Recovering from its second major earthquake, in June 2011 Christchurch New Zealand hosted TEDxChCh, a one day conference to to re-imagine Christchurch as a world-leading city. Independently organised under the TED brand, an internet video forum for "ideas worth spreading", the conference attracted international and local speakers like former San Francisco mayor, Art Agnos, Cameron Sinclair, "chief eternal optimist" of Architecture for Humanity, YikeBike creator Grant Ryan, and urban designer James Lunday. It aimed to bring global experts, national leaders, local business owners and residents together to coalesce around a shared vision for Christchurch and explore issues of leadership, vision, livability, workability, and sustainability.
Marcus Spiller, Director of SGS Economics and Planning, was invited to present on The Economics of Innovative Cities. Christchurch can look ahead with confidence economically, he said. The New Zealand economy is flexible and dynamic and those fundamentals still remain. Christchurch is part of a richly endowed region. It is also blessed with a lot of high value businesses - designers, engineers, lawyers, accountants.
Spiller gave attendees a brief explanation of regional economics and raised the need to leverage innovations, skills, infrastructure and leadership. The challenges post earthquake will build those four things and leave a long term economic legacy for the community. After the quake Christchurch will be better equipped, better skilled and still more innovative.