20 years since becoming a city

How can recent history help us to engineer a future of propsperity, creativity, and heart in Brighton & Hove?

The Brighton Paradox is a unique audio series investigating Brighton & Hove’s creative and economic potential in uncertain times.

ALL NEW EPISODES COMING IN SPRING 2024.

A legendary playground of creativity, free-thinking, innovation, big ideas, eco-activism and human compassion.

People move to, or hunker down in, the city of Brighton & Hove because they feel a bit special. A haven for individual creativity. For start-ups, solo artists, coaches, endless meetup groups, independent makers, retailers and tech pioneers.

BUT…

...what are the challenges?

So many businesses struggle to grow and many creative leaders find it hard to build a team. Resources are competitive, investment is small, and – some say – real leadership is lacking.

Despite obvious pockets of brilliance, some think Brighton’s light has dimmed in the past decade with no major new ‘wow’ moments or projects, cultural acts or landmark ideas to put the city on a much bigger stage.

 

How can such a small city have such deep inequality. And why, when Brighton’s historic USP is of being a city for the misfits, the runaways, the othered. 

Is the problem that everyone is leading, and no-one is following? If everyone has their special mission, who is in the backing band? 

...and why?

One theory is that a small city of mavericks and entrepreneurs will always result in a glass ceiling until people let go of a bit of their own ambition and join up with others. Embrace true collaboration.

Another is that what is missing is some fierce and exciting competition, with high-stakes, jet-propelled projects that make a big splash and shape a new narrative that catches attention far beyond Sussex.

Has groupthink set in?

Is the architecture the problem?

Are the challenges purely psychological?

What is Brighton & Hove’s future if it is perceived to be both an experimental hotbed of innovation and opportunity AND an insular, under-funded party town without any serious ambitions for prosperity or radical inclusion?

If so many agree that the status quo is not sustainable, how conscious is change, who is leading it and what does it look like?

The Brighton Paradox – ALL PODCAST EPISODES

Episode One: THE EDGE

Episode information
In this episode, we look at how the city of individual creativity, spirit, otherness and personal missions – is also the city of collectives, co-operatives, networks and community cells.
And we try to answer the following questions:
  • Why did Brighton & Hove want to be a city?
  • Was 1995 – 2008 really a ‘golden age’ for Brighton?
  • Why did Brighton AND Hove happen?
  • Where is the city centre?
  • Brighton or Bristol?
  • What sort of person landed in Brighton in the 90s/00s?
Featured contributors:
Useful links:
Credits:
An always possible podcast (www.alwayspossible.co.uk)
In collaboration with Lo Fi Arts (https://twitter.com/lofiarts)
and Plus X Innovation Hubs (https://plusx.space)
Supported by Brighton & Hove Albion FC (https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com)
Written and presented by:
Richard Freeman
Produced and edited by:
Chris Thorpe Tracey
Production support by:
Ian Lauder
Project management by:
Stephanie Danvers, Molly Boyer, Annie-Marie Page and the always possible team
Podcast artwork by:
Meg Fenn
Project partners:
The University of Brighton’s Help To Grow Management programme (https://www.brighton.ac.uk/business-services/help-to-grow.aspx)
Silicon Brighton (https://siliconbrighton.com)
Media and communications by:
Sussex Business Times (https://www.thebusinessgroup.co.uk)
Original music by:
Chris Thorpe Tracey (https://christt.com/music/)

Episode Two: HAIL GUEST!

Episode information
In this episode, we look at how the city that provides sanctuary, open arms and acceptance of strangers and travellers – is also the city that often marginalises communities outside of the centre
 
And we try to answer the following questions:
 
  • What does a Brighton & Hove welcome look like?
  • How would people describe the city to a space alien?
  • Does Brighton have too many charities?
  • Is compassion a genuine energy that drives change in the city?
  • What happened in Whitehawk in 2005 that has left a bitter legacy?
  • Are current economic failures actually helping to reduce class divides?
Featured contributors:
  • Adam Joolia // (https://audioactive.org.uk/)
        Useful links:
        Credits:
        An always possible podcast (www.alwayspossible.co.uk)
        In collaboration with Lo Fi Arts (https://twitter.com/lofiarts)
        and Plus X Innovation Hubs (https://plusx.space)
        Supported by Brighton & Hove Albion FC (https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com)
        Written and presented by:
        Richard Freeman
        Produced and edited by:
        Chris Thorpe Tracey
        Production support by:
        Ian Lauder
        Project management by:
        Stephanie Danvers, Molly Boyer, Annie-Marie Page and the always possible team
        Podcast artwork by:
        Meg Fenn
        Project partners:
        The University of Brighton’s Help To Grow Management programme (https://www.brighton.ac.uk/business-services/help-to-grow.aspx)
        Silicon Brighton (https://siliconbrighton.com)
        Media and communications by:
        Sussex Business Times (https://www.thebusinessgroup.co.uk)
        Original music by:
        Chris Thorpe Tracey (https://christt.com/music/)

