Inside or out - we all need to know about the Euro debate - says Dave Muller
PUBLISHED: 15:22 16 June 2016 | UPDATED: 17:12 16 June 2016
You may have heard the saying "no one ever steps in the same river twice", meaning that change is a constant in life, writes Dave Muller, chair of the Greater Ipswich Chamber of Commerce.
This seems such a relevant observation in today’s fast-paced world, where disruption to well-laid business plans, strategies and ambitions is a given. What matters, I believe, is both how one prepares for change and then manages that change.
To properly prepare for the possibility of change a business needs good intelligence to consider all the possible outcomes and options open to it. The management of change necessitates having the right skills, aptitudes and capacities in place well ahead of that change having an impact.
One of the great advantages of being a member of the Greater Ipswich Chamber of Commerce, part of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, is the ability to call on the advice and ideas of others to get ahead of major changes. Sometimes this might be through informal contact, sometimes via one of our many useful networking breakfasts or lunches and sometimes through our occasional special speaker events.
One such Chamber event took place earlier this month and gave local businesses the chance to get beyond the spin and to the heart of the facts regarding the fast-approaching referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. This referendum, regardless of which way the country votes, will define the direction and pace of economic change in this country for decades to come.
The Chamber itself is neutral as to whether the country should remain or leave.
But we do know that local businesses have been crying out for the chance to quiz both camps.
The packed business audience heard a lively and informative debate between representatives from Britain Stronger in Europe and Vote Leave. The depth and breadth of questions fired at the speakers showed just how carefully local businesses have been evaluating the two outcomes and what it means for them.The EU event was held at UCS in Ipswich.
As an educationalist with a strong commitment to Ipswich and Suffolk, I was thrilled to hear the news that UCS had achieved its independence. From the late summer the University of Suffolk will be able to issue its own degrees, shape its degree programme and further boost student numbers.
The expected boost to the Ipswich economy will be an extra £30m per year.
This significant development will also mean that the institution will be able to further build on its excellent relationships with the Chamber, the business community and other partners to ensure that graduates have the right skills and aptitudes to successfully contribute to Suffolk’s and the country’s changing economy.
Let the river of change flow.
We’re ready to plunge in!