The Birmingham Post’s Power Fifty was announced yesterday listing those judged to have power and influence in the region. While as a neurotic boy outsider I have an instinctive distain for such enterprises it’s an interesting list given the dominance of the creative sector above the more traditional business and sport. As Stef Lewandowski (number 20) asks, Is Birmingham “getting it”? The “it” being that “a strong creative and cultural sector will be a significant factor in the continuing reinvention of Birmingham.”
But when I thought about it further I realised that thereâ€™s a much bigger issue here than my name appearing in this list – it signals a very positive change in the attitudes of opinion-makers about the strength and relevance of the design industry and the creative and cultural industries as a whole.
Stef counts 17 of the 50 as coming from the creative industry and highlights them in his list.
What I find interesting is that these people are now, by definition, the establishment. This is great in that a number of them are serious visionaries and them having a boost to their voices can only be a good thing. But it also gives those coming up behind them a visible target to kick against. You could argue that the establishment in Birmingham has been so deathly dull and impenetrable that fighting it, in words or actions, was a futile endeavour. While that’s obviously still the case with many of our leaders coughwhitbycough this bunch will give as good as they get and often welcome the challenge. Well, some of them will anyway.