The Invest North conference is about showcasing transformational ideas and backing the north by sharing how businesses can be on the front row in the future.\nLeeds Business School is one of the partners of the event, which will be hearing from speakers including Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP - Secretary of State for Transport and the Minister with Cabinet responsibility for the Northern Powerhouse - and renowned economist Lord Jim ONeill, who is widely credited as the architect of the Northern Powerhouse.\nProfessor George Lodorfos, Dean of Leeds Business School, will also be speaking at the event about how as an anchor institution, Leeds Beckett is supporting the local economy and community. \nHe will cover what an anchor institution is and how it impacts the long-term sustainability of the region it serves, with particular focus on local procurement strategies, driving sustainable change and creating shared values.\nProfessor Lodorfos explains why its so important to support the local economy and how businesses should tackle the changes brought about by Covid-19: As a Business School, we are committed to supporting the socio-economic development of our region, to accelerate the levelling up of our economy, and to creating great employment opportunities for our graduates.\nWithout a doubt, small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the Northern economy. With the right support and enabling ecosystems, SMEs have the potential to play an important role, and even accelerate the economic recovery of our region.\nIt is universally agreed that Covid-19 has changed our world in unprecedented ways and has had a huge impact on businesses. To address and benefit from these changes, businesses will need to adjust to this new environment, realise the benefits of strategic relationships and innovate.\nFor me, going forward the focus should be on strategic partnerships, two-way engagement with businesses, and ecosystems which are both dynamic and integrated.\nProfessor Lodorfos will be joined by LBUs Head of Procurement, Sarah Coll, and Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, Tom Riordan. Tom will be highlighting the importance of the anchor institutions to the city and why this work is vital. He will also be speaking about employment, diversity and climate emergency.\nTom Riordan said: Anchor institutions are part of the fabric of life in Leeds, not just through their role as major employers but also in the wider work they do to make a difference to people right across the city.\nThey are influencers, enablers and champions, delivering and procuring services and providing opportunities that can be truly transformative.\nCrucially, these institutions are also committed to supporting diversity and tackling the climate emergency as Leeds begins its recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.\nFrom backing the Real Living Wage to helping people in Lincoln Green find jobs, Leedss anchors have a proud track record of doing the right thing for the right reasons.\nThe Invest North conference will be a welcome opportunity to spread the word about their important contribution to all our lives.\nThe Invest North conference takes place on Wednesday 24 March.