that will impact include changing working

Dr Bragagni forecasts a boom for the North,

patterns, population growth – particularly

but warns that, to get the maximum benefit for

with the significant growth in the number of

businesses north and south, the physical links

older people. However, their impact on road

must be up to the job.

use may well be a negative one as older people move toward becoming less mobile; driving

First published September 2016

less frequently and less far - eventually giving up driving. Public transport is the premier form of transport in most capital cities’ commercial districts thanks to a lack of parking and soaring costs of the limited places available. It is interesting also that road freight levels have not yet returned to pre-recession levels. The way people shop – a mix of bricks and mortar visits and online purchasing – is also having an impact on the population’s mobility outside of work.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

HIGHWAYS: BRITAIN’S HARD SHOULDER ECONOMY

Cables – they are the last component to be

To re-enable the cable powering traffic flow,

considered for design and build projects where

Tratos proposes:

the significant costs are typically in civil and structural engineering elements of the work.

Highways England should maintain and monitor its Type Approval mechanism to reduce its

Their role is on the rise as technology-dependant

exposure to operational failure of its technology

SMART motorway schemes proliferate.

schemes.

Cables enable electronic display signs, speed

Highways England should stop the installation

enforcement, surveillance cameras and vehicle

of non-approved cables on its highways and

sensors – the neural network that manage

motorways by prime contractors and, where

traffic flow.

breaches in its Type Approval mechanism are found, it should be the specific contractor that

Cables, purpose-designed to help keep our

`makes good’.

motorways moving are losing out to cheaper off the shelf products. Lower spec cable that is

The planned Traffic Management Technology

not designed for (and will fail in) the highways’

framework by Crown Commercial Services on

harsh operating environments is a real threat to

behalf of Highways England and others should

UK PLC, clogging arterial routes and triggering

stipulate the Type Approval mechanism and bar

economy-damaging domino delays.

procurement outside accredited framework suppliers.

Highways England, which has an imperative to cut costs, is paying more, not less, for a built-to-

Highways England should negotiate with its

fail network - but it is not to blame.

approved suppliers to maintain a call-off stock level - which is currently practiced in the railway

As it pushes forward with smart motorways, the

and electrical distribution network industries - to

organisation’s network of contractors manage on

better manage its cable inventory and improve

a supply and fit basis. Some are being cross-sold

delivery timescales.

cheaper cable when their preference is not in stock with the reassurance that the replacement

A

‘does the same thing’. That too is correct, it

first published October 2016

White

Paper

on

Smart

Motorways

does, but not for long in a particularly harsh environment it wasn’t designed to cope with.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

BIG PICTURE THINKING WILL GUARANTEE JOBS AND ECONOMIC HEALTH

It’s a rare plant that flourishes in poor ground. Most

require

the

right

climate,

enough

light, water and food to grow strong. In the poorest conditions only the prickly and most unpromising survive. The same can be said of small businesses. Small businesses are the foundation for economic growth: they’re where the big businesses come from. Not every small business will survive, not every small business will grow, but making sure they have the best chance is critical. Parties’ Manifesto promises cover off greater help for businesses or, arguably, less. Some promise favourable tax rates to encourage growth, others look to bigger tax on businesses to fund other Manifesto promises. Corporation tax is a hot issue. Examining the bigger picture, it’s clear that we have to keep corporation tax low - if we subscribe to the view that low tax rates are the most important part of that ‘perfect conditions for growth’ environment. Small businesses particularly benefit from a kinder climate. Large corporations can use the UK for manufacturing but keep their profits outside the country – and of course they can leave if they want to.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

These big corporations are not the businesses

We are already inside the next revolution – the

The Guardian recently gathered industry leaders,

So, the election presents choices. One is a return

that will safeguard the future of the UK.

digital revolution. This is the biggest opportunity

authors and academics to look at the future for

to nationalised industries, but renationalisation

for small business and entrepreneurs – whatever

jobs. Their insights pointed to a consistent ‘adapt,

would inevitably mean harder times for

their business.

re-educate and survive’ approach to careers as

small businesses – for those independent

technology creates a workplace of perpetual

entrepreneurs who are the incubators for future

change, challenge and opportunities to advance.

British jobs.

The small businessperson needs low corporation tax to employ more people and be more entrepreneurial. As a general rule they won’t

We are an aging population, but that has its

move their business outside the UK – they are

benefits too. The way we approach our lives

here to stay.

must change – it is already shifting. As we live

Farmers, engineers and doctors may be among

But the choices on offer are also about individual

longer education, jobs, healthcare provision and

those we will rely on to change, feed and save the

freedom, and freedom is not without risk. The

The British were famously described as a nation

pensions are all under pressure. But, now that 70

world, but entrepreneurs are up there; they are

biggest risk takers? The answer is easy, it’s those

of shopkeepers – and not much has changed.

is the new 50, we are reinventing ourselves.

the ones who will find hidden solutions, harness

with the most to gain for all of us - entrepreneurs.

This willingness to risk and extend and work

technology and point it in the right direction.

for themselves is a very British thing. Even as a

The 21st century pattern of life is different.

Remainer, I can understand why people voted to

School then work, then retirement at 60-65

Britain is no stranger to seismic change.

– look at the 70s. Some things are a given.

leave Europe; people were voting leave because

maximum is largely a redundant formula.

Decades ago the landscape for the country’s

There must be investment in health and care –

infrastructure was very different. Nationalised

a developed society that doesn’t take care of its

School, work, school, change jobs, start and

industries, unions and a government locking

own is inconceivable.

What’s next for us is being more British. In a

build a business is a pattern many will see as

horns and the terrible collateral damage that

digital age, a country of entrepreneurs with a

more familiar. One of the biggest demographics

followed was something to be endured.

reputation for bravery and innovation in business

for business start-ups is people in their 50s –

can surely look forward to a better Britain – so

through early retirement, redundancy or the

Dark times with bitter consequences for many

investment value of low corporation tax and its

long as that bigger picture thinking stays with us

confidence and conviction that ‘it’s now or never’.

working families, but it was a catalyst for some

ultimate dividends - more jobs.

they feared the country’s losing its Britishness.

as we go to the polls.

Everyone being a little poorer is not the solution

So, we must invest, care for those who need it, allow freedom of choice, recognise the

who started exploring what they could do If 70 is the new 50 that leaves 50 socially active

Brexit is the opportunity to decide what we do

and economically relevant. More, it leaves the

as a country – to examine exactly what success

entrepreneurial 50s economically essential.

looks like and work out how to get there.

Doing business digitally is doing its bit for doing business longer. Of course, entrepreneurs come

This process has to be about unlocking freedom

in all shapes, sizes and ages, and that’s to be

and choices for British people, not deciding on

celebrated.

themselves – and a new band of entrepreneurs

At Tratos we know about investing in people.

was born.

We have been able to do so in the UK – and it pays dividends. First published June 2017

their behalf – it’s about protecting, encouraging and allowing, not managing.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

LEARNING LESSONS ISN’T ENOUGH; WE MUST USE THE KNOWLEDGE Campaign to raise the bar for fire safety in UK construction After any catastrophic and potentially avoidable

happen. What else do we need to do to make sure

event the Powers That Be talk about thorough

that every element within the built infrastructure

investigation and learning lessons.

works together? What else do we need to do to ensure all construction stakeholders are

Eventually, for those not personally affected,

committed to delivering buildings that protect?

anger turns to sorrow as time advances and inquiries proceed. My view? Lessons learned

I believe we need to agree, right now, that

aren’t enough. Regulation has to step up;

minimum standards for construction cables are

standards have to demand more than minimum.

raised. A new UK minimum standard for cabling has to lead as changes are made to other building

There is a benefit in staying angry, and I am still

practices to upgrade safety considerations.

angry. This isn’t a blind anger, it’s a focused fury that is fuelling action to achieve change – and

No one wants to learn another lesson like

really, absolutely ensure that everything that can

Grenfell.

be done to prevent a repeat event, is done. This campaign, the campaign I’m heading, will I’m talking, of course, about Grenfell Tower.

push for a change of law. We want the law to

I could be talking about any one of a range of

recognise higher-performance/higher safety-

terrible events that have struck the UK in recent

performance,

months, but it’s Grenfell that has sparked this

cable (Cca) as the minimum standard for the

mission for me. Construction and fire safety

new European Commission fire performance

in buildings is an area I can help influence, but

standard.

with

a

higher

specification

we can only do it if the public can be moved to support this campaign.

We want this to be stipulated with an immediate revision of the new Construction Products

My company, Tratos UK Ltd, is a cable maker. We

Regulation (CPR) legislation introduced in July

are innovation-led and quality-driven. We work

2017. CPR brings welcome uniformity for cable

across a range of industries, but construction is

standards across the EU, but we will push for

one. Part of our work, and the work of others in

those minimum standards to be raised.

our industry, is to ensure that cabling is safe – and that includes stringent fire and smoke testing.