        Episode Three: OMERTA

        Episode information
        In this episode, we consider how the city that is famous for alternative lifestyles, liberal attitudes and minority pride – might also be the city that can amplify groupthink, homogenous views and narrow perspectives
        And we try to answer the following questions:
        • Are multiple views and perspectives given the space they need?
        • Are narratives about Brighton & Hove ambitious, fair and honest?
        • What does it take to be taken seriously?
        • Is the People’s Republic of Brighton & Hove a genuine force for independent thinking or a smug self-congratulatory forcefield?
        • Is Brighton & Hove a racist city?
        • Why is community football so powerful?
        Featured contributors:
              Useful links:
              Credits:
              An always possible podcast (www.alwayspossible.co.uk)
              In collaboration with Lo Fi Arts (https://twitter.com/lofiarts)
              and Plus X Innovation Hubs (https://plusx.space)
              Supported by Brighton & Hove Albion FC (https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com)
              Written and presented by:
              Richard Freeman
              Produced and edited by:
              Chris Thorpe Tracey
              Production support by:
              Ian Lauder
              Project management by:
              Stephanie Danvers, Molly Boyer, Annie-Marie Page and the always possible team
              Podcast artwork by:
              Meg Fenn
              Project partners:
              The University of Brighton’s Help To Grow Management programme (https://www.brighton.ac.uk/business-services/help-to-grow.aspx)
              Silicon Brighton (https://siliconbrighton.com)
              Media and communications by:
              Sussex Business Times (https://www.thebusinessgroup.co.uk)
              Original music by:
              Chris Thorpe Tracey (https://christt.com/music/)

              Episode Four: THE FIFTH SUPERCITY

              Episode information
                In this episode, we consider how the city that is on the map for experiences, festivals, culture and tourism – is also the city that for years was overlooked for investment, long-term funding and capital infrastructure projects
                 
                And we try to answer the following questions:
                 
                • Why did an HSBC report consider Brighton & Hove to be one of the UK’s five ‘supercities’?
                • What has put Brighton on the map since 2000?
                • What is the impact of the city’s biggest business conferences?
                • How does the Children’s Parade happen?
                • What is notable about some of Brighton’s buildings?

                 

                Featured contributors:
                 

                 

                Useful links:
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                Credits:
                An always possible podcast (www.alwayspossible.co.uk)
                In collaboration with Lo Fi Arts (https://twitter.com/lofiarts)
                and Plus X Innovation Hubs (https://plusx.space)
                Supported by Brighton & Hove Albion FC (https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com)
                Written and presented by:
                Richard Freeman
                Produced and edited by:
                Chris Thorpe Tracey
                Production support by:
                Ian Lauder
                Project management by:
                Stephanie Danvers, Molly Boyer, Annie-Marie Page and the always possible team
                Podcast artwork by:
                Meg Fenn
                Project partners:
                The University of Brighton’s Help To Grow Management programme (https://www.brighton.ac.uk/business-services/help-to-grow.aspx)
                Silicon Brighton (https://siliconbrighton.com)
                Media and communications by:
                Sussex Business Times (https://www.thebusinessgroup.co.uk)
                Original music by:
                Chris Thorpe Tracey (https://christt.com/music/)

