the city talking: manchester — issue 04Back
The City Talking
Issue four of The City Talking: Manchester is out now.
These days, we have fancy phones and drones and everyone is talking about connection like it’s hard cold currency; which it can be, sometimes. So many of our thoughts, dreams, lovers and lunches are broken down into series of 1s and 0s and we call it connection, and if you put a monochrome filter on it, that seems pretty sad.
But we reckon there’s joy and emojiful emotion to be found in tiny microchips, colourful wires and the invisible information highway that floats above cities like Manchester, where you can get yourself connected to the whole world online, or from an airport.
In this issue of The City Talking, our fourth in Manchester, we decided to talk to some of the people in tech communities who are using technology and connection to share some feel-good fuzzies, new ideas and beautiful images with neighbours, clients and strangers around the globe.
We thought a good place to start would be at Reason Digital, where digital is being used to make a difference from offices on Lever Street.
“We’re all very passionate about what we do,” says Rebecca Rae, head of strategy & insight. “We wouldn’t work for Reason if we weren’t.”
We talk to Rebecca about building an app that’s saved lives; about their podcast, Tech For Good Live; and how it feels to say you love your job and mean it.
Not far from Reason Digital is a street called New York, where in a building made of glass and metal, co-founder Hugh Campbell and his investment banking firm GP Bullhound are making unicorns out of European tech companies.
“We help people with what is an emotional journey,” he says. “It’s not a quick journey either; it takes ten to fifteen years to grow a truly successful business in the technology space.”
Hugh tells us about a job where connections — with investors, entrepreneurs and the world’s best tech companies — can make big dreams, and big money, happen.
When we saw Ben Draguisky’s photos on his Instagram account, we felt an affinity for a Manchester we didn’t recognise; a minimal place, where the sky connects with strong lines, angles and symmetry.
“Obviously a lot of the older buildings are absolutely amazing and beautiful,” says Ben. “It’s good to get a blend, but sometimes I prefer to look at the more modern stuff.”
We talked to Ben about design, photography and his favourite buildings in some of his favourite cities. We’ve also included a selection of his photographs for you to feel affinity for too.
“I don’t think I ever thought that I would be doing this as a career,” says John. “What’s strange about being in the love industry — or the dating industry — is that you forget what the end impact of your job is.”
John is the founder of Bristlr, a dating app for bearded-folk, as well as M14, a white-label app that he developed while going through the Ignite accelerator in Newcastle. John tells us the story of a start-up that’s helped hundreds of people connect and fall in love.
When Dr. Victoria Betton came to our office to talk about her Leeds-based company mHabitat, she was accompanied by her dog Bibi. Bibi sat quietly as Victoria talked about digital health and mHabitat’s role in connecting the right people together to create solutions.
“We found this gap that we could occupy where we could help tech companies collaborate with practitioners and academics and all sort of work together,” says Victoria.
The City Talking: Manchester, issue 04 is out now across the city. You can find it in some of the places you go to get a strong wifi connection.