Young professionals urge next generation to share vision for infrastructure

Members of the National Infrastructure Commission's Young Professionals Panel.

The National Infrastructure Commission’s Young Professionals Panel (YPP) are inviting young people to share their vision for the future of infrastructure in the UK, as they mark one year on from their establishment.

Having pledged to ensure the next generation have a strong voice in infrastructure decision-making, the panel has launched an initiative which will give young people the chance to do just that.

In March, the YPP announced that they are conducting research on how generational shifts are altering the demands on the UK’s infrastructure network, focusing on the trends associated with people born between 1981 and 2012 – those classed as millennials and generation Z.

To gather evidence for the project, they are calling on younger generations to tell them how infrastructure could work better for them – whether it’s the transport they use to get around, the mobile and broadband technologies that keep them connected or the way electricity is generated to their homes.

One of the ways those interested can get involved is by attending a series of ‘infra-cafés,’ which will be free informal events held around the UK to get the conversation about infrastructure going.

With each focusing on a different theme, the Infra-cafés will feature a panel discussion with leading experts, as well as interactive sessions.

The panel hopes to attract a diverse range of views, so the events will be aimed at early career professionals working in the sector, as well as young people who want to share their personal experiences of how infrastructure affects their daily lives.

The first infra-café will be held in London on Thursday 11 July, focussing on recycling and circular economy, with plans for further events – including ones in Cardiff, Nottingham and Newcastle – to be announced in the coming months.

To coincide with their first birthday, the YPP has also released the second episode of their new podcast, Infra[un]structured, which explores how open city data and visualisation can be used to understand the science and culture of cities.

YPP member Rosie Hughes said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating our first birthday and this feels like the perfect time to unveil our programme of infra-cafés. We’ve got some brilliant speakers in the pipeline and we’re looking forward to our generation setting out their vision for the future of infrastructure.”

The first infra-café will be held in a central London venue at 6pm on Thursday 11 July. Those wishing to attend should email 

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