                Episode Five: FOOTBALL & FOOD

                Episode information
                In this episode, we look at how the city that has a top 10 premier league football team, award-winning food culture and decades of environmental innovation – is also a city unsure of its global identity, of abject food poverty and congested streets piled high with rubbish.
                And we try to answer the following questions:
                • What impact has Brighton & Hove Albion FC had on the city’s reputation?
                • Should a football club also be a driver of social impact?
                • Is food putting Brighton on the map?
                • Can activism also drive economic opportunity?
                • What happens in an emergency, when the infrastructure is joined-up?
                Featured contributors:
                      Useful links:
                      Credits:
                      An always possible podcast (www.alwayspossible.co.uk)
                      In collaboration with Lo Fi Arts (https://twitter.com/lofiarts)
                      and Plus X Innovation Hubs (https://plusx.space)
                      Supported by Brighton & Hove Albion FC (https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com)
                      Written and presented by:
                      Richard Freeman
                      Produced and edited by:
                      Chris Thorpe Tracey
                      Production support by:
                      Ian Lauder
                      Project management by:
                      Stephanie Danvers, Molly Boyer, Annie-Marie Page and the always possible team
                      Podcast artwork by:
                      Meg Fenn
                      Project partners:
                      The University of Brighton’s Help To Grow Management programme (https://www.brighton.ac.uk/business-services/help-to-grow.aspx)
                      Silicon Brighton (https://siliconbrighton.com)
                      Media and communications by:
                      Sussex Business Times (https://www.thebusinessgroup.co.uk)
                      Original music by:
                      Chris Thorpe Tracey (https://christt.com/music/)

                      Episode Six: SUPERFUSION

                      Episode information
                      In this episode, we look at how the city about which a major study coined a phrase, articulating the unique opportunity for economic growth when arts and tech work together – is also the city that rarely talks about it and many haven’t heard about it
                       
                      And we try to answer the following questions:
                       
                      • Can, and should, Brighton & Hove business try and scale?
                      • What is superfusion, and what does it say about Brighton?
                      • Have incubators and co-working spaces changed the potential in the city?
                      • Is Brighton & Hove at its best when it’s focused on mad ideas?
                       
                       
                      Featured contributors:
                       
                      Useful links:
                       
                       
                       
                       
                      Credits:
                      An always possible podcast (www.alwayspossible.co.uk)
                      In collaboration with Lo Fi Arts (https://twitter.com/lofiarts)
                      and Plus X Innovation Hubs (https://plusx.space)
                      Supported by Brighton & Hove Albion FC (https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com)
                      Written and presented by:
                      Richard Freeman
                      Produced and edited by:
                      Chris Thorpe Tracey
                      Production support by:
                      Ian Lauder
                      Project management by:
                      Stephanie Danvers, Molly Boyer, Annie-Marie Page and the always possible team
                      Podcast artwork by:
                      Meg Fenn
                      Project partners:
                      The University of Brighton’s Help To Grow Management programme (https://www.brighton.ac.uk/business-services/help-to-grow.aspx)
                      Silicon Brighton (https://siliconbrighton.com)
                      Media and communications by:
                      Sussex Business Times (https://www.thebusinessgroup.co.uk)
                      Original music by:
                      Chris Thorpe Tracey (https://christt.com/music/)

                      Episode Seven: LIVING & LEARNING

                      Episode information
                      In this episode, we look at how the city trying to compete for business and rapid economic growth – is also the city where a focus on health & wellbeing is helping it to stand out in the 21st century.
                      And we try to answer the following questions:
                      • Is Brighton & Hove’s lens of health and wellbeing a privilege of the comfortable middle classess or a genuine philosophy that makes the city stand out?
                      • What makes a healthy city?
                      • What do innovation cultures in healthcare and education say about Brighton & Hove?
                      • Can Brighton & Hove contain a slice of London’s hustle culture whilst also rejecting burnout?
                      • What is it about the sea?
                      Featured contributors:
                              Useful links:
                              Credits:
                              An always possible podcast (www.alwayspossible.co.uk)
                              In collaboration with Lo Fi Arts (https://twitter.com/lofiarts)
                              and Plus X Innovation Hubs (https://plusx.space)
                              Supported by Brighton & Hove Albion FC (https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com)
                              Written and presented by:
                              Richard Freeman
                              Produced and edited by:
                              Chris Thorpe Tracey
                              Production support by:
                              Ian Lauder
                              Project management by:
                              Stephanie Danvers, Molly Boyer, Annie-Marie Page and the always possible team
                              Podcast artwork by:
                              Meg Fenn
                              Project partners:
                              The University of Brighton’s Help To Grow Management programme (https://www.brighton.ac.uk/business-services/help-to-grow.aspx)
                              Silicon Brighton (https://siliconbrighton.com)
                              Media and communications by:
                              Sussex Business Times (https://www.thebusinessgroup.co.uk)
                              Original music by:
                              Chris Thorpe Tracey (https://christt.com/music/)