The only way that this can happen is if Government stipulates that the recommendation

Whatever challenges buildings present, cabling

of the Wiring Regulations (BS 7671) is Cca

will always be part of the solution to creating an

(higher than the current minimum standard

environment where safety and function are equal

specified).

partners. And they have got to be equal partners. While cladding may be the issue in this case,

First published July 2017

I want this country to look at what else needs to 61

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

BETTER A THOUSAND TIMES CAREFUL THAN ONE REGRET

Construction Products Regulation is the greatest

and, in the absence of any Government directive,

British Standards, whether for cable or any other

opportunity to bring about safer cable products.

unite under an industry safety recommendation.

building product, need to be of the highest level.

The cable supply chain and Regulator are failing

The recommendation is for a higher classification

‘Adequate’ is not sufficient. British Standards and

to understand that adequate isn’t enough.

of cable to be installed in all permanent building

installation practice must achieve the highest

The UK Regulator must stipulate a minimum

installations; a procedure that should be adopted

safety level – it is called ‘best practice’ for

requirement of Euro Class for CPR – Cca; and

in each and every building product category.

a reason.

for CPR compliance must be established

Government can no longer distance itself from

Now, more than ever, people need to be confident

and adopted as best practice throughout the

vital market surveillance – industry cannot and

that new build and refurbishment projects will

construction and building industry.

will not police itself subjectively – product failures

only use the best possible materials, installed by

happen because of inadequate surveillance.

those best qualified to do so.

a robust programme of market surveillance

“Britain has the opportunity to be exemplary. To squander it will add insult to tragedy”

Regaining its place as a proud, quality producer should be a countrywide goal for the UK. To

Root and branch fire safety failures in the UK’s

those who weigh cost over consequences - as the

building stock are shocking. But a blinkered

saying goes “if you think safety is expensive, try

approach to remedial work now could prove

having an accident”.

just as dangerous. While cladding materials have been proven inadequate, we cannot and must not

There is absolutely NO excuse not to tackle this

stop there.

issue, this time. Grenfell Tower sickened the nation. The post-mortem has brought it to its

If Britain’s housing (and commercial) stock is to

knees. Cable safety is a live issue and corners are

be guaranteed safe, we must go beyond buildings’

being cut, with the cutters unchecked. Now is

exteriors.

the time to act to avoid the avoidable – and the unthinkable.

Buildings’ nervous systems (cabling) as well as their skins (cladding) can be either friend or foe

Executive Summary from a White Paper on CPR -

to fire. Our task now is to ensure both play their

first published July 2017 

part to create the safest environments. Shelter, safety and freedom from fear are basic human rights. Britain has an opportunity, and an obligation: Industry HAS to help. The new Construction Products Regulation (CPR) for cables exists to ensure cable manufacturers set aside competitive advantage,

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

AS MRS MAY REVEALS PLANS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE LET’S NOT FORGET TO STAY SAFE Capped energy prices, more council houses, a

Only the highest standards are acceptable and

modern and compassionate Britain and a P45

regulatory bodies must do more to enforce

from an opportunist comedian wasn’t ‘just

bigger safety margins. Minimum standards

another day’ at the office for PM Theresa May.

aren’t good enough in my view; we took the decision to over-specify our cable, why – because

Her party conference address won vocal

human life is worth it. And we’ve had some

acclaim from supporters rallied by her personal

terrible and terrifying reminders of why safety in

commitment to social justice, fairness and a

construction is so, so important.

better life for the next generation. I’m pushing to make a difference too. To Mrs May did talk about what made her most

banish fake cable, to make minimum-standard

proud in politics. It felt like she was sharing

cables a thing of the past and instead see high

something from the heart and it was good to

performance cable in our buildings: cable that

hear that it was never about status or power, but

protects and ultimately makes a difference, on

about making a difference.

the darkest of days, a difference between life

And of course, it is about making a difference. We

and death.

hear it so often that it seems to lose something,

So, I was reassured to hear that the PM would

but if you think about it, making a difference is

press for justice to be done for the families of

the one thing we can all do, wherever or whoever

those killed and injured in the Grenfell Tower

we are. The only difference is the size of the

tragedy.

difference we make. Speaking (just about), as she did, about wanting Mrs May’s position gives her the chance to

to help young people onto the housing ladder and

change things for the better for the UK and have

re-energise home ownership she talked about

a voice in international affairs. In industry we can

government plans to invest an additional £2bn

make a difference, good differences that affect

in affordable housing, taking the total budget

people all over the world.

up to almost £9bn. It is to be hoped that, with

Cable for example. It is my business. Safe, reliable cable is to be expected, to be assumed – a given. When we buy cable, it’s accepted that it will do the job well and safely. Our business is driven by innovation and technological advances – but it is

the lessons and images of Grenfell still fresh in our minds, safety will not, ever, be a cost issue and safety is not a price the young and the less affluent have to pay for an affordable home. First published October 2017

nothing, worthless, if it doesn’t seek to protect to the same level it seeks to perform at.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

CHANCELLOR’S NOVEMBER 2017 BUDGET: THE POWER OF THE DISRUPTIVE AND THE UNPREDICTABLE The chancellor’s budget covered all that was

Yet despite all of the challenges there is huge

expected. From the government’s plans for the

opportunity. The Fourth Industrial Revolution

housing market, the UK’s productivity - and its

is dawning and, for a new and potentially more

impact on the economy and wages, to health

nimble nation, there is everything to play for.

and social care, welfare and transport including

The Chancellor pledged £500m for 5G mobile

driverless cars and discounted train travel.

networks, full fibre broadband and artificial intelligence as the technological revolution is set

Philip Hammond delivered one of the most

to transform living standards for years to come.

difficult budgets of late amidst a climate of slowing growth and standing on unfamiliar

He also highlighted the vital need for investment

territory as we cast off from Europe.

in skills and infrastructure to meet this revolution and the need to nurture the talented with extra

Brexit uncertainty and falling living standards

resource – supporting maths and computer

have been particularly challenging as has the UK’s

science within our education sector being a key

unwelcome slip down the G7 industrial nations’

area of focus.

leader board for growth, from second only to Germany in 2016. At the moment it looks likely

But we must get our planning right now.

the slippage will continue through 2018 with The International Monetary Fund predicting growth

With a reputation for innovation, invention and

at 1.7% in 2017 and 1.5% next year.

ingenuity I am proud of my adopted country and excited at the prospects for new kinds of growth

Recovery from the 2008 financial crisis has been

if we prepare correctly.

slow, depressing UK living standards. Following a brief period of stability in 2015 and 2016, real pay

Better, faster and more efficient broadband

fell this year in tandem with the fall in the value

has to be a priority if we are to compete freely.

pound. All of that served to drive up the cost

Whatever the best ideas and the keenest

of imported goods and fuelled higher inflation -

innovations, they will always lose out if immediacy

from 0.5% in June last year. The hangover from

is not on their side.

the crisis continues to dog productivity too, despite low levels of unemployment.

Let’s

get

our

further

education

model

re-engineered to fit the needs of the future and

Britain has been making some gains – a drop in

the needs of the future’s job markets. Engineers,

the level of borrowing for example – and there

technicians, scientists, economists and medics

are more to come.

will be highly prized as we navigate, design and build this new economy.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

THE DAWN OF THE ECONOMY OF THE MIND THE ETHER ECONOMY

Young people need to fall in love now with the

Affordable must also be safe and an issue that

A new economy is coming. We know it’s coming

The Digital Economy is the third leg upon which

possibilities of these most powerful and engaging

remains high on my agenda is how to create safe

…. but we can’t exactly see it coming.

this Ether Economy stands. It has been with

careers if the advance of AI and smarter

new housing and ensure existing housing stock

automation is to be confidently harnessed and

is safe. It is encouraging that the Chancellor

Economic climate change is nothing new, but

media, printed books, scheduled programming

new kinds of jobs created. And those same young

referenced

financial

there’s never been anything on this scale before.

by broadcasters; welcomed in the world of

people need to be able to afford to invest the time

constraints must not get in the way of fire

This is the drawing together of several powerful,

narrowcasting, made us all commentators and

and money in the learning, work hard - and see

safety changes.

world-changing economic forces and the dawn of

journalists,

an Ether Economy.

shopping in clicks and orders shops and

this

need

and

that

some investment in them once they’re qualified.

us a relatively short time, but it has seen off

Our Safer Structures Campaign is calling for

created

on-demand

consumers

encouraged us to view a world that revolves

This Fourth Industrial Revolution is a thinkers’

greater security from sub-standard cables, which

Its component drivers exist in the ether, invisible

revolution. Announcing the government’s plans

in the UK pose a real risk to public safety. Our

and powerful. From digital currency to the

for better managing the housing question, it

work continues to press for a programme of

growth and empowerment of AI - it’s real and it’s

There’s even a currency for this Ether Economy

is clear time and thought has been spent on

market surveillance for cable and better cable

making a difference.

- The Bitcoin.

improving housing opportunities for first time

compliance, to ensure that sub-standard cables

buyers and the homeless.

are eradicated from the market.

