London Tech Week: Sunak and Hunt’s aggressive charm was no light touch

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solo13 June 2023Last Update : 4 months ago
London Tech Week: Sunak and Hunt’s aggressive charm was no light touch

What is a growth mindset and how can I get it?

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said yesterday that solving the UK’s tech investment gap is not just about changing rules and regulations, but also “looking at our mindset”.

“That’s something I think we need everybody’s help with — really turning that mindset into a growth mindset,” Hunt told the audience of tech investors and fans.

However, we can reasonably ask, what is a “growth mindset” really? And how can everyone get caught up in the national effort to get one?

There are really no answers to those questions. But even so, the call is becoming a common one among Square Mile figures and policy makers. A recent report commissioned by the Capital Markets Industry Taskforce will, among other things, take a deep dive into the city’s “culture and mindset” to try to reset it for the modern age.

Top City figures such as Schroders chief Peter Harrison and L&G boss Sir Nigel Wilson have called for a greater appetite for risk. OakNorth founder Rishi Khosla similarly lamented our pervasive tall-poppy syndrome in the UK yesterday.

But those questions and points go on revolving without any concrete basis. is the end goal, but no one is really talking about the levers that can be pulled to achieve it. Perhaps the report from the Capital Markets Industry Taskforce will provide some clarity, but until then, the calls continue to circulate around conference halls and newspapers, without any tangible impact.

tory com coup

There will be some happy faces in the comms teams of Nos. 10 and 11 today. The government packed the morning of London Tech Week with ministers and bombarded audiences of technical data and foreign investors with key messages.

Sunak was confidently blurring the lines at Boris Johnson’s debacle while sketching global AI regulation – it all probably went completely according to plan.

But here’s one question for the organisers: yes, Sadiq Khan came and cracked some good jokes and emphasized the strength of London’s techno scene. But on a mid-morning panel on the first day of the conference, in a packed room, which interviewer was questioning the chancellor?

HSBC UK chief Colin Bell, boss of the bank formerly known as SVB UK, and Hunt’s aide, Science and Innovation Minister Chloe Smith.

mojo back

But even then, sitting in the hot QEII center it was hard not to feel that something was ‘back’. Looks like some mojo was restored. Before 2016 the UK was the world’s center for fintech and ministers shouted its name from the rafters.

Here, scores of foreign trade delegations between meetings; The prime minister flipped into full Silicon Valley mode, lending a quote to a press release announcing the London launch of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz; While his chancellor backslaps with banking bosses.

Yes, there was a bit of political turmoil in the morning, but the fact that the top two figures devoted an entire morning’s work to making the tech sector lucrative was testament to something. Even though some may just be an impending election.

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