One of the great things about living and working in Hertfordshire is that you don’t have to look too far to find examples of innovation that have impacted on the way we live today. People living and working here have been leading the way for years and, as a result of their efforts, an enormous number of ideas and inventions that influence our lives on a daily basis where created and developed here.
Imagine, if you will, not having access to mass produced paper, the modern film industry or a host of life saving drugs. No pun intended but where would we be without satellite navigation and its myriad of applications and, goodness knows, how we would survive in the modern world without mobile phone technology? The list of life changing developments emanating from Hertfordshire over the passage of time has been truly staggering and, no doubt, I will admonished for failing to highlight a host of other notable achievements that grew from the labours of people who chose this county as a base for growing their ideas.
Our record of innovation is not confined to the past, one of the great joys of my job is the fact that it enables me to visit businesses in all parts of the county that continue to keep us in the vanguard. I am constantly amazed at the ingenuity and originality that is demonstrated by Hertfordshire businesses whether in the production of innovative products or simply finding a new and better way of executing familiar processes.
The county’s achievements are not confined to high tech development either, it has been home to a legion of people who have simply been inspirational through their artistic, political and sporting endeavours; Gordon Craig was born here, Clement Atlee was educated here, and Sam Ryder introduced The Ryder Cup which was first competed for in St Albans. Today’s list of the sporting and artistic greats who have lived or been educated here is enormous; Ian Poulter, Lewis Hamilton; Jack Wilshere, Alan Ayckbourn, Michael Morpurgo, to name but a few.
Of course the real inspiration comes from the army of unnamed individuals, the great managers, engineers, hoteliers, inventors, salesman, designers, educators, strategists, caretakers, business people, employers and employees of all shapes and sizes. I am sure I have missed someone but I hope you understand what I mean. Regardless of what we see and read in the national press or hear from the legion of so-called experts about the trials and tribulations of the economy Hertfordshire is a great success story and it is very well placed to continue to be so in the future.
In short, at a time when we could all do with a little injection of inspiration, we can reasonably claim that we are surrounded by it. People in this county have been engaging in inspiring activities for hundreds of years. People in this county are still engaging in inspirational activities. At a time when we are subjected to so much negativity from people who are more conditioned to highlighting problems than being part of the solution it is about time we plugged into the positivity emanating from them.
In 2012 the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry will be promoting ‘Inspiring Hertfordshire’ a campaign to focus on what is positive in the county; we want to use it to inspire young and old; and, we want to use it to support businesses in the county in their efforts to lead us out of the current economic environment. We will highlight modern day business, educational and community achievements through an awards programme; we will continuously promote inspirational and innovative deeds and, working with like minded partners, we will continue our ongoing objective to play our part in making Hertfordshire a great place to do business.