The first economic force is the much talked about

Perhaps the most well-known crypto-currency

arrival of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. This

(or digital currency) on the market, Bitcoin is

While building more family homes may be the

There is no doubt Brexit is the biggest ‘unknown’

is a new kind of industrial revolution – it is made

the Ether Economy’s digital gold. There is a

answer, there may be a more enlightened way

for the economy and strong economies are built

up of the descendants of those clanking, steam-

finite supply that can be ‘mined’ every year using

to unlock existing family homes under single

on confidence, reassurance and predictability.

driven job-deprivers of the past – and it’s all in

sophisticated software.

occupancy? Should we really be building housing

But

the mind. A mind imagined and built by real men

that appeals to older people who would downsize

unpredictable can be just as powerful.

sometimes,

the

disruptive

from their three and four-bedroom homes if we got the alternatives right? Affordable must be appropriate. We are still

First published November 2017

and

the

around ‘Planet Me’.

and women, a mind that is growing and improving

But there are important implications of such

now, all by itself. It’s a mind that will likely

technology being implemented across society.

mastermind the extinction of jobs and careers as we understand them today – and open doors to

We’re not 100% sure how to process this – or at

something else entirely.

least not enough of us are. Right now we’re just not built for it, or maybe we’re just not brave

building the same type of housing stock we built decades ago – it’s time to re-look at energy

Artificial Intelligence – another tour de force - is

enough for it. There is no doubt that for some

efficient smarter homes that people want to

a revolution of the mechanical mind – we were

there will be gains, but it is very difficult to bring

live in and make better use of the housing

at the birth and now this brainchild is coming in

the Bitcoin to heel.

already here.

from the cold, coming of age and learning fast;

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and with it gathers a technology storm. They are

Digital currencies are a decentralized system.

both part of an economies’ collective that makes

Wholescale embracing of digital currencies would

up this next evolution and there is no doubt that

see governments lose control over the economy.

robots will impact the labour market. It’s us who

It goes without saying, most governments are

have to evolve now - to stay relevant and salaried.

unlikely to become Bitcoin poster boys.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

A more authentic version of a Free Market, well

Doctors warned that the largest cyber-attack in

possibly, and the currency comes with some

NHS history – could cost lives.

advantages that have high appeal – to those who really understand it. While your other online

Computer screens were “wiped out one by one”

activities generate a digital footprint, bitcoin is

by the attack, which spread to companies and

secure and private. You can remain anonymous

institutions worldwide, including international

while using it. You have to wonder, is that because

shipper FedEx Corp in the US, and Germany’s

so few are watching?

rail operator.

Bitcoin value isn’t anchored to any country -

The ransomware attack affected people and

because it’s an Ether Economy currency. That

businesses across the world.

means more if you live in places where the local terrestrial currency is even more volatile.

susceptible to attack because many trusts were

But with no one overseeing the valuation,

using obsolete systems, while others had failed

Bitcoin is extremely exposed to fluctuation,

to apply recent security updates which would

opportunities for money laundering are legion,

have protected them.

thanks to a lack of any government legislation and no links to real-world financial institutions. It just means that Bitcoin can create its own rules. NHS bosses and the government found out that Bitcoin had real bite when a cyber-attack left hospitals vulnerable and crippled services back in May of 2017. The health service faced a weekend of chaos after hackers infiltrated the NHS’s creaking computer system and demanded a ransom as the system went into meltdown.

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Cyber experts said the health service appeared

The hack was thought to be part of a wider attack, which affected the Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, which also owns 02. The ransomware attack was orchestrated using malware called Wanna Decryptor, also known as WannaCry, which demands each user affected pay $300 (£232) in the internet currency Bitcoin, to have files restored. So the currency that is defined by the digital economy is one to watch. It’s new, shiny and not quite there yet, but we know we need to keep an

Operations and appointments were cancelled

eye on it. It’s more than likely it will be used in the

and ambulances diverted as up to 40 hospital

course of doing something else unexpected – we

trusts became infected by a “ransomware” attack

need to work out what that looks like and get a

demanding payment to regain access to vital

better handle on protecting our businesses and

medical records.

our public sector services.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is only just

What is puzzling is that there is still an incredible

We can’t afford to see our young children turned

Some within the younger generation share an

starting to reveal its true colours but it appears

shortage of engineers. Engineers are the

off a career in STEM (science, technology,

ideology that everything is free - social media is

there will be no ‘settling’ into a comfort zone.

architects of this brave new world. Engineering is

engineering and mathematics) before they

free, ideas are free and we all share and benefit

Continued and accelerating pace and continual

the coolest career, but its perception hasn’t quite

even reach secondary school – by then it’s too

from them – of course this is not true.

development will define this revolution. Our

caught up yet.

late. Employers have to do more – sooner - to

economists, our business people and our

promote modern engineering.

Ideas only work if you pay.

politicians will have to become more intuitive

They are the people designing everything from

in their approach to modelling outcomes and

hyper-fast new-breed mobile devices to the

Teachers can’t be relied on to engage across

Facebook isn’t free. There is a cost to using the

creating forecasts. The age-old practice of

robotic arms performing keyhole surgery two

every career open to children – that isn’t their job

platform even if you’re not investing in sponsored

forecasting involves examining what happened

continents away from the consultant surgeon

– but instilling excitement and possibility has to

posts or Facebook ads. Just by being part of

under similar circumstances previously. Only

directing the procedure.

happen sooner if the gap is to be plugged.

the audience you are complicit in the money-

In a world where the gadget has outgrown the

EngineeringUK says the country needs almost

information and allow access to your likes and

geeks and become as necessary as the flint

two million new engineers and technicians

dislikes. You are giving your profile to those who

once was to Neolithic man – arrows, blades and

by 2025.

most want to make commercial gains from it and,

we don’t really have that measure here. There hasn’t been anything like this under similar circumstances.

Today’s

four-year-olds

are

the ones defining intuitive. They’re thrown by anything as old-technology as a T.V. screen that’s impervious to swiping, but they’re the ones growing up with the next generation’s gadgets. We now have resources at our fingertips that deliver instant answers. We can model outcomes before we build anything, before a test pilot climbs into the flight deck of a brand-new aircraft and starts his or her pre-flight checks. We can save money, save lives and more. Harness the speed of linear mechanical thinking and answers are arrived at, at impossible speed. This has got to

making machine. You have agreed to share your

striking plates for food, protection, clothing and

of course, the best way to do that is to show you

heat – it’s engineers who are stepping into the

While some schools include work experience

spotlight.

in the school year it isn’t compulsory, and engineering companies are often put off by

more of what they know you know you want! It is a platform based on money.

Yet the great UK engineering shortage shows no

additional health and safety headaches involved

sign of abating - 1.8 million are needed by 2025 in

in engaging with youngsters. But employers can

However economies change, however they

an industry dominated by white males. Italy faces

do more to convince those teachers that modern

cluster and however ephemeral they become the

similar challenges – it’s a global phenomenon.

engineering offers rich career opportunities.

same principles of building healthy economies apply. The only one that works – and this is

Not enough young people are being given the opportunity to fall for a career in engineering,

And new economy challenges don’t stop there.

something that can be applied to any breed

and not enough women are considering it as a

There’s Brexit to contend with. Companies have

of economy - is hard work, success, freedom,

career.

a lot on their plates at a time of uncertainty – and

entrepreneurship, capitalism and innovation.

it’s coming from every angle.

These are what deliver rewards. They are solid

be good for health, wellbeing, nutrition – in short,

Parents, teachers and employers are not reaching

pointed in the right direction, this incredible

children early enough with the message, not only

Certainly, as we see workplace opportunities

them – all the more reason to make them the

power is a power for good.

that you can be an engineer, but what that means.

blur and redefine themselves thoughts turn to

base of these new economies.

values to hold onto. There is nothing new about

how we are treating our students, how their education is funded, how they navigate the world

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The new economy might be hard to see, difficult

and how they can be helped to choose a path that

to pin down and tricky to predict, but it has a lot

will be productive for them and for their place in

of its forebears about it. Not everything

and contribution to that Ether Economy.

has changed.

74


Taxes have to be paid, money has to be earned,

Amazon and Google are both monopolies and

Businesses that have strong corporate and

By selling products that people want to buy, the

credit has to be repaid and food, heat and shelter

are allowed to exist – the old rules of competition

social responsibility values do better in terms

butcher, brewer, and baker are planning to make

afforded. These basic human needs don’t change

don’t apply to these companies because they are

of attracting and keeping customers and staff.

money. If they meet the needs of their customers

and these basic economics don’t change either.

growing so quickly. The faster they shape-shift,

So, morality and human interest also serve that

satisfactorily, then there is no doubt they

From flint to fibre optics, some of the rules

the harder it is to define their structure and tax

commercial self-interest. Feel good has a value,

will succeed.

don’t bend.

them accordingly.

it’s part of what building brands is all about. Most of the share value of any company lies in its

All three have found something that people want,

Whatever we’re doing in the new economy,

Google isn’t a free service – Google Drive is a

reputation. That’s why the best companies – and

and a way to make money out of it. So they have

we’ll only succeed if we’re putting the effort in.

paid for service – there is always a price attached

industries – fight hard to protect and grow their

demand and opportunity.

