Mixing the old with the new

London’s livery companies still have massive relevance — a recent and an upcoming WCI event shows this

Paolo Cuomo
The City Civic


One of the joys of working in the City is the juxtaposition of old and new. Anyone who works here sees this in the buildings everyday; many of us saw it in full action on Tuesday at the Worshipful Company of Insurers’ annual banquet at the Mansion House.

Traditions dating back hundreds of years such as the Loving Cup and the Lord Mayor’s gift to the Clerk fitted seamlessly with awards to several cadets and young service-people, including a submariner who had designed an ingenious new communications technique.

Having first encountered the livery world in a similar way at 22 years old — as the winner of The Worshipful Company of Engineers’ Cadzow Smith prize — I can empathise with the surreal mix of confusion and pride those prize winners will have felt at their starring role in such an event.

Too often people consider livery traditions quaint and irrelevant, only partially reconsidering when they learn how much is done for charitable causes. On 28 May I look forward to demonstrating another potent aspect of the #citycivic as we run an event with multiple liveries identifying how different industries and professions can work together to tackle a key question of our time: namely how to more rapidly scale the green technologies that are a critical part of achieving a rapid, just and safe transition.

More on that event and its outcomes in the days to come but I felt hope as I watched the awardees receive congratulations from Lord Mayor Michael Mainelli and Master Claire Burrell in the splendour of the Egyptian Hall. The intertwining of tradition and modernity along with the combination of #insurance, science, finance, defence, and #engineering made me realise there is no group of people better placed to corral the diversity-of-thought required to solve the world’s most intractable problems. #ConnectToProsper #sustainability