The IPPR (Institute for Public Policy research) held a conference on the 'State of the North' in Sheffield on 27 October. The CEO of Common Purpose UK, Marie Mohan, was a member of a panel leading the discussion Whose Northern Powerhouse is it anyway?

Marie spoke about the opportunity for people who live and work in the Northern Powerhouse area to play a key role in making it a success. She highlighted the importance of involving the 'Northern Diaspora', those who grew up or studied in the North of England, in discussions.

Marie commented:

"There are two potential barriers to success - people engagement and getting partnerships right. We need to enthuse and engage more and more people in order to unlock the brilliance in communities and organisations across the Northern Powerhouse area. We need to work hard on partnerships so that those involved have clarity of vision and purpose. They need to be able to set aside their own organisational and personal aspirations in pursuit of the bigger goal."

Common Purpose has a strong presence in the north of England. Our first programme took place in Newcastle 26 years ago and since then our alumni network in the area has grown to over 13,000.

Pictured (from left): Joanne Roney OBE, Chief Executive, Wakefield Council; Sir Richard Leese, Greater Manchester Combined Authority; Julia Goldsworthy, Senior Advisor, PWC; Helen Pidd, Northern Editor, The Guardian; Marie Mohan, CEO Common Purpose UK and Dr Arianna Giovannini, University of Huddersfield.

Visit the IPPR website to see videos from the State of the North Conference.