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Connections Issue 2

Everything is connected

Words By: U+I's Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Weiner

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Above the door of U+I’s office in Manchester, there is a large illuminated sign. It says: ‘Everything is Connected’. Why is it there? Because the company believes that connection lies at the heart of everything it does. Without truly connecting people and places, property development has no authenticity – and without authenticity, it simply doesn’t work. This edition of Matter explores the importance of connection: between old and young, past and future, North and South, even day and night. Above all else, it explores the importance of connection between people.

Historically, capitalism and communism were the principal opposing ideologies – the dual approaches to life both socially and economically. But the battle of the future seems to be more about open versus closed. Will our societies be open in terms of trade, immigration and technology or will they shut themselves off and sever their connections with the outside world?

I am genuinely concerned that we are entering a period where elements of society believe that closed is best, whether at a macro or local level. They feel protectionism is the best way to counter the negative effects of globalisation, technological advancement and rising inequality. They want to batten down the hatches and hide. 

That closed-off attitude, that refusal to connect, goes against everything we are trying so hard to establish. We strive every day to create places with a sense of community, places that work for everyone. 

And we do this because we believe that it is the best way – perhaps the only way – to create a successful and sustainable business. A business that delivers for local communities, that inspires its employees and creates long-term value for shareholders. 

Today more than ever, power is with the people. Individuals can change the world and, in recent months and years, some have. But, at the same time, large sections of society feel they are not being heard. They feel disenfranchised, unwanted, ignored. 

 

Everything is Connected

Words By: Richard Upton, U+I's Deputy Chief Executive
Richard Upton

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This article appeared in Issue 2 - Connections

Download issue 2