News: 7 July 2022Tapping into Digbeth's energy for our You. Us. Together. event

Breakdance, beatbox and Beyoncé were all on the agenda at our You.Us.Together company conference, which brought more than 300 planners and designers to Digbeth.

Our first all staff event since 2018 because of COVID, the emphasis was on re-energising, connecting, wellness and recognising the potential in yourself and your skills.

Our team are working on regeneration projects in cities across the UK but we specifically chose the Birmingham district for our first national all staff event in four years to feed on the neighbourhood’s energy and creativity. Held at The Custard Factory, the day made use of this backdrop to enthuse and invigorate project discussions and Lego-based masterplanning, walking tours and design workshops. The programme also tapped into local artists, cultural leads and local street food, all to create a ‘distinctively Digbeth’ vibe. 

A lot of businesses are searching for the best way to bring people back together post the pandemic and create the community that so many of us have missed doing business on-line. Inter-disciplinary working and learning from each other is also central to what we do, important to the culture of our business, and secures the best results. For us, tapping into Digbeth’s energy and creativity was the perfect solution and we had a great day re-connecting with colleagues and re-focusing on our strengths and potential. I think it’s fair to say we’re all still excited and buoyed up by a brilliant day in Birmingham. 

Mark Sitch, Planning Director

Within the programme, attendees learned more about confidence and wellness, ideas to put the community at the heart of design, and hints and tips for expressing themselves – all feeding into areas people had identified as wanting further guidance on in a post-pandemic business world.

Highlights included a keynote speech from Clare Josa on ‘Daring to dream bigger’, a ‘get up and dance’ high-tempo session with DanceBox’s Illana Gambrill, a live podcast, a creative ‘graffiti challenge’ with Panda (a local Digbeth street artist), a Hip-Hop workshop from Juice Aleem (a Birmingham born and bred hip-hop legend) and an evening of Digbeth street food provided by local chef Lee DeSanges of Baked in Brick fame.

On 1 April 2022, Barton Willmore joined Stantec – the ‘You.Us.Together’ event also provided a platform for supporting the ongoing integration of our businesses as we look to build the UK’s leading inter-disciplinary consultancy in Community Development.

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