Bloggers are judged on their success not by the

somewhere. So, this new economy has another

stakeholders’ perceptions of them as good to do

quality of their content, but by the people they

commonality with its predecessors; no such thing

business with, genuinely invested in people and

reach and who engage with it. Getting there is

as a free lunch.

serious about giving back.

hard and it will remain so. The 18th-century philosopher Adam Smith,

Does all of this have a place in the new economy?

Smith argued that this kind of system, this kind of economy, creates wealth not just for the butcher, brewer, and baker, but for the nation. At least it does when that nation’s people are working

Some of the Ether Economy mega brands ride

often called the father of modern economics (and

rough-shod over the old rules of good economy,

the father of capitalism), explored the idea of the

Smith wrote of Laissez-faire philosophies, such as

amassing huge profits and paying derisory

invisible hand — the tendency of free markets to

minimizing the role of government intervention

levels of tax. Google and Amazon, two of today’s

regulate themselves by means of competition,

and taxation in the free markets, and about that

He went on to note that a man would invest his

biggest brands appear to have little respect for

supply and demand, and self-interest.

“invisible hand” that guides supply and demand –

wealth in the enterprise most likely to help him

and he was doing it in the 1700s.

earn the highest return for a given risk level; an

the old rules of economy.

productively to better themselves and address

But he also considered charity and human ethics

their own financial needs.

eminently sensible strategy. The invisible-hand

Google and Amazon are no longer the new kids

– the counter play to self-interest and maximising

These ideas reflect the concept that each person,

theory is sometimes presented as a natural

on the block. They should be setting an example -

return. He argued that people might be self-

by looking out for him or herself, inadvertently

phenomenon that guides free markets and

not behaving like barrow boys.

interested, but still like to help others. It’s human

helps to create the best outcome for all. “It is not

capitalism in the direction of efficiency, through

nature. Morality and human sympathy coexist

from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer,

supply and demand and competition for scarce

alongside our economic ambition.

or the baker, that we can expect our dinner,

resources, rather than as something that results

long line of deference for the biggest players

but from their regard to their own interest,”

in the well-being of individuals.

when it comes to power and influence. Lower

Smith wrote.

There is one rule for smaller business and a

In his book “The Wealth of Nations” Smith’s ideas

down the chain of power, smaller companies moving to merge in the UK will be referred to the

While everything is changing, it would appear

generated international attention and charted

monopolies and mergers commission.

that the accepted foundations of economic

the move from land-based wealth to wealth

growth are changing very little.

created by assembly-line production methods – and greater production efficiency driven by the division of labour.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

His thinking changed import/export commerce,

Capitalism’s

Communism,

Getting an education became more expensive

Now many have arrived at the view that there

created the concept of (what is now known as)

looks as though it is also changing under this

polar

opposite,

and came with a burden of debt. Workers at the

must be more to life than paying debt and buying

gross domestic product (GDP) and argued for

new economic tide. Red appears to be paling

start of their careers had more debt at the outset

a house. So the young people who engage with

free exchange.

to orange.

than any other generation before them.

politics are looking to pick out the pieces that

Before “The Wealth of Nations,” was published

A 2014 survey (conducted by Reason-Rupe)

The financial crash affected the labour market,

countries expressed their wealth based on the

revealed that 52% of young Americans, between

pension funds are under pressure and retirement

value of their gold and silver deposits. Smith was

the ages of 18-29, favoured free markets and

age recedes. Older workers either choose to or

The fact that Millennials want a more socially

critical of mercantilism; he believed countries

capitalism. Yet, a full 25% of younger people

have to defer retirement; with fewer jobs for

and economically inclusive society doesn’t

should be evaluated based on their levels of

chose septuagenarian socialist Bernie Sanders;

those young people.

mean they are embracing old-school socialism

production and commerce.

he captured more of the millennial vote than

work for them, and look towards orange as the

both Trump and Clinton. As Brexit continues its march toward cast off

new red.

or communism. They are really redefining the The combination of increased debt and fewer

words in their own terms.

job opportunities has put the brakes on the

for HMS UK, it’s interesting to examine this

Some say that millennials are “lazy” and favour

upward mobility of Millennials as they live

Jobs for life are a thing of the past, life-long

400-year-old thinking. Before Smith’s book,

the thought of re-distributing wealth from the

with their parents longer and put off life-stage

learning will define much more winding career

countries had been nervous of trading with other

richest to the not-so-rich, but the answer is not as

decisions such as marriage and children based

paths as we jog down one route only to find a

countries, unless it benefited them. Smith’s free

simple as that. There is some resentment toward

on affordability.

dead end, backtrack and start down a different

exchange should offer both sides the opportunity

their parents’ generation who lived and worked

to become better off. Self-interest and greater

under a different system – buying homes and

Millennials

good for each nation neatly wrapped up.

accruing pensions.

preferring cash – a return to old values - to avoid

one. Our younger generation’s ‘career sat nav’ have

eschewed

credit

cards,

will have to chart obstructions and recalculate on a much more regular basis.

the ‘invisible money’ trap. Imports and exports increased, and countries

Those Millennials’ parents, the Baby Boomers,

began judging their value accordingly.

came of age in the 80s and when “trickle-down

Given all these factors, it’s not surprising

step for everyone – but young people need to

economics” was seen as the way to go.

Millennials

political

carefully consider whether the debt and the time

inclinations. Most don’t consider the Soviet Union

is worth it – and indeed whether the course has

Smith wanted less government control and

Higher education is now seen as a natural next are

re-thinking

their

legislation that promoted an open and free

That decade incubated the theory that some

the arch-enemy their parents did, and favour a

any currency outside in the real world. Cyber

market. His vision included areas where

corporations are just “too big to fail,” - and we all

more liberal view – but just how informed are

security is one growth area that is predicted to

governments did need to retain control -

know what happened to the economy after that.

their choices? Do they really understand what

fuel unprecedented demands for competent and

socialism or communism means?

enlightened talent. Vocational qualifications will

education and defence for example. The crash of 2008 saw Millennials’ parents lose His thinking became the foundation of the

their jobs and their houses. The Baby Boomers

True

classical school of economics. This Ether

were mired in debt. While ordinary lives were

influenced this generation’s life as much as it did

Economy we’re on the cusp of now is a thinking

disintegrating, big corporations and banks were

their parents and grandparents’ generations.

economy he would not be entirely unfamiliar

bailed. So, Millennials started re-thinking the

They have, however, been negatively affected

with.

idea that capitalism favours those who work the

by the mishandling of the economy by the

hardest. The “trickle-down economics” theory

capitalist system.

socialism

and

communism

haven’t

rise to the top of the educational tree, offering higher-value rewards for the time and cost.

didn’t work. 77

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

Vocational subjects (medicine, engineering,

Fees incurred for the two-year degree courses

architecture) require lengthier courses, but

would amount to £10,000 as opposed to

there are areas where time and money can

£27,000 on graduation. Lower debt and less

be cut.

negative impact on aspiration leads to a more engaged employee. There’s a lower barrier to

The higher education machine needs to change,

entry, particularly for students from poorer

its funding needs to change. Two- year degrees

backgrounds, so the system would embrace a

are possible in some areas, and more appealing

meritocracy and open up choice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

with a little re-engineering around the structuring of terms (3 x 11-week terms instead of 4, allowing

Employers have a part to play too. The golden

a term off a year). And they’re less expensive

hello doesn’t have to be reserved for people at

to fund.

the zenith of their career. Re-paying a student loan at the outset to attract the best students -

With the first year is free (Government funded)

particularly important for STEM subjects – will

and the second costing £10k, which students

deliver loyalty and stability.

pay back on a standard basis (as opposed to the current income-linked system), the cost of the

The Ether Economy is challenging, yes, and

first year is around the same level as the current

complicated. What we have to remember is that if

non-repayment of student loans.

an 18th Century philosopher was able to explore beyond ‘the known’ at the time to visualise how

The three years plus vocational courses could

economies could work better – then there has to

be charged on the same basis as current

be plenty of scope to meet those challenges. It

post-graduate courses with huge benefits for

just takes a bit of thinking about.

students (and their parents).

