Innovation hubs discussed at Chicago conference


Last week Eastleigh’s culture boss was invited to Chicago to talk about innovation hubs and labs, creativity and entrepreneurship.

Dr Cheryl Butler visited the USA last week for the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting with some 7,000 delegates which was held in Chicago, Illinois. She was a speaker at a panel session which explored the potential for innovation hubs and labs to stimulate creativity and entrepreneurship which was attended by geographers from across the globe.

The panel session was sponsored by the Economic Geography Specialty Group and the Development Geographies Speciality Group and was organised by Nicolas Friederici from Oxford Internet Institute and Prof Mark Graham from the University of Oxford. The session was chaired by Dr Brian Hracs from the University of Southampton.

The discussion focussed on interventions that aim to foster creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. The session brought innovation hub and lab researchers together with practitioners, implementers and funders. Dr Butler was invited to talk about programmes at The Point, The Sorting Office and Tec Hub which are all located in Eastleigh town centre.

Other speakers: Tayo Akinyemi from Afrilabs; Pru Robeigh from Toronto Artscape; Dr Tim Kelly from the World Bank ICT Sector Unit; Arthur Steiner and Dr Julia Hoffmann from Hivos; Dr Janet Merkel from Social Science Research Centre Berlin; Dr Suntje Schmidt from Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning; and Prof Nick Clifton from Cardiff School of Management.

The AAG Annual Meeting is an interdisciplinary forum open to anyone with an interest in geography and related disciplines. The five-day conference hosted over 5,000 presentations, posters, workshops, and field trips by leading scholars, experts, and researchers from around the world.

More information about the conference is available from

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