                              Episode Eight: THE LABORATORY

                              Episode information
                              In this episode, we look at how the city wanting to attract big business and London money – is also the city pioneering the weird, small, experimental ideas that are often best scaled-up elsewhere.
                              And we try to answer the following questions:
                              • Can Brighton & Hove be comfortable as the UK’s ideas lab?
                              • What is a laboratory approach to business/tech, social justice, public services and culture/sport?
                              • Who is investing in ideas and risk?
                              • How important are collaborative spaces? Messy spaces? Interdisciplinary spaces?
                              Featured contributors:
                                      Useful links:
                                      Credits:
                                      An always possible podcast (www.alwayspossible.co.uk)
                                      In collaboration with Lo Fi Arts (https://twitter.com/lofiarts)
                                      and Plus X Innovation Hubs (https://plusx.space)
                                      Supported by Brighton & Hove Albion FC (https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com)
                                      Written and presented by:
                                      Richard Freeman
                                      Produced and edited by:
                                      Chris Thorpe Tracey
                                      Production support by:
                                      Ian Lauder
                                      Project management by:
                                      Stephanie Danvers, Molly Boyer, Annie-Marie Page and the always possible team
                                      Podcast artwork by:
                                      Meg Fenn
                                      Project partners:
                                      The University of Brighton’s Help To Grow Management programme (https://www.brighton.ac.uk/business-services/help-to-grow.aspx)
                                      Silicon Brighton (https://siliconbrighton.com)
                                      Media and communications by:
                                      Sussex Business Times (https://www.thebusinessgroup.co.uk)
                                      Original music by:
                                      Chris Thorpe Tracey (https://christt.com/music/)

                                      Episode Nine: LOOK UP!

                                      Episode information
                                      In this penultimate episode, we look at how the city wanting to attract big business and London money – is also the city pioneering the weird, small, experimental ideas that are often best scaled-up elsewhere.
                                      And we try to answer the following questions:
                                      • Where does leadership come from in Brighton & Hove?
                                      • What kind of leadership is needed to get things done?
                                      • Do we need a mayor or stronger networks with teeth to make change?
                                      • Should Brighton be more of a regional leader as a city?
                                      Featured contributors:
                                              Useful links:
                                              Credits:
                                              An always possible podcast (www.alwayspossible.co.uk)
                                              In collaboration with Lo Fi Arts (https://twitter.com/lofiarts)
                                              and Plus X Innovation Hubs (https://plusx.space)
                                              Supported by Brighton & Hove Albion FC (https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com)
                                              Written and presented by:
                                              Richard Freeman
                                              Produced and edited by:
                                              Chris Thorpe Tracey
                                              Production support by:
                                              Ian Lauder
                                              Project management by:
                                              Stephanie Danvers, Molly Boyer, Annie-Marie Page and the always possible team
                                              Podcast artwork by:
                                              Meg Fenn
                                              Project partners:
                                              The University of Brighton’s Help To Grow Management programme (https://www.brighton.ac.uk/business-services/help-to-grow.aspx)
                                              Silicon Brighton (https://siliconbrighton.com)
                                              Media and communications by:
                                              Sussex Business Times (https://www.thebusinessgroup.co.uk)
                                              Original music by:
                                              Chris Thorpe Tracey (https://christt.com/music/)

                                              Episode Ten: THE CUSP

                                              Episode information
                                              This is the final episode.
                                              Where this part of the journey ends.
                                               
                                              These clips are all about what’s next for Brighton & Hove.
                                              The hopes, fears and dreams for the next decade.
                                              In four sections, we have ordered contributors’ thoughts into:
                                              1. Keeping Brighton weird? The city as the UK’s laboratory and how to grow that philosophy
                                              2. Paying it forward? Making space for young people to shape, lead and disrupt
                                              3. Fixing the ecosystem? Being brave to make long-term change to the city’s infrastructure
                                              4. Community power? Harnessing the energy of everyone, everywhere to shape the future
                                              Featured contributors, in order:
                                                      Now it is your turn.
                                                      What’s next?
                                                      Credits:
                                                      An always possible podcast (www.alwayspossible.co.uk)
                                                      In collaboration with Lo Fi Arts (https://twitter.com/lofiarts)
                                                      and Plus X Innovation Hubs (https://plusx.space)
                                                      Supported by Brighton & Hove Albion FC (https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com)
                                                      Written and presented by:
                                                      Richard Freeman
                                                      Produced and edited by:
                                                      Chris Thorpe Tracey
                                                      Production support by:
                                                      Ian Lauder
                                                      Project management by:
                                                      Stephanie Danvers, Molly Boyer, Annie-Marie Page and the always possible team
                                                      Podcast artwork by:
                                                      Meg Fenn
                                                      Project partners:
                                                      The University of Brighton’s Help To Grow Management programme (https://www.brighton.ac.uk/business-services/help-to-grow.aspx)
                                                      Silicon Brighton (https://siliconbrighton.com)
                                                      Media and communications by:
                                                      Sussex Business Times (https://www.thebusinessgroup.co.uk)
                                                      Original music by:
                                                      Chris Thorpe Tracey (https://christt.com/music/)