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

Dr Maurizio Bragagni: Chairman and CEO of Tratos Ltd, the manufacturing division of global cable-maker Tratos Group. Tratos is an innovation-focused European cable innovator with factories in UK and Italy, offices in five continents and customers worldwide - across power, transport, shipping, communications, oil and gas. Italian-born Dr Bragagni (20th April 1975) is based at Tratos’ UK HQ in London and has responsibility for the company’s multi-national manufacturing facilities and a global customer base. With a Masters Degree in Law from the University of Pisa, and now, an MBA from London’s Cass Business School, he has held a number of strategic positions within Tratos Cavi. During his time as Export Director he took the group’s manufacturing capability global, establishing Tratos bases in strategic locations for key markets and closer customer relationships. Across Tratos’ key countries - such as China, Spain, UK, Switzerland and Belgium - he has also forged close relationships with countries’ governments to better understand the key to their ways of doing business. Consequently, he has been responsible for exponential growth at the company which is now considered one of the largest independent cable manufacturers. Under his guidance Tratos UK has won government funding and invested heavily in new facilities, creating much needed employment and state of the art centres of excellence for manufacturing and developing next-generation cables. Passionate about his industry’s ability to drive world-stage progress in customers’ industries; from faster, safer and more efficient processing at the biggest trade ports to super fire-resistant cabling in metro networks, the work he leads includes significant investment in the company’s people. He introduced the Tratos Academy which focuses on fostering world-class product knowledge, innovative ideas and customer service across company colleagues. The academy is backed by an internal communications programme which aims to share knowledge and promote awareness of new and emerging technology in the cable industry. As the company has grown internationally he has ensured that service-levels keep pace, with Tratos offices worldwide to ensure customers are fully supported. This has been particularly important as Tratos’ bespoke design work has expanded, and the company has become the ‘go-to’ solution for the development of new and advanced cable systems.

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B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

He has continued to lead a business defined by practical, inspired and ground-breaking innovation.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, former Chairman of Ferrari and Fiat; Sir John Sunderland CBE, former

His passion for new ways of looking at and doing things is at the heart of everything Dr Bragagni

president of the Confederation of British Industry; Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline and

involves himself in, from CPD for staff to the development of new ways to help those in need.

Francesco Profumo, the Italian engineer and academic, previously Italy’s Minister for Education.

Indeed, he devoted his Cass Business School MBA thesis to ‘The Culture of Innovation’. Ahead of advanced Brexit negotiations he brokered an introduction between British-based businesses The company’s culture of innovation has been developed beyond products and across supply chains. He

and former Italian Senate President, Senator Marcello Pera. In 2018 he is standing for the Italian Senate

took the decision to cut out middlemen and secure directly Tratos’ source of raw materials allowing the

with a remit to help Italians in business abroad.

company to control cost and guarantee supply. At the end of 2017 he was presented with The Big Ben Award one of China’s business community’s most Dr Bragagni is behind several campaigning initiatives to drive better business in the UK and strengthen

prestigious acknowledgements for business leadership.

the mutually beneficial relationship between the UK and Italy. The award is organised by the British Chinese Youth Federation (BCYF) and recognises the people who These include a focus on winning support for breaking BT’s broadband monopoly (a process now

contribute most to the relationship between China and the nations it trades with.

underway with Ofcom), introducing faster connectivity for UK PLC, and publishing a White Paper on the hugely negative impact of fake cable for Britain’s smart motorways and the businesses that

Previous luminaries to have received one of these awards include snooker World Champion, Junhui

rely on them.

Ding, celebrity violinist Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn Nicholson and House of Fraser COO Peter Gross.

He has been vocal in demanding that new CPR cable standards go further to ensure safety in public

*Dr Bragagni has been married to Alessandra since 2003 and together they have four daughters.

buildings, homes and workplaces and part of that process has included a pledge from Tratos that its own cable production standards will exceed the standards set out in the new legislation. A devoted patron of the arts and keen supporter of causes that change people’s lives for the better, he is behind the launch of the Esharelife Foundation – which provides a sales-platform connecting artists’ work and customers - with a share of sales benefitting good causes.

Awards • Lloyd’s Register - Best Italian Client Award (2017) • Knowsley Business Awards - Manufacturer of the Year (2017)

He is Vice President of PEMA, a member of BCA (British Cables Association), ANIE Federation

• Chinese Business Community’s Big Ben Awards - International Business Leadership Prize (2017)

(representing the electrotechnical and electronic companies operating in Italy), ACI (Approved Cables

• CERVED - Company to Watch Award (2017, 2016)

Initiative), IOD (Institute of Directors) and Oil & Gas UK.

• Knights Hospitaller (Order of Saint John of Jerusalem) Award (2017)

He is also a non-executive director of UK mobile personal health monitoring start-up siHealth Ltd.

• Italian Chamber of Commerce for the UK - Keynes Sraffa Award (2016)

siHealth’s app technology enables real-time self-monitoring to help wearers prevent skin damage from

• Knowsley Business Awards - Commercial Developer of the Year (2015)

over exposure to UV. In 2016 Dr Bragagni was recognised with the Keynes Sraffa Award from the Italian Chamber of Commerce for the UK - for his ongoing commitment to promoting greater co-operation between the two countries. In accepting the award, he joins the company of previous recipients including Lord Eddie George, former Governor of the Bank of England; Antonio Fazio; former Governor of Banca d’Italia;

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THE VALUE OF TALENT

Many people in Italy speak and write about “the

A unit of weight and a sum of money - since the

brain drain” and “overseas talent”. Few of them go

coin itself was of precious metal - in Athens, a

back to the true meaning of the term.

talent was equivalent to more than twenty kilos of silver.

But only by knowing its exact meaning can we understand what it represents for the Italy of

Therefore, there is much to be gained from

today.

investment in the transformation of that talent, that weight, into power and freedom.

So let’s see. And this short passage from Dante expresses the A “talent” was once an ancient unit of weight. It

medieval meaning of talent:

was a reference weight for commerce, as well as a measure of value equal to the corresponding

“Intesi ch’a così fatto tormento

quantity of precious metal.

erano dannati i peccator carnali

The talent is mentioned in The Iliad when Achilles

che la ragion sommettono al talento”.

gives half a talent of gold to Antilochus as a prize,

“Such torment, as I learned, those souls acquire

and in the Bible when the talents of gold, silver,

whose condemnation comes from mortal sin,

bronze and iron are mentioned, as donations for

subordinating reason to desire”.

the construction of the first temple of Jerusalem.

Dante, Inferno, V, vv.37-39

In several languages, the talent has taken on the

But who, or what, then, is a talented person?

meaning of “gift” or “ability”, adapting to its more familiar current use.

The first meaning is, of ‘desire, will’, prevailed in the Middle Ages, and began in Provence; the

Over the centuries, the talent became a

second, that of ‘natural or acquired aptitude’,

descriptor for ‘natural endowment’ – something

occurs sporadically in Italy and in France, but

you are born with, not something that can be

only bursts fully on to the scene during the

learned.

Renaissance.

The ancient meaning of a unit of weight and a sum

Talentoso had already appeared in Italian in the

of money casts light on important connotations

thirteenth century with the meaning of desirous,

of the word.

lustful, and at that time, the adjective was also used in the sense of ‘very dear, pleasing’.

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“Quand’io passo vegiendovi davanti, lo cor si parte, a voi vien talentoso di dicer ciò ch’io sento per amare” “When I walk by and see you, my heart leaps, it longs to express my feelings of love” (Chiaro

Here are some definitions of “talent”: By Paolo Lucchetta (architect): “We can reasonably agree that talent in itself is a gift, a natural inclination that each of us

Talent is a gift and so is the identification of

Pierluigi Aluisio (IT specialist) defines “talent”

its existence. It should be family and schools

as follows:

which spot the signs, but I fear that the latter in particular find it hard to identify the real gifts

“In the current economic and social environment

of some, appearing as they do at a young age in

being a talented person also means being

confused forms, often hidden by exuberance

courageous. It is not enough to have skills: you

and

also need the courage to express them.

Davanzati, Rime, XIV, 13th century);

possesses to a different degree and whose

During the Renaissance we find it also used in

permeate training courses in our society. But

the sense of ‘very precious’ as in the attestation

the critical factor seems to be the project, the

We do not want to see talent in those who have it

have ideas and communicate them, the courage

of Francesco Colonna from Hypnerotomachia

passion with which people who recognise their

because such awareness leads to a responsibility:

to dream, to try to stand out, to take risks and

Poliphili:

own talent decide to share this individual capital

to cultivate and develop that talent, which needs

to know how to involve other people in your

socially. The quality of our condition largely

care, attention and therefore time, an ingredient

projects.

“And who shall be the possessor of such an

depends on these choices and the gaps that are

inestimable and precious treasure?”

which must nowadays be accounted for and

created in society. I could therefore venture to

endowed with an economic cost that someone

say that being a talented person nowadays has a

must pay.

The first Italian evidence of its use in the sense of ‘full of talent’ is much more recent: the GRADIT gives the year 1857 when “There can easily be... more talented people but likewise easily more melons” is written in the Family letters with memories of the last years by Francesco

recognition, exploitation and expression should

It means having the courage to look beyond, into the future. In this static, politicised and gerontocratic society, being a talented person

those who are apparently devoid of talent can

your own.”

of the world around us, a scenario which is more

eventually develop qualities in their own field,

than possible, because in part it exists already.”

through study, reading and curiosity. We can all

the intellectual field, as it is so often used in the worlds of sport and entertainment, but if we talk about entrepreneurial skills or cultural interests

find within ourselves a small talent and make it grow if we have the strength to develop it and, especially young people, the good fortune to meet a mentor, a contact, a guide, endowed with a critical spirit to ensure we do not deviate from the true path.”

it is not common to use this word, perhaps also for reasons of modesty. Modesty due to no longer being able to take for granted that people with talent can develop it and see it recognised,

The majority refer to the world of football or

or that it really counts in a society that tends to

more generally to sports (although the adjective

favour economic and political power over culture

also appears in artistic, culinary and other texts)

and knowledge.

