Northern England, fashioned by waves of migration, invasions and battles, has had a profound impact on European culture and the global economy. It was not just the Industrial Revolution, which saw Leeds expand radically and is viewed by economic historians as the key event in human history. At least six Roman emperors ruled from York. The Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria was Europe’s leading cultural and intellectual centre. Brian Groom, author of Northerners: A History, From the Ice Age to the Present Day, due to be published in April, will outline 180 million years of history showing how the north’s people have shaped Britain and the world in unexpected ways. He will show how the past echoes down the centuries and explore what northernness means today and the crucial role that Leeds and the north can play in Britain’s future.