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Wyboston Lakes Resort’s partnership with St Neots based community interest company Switch Now has led to the recruitment of Lizzie Atkinson as a member of its Food & Beverage team at its Willows Training Centre.

Lizzie is the first student from the company to join the leading leisure, conference and events venue after gaining work experience alongside her colleagues Joseph Clark, Katie Naylor, and Alex Watton. Each of them has been working every Thursday for several months and earning very positive feedback from their contributions to different departments around the venue. 

Switch Now, a community interest company based in St Neots, aims to provide young adults with learning difficulties and disabilities with supported training and work experience to develop their employment skills further. They do this with the aim of getting their students ‘work ready.’

Linden Beattie, General Manager of the Wyboston Lakes’ Waterfront Hotel Spa & Golf, says, “‘We are delighted to be partnering with Switch Now on this community initiative. Working with local adults from within the community and supporting any learning difficulties in the workplace supports the family values that are integral at Wyboston Lakes Resort. We continually ‘go the extra mile’ to support everyone in the community, not just our own employees”.

Linden continues “Having worked closely with Switch Now throughout 2019 we have seen individuals such as Lizzie grow in confidence and are thrilled to be able to offer Lizzie employment at Wyboston Lakes Resort and wish her every success in her new role”.

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Lime Venue Portfolio to Change Industry Thinking on Food

Lime Venue Portfolio, alongside its catering partners Levy UK, have today outlined a new proposition for food within the meetings and events industry. The announcement follows the arrival of Jon Davies as Managing Director to the business, and is focused on changing the way the industry thinks about food and the impacts it has on the planet.

The new proposition follows extensive consumer research and focuses mainly on sustainable and ethical thinking. The approach acknowledges the impact that meeting and event food has on the planet, and looks to challenge the industry to make changes that will reduce waste, support global sustainability, and promote healthy eating.

“Our approach has three main strands to it,” comments Jon Davies, Managing Director across the two businesses. “The first is what we call the Michael Pollan approach; ‘eat food, not too much, mostly plants.’ It’s a holistic way of encompassing how we want to put our menu’s together. As part of this we’re coming up with new ways of rebalancing the mix between meat and veg on the plate, challenging the industry’s fear of running out - or #FORO as we’re calling it - and looking at new formats of delivery to the table that mean we can better manage portion size and wastage.

“The second strand is education, and we’re announcing a number of ambitious plans to really engage the industry in a discussion about food. We need to have open and challenging conversations across venues, with chefs, event organisers and delegates, allowing us to take on these big issues collaboratively. This includes understanding what a ‘new’ delegate is looking for from a food experience at an event.

“Finally, we’re looking to break up conventional layouts at events where food plays a major role. I’m personally really keen to bring chefs out into the event, encourage more sharing plates at tables, and more theatre in the delivery.It’s more modern, more interesting and more fun, and it supports our ambitions to manage waste and promote new and interesting menu’s.”

Both Lime Venue Portfolio and Levy UK are looking to roll out the new approach strategy across its 80+ strong portfolio, initially starting within its ‘confex’ and stadia venues. Lime Venue Portfolio will be announcing a series of initiatives and educational forums to continue the conversations around food, and how the industry can continue to become more sustainable and responsible.

London Tech Week last month saw the Barbican host two key events aimed at audiences from across both commercial and consumer sectors.

The first, was the LeadersIn Tech Summit, the headline thought leadership event at London Tech Week.  Returning to London for the third year running, the event saw delegates gather to hear from industry experts from leading brands and organisations.  Speakers included representatives from: Google, Microsoft UK, Vodafone, NHS, Facebook, Strava and the Financial Times.  In a forum designed to foster frank conversations about real challenges, threats and opportunities presented by an increasingly digital world, LeadersIn Tech brought together tech giants, cross-industry technology leaders as well as start-ups and scaleups.

To conclude London Tech Week, the Barbican also hosted WIRED Pulse AI on 15th June.  In partnership with leading tech sector media outlet WIRED, Barbican Business Events presented a one-day multi-layered learning experience, exploring what the future holds for artificial intelligence.  Through talks and demonstrations, WIRED Pulse AI at the Barbican explored a range of topics including AI’s effect on creativity, the ethics of algorithms and why more and more businesses are putting decision-making into the virtual hands of AI.  Presented by editor of WIRED, Greg Williams, and including a special music performance by Reeps One, WIRED Pulse AI at the Barbican featured an interactive Test Lab and eight high-level keynotes from thought-provoking disruptors.

Greg Williams, editor, WIRED UK said: “We were thrilled to work with the Barbican on hosting WIRED Pulse: AI, in coordination with the AI: More than Human exhibition. WIRED's mission is to cover the people, trends and ideas in technology, science, business, politics and design changing the world – breaking down complex topics into compelling narratives that are easy to digest, relate to and share. Artificial intelligence is one of those topics – and a technology that is rapidly impacting the way we make decisions, interact with each other and behave. It was a fitting collaboration with the Barbican to help open up the conversation with a larger community.”

Kim Vigilia, head of strategy and experience, WIRED UK: “WIRED events are designed to bring to life the fascinating content found across the magazine, website, podcast and videos, combining curated stories with an engaging experience. For our inaugural WIRED Pulse event, we explored some mind-expanding perspectives on the impact of Artificial Intelligence, which was further enhanced through our partnership with the Barbican's AI: More than Human exhibition. WIRED Pulse, which was also the closing event for London Tech Week, was enjoyed by more than 450 attendees between the ages of 13 and 77, from 14 countries.”

Jackie Boughton, head of Barbican Business Events concluded: “This summer the Barbican’s centre-wide exhibition is AI: More Than Human.  The ‘festival-style’ exhibition explores creative and scientific developments in AI, demonstrating its potential to revolutionise our lives.  With such a focus on technology as well as our ongoing investment in cutting edge event infrastructure, the Barbican was the ideal home for both of these thought-provoking events.  For many attendees the content will have changed ideas in both their commercial and personal lives meaning they delivered not just ideas, but long-term legacy for all involved.”

AI: More than Human is at the Barbican until 26 August.

Further information about events at the Barbican can be found by contacting the Business Events Team: +44 (0)20 7382 7043 |

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