Michael B. Duignan – the Olympic Researcher

Mike's research and teaching blog | @michaelbduignan |


March 2014

The Digital Revolution and its impacts! Most succinct video I have seen in a while…

The digital revolution is fundamentally changing the world. This “Next Big Thing” video by management consulting firm Booz & Company highlights some of the fundamental changes digitization brings to governments, businesses, and consumers.


Tell your story @’Talk London’ forum: How were small local businesses affected by the London 2012 Games in their area?

A policy forum: How were small local businesses affected by the London 2012 Games in their area?

Tell your story via ‘Talk London’ forum: 

Just 20 minutes ago, ‘Talk London’ highlighted a great space to talk about the main issues of London 2012 – how has the Olympic Games affected the lives of local’s, Imagenamely local businesses across those Olympic Boroughs that hosted them, pre, during and post-Games. 

It is your story that inspires and illuminates the potential local legacies of the Games, and I ask and hope all those local businesses with an interest to share your stories. 

To share your views on how the Games affected them, for good and for bad. The Olympics posed a vast number of opportunities for local’s, and the ambitions for the Games were / could have been immensely beneficial for these local communities. My research so far suggests this, but it also highlights a community group that may not have benefited to the maximum potential (whether that was up to local planning –> national policy is up to you). Particularly those within close proximity to the Games ‘event zones’ – spaces with potentially high footfall, but difficulties of securitised space and barricades restricting tourism flows, alongside threats of rising rents via gentrification effects. 

I thank all those local businesses and planners that have been part of this study so far, and I hope to hear from many of you via the above ‘Talk London’. 



– @michaelbduignan

Guest lecture: Mega-events as part of urban strategies to revitalise cities – opportunity and local challenges (March, 2014)

Mega-events as part of urban strategies to revitalise cities – opportunities and local challenges

Guest talk: Michael B. Duignan, 14 March 2014, Lord Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University


Synopsis: where once up on a time cities were known for being a harbinger of decay (see Dicken’s play: ‘Oliver Twist), central global city districts represent prosperity and the epitome of successful urban economic development. The role of the mega-event has often played a facilitative role in this transition, offering opportunity for national and local economic growth via residual effects of gentrification, uses as a way of globally enhancing place image (aka ‘showcasing’) and opportunities for urban regeneration. But why are they such a powerful mechanism for change? Alongside their ability to absorb dynamic city agendas, they catalyse new and existing policies (aka ‘fast-tracking’) and provide neat justifications for pooling together a medley of both public and private funds to operationalise the grand plan. Coupled with strict deadlines for completion (e.g. 7 years for the Olympics from time of winning the bid) and the world’s eyes watching the move of these urban plans – these pressures provide the impetus needed ‘to get the job done’.

We must however be respectful of the local community challenges stimulated as part of delivering such a mega-event. I speak about the economic risks of gentrification and the difficulties this poses to the rental market (both residential and business), direct displacement effect to make way for Games stadia and urban infrastructural projects. And also highlight criticisms around poor local community consultation and understanding of local interests.

In light of the above we reflected on a range findings from previous (e.g. Barcelona, 1992) and forthcoming mega-events (e.g. Rio, 2016), however key insights were presented around the case of London 2012 – both opportunities, and such local challenges.

Workshop activity: class put together a key stakeholder analysis, as if they were applying to bid for the next Olympic Games. We highlighted the multitude of stakeholders interested/involved in hosting such a mega-event and explored some of the key reasons how and why they would be interested.

Link to online Prezi:

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