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IED Annual Conference 2019 preview – in conversation with WECD


Warwick Economics & Development (WECD) is sponsoring the IED Annual Conference 2019, ‘The Challenge of Change – economic strategies for a new era’, on Wednesday 4th December. WECD is a multi-disciplinary consultancy providing research, analysis and advice on economics, regeneration and development and business management issues for private, public and not-for-profit organisations in the UK and internationally. We spoke to Managing Director Georgia Siora (

Thank you for sponsoring the IED Annual Conference. Why did you decide to do so?

“Economic development policy-makers and practitioners across the country will need to make important decisions in the coming year. The IED Annual Conference is the only forum that enables sharing of knowledge and a quality dialogue to inform these decisions. In doing so it also strengthens the relationships between academics, policy-makers and practitioners.”

What services does WECD provide for economic development and regeneration professionals?

“Our economic growth and economic development work enables our clients to leverage the power of public policy interventions to maximise positive impacts and value for businesses and local communities. Our rigorous analysis and extensive experience help our clients measure the difference they are making, understand the impact of the decisions they are making, and focus their strategies to drive economic growth in an efficient, equitable and sustainable way.”

What are the issues/challenges that you are helping the profession to address?

“In today’s policy environment, genuine understanding of the multiple influences on economic growth and economic development issues and the ability to see the wood for the trees is more important than ever. At WECD, we bring together three decades of thought leadership, sound judgement and business sense in a range of economic development and growth issues. We combine these with first-class research capabilities and technical expertise, intelligence and insight to support our clients in making the right decisions.”

The title of this year’s conference is ‘The Challenge of Change – economic strategies for a new era’. What does that mean to you?

“It means resourcefulness to mitigate risks but also capitalise on opportunities (the full benefits of which are unknown); and planning for possibly new/additional products, services and markets. This year’s conference brings together the most prominent players and thinkers in economic development and I am looking forward to all presentations and discussions. It gives us the opportunity for networking, listening and learning.”

Finally, what do you think 2020 holds for economic development and regeneration?

“A lot of work and new thinking!”