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Date updated: 26/04/2024

Our Knowledge Miles in the World’s Coffee House

Connect to Prosper outlines Lord Mayor Michael Mainelli’s Mayoral Priorities for 2023/2024, demonstrating the City’ strengths in solving global challenges.

During his year as Lord Mayor, Alderman Mainelli will champion Connect to Prosper, emphasising the City’s strengths:

  • We are connected – The City of London is the world’s most successful concentration of knowledge connections both locally and globally.
  • We have major talent clusters – Knowledge-based businesses thrive when they cluster and have access to talented people, financing and markets. The Mayoral year will highlight this. 
  • Things happen here – The Mayoral year will showcase the City’s communities’ inventiveness through demonstrations and experimentation.

Connect to Prosper

Over 40 learned societies, 70 higher education institutions, and 130 research institutes exist in and around the City of London. The Square Mile is made up of many “knowledge miles” with expertise in art, media, culture, engineering, research, accounting, law, banking, shipping, insurance, and investment management.

Connect to Prosper will bring together thought leaders from the scientific, academic, and business worlds to demonstrate the City’s strengths in solving global challenges. The City of London’s Square Mile is the world’s coffeehouse where people bring their dreams to get them realised.



  • VeraCity (in beta test) uses a central map to plot key landmarks across the City and beyond. Users can click on interactive symbols and discover more about iconic places, to connect with and understand the City’s many knowledge miles. This fun webapp has been built in association with the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and Z/Yen Group. It will continue to be tested and improved up till launch on 10 November but is now open for use. We’d suggest using Chrome on your phone to access it.
  • Knowledge Miles: The 695th Lord Mayor’s Lecture Series are online webinars that explore the connections of the Square Mile and its roles as “The World’s Coffeehouse” addressing diverse global challenges.
  • Coffee Colloquies: The 695th Lord Mayor’s Penny University Chitchats, are in-person events at Mansion House to promote connections that help address the leading issues of the day.


  • GALENOS An open access pre-print service that should speed up mental health research by 2-3 years. The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, working with our chosen charity MQ Mental Health, raised £5M and formally launched the platform with Oxford University and Wellcome Trust 9 June. BMJ announcement.
  • The 695th Lord Mayor’s Ethical AI Initiative will tackle the contemporary challenge of promoting the ethical deployment of Artificial Intelligence. Specifically, it will do this by “Developing Ethical AI qualifications for Deployers and Builders,” starting in financial services and in partnership with CISI; the British Computer Society, the Chartered Institute for IT; and the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists. Organisations wishing to join the Steering Group, should contact Chairman Nicholas Beale. Financial professionals worldwide are invited to take the course.
  • Constructing Science On 6 July 2023 the City of London was host to the launch of Constructing Science, a project that provides a standard for new build and retrofit lab conversions for those seeking to have biolabs in urban environments. The project is led by a consortium of life sciences and property organisations – Buro Happold, CPC, Cushman & Wakefield, EEDN, Gensler, Gleeds, Hoare Lea, MedCity, Mission Street, and Ramboll. The standard has been published, and there is a beta database of some 4 million data points to help developers, design teams, and planners estimate the extent of conversion possible for specific properties.


A series of experiments across the City that demonstrate inventiveness, showcase solutions to big ideas and promote the City’s knowledge networks. The experiments will demonstrate the real impact innovation has on the world - from tackling climate change, to alleviating poverty.

  • Recreating Einstein’s two clock time dilation relativity experiment using National Physical Laboratory nano-clocks at 22 Bishopsgate
  • Monument aerodynamics and light experiments;
  • Wetwheels & Suzuki micro-plastics coast test.
  • Biodiversity corridors with Pollinating London Together;
  • MQ Mental Health experiments – “The Cost-of-Living Crisis in the UK: A whole society response to protect people’s mental health“,