87

Having talent today means having the courage to

to using their individual talent to build the future

appears soon afterwards;

adjectives provides some surprises.

characteristics that teachers usually do not like.

means having the courage to explore new paths;

“Talent” is a word little used today, at least in

to talentoso, verifying the actual use of the two

intellectual),

On the other hand, I am convinced that even

The first occurrence of the talentuoso form

by the dictionaries, referring almost exclusively

and

shared by citizens who are strongly committed

By Valeria Tatano (architect):

However, compared with the answers given to us

(physical

lot to do with a sort of sense of the responsibility

Guerrazzi.

Therefore, both forms are well evidenced.

agitation

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The economist Michele Boldrin provides a

By Riccardo Della Torre (research economist):

Maurizio Carlotti (TV director):

Massimo Donà (musician):

very interesting explanation of talent: “When I hear about “talent” I immediately think

“Talent and genius are not the same thing. Genius

“Although it is true that the word “talent “evokes

“In itself, I believe the expression “talented

about ideas. But ideas and genius alone are not

is the ability to create something from nothing;

a kind of innate ability to do something, in

person” has the same meaning as it had 10 or

enough. I believe that being a talented person

talent is the ability to transform the existing.

other words a kind of natural inclination to

100 years ago, i.e. a person with intellectual,

today means having something to say (which is

A brilliant person believes in himself and in his

perform a certain type of activity, it is also true

cognitive, artistic or manual skills above the

original, new, different, but also based on solid

ability to create alone; a talented person believes

that the issue raised by the question refers to

average. Not necessarily all together, but at least

and practical grounds), having the courage to say

in what surrounds him and in the possibility of

something that, nowadays, is coloured with a

some. Obviously, natural talent or talents are

it and above all trying everything to put it into

improving it. Genius is private, talent is extrovert.

specific connotation, which goes well beyond

not much use if they are not cultivated, applying

practice. At the same time, in my opinion, being a

It is difficult to imagine a talented person on their

the generic meaning of the concept in question.

them to knowledge and skills which must be

talented person today means being able to listen,

own, while the iconography of geniuses shows

Yes, because being highly talented today means

acquired. From this point of view, things have

understand, read, look around, and absorb as

them as solitary. Genius is a gift, while talent in

something very different from what it could

remained the same for the last several centuries.

much as possible from our surroundings: I refer

addition to qualities requires a specific aptitude.

have meant, for example, two centuries ago.

The activities to which talents are applied have

to the ability to learn from people with whom we

Genius can be compared to a pure chemical

In short, what is the modern context in which a

changed but, even in this case the change is

share work, study, interests, free time.”

element; talent is more like a complex formula.”

person is situated, and in relation to which his

more apparent than real. After all, whether you use a computer or a fountain pen, you’re still writing texts; whether it is done at CERN, in a huge accelerator, or in a small and rudimentary laboratory in Via Panisperna, the particle physicist poses questions that are expressed in terms similar to those of eighty years ago and which, in fact, have arisen from the answers given to the previous series of questions; the bridge designer solves problems that are similar to those of 800 years ago, being, in a sense, no more than a continuation of the latter. Talent is distributed among humans by nature but its exploitation is the business of the humans who create the conditions necessary for it.”

Massimo Russo (journalist): “Being a talented person means having acquired specific skills and knowledge; having the curiosity and passion to continue exploring and learning; being able to see solutions by hybridising very different fields; being willing to risk themselves and their “income by virtue of position” in dealings with others; not accepting that something is “impossible because it has never been done before”.

talent, if any, can be specifically recognised and exploited as it deserves? It is, as can easily be recognised, a context characterised above all by the increasing acceleration of transformations. Requirements, needs, values and priorities are changed incessantly; in short, nothing lasts long. So it becomes increasingly difficult to have the necessary and sufficient time to redefine your aptitudes in relation to the context. What could have been acceptable aptitudes just a few years ago may already have become obsolete…. So real talent today consists precisely in being able to continuously reshape and update one’s aptitudes (with great speed and flexibility) - the real aptitude today is being able to redefine one’s aptitudes as quickly as possible, or discovering increasingly new ways of developing them.”

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Emanuele Pettener (writer):

With this in mind, a talented person today is

Michele Brunello (architect):

You need fire: the continuous action even if chaotic, starting again, the challenge of limits,

required to expand their cultural horizons as far “What it has always meant, I suppose: being able

as possible, communicating and cooperating with

“People who display a talent normally have

the risk. In short, you need the passion of doing

to think, as far as possible, with your own brain. In

different players and feeding their own curiosity

two characteristics: they have their feet firmly

accompanied by an ethical dimension that makes

other words, developing original thoughts. Very

even outside their own sphere.”

planted on the ground and at the same time have

it possible to believe in what you’re doing. The

“their heads in the clouds”.

fire within.

difficult, given that we generally think recycled thoughts and say things already said, even more

Valeria Benvenuti (researcher): Having your head in the clouds is a necessary

Finally, you need water, the liquid element that

concept of communication. We are no longer

“Talent is perhaps one of the few tools that young

characteristic that helps one to observe reality

represents the exchange, the necessary fluidity

able to sit quietly by ourselves to reflect - we

people can possess in order to stand out in our

and to reason from the general to the particular

that generates circulation and comparison of

have to turn on the wretched mobile phone and

society. In a system in which young people tend to

and vice versa, and leads to the development of

ideas, the dynamic instability that does not allow

communicate - but talent develops in individual

conform to a uniform model, it is inventiveness,

innovative ideas and “high” thinking even when

the affirmation of rigid and ideological positions,

silence, in a frank face-to-face conversation with

initiative, imagination, but above all curiosity that

facing everyday problems.

the impossibility of standing still because

ourselves.”

make a young person talented. Being talented

so today, bombarded as we are by an unhealthy

Marino Pagan (researcher):

means maximising one’s abilities in order to

Having your “feet planted on the ground” makes

create something innovative and useful and

actions and ideas effective and practical, and

to turn today into a better tomorrow. A young

serves to interpret and codify the new demands

“In my opinion, people today considered

person who hides his talents under a bushel does

of the environment in which we live.

“talented” are above all people able to successfully

not get involved, does not want to improve and

combine multiple skills and interests.

remains the same as before: he basically expects

In the world of research, for example, many of the latest discoveries and innovations were the result of communication and integration between various areas of knowledge by people who were able to grasp the common aspects of the various scientific disciplines. In my field of

others to decide for him. And it is precisely in

everything around you is moving.”

However, having a talent and being able to express it are very different things.

this period of crisis in which young people are

To describe the particular Italian “milieu” in

most affected that there is a need to stand out,

which, with various difficulties, talent can be

to assert the talents, regardless of their number,

expressed, I use two other elements.

that each person has. Anyone with abilities has a responsibility to develop them.”

study, the neurosciences, the last few years have seen enormous growth in research designed to solve problems arising from economics or law, in the same way that the use of techniques and tools borrowed from engineering and physics has become increasingly essential.

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Stefano Beraldo (manager):

Italian Talent in London

He was also a correspondent for several liberal

The first visit was in 1847, for more amorous

newspapers on the continent, such as Le Monde

reasons: he had become engaged to a rich

“Talent belongs to the sphere of aptitudes.

In addition to natural talent, Maurizio Bragagni

in Paris and the L’Helvétie in Switzerland, the

and attractive upper-class widow, Mrs Emma

A person who has it and does not turn it into

has the advantage of his presence in a European

“Monthly Chronicle”, the magazines “British and

Roberts, whom he never married but with whom

actions suffers. It does not produce benefits

city that - more than any other - has been a

Foreign Affairs”, “Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine”,

he always remained on friendly terms.

for the planet. Nor for oneself. I can’t see any

stakeholder in the history of Italy over the

and the radical “People’s Journal”. In the latter he

difference in having talent today and in the past.”

centuries. London.

published a series of important essays entitled

“We’ll get a rope, and hang the Pope, so up with

English influence has been felt since the time of

“Thoughts on Democracy in Europe,” in which

Garibaldi!” - so sang the London children, while

Andrea Jester (financial consultant):

he traced the utilitarian origins of the various

at Hyde Park there was a demonstration by Irish

utopian movements of the time.

Catholics, shouting “No to Garibaldi, the Pope

the Roman Empire. “Having the ability to abstract and then make a summary, to have an overview but also being

Constantine’s mother, Santa Elena, was English,

able to intervene in the detail, contributing to the

and Constantine I “The Great” was one of the

completion of the overall design.”

most important figures in the Roman Empire.

And so from the sum total of all these definitions

It was he who favoured the spread of Christianity.

the nature of talent emerges. In more recent times we remember Giuseppe Italian politics has, today more than ever, a need

Garibaldi and Giuseppe Mazzini.

for people with “talent” among its ranks. “Talent”

forever” until dispersed by the police. London therefore represented an important place in the development of Mazzini’s political

The British government had always held the

thinking and for republican Italy.

