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2022 Business to Arts CEO Forum in association with PwC discusses ‘Reimagining the City for a Hybrid Workforce’

Pictured was Louise O'Reilly, Chief Executive, Business to Arts, Niall Gaffney, Chief Executive, IPUT, Nathalie Weadick, Director, Irish Architecture Foundation, at Grand Canal Dock, typically a hub of both cultural and business activity in Dublin. O'Reilly, Gaffney, and Weadick will take part in a discussion on 'Reimagining the City for a Hybrid Workforce' and the impact of the virtualisation of work on our cities on Thursday, 3rd November as part of Business to Arts' CEO Forum in association with PwC.

Pictured was Louise O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Business to Arts, Niall Gaffney, Chief Executive, IPUT, Nathalie Weadick, Director, Irish Architecture Foundation, at Grand Canal Dock, typically a hub of both cultural and business activity in Dublin. O’Reilly, Gaffney, and Weadick took part in a discussion on ‘Reimagining the City for a Hybrid Workforce’ and the impact of the virtualisation of work on our cities on Thursday, 3rd November as part of Business to Arts‘ CEO Forum in association with PwC.

 

The Business to Arts’ annual CEO Forum in association with PwC took place on Thursday, 3rd November with the theme of ‘Reimagining the City for a Hybrid Workforce’. The Forum is a group of 100 leaders from the corporate and cultural sectors in Ireland who come together to share their insights and approaches to key cross-cutting strategic issues. 

The rise of the virtualisation of work has had an impact across all sectors as many businesses and cultural organisations rely on footfall from those working in the city centre. The more people work from home rather than returning to the city centre, the more that companies of all kinds face long-term employee, customer and audience engagement challenges and the experience of a vibrant city-centre is at risk of being hollowed out.

This challenge has no quick solution. This year’s CEO Forum brought together leaders from across the corporate and cultural sectors to discuss new approaches to overcoming these issues and creating an environment that is connected, inclusive, and productive for all.

Panellists include: Niall Gaffney, Chief Executive, IPUT; Nathalie Weadick, Director, Irish Architecture Foundation; Neil Freshwater, CEO, Zurich Insurance and Willie White, Chief Executive & Artistic Director, Dublin Theatre Festival

Journalist and broadcaster Dearbhail McDonald, moderated discussions.

Feargal O’Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC, said:

“PwC’s recent Hopes and Fears survey amongst a global workforce revealed that over half (52%) of Irish respondents said that their job could not be done remotely.  At the same time it also revealed that hybrid working is here to stay. There is no doubt that the pandemic has accelerated pre-existing working, office and business trends. At the same time access to talent is a key consideration for businesses assessing how they work and where they locate. But the role of the office will continue to be very important in the future as a place of collaboration, learning and personal interaction. Businesses and cultural organisations will no doubt see a period of adjustment where a new equilibrium is found, bringing new opportunities and, enabled by new technologies, opening doors to a whole new audience.” 

 

Chief Executive of Business to Arts, Louise O’Reilly, states: 

“The past three years have brought about a paradigm shift in the way we feel about our work-life balance and our approach to spending time in our city centres and cultural hubs. Many organistions are still reacting to the impact of virtualisation and other post-pandemic factors shaping their organisational cultures and programmes. We believe an opportunity lies in exploring such challenges from the perspectives of the corporate world and the arts sector. The CEO Forum seeks to facilitate this exchange and develop forward-thinking strategies for sustaining a vibrant ecosystem in our cities.”

 

Niall Gaffney, CEO, IPUT states:

“Our concept of ‘workplacemaking’ encourages the embedding of culture and the arts within the built environment. This can take many forms, from the commissioning of public art or the provision of spaces within and around buildings that allow for greater collaboration with the cultural community. We believe that such initiatives help to reinforce the value of culture in making Dublin a more vibrant place, knitting work-life with the social fabric of the city.”

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