                                                      To celebrate the series release, we launched The Brighton Paradox ❤️ Big-Hearted Community Auction. 

                                                      There were some fantastic experiences, one-offs, rarities and money-can’t-usually buy offers and we’re thrilled to have raised £3,000 for Rockinghorse Children’s Charity and The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership.

                                                      The Brighton Paradox Big-Hearted Community Auction

                                                      This project is about celebrating and amplifying Brighton’s greatest assets and ideas. It is about better understanding some of the potential, the risks and the change already happening.

                                                      This project is is for anyone who cares about Brighton & Hove. It’s business, creative, education and public service communities, as well as people outside the city who are curious about the UK’s quirky laboratory on the south coast.

                                                      Expand me for a full list of contributors

                                                      Bashair Ahmed (Shabaka), Naomi Alexander (Brighton People’s Theatre), Fiona Anderson (Innovate UK Edge / ex Entrepreneurial Spark), Ruth Anslow (HISBE), Carolynn Bain (Afrori Books), Paul Barber (Brighton & Hove Albion FC), Boogaloo Stu (Dynamite Boogaloo), Jeannie Boyle (EQ Investors), Andy Budd (ex Clearleft), Rachel Carter (Future Creators), Kathy Caton (Brighton Gin), Ed Chinn (EY Initiatives), Donna Close (5G Festival/BOAT), Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim / Big Beach Boutique), Katherine Courtney (ex UK Space Agency), Kelly Dibbert (FareShare), Tom Druitt (The Big Lemon), Ian Elwick (The Werks Group), Simon Fanshawe (ex Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership), Darren Fell (Crunch Accounting), Dr Carlie Goldsmith (University of Sussex / Class Divide), Kevin Grist (SparkedEcho), Donna Holland (Rockinghorse),  Michael Kennard (Compost Club), Loubna Khamlichi (Noraay Music), Samantha Harland (Plus X / ex Entrepreneurial Spark), Mat Hunter (Plus X), Barry Joinson (Talk Potential), Phil Jones (Wired Sussex), Adam Joolia (AudioActive), Jenni Lloyd (Collaborate / Lighthouse / ex Brighton Digital Festival), Pam Loch (Loch Associates), Caroline Lucas (MP for Brighton Pavilion), Jack Maddalena (Nuart), Rob Jones Mantle (Magpie Co-operative), Angi Mariani (Latest TV), Claire Mason (Man Bites Dog), Kevin Miller (Whitehawk FC), Adam Muirhead (Trust for Developing Communities), Kelvin Newman (Brighton SEO), Phil Nutley (Mima), Kristina Perekaite (South East Angels), Steve Rackley (Silicon Brighton), Sarah Springford (Brighton Chamber), Charlie Symonds (Alirity), Luke Taylor (UnitedUs), Sarah Ticho (Hatsumi VR), Rifa Thorpe-Tracey (Spring Forward Festival), Richard Tolcher (action.ai), Ian Trevett (Rubix VT), John Varah (Same Sky), Andy Winter (BHT Sussex), Joseph Young (artofnoises.com), Marisa Zanotti (gl-tch), Seb Royle (Platf9rm), Ali Ghanimi (Brighton & Hove Food Partnership), Declan Cassidy (Into Games), Dr Adam Jones (Brighton Business School / University of Brighton)

                                                      The team

                                                      The production is a collaboration between always possible and Lo Fi Arts, the acclaimed creative media partnership behind The Possibility ClubEssex 2020 and Changing The Conversation podcasts.

                                                      The podcast is written and presented by Richard Freeman.

                                                      It is produced and edited by Chris Thorpe-Tracey.

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