Georgia Siora is the founder and Managing Director of Warwick Economics and Development (WECD). WECD is a multi-disciplinary consultancy providing research, analysis and advice on economics, regeneration and development and business management issues. The Birmingham-based company, which works with private, public and not-for-profit organisations both in the UK and internationally, has held an IED corporate membership since 2011.
“The IED is the only forum where economic development professionals can come together and talk about issues relating to the sector,” Georgia said. “This is so important because economic development means a wide range of things, from issues to do with regional economic development and how this is delivered to its interface with science, innovation and technology and workforce and skills development. The IED interface provides opportunities to meet similar professionals and organisations, and network with those who speak the same language as we do. It is also professionally good for members of our team – working in consultancy, a fee-generating environment, there are not many opportunities for professional development and to hear from others in similar areas of work – and the IED fills that need.”
WECD has been a sponsor of the IED annual conference since it started, giving it exposure to decision-makers and potential clients, and Georgia said this is her organisation’s primary business development initiative. “The IED annual conference offers the opportunity to discuss current economic development affairs in depth,” she explained. “Over time this has undoubtedly had a direct positive impact on our business simply because it helps us to keep up to date with what happens. Continuous learning is very important at individual and corporate level, and I always leave the IED annual conference with that feeling: I know more than I knew before. You can also assess impact and return on investment over time with more and more people attending the conference, higher quality speakers, and generally the quality of organisation and presentation from the IED and Haymarket. Both have always acted as a critical friend to Warwick Economics and Development.”