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40 years of the IED: Daniel Mouawad


In the latest of a series of articles featuring influential IED people and projects from our proud history dating back to 1983, we hear from Daniel Mouawad, Chair from 2006-08 and Editor of the Institute’s national journal from 2002-09.

Singularly the greatest commitment to CPD ever given in my career was when I inadvertently ‘volunteered’ to become Editor of the national journal of the Institute of Economic Development.

That fateful day in 2002, when I told a group of fellow IED members at a national conference in Glasgow that the Institute’s journal was in need of major reconstructive surgery, little did I know that they constituted the majority of National Council.

That conversation led National Council to prescribe the journal a new editor and commenced my CPD journey that stretched in time and in geography, opening a window into the profession. Together with Andreas Goldner, an incredibly gifted production editor (recovering from a twisted arm), the first edition of the new national journal rolled into production, just in time to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Institute.

In his first Chair’s Column, Tony Jackson, later to become my long-standing mentor, wrote: “The IED enters its twenty-first year of existence with a new journal editor, to whom I extend our warmest welcome. Our journal provides the most visible means of discourse available to the membership. The ideas and activities it reports demonstrate the vitality of our professional body.”

That vitality stemmed from the Institute’s prolific branch activities and its desire to influence national agenda alongside its educational and professional national programme. Mirrored in the diversity of topics, from closing the productivity gap, census underestimation of immigration and whether Britain should join the Eurozone (remember Gordon Brown’s five golden economic assessments?), to the economics of child poverty, performance measurement and industry cluster theories, the national journal covered them all.

Prince Charles, Prime Ministers (at various stages of their political career), practitioners and even wombles contributed. Spread across a variety of sectors and regions, urban and rural, local and global, the spectrum of topics in the quarterly journal was remarkably educative. 

Humour was equally captured, an anagram of ‘economic’ gave us ‘one comic’ element with every edition. Too many to name, a good number of the practitioners interviewed are very much still in practice, whether consulting, in local government, advising Ministers or running devolved combined authorities. 

Being a member of the Institute has always enabled the opportunity to cultivate and fortify professional friendships. The energy, variety and richness of work undertaken in serving members has remained constant throughout the years and the IED has certainly asserted itself as the foremost institute for economic development and regeneration professionals. 

Whilst our profession remains relatively young, the Institute has set a course of sustained growth in membership, professional development and sphere of influence. Here's to the next 40 years!

The IED will be celebrating its 40th anniversary at the 2023 Annual Conference and Awards Dinner in Birmingham on 7th November. Book your place here!