Progress, change and a little culture – NFD one week on…

28 Nov

John Brazier, PCG’s Managing Director, gives his thoughts on National Freelancers Day, one week after the successful event…

Almost a week has now passed since the fourth edition of National Freelancers Day – a day which truly celebrated the valuable contribution that freelancers bring to businesses across the UK economy.
 
When PCG launched ‘NFD’ in 2009, the year of our tenth anniversary, we chose a fitting venue in the Houses of Parliament, not least because it is a place we have become very familiar with over the years. In 2010 we added the first ‘Freelance Lecture’ debate to the day, staged in the magnificent surroundings of the Stationers and Newspaper Makers Livery Hall, near St Pauls. In 2011 we went a little ‘musical’, finding ourselves at the magnificent LSO St Lukes near Old Street, home of the London Symphony Orchestra, and which over the years became the occasional home of the BBC’s very own Question Time programme.
 
So it was another important step in the evolution of NFD when we found ourselves at the Royal Society of Arts last Wednesday evening for an event which featured just such a debate as its main attraction.
 
As I walked through the packed Great Hall towards the stage to deliver my opening speech, I glanced up at James Barry’s spectacular 18th Century mural, named ‘The Progress of Human Knowledge and Culture’. It occurred to me when looking back on a successful evening that Barry’s masterpiece provided the perfect backdrop given the challenges facing us at present.
 
Though these challenges are economic rather than artistic, the themes of progress and change are very much to the fore. With more and more evidence that this evolution is driven by the UK’s 1.6 million independent professionals, it is clearer than ever before that freelancers are the very businesses who can act as economic agents of the recovery. As a result, there has never been a greater need for business and Government to be aware of the freelance offering and to embrace the sector.

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