Not all ivory towers are ivory. Not everyone that sits in an ivory coloured building, tower or not, lives in a state of privileged seclusion or separation from the facts and practicalities of the real world. Clearly, ivory towers come in all sorts of colours.
County Hall may be seen as an ivory tower but I have come down off it to visit my colleagues in Business Durham. Their offices are just off the centre of Durham City, in Millennium place. There the buildings are the colour of ivory, a symbol of noble purity. I think they are really sandstone or painted stucco.
Now let us get this straight. In no way do I suggest that the good people of Business Durham follow intellectual pursuits disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life. They are dealing with job creation and economic growth after all. These are every day issues and the highest priority for the authority. They are at the very heart of what we are here to do.
My visit was ostensibly about data and our conversations turned to driving value through being more open and how we could set Durham apart, in a regional and global context of course. The county has a huge amount to offer, we just need to define it and articulate it better. We need to spell out our USP.
Simon introduced me to the measurement of Gross Value Added per Filled Job, a more useful metric than mere GVA to describe the effect of jobs and productivity on our economic position. I have some reading to do.
Ivory towers are also associated with academia and there is plenty of that in the city. Together with all the other market players we can do something very big.
I am now at nine hundred and ninety one in the list of bloggers in the a-to-zchallenge.