Inspirational conversations with experts from the creative industry about art, entrepreneurship, fashion, film, music, and pop culture.

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TRUE STORIES THAT LIGHT

THE WAY INTO THE FUTURE

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“It's all about storytelling. You have to know what makes the beats of a story arc work”

Jon S. Baird
Filmmaking

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From BBC Television to Hollywood Movie Director, Golden Globe  nominee and BAFTA award winner, collaborations  with Martin Scorsese, Danny Boyle, Jim Carrey, Mick Jagger and a host of award winning actors, to being one of Britain's most exciting directorial talents.

“The better you do your job, the more invisible you as a designer become”

Malcolm Garrett 

Design

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Professor Malcolm Garrett MBE RDI is a graphic designer who has mastered the art and science of creativity, as evidenced by a diverse portfolio that spans four decades creating landmark designs for musicians and bands, including Buzzcocks, Duran Duran, Simple Minds, Boy George, Peter Gabriel, Oasis, and Pulp, and done numerous innovative digital projects with Apple, Virgin, Warner Brothers, Transport for London, Design Manchester, and many more.  

“It’s never good to try to mimic or manufacture a style, because it needs to be authentic and develop naturally”

Anita Kunz 
Art 

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Anita Kunz has created iconic art that has been internationally shown and published for four decades. She is famous for her covers for the New Yorker, Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, the New York Times Magazine, and many others. Her work has appeared in numerous galleries and museums, and she has won many awards for it. 

“The purpose of the creative arts is to provide the necessary service to humanity to be entertained”

Alana Clapp

Stage Management

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From Carnegie Mellon University, to working on multiple events for film, television, and comedy specials, Alana Clapp is the General Stage Manager for Mystère at Cirque du Soleil, invoking the imagination, provoking the senses, and evoking people's emotions by facilitating communication across all creative and technical aspects of the performance.

“The harder you work the luckier you get”

Dave Cronen

Artist Management

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From Virgin to Rough Trade, PIAS and Grand Royal Records, then Trust Management by guiding the careers of hundreds of revered artists that have influenced popular culture - The Beastie Boys to Johnny Marr, Ash, We Are Scientists, Dexys and Baxter Dury. Working with artists who received Ivor Novello Awards, Oscar nominations and NME Godlike Genius Awards. Mentoring the next generation of artists, producers and entrepreneurs at the Academy of Contemporary Music. 

“Commit and keep going because everyone is going to tell you why you can't do it”

Alan McGee

Label Management

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Culture catalyst, music industry entrepreneur, record label owner, and artist manager Alan McGee founded Creation Records in 1983. He nurtured and brought to the masses multiple influential artists who inspired a generation - The Jesus and Mary Chain to Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, and Oasis.

“It's the power of being the outsider; looking left when others are looking right”

Clive Grinyer
Design

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Design pioneer Clive Grinyer is an acknowledged expert in service design, design thinking, digital and technology innovation, and customer experience. He has led award-winning design teams for companies worldwide, including IDEO, and founded the consultancy Tangerine with Apple design chief Sir Jony Ive. He is a trustee of the Royal Society of Arts, a visiting professor at the Glasgow School of Art, and head of the pioneering service design program at the Royal College of Art in London. 

“Having a moral grounding as an entrepreneur provides you with an unlimited source for motivation”

Jonathan Burns
Entrepreneurship 

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Whilst studying for his degree at the Academy of Contemporary Music, Jonathan envisioned and brought to life an innovative venture by reimagining the sustainability and reusability challenges of the fashion industry in an ethical and respectful way. 

“Be open, determined, and willing to really push yourself and explore who you are as a person”

Cherry Valentine

Performance Art 

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Growing up within a Roma Gypsy community in the North East of England fueled Cherry Valentine's creative instincts, a bias for adventure, and freedom for expression, to emerge as an influential voice in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community by combining life experience, curiosity, comedy, and satire into performance art. 

“You learn more from your mistakes than successes”

Ben Thornley

Production

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Whilst travelling through America and stumbling upon Hollywood, taken aback and moved by the endless possibilities, it led him down the path he has since excelled in - creating inspired content for delivery over a global platform with thousands of clients from the rainforests of Madagascar to the streets of Mumbai, where his work  has been viewed by over a billion people.

“Know your craft, always come prepared, and bring your own unique perspective to the character

Cathy Murphy

Acting

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Actor Cathy Murphy, who has gone from being a student at the Sylvia Young Theatre School to Allan Clarke's Made in Britain, Stars of the Roller Skate Disco, Doctor Who, EastEnders, Holby City, Family Affairs, The Phantom of the Opera, Shameless, Extras, About A Boy, Misery, Two Woman, Once A Catholic and many more.

