What will the High Street of the Future look like?

A little light conversation… Thank you for taking part

We’re delighted to welcome visitors to our Sustainable Department Store on October 1st to join in the conversation ‘High Streets of the Future’ chaired by our local MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, Helen Hayes.

Helen Hayes MP

The panel will gather in the Blue Patch hub at 2:20 to paint a picture of what they believe the High Street of the Future should look like – expect these experts to have wide ranging visions – they come from very different professions. The ‘visions’ will be short and vivid as Helen invites the panel to ‘pitch’ in under 5 minutes!

The panel:

Elizabeth Cox – New Economics Foundation

Elizabeth Cox is an Associate Director at the New Economics Foundation (NEF) who leads on their work on local economies. Over the past 13 years she has worked with over 100 communities to help to shape their high streets and redesign their local economies so that they better support the people who live there, and help us to live within our environmental limits. NEF is the UK’s leading independent, progressive think tank which promotes innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on social, economic and environmental issues. Outside of NEF, Elizabeth is a founding Director of a community energy cooperative, Vauxhall Energy.

Ivana & Mark Brearley – Kaymet

Mark Brearley is the managing director of Kaymet which was established on Kennington Lane, Elephant & Castle, London, in 1947 – long before Mark’s day. Kaymet is now in a factory near the Old Kent Road, in an ancient and wonderful building. It’s larger because the business is growing, with a more deluxe polishing shop and even a kitchen with a sink. Mark is committed to the Old Kent Road area as it’s full of light industry and provides a rich ecosystem of local employment.

Meet the manufacturer

Kate Hills – Make it British

Kate has a broad range of experience with over 20 years of working in retail. Trained as a fashion designer, she launched one of Britain’s original ethical clothing businesses in the early 1990s, which sold in stores around the world and employed machinists in its Shoreditch factory. Increasingly frustrated with the dependence of British retailers on Far Eastern suppliers, and predicting that a UK manufacturing base would one day be essential if companies were to remain competitive, she set up Make it British. This acts as a platform from which to support the manufacturing base that still remains in the UK. It also promotes companies whose products are made in Britain.  Kate decided to launch the first ever exclusively British sourcing show – ‘Meet the Manufacturer’​  in June 2014.  The show is the go-to event to find UK manufacturers.

Cheryl Cohen- London Farmers Markets

Cheryl Cohen is director of London Farmers Markets where she has been running markets for over 15 years. Named ‘Queen of Markets’ by the Evening Standard, she has written and broadcast about food and markets. Cheryl goes out of her way to find the places where local people shop, wherever she is in the world. She’s also a strong and enthusiastic supporter of independent shops.

Giles Gibson – Herne Hill Forum

Giles Gibson has been chair of the  Herne Hill Forum, the local community group in Herne Hill. The Forum has worked on regeneration for the local area including initiating major investments in road layout changes, creation of a town square, introduction of the Herne Hill street market and one of 7 national winners of the Dept of Culture and Local Government “High Street innovation” award. As part of a re-imagined “high street” there is now a strong on-line presence for the community combined with events and activities that are allied to the traditional high street offer including the UK’s longest lasting street piano.


Transition Town Brixton

Duncan Law

Duncan is a founder member of Transition Town Brixton working to harness the genius of the community to have a better future. He also helped set up many of TTB’s projects like the Brixton Pound, Brixton Energy and the REconomy Project. He thinks local is where it’s at and has lived in Brixton for nearly 30 years.

Children from Dulwich Hamlet Junior School  share their vision in words and pictures:




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