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CNN debate held at the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre

CNN International records interactive general election debate at McLaren Thought Leadership Centre

On Friday April 24, news broadcaster CNN International will televise a ground breaking audience-interactive debate, conducted at the McLaren Technology Group’s innovative new Thought Leadership Centre in Surrey, United Kingdom – the first of four marquee events this year that showcase the breadth and depth of the broadcaster’s partnership with McLaren. 

CNN’s first debate, recorded on April 21, focuses on the UK general election, which takes place on May 7. Conservative peer Baroness Neville Jones, Labour’s Chris Bryant, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Steel, UKIP’s Louise Bours, and the SNP’s Humza Yousaf are quizzed by CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour and UK Correspondent Max Foster. 

For the very first time, a live political debate has been made fully interactive. The McLaren Thought Leadership Centre’s unique facilities enable the live studio audience to participate in the entire process, by using screens and handheld devices built into each seat to vote on issues, provide feedback, and to democratically steer the course of the discussion. 

“The McLaren Thought Leadership Centre is an unrivalled and exciting space,” said Ron Dennis CBE, Chief Executive and Chairman of McLaren Technology Group. “It offers every single participant the opportunity to engage, direct and communicate with every other person within the space. It is, in essence, a high tech ideas exchange." 

“For a broadcaster such as CNN, that provides a really exciting opportunity for a televised debate to differ from the norm. For the first time, the public is not only able to see and hear the discourse, they are also able to actively engage in the discussion and move it on themselves.” 

CNN International’s UK election debate airs at 7pm GMT on April 24 2015, with a later highlight programme at 10pm GMT.  Viewers in the UK can watch on Sky 506, Virgin Media 607, and Freesat 207.  

About the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre

The McLaren brand is internationally synonymous with innovation – in everything it does. This enviable reputation, earned over the past fifty years, encompasses each of the McLaren Technology Group’s diverse businesses – McLaren (F1) Racing, McLaren Applied Technologies and McLaren Marketing, as well McLaren Automotive Limited, producer of the world’s most breath-taking super-cars. 

In addition to these businesses, the McLaren brand’s lineage of innovation has extended to high end products, retail environments and architecture. The internationally award winning McLaren Technology Centre campus, in Woking, England, was designed in collaboration with Foster + Partners, and opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2004. 

McLaren’s next architectural achievement was the McLaren Production Centre – the world’s most state of the art super-car assembly facility, built adjacently on the same campus and opened by the British Prime Minister, the Hon. David Cameron, in 2011. 

In 2012, McLaren undertook an in-depth strategic analysis of future, global communication behaviours and the manner in which thought leaders conceive, exchange and disseminate new thinking in the digital age. 

Combining these insights with McLaren’s compulsion to innovate, a bold, new vision was conceived – a unique, experiential environment in which the world’s greatest thinkers could interact in a completely new way – in a physical space like no other. 

That space is the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre – which was inaugurated in 2015, after an extensive and detailed planning, design, building and fit out phase. 

By utilising an ingenious combination of technology and architecture, attendees at the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre participate in one or more sessions – of facilitated, ‘one to many’, ‘few to many’ or ‘many to many’ ideas exchanges. Themed according to geo-political priorities, or commercial imperatives, these exchanges incorporate technology enabled debate, questioning and voting by esteemed thinkers, enriched by bleeding edge audio visual display, sound and lighting – as well as personal, real time data access and simultaneous language translation. 

The McLaren Thought Leadership Centre, a cradle of innovation and new thinking, heralds an exciting new chapter in the constantly evolving story of this great British company, and is an integral part of McLaren’s ongoing strategy to broaden the reach and reputation of its brand.