Curiosity breeds change and innovation, and with one of the youngest populations in the world and a track record of bringing together great minds to develop ideas, share inspiration and drive change - Birmingham questions everything and always looks for new ways of doing things.
A creative energy pulses through the city. Yet despite its intellectual and cultural heritage and youthful, innovative spirit, Birmingham remains a city with a self effacing and down-to-earth charm – never boastful, never arrogant but curious, enthusiastic and focused on making things happen. Mirroring the modest nature of its people, it is a city that gets on with it.
The power of collaboration is behind some of Birmingham’s biggest achievements. In the 18th century, for example, scientists, inventors and natural philosophers Erasmus Darwin, Matthew Boulton, James Watt, Joseph Priestley and Josiah Wedgwood would gather in Birmingham and engage in intellectual debates - their conversations were the brainpower behind the Industrial Revolution.
Pioneered by this esteemed group of Birmingham industrial glitterati, The Lunar Society, still exists today and their dynamic spirit for collaboration can be felt across the city.
From the laboratories at Birmingham Science Park Aston to the creative hub of entrepreneurs and start-ups in Digbeth, Birmingham was named the UK’s most entrepreneurial city outside of London. People and businesses are joining together with boundless enthusiasm to do exactly what Watt and co started centuries ago.
Home to some of the best emerging talent in the country - from MOBO winner Laura Mvula, influential graffiti artist, Temper; film director Steven Knight to inspirational athletes such as Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmons.
And then there’s Andris Nelsons, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Musical Director and one of the most sought after young conductors in the world - Birmingham is full of ambition.
And it’s not just its industry leading, home-grown ideas the city nurtures. With direct access by rail, road and air to over 400 million people in Europe, Birmingham is a meeting point where culture, creativity and commerce comfortably collide - wherever they originate from.
Over 200,000 conferences and 320 exhibitions are hosted in the city every year unleashing the massive possibilities created by bringing great minds together.
British, West Indian, Irish, Indian, Pakistani and Eastern European - the diversity of the city’s residents brings a rich cultural mix to Birmingham. 30% of Birmingham’s residents are of minority ethnic origin and it is home to Europe’s first arts centre dedicated to developing and promoting African, Caribbean and Asian arts and culture.
The city’s people have an enthusiasm for expressing themselves – from film to dance, art to architecture – Birmingham’s independent arts scene thrives on its diversity.
The city is not afraid to take on a challenge – with major retail, leisure and business hubs including the NEC, Brindleyplace, The Mailbox and Bullring just a few examples of the gutsy urban regeneration the city has become famed for.
But people come to Birmingham for more than its achievements, talented people, rich cultural mix, art, history, restaurants or shops – it’s the energy you get from being here.
There’s a feeling in the city that anything is possible – providing a fertile environment for your most audacious ambitions, most inspired thoughts and great enterprising ideas to develop and grow.
And with the £600 million transformation of Birmingham New Street Station now complete, there’s so much more to experience.