“Resilience, grit, and stubbornness are the secret sauce to keep going”

David Hieatt

Entrepreneurship

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Bankrupt at 16. Thrown out of college at 18. Joined Saatchi and Saatchi at 21. Had a ball. Left advertising to go back to Wales. Started Howies in 1995. Sold it to Timberland. Left. Started The Do Lectures, which was voted one of the top 10 ideas festivals globally by the Guardian. And in 2012 started a company making jeans called The Hiut Denim Co in his hometown of Cardigan. A town that used to have Britain’s biggest jeans factory. Its purpose is to get 400 people their jobs back. As of today, it now employs 24 people.

“Think of yourself as an artist, first and foremost. Do what you do from an authentic place within yourself”

Martyn Ware

Music

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From forming the Human League, Heaven 17, and British Electric Foundation to record producer, entrepreneur, educator, and activist Martyn Ware is a musical pioneer who has featured on recordings totaling over 50 million sales worldwide across a career than spans four decades. 

Ghulam Rasool

Product Design 

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Ghulam Rasool is a design leader responsible for growing design enablement at Ford, navigating toward an electric, autonomous, and connected vehicle future that benefits society with improved safety, less pollution, freeing up time, and customized services and experiences enabled by intelligent technologies.

“Communication is the most critical skill for a product designer - listening to what people say and what they don't”

“Fight for the art against the tensions that counter it”

Mat Bancroft

Curation

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From Johnny Marr's Art Director to being part of the curation team that organized and realized True Faith - an exhibition of the artistic legacy and influence of Joy Division and New Order exhibit at the Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester International Festival in 2017. Spearheaded various pop culture archives including the archives of Factory Records, Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton, and his current work on Derek Jarman’s archive for Art Fund UK.

“A positive mind makes better decisions”

Doviak             

Music

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From high profile commercials and films to being Johnny Marr's co-producer. Melanie Isaac, Priya Panda and Benjamin Schoos' co-writer and producer. Mixing music for multiple up and coming bands, to being an acclaimed independent artist. 

“You need to engage with the whole product development process. To be a dedicated fashion designer, you really want to know why and how things are made”

José Teunissen 

Fashion

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Professor José Teunissen is Dean of the School of Design and Technology at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London (UAL), and Professor of Fashion Theory. Established the Centre of Expertise Future Makers, dedicated to digital innovation and sustainable solutions for the Fashion discipline. A board member of the Dutch Creative Industries Council, International Federation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI), International Apparel Federation (IAF), Sonsbeek State of Fashion, and Fashion for Good.

“Having an opportunity to create ideas, concepts, and scenarios that don't actually exist still fascinates me to this day”

Craig Whittet

Product Design Engineering

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Craig Whittet is the Head of the Department for Product Design Engineering, a collaborative program taught at the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Glasgow. He educates, coaches, and mentors the next generation of product design engineers by applying technology to improve the quality of life. This is achieved through design, engineering, and commerce to make products related to human usage, behavior, and appeal.

“Be aware of your own habits, what interests you and what doesn't, be honest about that, and how they relate to a larger audience”

Scott Omelianuk

Brand

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From mainstreaming metrosexuals as a columnist at the late lamented, details magazine, to developing the illusion of reality, as part of the creative team of The Real Housewives franchise, to pioneering content at Polo, Ralph Lauren, and the maker movement as the Managing Director of the iconic This Old House. Scott Omelianuk, now the Editor in Chief of Inc and Inc.com, has built a reputation for defining the culture and using it to the advantage of clients and the benefit of consumers.

“The purpose of a photography assignment is to capture the essence of the subject and make it memorable”

Brian Smale

Photography 

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Brian Smale has photographed some of the world's leading businessmen and women, scientists, inventors, and politicians. He has had assignments for magazines such as Fortune, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fast Company, Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone, and Spin. 

“Reboot your mind to being in an uninterrupted starting place with a fresh perspective”

Leticia Pettená

Brand  

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From building brands in Brazil and the USA, Leticia Pettená has dedicated herself to changing behavior for the better by influencing corporate cultures and societies through strategic focus, creative thinking, and technology innovation, helping the likes of Itaú, Natura, IBM, Nestlé, Rise Ventures, Beleaf, Verde Asset Management, and Beautybox to reimagine their brands.

“Everything begins with real research to frame the problem and understand the context”

Thais Fonseca 

Brand Strategy 

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Thais Fonseca leads the brand strategy practice at the Brazilian-based creative agency Marcus com SAL. She specializes in turning strategic thinking and creativity into brand love – brought to life across a diverse Brazilian client portfolio, including Grupo Boticário, Beleaf, Beautybox, and Itaú.