Italian hero in a certain esteem: in 1846, the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, had supported

Giuseppe Garibaldi arrived in Southampton on

Garibaldi’s efforts in defence of Uruguayan

11 April 1864, welcomed by thousands of people.

independence and the British government would later also support the exploits of the Thousand.

After making a triumphal progress across the south of England, he was welcomed at his first

He was “a man of great dash and courage” to

public appearance in Trafalgar Square by over half

the British diplomats, who greatly appreciated

have

Mazzini arrived in London at the beginning of

a million Londoners, according to conservative

the fact that in the Italian Legion, which he

distinguished themselves in social and economic

1837 where he struggled to make a living writing

figures produced by the Metropolitan Police. A

commanded, the aid provided by the government

life by knowing only how to speak, not how to do.

for various newspapers. He settled in the area

multitude which, as the newspapers of that time

of His Majesty did not disappear into private

The speakers should make way for the doers to

of Clerkenwell, a district of London that had

recorded, was not exceeded even at the funeral

pockets, but was administered with absolute

deliver the promise to voters.

become famous with the name of “Little Italy”

of Wellington.

rigour and correctness.

But that was not his first visit to the United

Conduct which helped reinforce the image of a

Kingdom.

man of “courage and utmost honesty”, and came

manifested by actions, not words.

The two key figures in the Unification of Italy.

Some

of

the

politicians

of

today,

due to the presence of many Italians, mostly For Maurizio Bragagni the facts speak for

political refugees.

themselves. The delivery of ambition, goals and vision are all there to see in his professional life

Mazzini opened a small free school for children

to overturn the Italian stereotype created during

– a matter of public record.

in Hatton Garden in 1841. It was also thanks to

the Protestant Reformation.

his commitment that the Italian church of Saint Peter in Clerkenwell was built. Mazzini made

The celebrations followed each other without

contact with many Italian emigrants who shared

pause for several days, although the most solemn

his political ideas.

moment came on 20 April when Garibaldi was granted honorary citizenship.

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Throughout the world newspapers gave great

The adulation of the crowds and all the

He became a friend of John Murray, the publisher

Other works dating from this time, in addition to

prominence to the welcome given to the General,

phenomena of idolatry were not appreciated

who, in April 1817, published the fourth and last

the fourth Ortis, were new essays on the Homeric

in particular the “Illustrated London News” which

by Queen Victoria. “I’m almost ashamed to rule

version of the Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis (the

translations, The Graces and the unfinished

devoted many illustrations to the event; these

a nation capable of such follies,” she confessed

work is essentially similar to the Zurich edition of

Letters Written from England (‘16 -’18), some

were a great success, later becoming cult objects

after reproving her son, the future Edward VII,

the previous year), accompanied by a brief Note

of which were published posthumously with

and collectors’ items, attracting prices of up to

who had said, with enthusiasm, that he had been

and a selection of chapters from the translation

the title Gazette of the Beautiful World),

500 pounds.

honoured to shake hands with “The Hero”.

of A Sentimental Journey by Laurence Sterne.

the incomplete Apologetic Letter, found and

Today if an honourable member of The Reform

The Queen, annoyed and worried, asked the

The early days of English exile were relatively

famous Essays on Petrarch (1821, II ed.1823),

Club wants to sit at the table where formerly the

prime minister Benjamin Disraeli (who had

happy, the first impact even exciting. The new

the historical discourse on the text of the

Hero had sat at a dinner at which the members

refused to shake hands with the man he referred

friendships and the fame he enjoyed overseas

Decameron (1825) and the Discourse on the

of the time asked for and obtained money to buy

to as “the Pirate”) what the man possessed to

surprised the poet: “From the moment I set foot

text of the Divine Comedy by Dante (1826).

rifles, he must ask for special permission and

arouse so much hysteria among the people.

in England I was pleased by everything. Here

In addition, some 30 critical essays, written to

ensure on his honour that he will not damage

“Your Majesty,” replied the politician, “that man is

for the first time I realised that I am not entirely

be translated into English and published in the

in any way the sacred memorabilia and the

today the most powerful individual in the world

unknown to mortals; and I see myself welcomed

British periodical magazines, including the series

commemorative plaque.

because in him it recognises absolute purity. He

as a man who has already benefited from a

Epochs of the Italian language and the famous

is what he says and he says what he does without

century of good reputation and integrity”, he

article Antiquarians and Critics of Italian History

contradiction and weakness”.

wrote to his friend Quirina Mocenni Magiotti a

(1826).

published by Mazzini after Foscolo’s death, the

It also gave rise to a vast industry of souvenirs which are still in use today, such as teacups

week after his arrival.

with the bearded portrait and flowing mane of

Not only Italian politicians and revolutionaries

hair, ashtrays, chocolate boxes, cross-stitched

found inspiration in London.

their thousands in which Garibaldi’s features are stylised and blend into an almost messianic icon. Not forgetting Garibaldi tea mugs and the Garibaldi biscuit, a raisin biscuit sold in metal boxes with a portrait and map of a reunited Italy.

initially made a good living from his activities.

himself mainly to editorial and journalistic

cushions, statuettes of Garibaldi on horseback in a glass ball with snow effect, oleographs in

Foscolo was welcomed in liberal circles, and During the London period, Foscolo devoted

Also poets, among them Ugo Foscolo. He arrived in London on 12 September 1816 and spent the last eleven years of his life there struggling with considerable financial and moral

activity and engaged in the historical-critical

Mazzini, Garibaldi And Before Them Foscolo,

study of some periods, texts and figures in

But Also After Them, Marconi.

Italian literature, especially Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio.

Marconi, the son of a wealthy Irishwoman, travelled to the United Kingdom, where he

difficulties. As soon as he arrived in the city,

thought, rightly, that it would be easier to find

he came into contact with numerous English

the necessary capital for the practical use of

intellectuals, being introduced into the cultural

his invention. On 12 February 1896, Marconi

circle of Holland House.

left with his mother for the United Kingdom. In London, on 5 March of the same year, he filed the first provisional patent application.

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On 2 July 1897, he received the patent from the

Other nations have also used Italian “talent”.

His role as CEO of Tratos Group Ltd is

The founding fathers considered it desirable

London Patent Office.

Giovanni Battista Viotti, for example, the

fundamental to the effectiveness and usefulness

that, in order to guarantee democracy, every

Piedmontese

of any political policy proposal.

individual parliamentarian should not be bound

violinist

and

composer

who

So, in London in July 1897 Marconi founded

composed the music of what would later become

the Wireless Telegraph Trading Signal Company

the French national anthem: the “Marseillaise”.

(later renamed Marconi Wireless Telegraph

by any mandate imposed, whether by the party Being at the head of a company universally known

to which he belonged when he was a candidate,

to be highly innovative, capable of identifying

by the electoral programme, or by who voted

Company), which opened its first office in Hall

Today, more than yesterday, Italian politics, or

new directions and translating them into

and elected him to either of the two Chambers

Street, Chelmsford, England, the following year,

rather Italian society as a whole, should be a

opportunities for further development, thinking

(prohibition of compulsory mandate).

employing about 50 people.

magnet for the talent of those who have been

ahead of the competition and maintaining

successful in the land of Albion and elsewhere.

leadership in its main market is proof of his

Rather, it is political responsibility that must be

Centuries before, and scholars now agree,

To pass on experience, to give practical answers

own talent. He is a major asset for the political

respected.

another Italian, a Sicilian to be exact, from the city

to the real needs of citizens, to be a point of

group that will support him in his candidacy for

of Messina, moved to Britain.

reference for those visions that go beyond

nomination to the Senate of the Republic, with

It is a juridical, philosophical and political concept

national borders.

responsibility for foreign and Europe affairs.

that decides whether a person working in the

In the next few years we will be talking more and

For too long, not only have Italians abroad not

(and to whom) for the political choices made - and

more about artificial intelligence, robotics and

been listened to, they have not even been taken

therefore answerable for his actions.

widespread digitalisation.

into consideration, except marginally, in assisting

He was Michelangelo Florio whose family name on the maternal side was Crollalanza. Today known as William Shakespeare: the greatest dramatist of all time.

State in a political capacity should be responsible

the growth of Italian society.

Dr Bragagni sees his political responsibility as

challenges of such innovation. The future is the

It is now time that, even in the absence of a

general interests of Italians abroad.

All of them were inspired, pampered, and loved

consequence of the story that is being written

binding mandate, there should be a bond of

by London.

now.

political responsibility between voters and

How is this to be done? With specific legislative

elected representatives.

activity, with draft legislation arising directly

London loves Italy. It loves Italian talent, it brings

The next few years, the next legislature, will be

it out and supports it.

a challenge between current certainties and the

Article 67 of the Italian Constitution states:

which is also useful and necessary for Italians

emerging need for a strategic approach sensitive

“Every Member of Parliament shall represent

living in Italy.

