Dynamo’s December Advisory Board Meeting

Sophie Mazrekaj, Monday 16th December

This month, global shipping insurer North P&I kindly hosted the Dynamo Advisory Board meeting at their enviable offices overlooking the Gateshead Millennium Bridge on Newcastle’s Quayside.

After a fascinating introduction to North by their CIO James Holmes, we heard from Laura Kemp, Dynamo’s Service Delivery Centre Cluster Manager. Laura has established a focused steering group for the cluster, led by Angus Kidd. Along with Nathanial Ray, previously of P&G, they have drafted a plan for the cluster, which they shared with the board. The cluster is gaining momentum with its first event planned for January 20th 2020. The event will focus on automation best practice – further details to follow shortly!

We moved on to discuss Fintech, the cluster led by Dawn Dunn. This particular cluster is going from strength to strength, with the second ‘Fintech Friends’ meet up planned for this Tuesday, 17th December, where we’ll hear from Sunderland-born Stuart Smith who is playing a pivotal role in establishing the digital bank for the giant United Overseas Bank. He’ll be joined by Richard Smith of Newcastle-based Codification and one of the original Fintech Friends, Aaron Holmes of Kani Payments, who will talk about how they identified a gap in the market for their products, how they look to exploit future markets and the challenges they face as they grow. Register to attend this free event here. If the talks aren’t tempting enough, perhaps the promise of free beer and nibbles will be!

Recently, we’ve held a number of workshops that have focused on Dynamo’s membership offering. This month’s board discussion revolved around the feedback from these sessions and how we can implement improvements to the benefits package moving forwards. We have achieved a lot in the last 5 years and now is the right time to make sure we are clearly articulating what Dynamo has to offer, so that we can continue to attract new members and also make sure current members are getting the most out of their membership. We asked the board for their views on this and other aspects of the membership package that we may look to alter in the coming months. As ever, there was an enthusiastic debate which has helped us shape the agenda for our membership review meeting in January – watch this space!

Looking ahead to January, the Digital Construction cluster will host its second Innovation Day in partnership with Waterstons and Northumbria University. This ultra-collaborative event is aimed at tackling real-world challenges in the construction industry. Four themes will shape the day; data, cross-industry innovation, skills and procuring for value. We’re inviting participants from all sectors, disciplines, organisations and backgrounds (not just construction) to join forces, pool ideas and develop creative solutions to industry wide construction problems, to benefit us all. Please register to attend if you’re keen to get involved.

Finally, there was an update on the progress of the third edition of the successful Hotspot magazine. There are still advertorial opportunities available so please do get in touch if you would like your organisation to be featured. There will be 8,000 copies circulated across the North East business community.

Next month’s Advisory Board meeting will be held at NBS in Newcastle. NBS are leaders in digital construction products and a key member of Dynamo’s digital construction cluster.

In the meantime, we wish all our members a wonderful Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.


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