Cambridge Ahead sponsors Be The Change Cambridge event


Cambridge Ahead is proud to be a joint sponsor of Be The Change Cambridge, one of the biggest single day community action gatherings our city has seen in recent times. This event on Saturday 13 September 2014 will bring together over 200 people from across Cambridge’s diverse communities to identify and explore ideas for solving the challenges facing the city.

Cambridge is a successful, wealthy city looked upon with envy by many other cities in the UK – but it is not without its issues. Be The Change Cambridge is a totally new event whose aim is to explore alternative approaches to solving the challenges facing the city, such as the housing crisis, transport congestion and pollution, and inequality. Additionally, it will seek to discuss specific questions such as:

  • How can our communities influence how Cambridge changes rather than have change imposed on them?
  • What is stopping us from unleashing our collective talent for the benefit of our city?
  • How can we help and encourage more people to take an active part in what happens to Cambridge?

Cambridge Ahead (CA) is well-placed to get involved in serious discussion about the city region’s future. Launched in November 2013, the organisation has set about developing a plan for the successful growth of Cambridge by working with key stakeholder partners. It is currently working on three projects that have direct relevance to the Be The Change event: Promoting Cambridge, Quality of Life, and Growth.

Speaking of CA’s sponsorship of the event, Jane Paterson-Todd, CEO, said: “We’re delighted to be a sponsor since we view this as a serious opportunity for the grass roots of the city to openly raise and discuss the challenges we all face. We’re a consultative organisation – our recent survey of over 30,000 employees on their quality of life is a good example – but we’re also an inclusive one. So to be able to listen to the various Cambridge communities on the day will further inform us and our agenda. Our members give us a good degree of influence over policy-makers so this is an opportunity for the grass-roots to talk to them, albeit indirectly.”

The event’s other headline co-sponsor is Anglia Ruskin University, who are hosting this exciting and dynamic event in their state-of-the-art conference facilities at their East Road campus in Cambridge. The event agenda broadly consists of a morning session of workshops where every attendee can ‘pitch an issue in 30 seconds’ that they’d like to raise, before taking an active part in workshops where the issues are discussed in more details. The afternoon session consists of further workshops where ideas for solving these issues are sought from attendees. Facilitators will ensure the smooth-running of the sessions and that the appropriate issues are discussed.

The event is being organised by Anne Bailey (Cambridge Area 14-19 Partnership), Antony Carpen (social activist) and Dr David Cleevely CBE (Cambridge entrepreneur and Member of Cambridge Ahead). The Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Gerri Bird, will be the guest of honour and Maxine Moar (former Home Office adviser on community action) is the event host.

To ensure that young people are part of the design process and an integral part of the event, the organisers have teamed up with the Parkside Federation, Cambridge Regional College, Anglia Ruskin Students Union and the Cambridge Student Hub.

With standard tickets at £10 and with over a quarter of tickets free of charge to under-21s, volunteers and those on low incomes, it is expected that the wider community will be well-represented.

For further information on the event, please visit For specific enquiries, please contact Antony Carpen in the first instance. You can email him at antonycarpen or contact him via Twitter at @ACarpenDigital.




Cambridge Ahead is a business and academic member group dedicated to the successful growth of Cambridge and its region in the long term. We aim to represent the city’s business community by offering soundly-based opinion and advice to local and national governments about the opportunities and needs of the region.

Cambridge Ahead