London - a source of ideas, suggestions and

to the new technologies that will be transforming

the Nation and exercise his functions without a

advice that deserve attention.

first education and then the world of work.

binding mandate”

Maurizio Bragnani is one of those people who is

It was written and conceived to guarantee the

ability to solve problems, their innate vision of

able to take on this challenge.

most absolute freedom of expression to the

the future.

He was an .......... Italian talent.

Italian society must be ready to take on the

simply this: to respect, protect and promote the

from the needs of Italians working abroad and

“Talented” Italians living abroad are universally known for their positivity, their initiative, their

members of the Italian Parliament elected to the Chamber of Deputies and to the Senate of the Republic.

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In all probability the Italian political class is

Maurizio Bragagni keeps that drawer open every

This was born out of an idea by Maurizio Bragagni

unable to appreciate and value the Italian “talent”

day, every second of the day, because he knows

to create an information tool and a community to

living abroad. In the last few legislatures, people

that only by respecting values is it possible to

discuss “British” culture in a complex historical

were nominated who were light years away from

grow, improve and help others improve too.

moment characterised by the decision of the

being talented. The judicial and political facts speak for themselves.

United Kingdom to leave the European Union. His is also a chapter that defines commitment at work.

It’s time to turn the page.

“England is my wife, Italy is my mother. Do not ask me whom I love most”

“At the head of a large company you have to be

In fact, it’s really time to change the book to one

pragmatic, but you also have to recognise and

His words represent the choices facing Maurizio

that introduces a new breed of Italian politicians

make room for vision. Vision arising from an

Bragagni in daily life.

living abroad.

opportunity to be exploited may eventually be

And Maurizio Bragnani wants to write a chapter

transformed into a “talented” action.” Dr Maurizio Bragagni.

in this new book; a chapter that first of all

ability to summarise the various options and needs, but a healthy relationship with ‘the Wife’

describes the possibilities and opportunities for

His place at the head of a company in which the

people, like him, an Italian abroad.

culture of innovation is one of the attributes that

He can do that with ease, having been able to

It is ‘the Mother’ now that needs his help, his

will bring only further advantages for both.

set it apart is an important contributor to his

A summary of this approach needs to be

ability to champion talent.

translated into a legislative bill. The Senate of the

appreciate the culture of his host country, the

Republic needs it. Italy needs it.

rules of civil cohabitation, the sharing of history

Research on the culture of innovation within

and having known and expanded an industrial

Tratos is fully described in the paper written by

Whatever they do, wherever they are – Italians

activity with hundreds of employees all over the

Maurizio Bragagni and published in May 2016

need it.

world.

by the Cass Business School - City University London.

His is a chapter full of values; the values that everyone should have, but which are too often

But Maurizio Bragagni, like all Italians abroad,

forgotten “in the last drawer of the conscience”

has not forgotten his roots.

- a drawer many have kept closed. “Discover Valtiberina” is a publication strongly promoted by Maurizio Bragagni and supported by Tratos to bring the Val Tiberina, or the Alta Valle del Tevere, to international attention. And the Italian roots mingle with “talent” thanks to the magazine “Il Club”.

99

100


B R E X I T, B U S I N E S S AN D A B E T T E R B R I TAI N

INDEX

A A boom for the North 53 Achilles 85 A country of entrepreneurs 59 Alta Valle del Tevere/Val Tiberina 99 Ambitious economic partnerships 32 A modern and compassionate Britain 65 A more efficient Britain 41 A nation of shopkeepers 59 Angela Merkel 18 Antilochus 85 Aristotle 19, 20 Artificial intelligence 38, 39, 68, 70 Automation 21, 38, 39, 69 B Baby Boomers 77 Bank of England 21, 27, 83 Benjamin Disraeli 95 Bernie Sanders 77 Big data 39 Bitcoin 70, 72 Boccaccio 96 Brexit referendum 24 Britain’s broken broadband 41, 51 British parliamentary system 19 British Standards 64 Budget 27, 65, 67 Buildings that protect 62 Buitoni 44 C Capitalism 74, 75, 76, 77 Chamber of Deputies 98 Chancellor 25, 67, 68, 69 Chancellor Philip Hammond 25 Chiaro Davanzati 87 Chris Grayling 41 Christopher Columbus 47 Clinton 77 Common market 15 101

Communism 77, 78 Constantine I 93 Constitutional system 19 Constitution UK and N Ireland 19 Construction Products Regulation (CPR) 62, 63 Consumer spending 21, 27 Continuous learning 38 Corporate and social responsibility 76 Corporation tax 57, 59, 60 Crash of 2008 27, 77 Cyber security 39, 78 D Dante 85, 96 David Davies 25 Digital currency 70 Digital revolution 59 Discover Valtiberina 99 Disruption is good for business 33 Doing business digitally 59 Driverless cars 39, 67 Drones 40 E Economic climate change 70 Edward VII 95 Emanuele Pettener 91 Emerging technology 36, 82 Empire of Cotton 36 Energy efficient smarter homes people want 69 Ether Economy 70, 72, 74, 75, 77, 79 European Commission 15, 62 European nationals 31 F Facebook isn’t free 74 Fake cable 7, 65, 83 Fake news 47 Falling interest rates 27 Family businesses 44, 45, 46 Faster rail 41

Fibre optic cables 51 Fibre to the Cabinet 51 Fibre to the Home 2, 41, 51 Fire and smoke testing 62 Fire safety in buildings 62 Founding Fathers 98 Fourth industrial revolution 2, 36, 38, 40, 46, 68, 69, 70, 73 Francesco Colonna 87 Francesco Guerrazzi 87 Free Market 3, 72, 75, 76, 77 Free trade, fair competition and consumer rights 32 G G7 industrial nations’ 67 GBP 28 Giovanni Battista Viotti 97 Giuseppe Garibaldi 93, 94 Giuseppe Mazzini 93 Google and Amazon 75 Grenfell Tower 62, 64, 65 H Higher education machine needs to change 79 High regulatory standards 32 Highways 56 Highways England 56 HRH Prince Charles 18 I Il Club 99 Iliad 85 Immigration 3, 25, 32 Inflation 21, 27, 67 Innovation process 23 Installation of non-approved cables 56 International Monetary Fund 67 Internet of things 39 Italian Constitution 98 Italian residents in the UK 18

J John Murray 96 Jean-Claude Juncker 15 K Kublai Kahn 47 L Last drawer of the conscience 99 Laurence Sterne 96 Leadership is not a job title 45 Lisbon Treaty 11 Lord Palmerston 94 Lord Sugar 49 Lower spec cable 56 M Marconi 96, 97 Marco Polo 47 Marino Pagan 91 Marseillaise 97 Massimo Donà 90 Massimo Russo 89 Maurizio Carlotti 90 Mazzini 93, 94, 96 Michelangelo Florio 97 Michele Boldrin 89 Michele Brunello 92 Migration and terrorism 30 Millennials’ 77, 78 Minimum standards for construction cables 62 Monopolies and mergers commission 75 N Nationalised industries 60 O Ofcom 51, 52, 83 Open Britain campaign group 25 Openreach 51, 52 102


P Paolo Lucchetta 87 Parable of the Lost Son 16 Perugina 44 Petrarch 96 Pierluigi Aluisio 88 Post-election 23 Power, telecommunications, rail, construction 13 Prime Minister 11, 23, 29, 30 Public transport and road traffic 53 Q Queen Victoria 95 Quirina Mocenni Magiotti 96 R Rail market 41 Regulator 32, 51, 63, 65 Regulators & safety margins 65 Renaissance 85, 87 Replacement free trade deal 25 Riccardo Della Torre 89 Rise of the micro-business community 21 Risk 19, 23, 27, 45, 59, 60, 69, 76 Risk-taking 23 Robots 38, 39, 70

Standards have to demand more than minimum 62 Stefano Beraldo 93 STEM 74, 79 Sub-standard cables 69 T Talent 2, 7, 18, 22, 25, 32, 68, 78, 85, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 97, 98, 99 The Reform Club 95 Thinkers’ revolution 69 Traffic Management Technology 56 Trickle-down economics 77 Trump 77 Type Approval mechanism 56 U Ugo Foscolo 95 UK is not leaving Europe 31 Unification of Italy 93 Unions 60 Upskilling 39 Utilities 51 V Valeria Benvenuti 91 Valeria Tatano 87 Vocational qualifications will rise 78

S

W

Safer Structures Campaign 69 Sandro Gozi 18 Senate of the Republic 98, 100 Shortage of engineers 73 Silk Road 47 Single Market 25 Sir Richard Branson 49 Slow-lane copper 41 Small businesses 21, 57, 60 ‘Smart’ fibre cables 41, 52 SMART motorway schemes 56 Socialism 78

Wage growth 21, 27 Wealth creators 21 William Shakespeare 97 Winston Churchill 1, 24 World economy 22

103

5G mobile networks 68 18th-century philosopher Adam Smith 75

Brexit, Business and a Better Britain  

In the run up to Italy going to the polls to elect its Senate representatives, the candidate campaigning for a seat to further the fortunes...

Brexit, Business and a Better Britain  

In the run up to Italy going to the polls to elect its Senate representatives, the candidate campaigning for a seat to further the fortunes...