Why Global Cities?

"I believe that cities and city leaders need more imagination, more originality, different structures and ways of working, and new approaches to make the most of their cultural assets. Global Cities was established to do exactly that" David Adam, Global Cities

Global Cities was created in response to a growing demand for insight on global trends and positioning ideas in global markets. We are often invited to participate in projects that have an international feature or need to navigate some aspect of globalisation. It’s no wonder given the complexity of today’s world that our business has grown the way it has.

The 21st century is characterised by rapid and global transformation. Significant macro-economic forces, demographic and technological trends are underway and they are shaping the way we live and work. These trends rarely respect geographical or political boundaries. This process has unlocked an era of unprecedented growth: exponential growth of technology, population, production and urbanisation are creating a renewed imperative for environmental concern and developing purposeful economic partnerships. How we respond to these trends will determine our future prosperity.

Global Cities graphic

The process of global shift presents many challenges but it also delivers new opportunities through greater technological capability, more human brain power and the renewed imperative to innovate. Our own human ingenuity may well be the defining attribute which determines the shape of the 21st century; our prosperity or poverty.

Cities experience and incubate these global trends. Cities are crucibles of change. The term 'global cities' once referred to the great economic command centres of the global economy: London, New York, Tokyo, but increasingly every city must be alert to global trends, to understand their own global fluency. They need to be ready to capture the benefits of global capital, trade, migration and cultural exchange. At Global Cities we believe that people are at the heart of place. Global cities function because of people, not just capital. Successful global cities pay attention to their local economy and they nurture cosmopolitan values to ensure long-term economic and political success.

David Adam and Global Cities

David Adam is Founder and Principal of Global Cities which he established in 2009. It is a unique and highly niche consultancy which works in niche areas. David has experience in delivering major projects with cities across multiple international markets. He has held roles including Head of Emerging Markets at the London Development Agency and led on positioning London in the key markets of China, India, Russia and South America. He is a specialist in working with public and private sector organisations to help them develop brand and commercial partnerships. He has worked with government offices in London, Beijing, Rio, Moscow and Mumbai. Past projects and clients have included the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The British Council, the Mayor of London’s Office, Crossrail, Transport for London, The Urban Land Institute, The Chinese Ministry of Culture, Shanghai Municipal Government, the City of Aarhus, and Mumbai First.

The breadth of this international experience has given David a strong understanding of working in international markets, in managing culturally diverse business practices, and in being alert to contemporary global trends. He is a regularly invited speaker across the globe, he writes and speaks on trends within globalisation and their impact on places.

He is the founder of Future London - an ideas consortium which initiated a bid for London to host the World Expo in 2025; the co-author of the International Place Branding Manifesto, and a founder and collaborator of the KE2 initiative sharing best practice in knowledge exchange from around the globe. David is an associate of the urban think tank Centre for London, an expert for the European Best Place Institute, and the Urban Land Institute, and in 2014 he was recognised as a Young Leader by the World Cities Summit in Singapore.

David has written and published widely on topics including urbanisation, technological trends, brand positioning and public diplomacy. He regularly gives keynote talks internationally and provides advice to places and organisations to help them develop strategy and long-term vision. At the heart of his approach is a philosophy on the need to nurture cosmopolitanism to create successful cities.