“By exploring the methodologies of other designers, you find out how you would fit in and the way you want to work”

John Rooney 

Graphic Design & Typography 

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John Rooney is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Graphic Design and Visual Communication at the University of Leeds. John has run his own design consultancy that included a 12-year creative commission with Tate Gallery Liverpool. He worked with the curators to produce award-winning art books, exhibition newsletters, international gallery and artist advertising campaigns, web design work, and motion graphic projects.

“It's all of these many different forms of adaptation, both big and small, that contribute to what our culture understands as a given work of art”

Kate Newell

Liberal Arts 

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Kate Newell is Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her research includes adaptation and intersections of literature and visual culture. She is the author of Expanding Adaptation Networks: From Illustration to Novelization.

“You have to keep your ego in check because you've got to be able to throw things away that you may think are great”

Simon Leake

Copy Writing 

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After immersing himself in Shakespeare's language and craft at graduate school in Stratford-upon-Avon, Simon Leake joined Amazon.com in its second year of operation. He was part of the team that built the company's customer service messaging. He then joined their editorial department to create content for the books and DVD divisions. After that, he became a freelance copywriter, creating video scripts for a wide variety of clients, including Microsoft, Nordstrom, HP, the World Bank, and the Gates Foundation. 

“Applying creativity to positively impact society by being inclusive and socially responsible and by putting ethics at the center of the creative intent and of what businesses stand for”

Fiorenza Pinio

Creative Excellence  

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Fiorenza Plinio is the Head of Creative Excellence at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where she nurtures creativity across all the company's products and services and creates continuous innovation and engagement with the global creative community and organizations, building programs that bring to life the highest levels of creativity at the largest gathering of the advertising and creative communications industry and beyond.

“Make the emotional and human connection first and foremost”

Gary Burt  

Product Innovation 

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Product innovator Gary Burt has guided the success of multiple breakthrough products and services at technology companies: Microsoft, O2, Siemens, Atos, and Blue Prism. He has set the strategy, roadmap, and feature definition to maximize business value by being deeply committed and continuously honing his craft through quality execution and completeness of the entire product life cycle with a focus on the design-based, human-centered approach.

“I try to find the paradox or contradiction that will inform the design intent”

Maggie Hendrie 

Media Design  

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Maggie Hendrie is an interaction designer and founding chair of Art Center College of Design's Bachelor of Science in Interaction Design, and chairs their Graduate Media Design Practices MFA. 

“The key is to find the creative trigger and just start!”

Iwan Gronow

Music  

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Independent musician Iwan Gronow, the bassist in Johnny Marr's band, has toured the world and played at festivals including Glastonbury, Coachella, and Fuji Rock, and appeared on Later with Jools Holland and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

“Great marketing is about balancing creativity with tactics to drive the business forward”

Cath Brands

Marketing 

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Cath has spent the last 17 years blending the art and science of her craft as a brand and marketing leader by anticipating future trends inspired by industry developments, culture, and aesthetics that connect to emotions and imagination, elegantly composed, and brand-positioned artistic solutions for some of the world's most famous and influential brands: Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Westfield, Jim Beam, Absolut Vodka, Famous Grouse, Amazon, and Microsoft. 

“It's the ability to come up with an idea and see it come to life”

Jeremy Parker              

Entrepreneurship

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Filmmaker turned Entrepreneur Jeremy Parker is the co-founder and CEO of Swag .com, an all-in-one solution for shopping and sending customized gifts, employee swag boxes, and promotional items. 

“AI research is too focused on what people do and to try and replicate it, rather than doing what people cant”

Richard Harper  

Research 

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Richard Harper is the author of 14 books, published over 200 scientific and has 27 patents. His research looks at how people engage with each other through technology and the implications for engineering and concepts of the individual in the digital age. He is Director of the Institute of Social Futures at Lancaster University, which coheres humanities and social science research with natural and physical sciences and engineering. He is a Fellow of the IET, the Royal Society of Arts, and ACM Fellow. The bulk of his career has been spent in commercial research, Xerox and Microsoft.

“I do it because I have the inclination to, and work out why after

Roy Sharples  

Entrepreneurship

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Founder and CEO of Unknown Origins,  on a mission to save the world from banality by unleashing the creative power of artists, entrepreneurs, educators, and businesses with innovative products, services, and experiences. Author of "Creativity Without Frontiers",  broadcaster and publisher of community-driven perspectives on creativity, innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship.