Andrea Stark, London

Director Employment, Skills and Culture, Islington.

Stark first worked in theatre before becoming the arts chief for the City of Sunderland and later Dundee City Council, where she worked on major regeneration programmes using the creative industries to drive local economic growth. In 1999, she became Chief Executive of the Eastern Arts Board, the Arts Council England Executive Director for the East and South East, and a member of their National Executive Board. In 2012, Stark left to become Chief Executive of the new High House Production Park in Essex. There, she led the team that created a national centre of excellence for creative industries. She was chief executive of High House Production Park and has been appointed a director of the Foundation for Future London, the organisation responsible for developing the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as a new cultural and educational district.

Beatrice Pembroke, London

Director of Creative Economy, British Council.

Beatrice Pembroke is Director of Creative Economy work at the British Council, supporting people around the world to shape and share a creative and prosperous future. She is responsible for global strategy, partnerships and leading the UK team, with programmes in over 30 countries a year. Together, they identify the next generation of culture makers, bringing them the space, tools, skills and connections they need to develop and scale in a changing world. She’s also currently leading the Arts and Cities work for the British Council.

Beatrice was previously special advisor to Martha Lane Fox, tech entrepreneur and peer. She began her career in publishing at Simon and Schuster, then Index on Censorship, before moving on to the BBC and MTV. She is co-founder of techforgood.global, a trustee of Auto Italia and on the Ashoka Social Ventures advisory board.

Ben Eaton, Leeds

Technical Director, Invisible Flock.

A digital artist and creative technologist, he is interested in the critical use of new technology, as well as place, environment the use of hardware and sound. Invisible Flock are an interactive arts studio based in Leeds who create and present work all over the world. 

Described by the Guardian as “real innovators” of digital and interactive art they are renowned for creating ground breaking hybrid work across forms. They create artworks that invite people to re-imagine the world they live in and how they participate in it, using technology to incite meaningful encounters.

Charlotte Dryden, Belfast

Chief Executive of Oh Yeah Music Centre Belfast.

Charlotte Dryden is the Chief Executive of the award winning Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast, a dedicated music hub for the city. Charlotte Dryden has been involved in the Northern Irish music community for 15 years and has a background in leadership, music and festival programming, venue and event management, music media, as well as working with key music industry bodies and not-for-profit organisations.  

Since 2008, she has worked at Oh Yeah, rising to the position of Creative Development Director and then CEO. She initiated several of the key programmes at the centre including Women’s Work, a unique and groundbreaking festival for Belfast celebrating women. She has been a driving force for diversity and change in music and is passionate about promoting the contribution that Northern Ireland makes culturally, artistically and musically. 

Chris Hunt, Glasgow

Founder/Director, Re-Designed Scotland.

Chris has worked with designers at widespread events including in Hong Kong, LFW, the Tea Building in Shoreditch and other ventures with artists and designers such as Holly Fulton, Kestin Hare, April Crichton, Timorous Beasties, Jonathan Saunders, Jim Lambie, and Christopher Kane. He works behind the scenes advising, showcasing and mentoring in the creative sector. He also runs Genuine PR, an international PR & events agency, currently working on the Paisley museum collections among other projects. 

Chris has worked with designers at widespread events including LFW, the Tea Building in Shoreditch and other ventures with artists and designers such as Timorous Beasties, Jonathan Saunders, Jim Lambie, and Christopher Kane. He works behind the scenes advising, showcasing and mentoring in the creative sector. He also runs Genuine PR, an international PR & events agency.

Dr. Andy C Pratt, London

Professor of Cultural Economy, City, University London - Conference Strategy Group Member.

Andy is an internationally acclaimed expert on the topic of the cultural industries. Andy specializes the analysis of the cultural industries in the US, Europe and Japan. This research has two strands. The first focuses on the urban spatial clustering of cultural industries; he is particularly interested in the social and economic dynamics of clustering. The second strand concerns the definition and measurement of employment in the cultural, or creative, industries. He has developed definitions of the cultural sector that are used as standard measures by UNCTAD and UNESCO.

Andy has worked, amongst others, as a consultant or advisor for the London Development Agency, South East Development Agency, the Arts Council, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Department of Trade and Industry, NESTA. 

Dr. Gerald Lidstone, London

Goldsmiths, Director of the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship.

Director of the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London 

Founder of the MA Arts Administration and Cultural Policy and co-founder of the MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship programme and the MA in Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy.

He has worked for over twelve years on behalf of The Ministry of Culture and Information in Viet Nam establishing Arts Management education in Hanoi University of Culture, funded by the Ford Foundation, well as being awarded the national medal for culture in Viet Nam. He was also the director of a four-year British Know-How Fund (Foreign Office) project establishing arts management education in Slovakia. An outcome of this was the publication of the first book on arts management in Slovak and the British Council project Closer to the Museum.

Dr. Martin Smith, London

Special Adviser, the Ingenious Group; Visiting Fellow, Goldsmiths; and chairman, St John’s Smith Square. Chairman of Conference Strategy Group.

Adviser and spokesman at Ingenious, a British investment business specialising in the media, energy and property sectors and best known for its investments in UK film and TV drama having invested more than £8 billion in creative assets since 1998. He advises Ingenious on government relations and corporate PR and speaks for the company in media industry forums on policy and investment topics. He also works with Ingenious founder Patrick McKenna on a portfolio of philanthropic, arts, social investment and education projects.

Through his own company, West Bridge Consulting, which focuses on cultural industries’ investment issues, he works in an advisory role with a small number of national and international clients.  He has worked with the British Council in a pro bono capacity for more than ten years.

Gareth Jones, Caerphilly

Owner ICE Projects in Wales Ltd and Boma Camp Ltd, founder and former CEO of WelshICE co-working hub.

Experienced the pain and joy of founding and leading one of the UK’s largest community of entrepreneurs. Invested time and energy into every facet of the Welsh start-up scene.  

Founded and exited Welsh ICE, Wales’ largest community of entrepreneurs, and recently launched Town Square Spaces.

Advisory member on the boards of Properr, Cardiff University Impact Accelerator, Cardiff Capital Region City Deal Strategic Regional Group, and Cardiff Start.

Hilary Alexander, OBE, London

Fashion Journalist.

Born in New Zealand, Hilary Alexander OBE is the former Fashion Director of The Daily Telegraph. She retired from the Telegraph in 2011, after 26 years, and has continued to work as a freelance stylist and writer, is the editor-at-large of Hello Fashion Monthly, and a regular presenter and host at Clotheshow. She appears frequently on television and is an occasional judge on Britain's Next Top Model.

She works regularly with a number of charities, including the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and the British Heart Foundation, and also styles and co-ordinates the Breast Cancer Care annual charity gala fashion show. A long-established supporter of Graduate Fashion Week since it began more than twenty-five years ago, she has been a GFW Trustee since 2011.

She was awarded the OBE by HM The Queen, for services to fashion journalism on 28 November 2013.