Follow the lead of the face of space, Warwickshire businesses urged

Businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire have been urged take a leaf out of the book of the ‘face of space’ and be more creative, innovative and inspirational.
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Dame Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, a scientist and broadcaster who presents the world-famous The Sky at Night on the BBC, was the keynote speaker at Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s BIG Business Lunch at the IXL Events Centre.

The event attracted more than 200 business people who enjoyed a two-course lunch and, after hearing from Chamber chief executive Corin Crane and IXL Events Centre’s Atul Lakhani, were treated to a whistle-stop tour of Dr Aderin-Pocock’s life and the inspirations behind her career.

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She spoke about how everything from Star Trek to Gladys West set her on a path that would lead her to presenting one of the most popular TV shows as well becoming an award-winning author, despite having dyslexia.

Keely Hancox, Atul Lakhani, Steve Harcourt, Dame Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, Corin CraneKeely Hancox, Atul Lakhani, Steve Harcourt, Dame Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, Corin Crane
Keely Hancox, Atul Lakhani, Steve Harcourt, Dame Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, Corin Crane

Dr Aderin-Pocock said it was vital to encourage more people from all backgrounds to pursue careers in STEM roles and that it was important to provide role models and relevance to young people.

“The time is now,” she said. “We are all responsible for supporting and creating the workforce of the future.

“I am living proof that even the craziest dreams can come true. We need to be role models, be relevant to young people and also tap into that sense of wonder.

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“STEM needs to be much more diverse and it’s important that we show how rewarding working in science can be.”

Crane said Coventry and Warwickshire was at the heart of innovation.

He said: “It doesn’t matter what business you are in or what you do for a living, we all have to be creative and innovative because if you stand still you get left behind.

“This region has always been at the forefront of invention and innovation and that remains the case.

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“I only have to look at what’s happening at our universities, at the MTC, at Horiba MIRA, and within our incredible business community to know that we are still at the cutting edge of world class technology and innovation.

“My big takeaway from Dr Aderin-Pocock’s speech is that we have to keep talking about that and keep inspiring the next generation of innovators from all backgrounds to make sure we continue to be such an inspiring place to do business.”

The BIG Business Lunch was supported by West Midlands Trains and Procure4.

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