The Forum concept has been developed in cooperation with an external Strategy Group that acts as an advisory board. The Strategy Group helps to determine the Forum’s focal topics, the types of forum participants and strategy for evaluating the Forum and disseminating its findings. 

The Strategy Group consists of six members, three from UK and three from Kazakhstan, who are senior leaders from within their country’s creative economy sector. 

Strategy Group Members:

Dr. Martin Smith

Special Adviser with the Ingenious Group, Visiting Fellow in Creative Industries, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

Martin is Special Adviser at Ingenious, a British investment business specialising in the media and energy sectors and best known for its investments in UK and Studio films. He advises Ingenious on corporate PR, government relations and public affairs and speaks for the company in numerous forums nationally and internationally.

Martin works with Ingenious founder Patrick McKenna on philanthropic, arts, social investment and education projects and also runs his own consulting firm, West Bridge Consulting.  Prior to establishing West Bridge he was a partner at the Brunswick Group LLP where his clients included government agencies and private sector clients in the Russian Federation, the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, France, Germany and the USA as well as in the UK.  Before that he worked in consumer affairs and public policy roles in London and Brussels and was a TV reporter for Thames TV in the early days of Channel 4.

Martin is chairman of classical music venue St John’s Smith Square, Westminster and a former chairman of the Young Vic Theatre Company. He was a member of the Project Advisory Group for the Arts & Humanities Research Council’s Cultural Value Project, is an adviser to the National Film & Television School (NFTS), He also works with BAME creative business incubator MeWe360, which is a joint venture between Ingenious and Arts Council England (ACE).

Find out more at

Andy C Pratt

Professor of Cultural Economy, Director Centre for Culture and Creative Industries, City University of London, UK

Andy is an internationally acclaimed expert on the topic of the cultural industries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences. He has held academic appointments at University College London (Bartlett School of Planning) and LSE (Geography, and Urban Research Centre), King’s College, London (Culture, Media and Creative Industries). 

Andy specializes the analysis of the cultural industries in the US, Europe and Japan. His research interests concern all aspects of the cultural economy: from ideas through production, distribution, consumption and reflection/knowledge.  He has worked as a consultant or advisor for national and urban policy makers, and the EU, UNESCO, UNCTAD, and WIPO, and the British Council. He has had major recent research projects including AHRC Creative Economy Hub: Creative works london (2012-2016), the cultural and creative industries in India (2008–2010), Innovative spaces (2008–2009). He has published over a hundred books, chapters and articles – his recently co-authored publication is the 'Creative Hubs Report: 2016'.

Find out more about Andy and download some of his papers at 

Jill Miller OBE

Director of Cultural Services, Glasgow Life, Scotland, UK

Jill has been Director of Cultural Services for Glasgow Life since 2009 and held equivalent posts in Glasgow City Council’s Cultural and Leisure Services Department from 1999. 

As a Director of Cultural Services Jill provides leadership for Arts & Music, Museums and Collections and leads on key initiatives such as Volunteering and Equalities. She also plays a lead role for the city’s arts sector, focusing on building partnerships and enabling artists and arts organisations to develop and realise their ambitions. She is championing in developing Glasgow’s Museums, as well as leading on Glasgow’s Concert Halls, UNESCO City of Music and events such as Celtic Connections and developments, such as the refurbishment of Glasgow’s iconic Kelvin Hall. Jill led on the enhancing Tramway’s role as a centre for contemporary art and performance, this culminated in Tramway being the first Scottish host of the Turner Prize in 2015.

Jill comes from a creative background which has provided extensive public and voluntary sector experience graduating from the Scottish College of Textiles she worked as a freelance community artist, facilitator and trainer before joining Fife Council as an Arts and Disability Officer in 1990.

Find out more at

Aktoty Raimkulova

Vice-Minister of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Aktoty has been a Vice-Minister of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan since October 2016. Before the appointment, she was the Director of the Department for Culture and Arts and Acting Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Culture and Arts of the Ministry, vice-rector at the Kazakh National Conservatory named after Kurmangazy, teacher and concertmaster.

Aktoty is a composer, pianist and author of many musical compositions ("El baqyty", "Apple of Peace", cantatas "Kokzhal"), ballet "Aspanki", symphonic poems, plays, more than 300 songs, soundtracks for films and serials. The play “Alatau” written for Ensemble Continuum became a part of their New York concert "Music at the Crossroads". 

Aktoty graduated from the Almaty State Conservatory named after Kurmangazy specializing in composition and piano, has Masters in Management and Doctor of Business Administration.  She is a member of ISCM (International Society of Contemporary Music) with offices in 50 countries and serves as secretary of its Kazakhstan branch.

Sanzhar Kettebekov

CEO Almaty Tech Garden, Kazakhstan

Sanzhar is a CEO of Autonomous Cluster Fund (Almaty Tech Garden) - non-commercial organisation and the governing body of the innovative technologies park special economic zone - supporting business-demanded innovations based on the mutually beneficial interaction of business, start-ups, investors, educational and research institutions. 

Sanzhar has 18 years of experience in the IT industry and investments including extensive experience in R&D. He is a founder of “Segment Interactive”, a company based in the Silicon Valley, United States, and Founder and CEO of “Receptive”. Prior starting receptive (segment interactive) he was a head of User Experience at the Tribune Company, senior principal consultant for Fortune 500 clients, and an architect of Yahoo desktop search. 

Sanzhar received his PhD and BS degrees from the Pennsylvania State University. He has over 15 years in behavioural analytics and user experience research.

Andrey Khazbulatov

PhD, Associate professor, Distinguished Scientist of Kazakhstan

Andrey is the General Director of the Kazakh Research Institute of Culture, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a state organization implementing the Concept of the Cultural Policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, coordinating research in the field of culture and arts, developing international cooperation and Kazakhstan’s integration into the global cultural space.

He was a lead for cultural policy development of the Republic of Kazakhstan approved by Presidential Decree in 2014. He is an advisor for multiple academic and artistic projects. 

Andrey is a member of the National Research Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan and a member of the editorial board of the geopolitical magazine «IL Nododi Gordio» (Italy). He is an author of numerous articles and monographs and a laureate of many state rewards.