By Claire West
Innovation and creativity are key to London's future success as the world emerges from the economic downturn and, as the Story of London festival kicks off, the Mayor Boris Johnson wants to ensure the city remains a place where bold ideas and the pioneering individuals behind them are able to thrive.
This year's festival features more than 100 events across the capital exploring the city's role in technological, scientific, cultural and social advances over the centuries — and challenges for the future. The Mayor today launched the Story of London at the Royal Institution, alongside its Chairman Sir Richard Sykes and Lord Professor Winston.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'London has always been at the heart of technological, scientific, cultural and social advances, as the extraordinary variety of activities taking place during the Story of London shows. From Faraday to Chaplin to Westwood, London continues to be at the forefront of ideas and ingenuity, playing a crucial role in every sphere of human activity.
'Think of our cycle hire scheme, the developments around the Olympic Park and at King's Cross, and the exciting proposals for a Green Enterprise District in Docklands — our city is always looking forward, its adventurous spirit a key factor for its enduring success. I am committed to ensuring that creative and inventive people are able to thrive, so that the city's pioneering reputation for innovation continues, which in turn will ensure its long term success as we emerge from the downturn.'
Amongst those taking part are: musicians Billy Bragg and legendary Television guitarist Richard Lloyd; entrepreneur Luke Johnson; design critic Stephen Bayley; renowned academic Professor Lisa Jardine; poet John Hegley; architects John Pawson and Sir Terry Farrell; Cultural Olympiad Chair and Royal Opera House CEO Tony Hall; Royal Academy CEO Charles Saumarez Smith; writer and broadcaster Adam Hart Davies; climate change specialist Sir Crispin Tickell; broadcaster Simon Fanshawe; philosopher Alain de Botton; milliner David Shilling; music writer Charles Shaar Murray; authors Daisy Goodwin, Nikesh Shukla, Jonathan Green and Rachael Dunlop; Charlie Kronick, Greenpeace UK; and broadcasters Mark Easton, Paul Mason and Quentin Cooper.
The Story of London runs from 1- 10 October. Key partners in the Story of London include the Heritage Lottery Fund, Renaissance London and English Heritage. As well as the events programme it includes a major debate series at the British Library covering the following subjects: