Our final shortlisted candidate in the marketing and communications category tackles the 2015 BYPY Q&A today.
Elizabeth Laidler, from Encore, discusses her admiration for Cape Town, goes back in time to meet Nelson Mandela and does away with voice recognition systems.
Name: Elizabeth Laidler
Job title: Director
Company: Encore Communications
BYPY category: Marketing and Communications
1) If you could go back in time and have one conversation with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you discuss?
Nelson Mandela. I'd love to know how he found the self control to harness the bitterness he must have felt about apartheid in general, and his personal treatment, to then inspire and work alongside his former oppressors and lay the foundations for a (hopefully) fairer South Africa.
2) Which single element of any city in the world that you have visited would you like to see transplanted into Birmingham?
There's a bit of a theme developing here but it would have to be the people in Cape Town, South Africa.
I've never met so many people so keen for you to have a good time and go away with a positive impression of their city and wider country.
Their positivity and optimism, in the face of very real adversity, is just infectious.
3) Which technological innovation would you happily see consigned to history and what would you like to see invented which doesn't yet exist?
Telephone voice recognition systems. They just don't work and if they misspell my car registration number one more time, I'll... Look, I know it's not going to work, YOU know it's not going to work, let's just cut to the chase and put me through to a real person who understands the difference between M for mutt and N for nut, shall we?
I would like to see a short-cut for mobile sat-nav that you can press when you're ready to start navigating (normally towards the end of the journey) so you don't have to waste battery earlier or pull over to re-program/scroll through screens when you do need it to kick in.
If it doesn't already exist, I hereby claim IP. If it does, will someone please tell me what app I need to download?
4) Think about who your ideal dinner guests might be but instead you can only invite their relatives. Who would you choose and what would you ask them?
Shostakovich's siblings. Did he ever discuss the 'true' meaning behind his music within the safe confines of the family?
Laurie Cunningham's mother. What was it like watching him trail a blaze for black footballers but enduring so much abuse along the way?
Vivienne Westwood's children. What did she dress you in as children?
Bill Clinton. Do you think Hillary believes you re Monica Lewinsky?
5) There are many 'National Days', some more obscure than others, but which one would you like to create that doesn't already exist?
National Plagiocephaly Awareness Day. Plagiocephaly is a condition where babies' skulls become misshapen due to external pressure and cases have risen exponentially since the Back to Sleep campaign (encouraging babies to sleep on their backs) was launched to help reduce cot death.
Severe cases of plagiocephaly don't resolve on their own and can cause facial disfigurement, visual and auditory problems but treatment is not available on the NHS and very little information is provided to parents, which is a shame as, in most cases, it's completely preventable.