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Creative Clusters 2006, Newcastle: Featured Speakers

Will Alsop – Architect and Artist

Will Alsop is one of the most prominent of UK architects. His practice is an international operation, but one guided by the principle that architecture is both vehicle and symbol of social change and renewal.

The philosophy extends from the design of individual buildings to embrace broader principles of urbanism and city development. By abandoning the hegemony of an acceptable style, he has rendered the whole process of architecture one of increasing fluidity and transparency; a new and refreshing position for architecture.

Will Alsop follows a parallel path as an artist, feeling that it is a discipline inseparable from architecture. He was a tutor of sculpture at Central St. Martins College of Art & Design, London, for several years, has held many other academic posts, and actively promotes the artistic contribution to the built environment.

His paintings and sketches have been exhibited alongside his architectural projects in dedicated exhibitions at Sir John Soane’s Museum, Milton Keynes Gallery, Cube Gallery, Manchester, the British Pavilion at Venice Biennale and many others.

Will Alsop

Will Alsop

Councillor Mick Henry – Leader of Gateshead City Council

Councillor Mick Henry is one of the remarkable people with vision and commitment to their city and community who made possible NewcastleGateshead’s transformation from a declining industrial centre into a cool, contemporary city.

A passionate advocate of the arts, creative industries and cultural diversity, Mike has been a key figure in the establishment of The Sage Gateshead and was involved from the inception in the borough’s two most famous cultural icons, the Angel of the North and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

Mick has played a particularly active role in promoting cultural activities in Gateshead and has been instrumental in helping local people to access the arts.

Mick Henry

Mick Henry

Dr Orestes Modesto del Castillo del Prado – Office for the City Historian

Distinguished architect and educator, Professor Castillo del Prado is Advisor to the City of Havana’s Officina del Historiador and has been actively involved in the significant heritage preservation efforts that are taking place in Havana.

Recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his work, he is a world-renowned specialist in historical preservation and history of art and has held numerous speaking engagements and visiting professorships in South America, USA, France, Spain and Italy.

He brings to Creative Clusters his profound knowledge of Cuba’s urban heritage and culture and its current efforts to preserve Havana’s historic buildings, develop tourism and address the social issues that impact most on the old city’s residents.

Orestes Del Castillo

Orestes del Castillo

Dr Soo Hong Noh – Professor, School of Environmental Engineering, Yonsei University, Korea

Professor Noh founded a research group for Cheonggyecheon (cheon means a stream in Korean) revival on September 1, 2000. The group organised several symposia which covered various aspects of restoring Cheonggyecheon such as restoration technologies, economic impacts, conflict management, legal issues, and historical and cultural issues.

Professor Noh first had the vision of restoring Cheonggyecheon in 1991 after a casual conversation with a colleague in the history department. Since then, he has championed the project proposal by contacting several specialists and organising seminars related to the restoration.

During the 2002 Seoul city mayoral election, candidate M. B. Lee used the Cheonggyecheon project proposal as a main election issue, and won. Professor Noh and his group members have since participated in the restoration process and played major roles in the hugely successful Cheonggyecheon project which was officially opened in 2005.


Selma Prodanovic – Vice President, Creativ Wirtschaft Austria

Selma Prodanovic, a creative entrepreneur, is a marketing communication and networking specialist, demanded multilingual trainer (English, German, Crotian/Bosnian/Serbian), lecturer and author, with more than 15 years of new business development experience in Central and South East Europe.

Fascinated with the idea of constant active improvement, the fact that each of us can make a positive difference, Selma Prodanovic founded Brainswork where she is Chief Networking Officer (CNO).

In february 2005 she became Vice President of creativ wirtschaft austria – the Austrian creative industries platform which as part of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce wants to establish and promote”Creative Austria”. She specifically concentrates on developing the creative industries in the region (South-Est and Central Europe) and other worldwide cooperations.In the 2006 she founded the Association for promotion of creative industries, creativity, and innovation – Creative Europe.

Selma Prodanovic

Selma Prodanovic

John Willis – Former BBC Director of Factual Programmes and Learning

John Willis began his career as a documentary maker at Yorkshire Television winning awards for ground-breaking programmes like Johnny Go Home and Rampton – The Secret Hospital. He later edited the innovative documentary strand First Tuesday.

In 1988 he joined Channel 4′s as Controller of Factual Programmes where he created successful new strands like Cutting Edge, True Stories and Secret History.

Promoted to Director of Programmes he oversaw the production of innovative series’ including Father Ted and Rory Bremner, and film successes like Four Weddings and a Funeral and Trainspotting. He also guided Channel 4′s entry into schools broadcasting and was Chairman of Channel 4 Learning.

After Channel 4, John became Chief Executive of United Productions where he built a fast-growing production division including Hornblower and Oliver Twist. When Granada bought United, he was appointed Managing Director of London Weekend and United Productions.

In 2001, he won the prestigious Royal Television Society Gold Medal for Creative Contribution to Television. He became Vice President in charge of National Programming at WGBH in Boston, the biggest station in the public service network in the United States, before joining the BBC in April 2003.

He joined the BBC as Director of Factual and Learning with responsibility for BBC factual production across all channels. He presided over groundbreaking programmes such as Planet Earth, The Secret Policeman and the launch of BBC jam. He was also appointed as a member of the Executive Direction Group where he has been a key figure in helping shape the direction of the BBC’s Creative Future content strategy.

John Willis

John Willis

Anthony Sargent – General Director, The Sage Gateshead

Anthony Sargent held Choral Scholarships at Oxford University’s Magdalen and Christ Church Colleges while studying Politics and Philosophy. He then held a sequence of BBC radio and television production and presentation posts, including leading the planning management and radio broadcasting of the Proms, and the year-round artistic management of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, as Concerts Planning Manager.

In 1986 he joined London’s South Bank Centre as its first Artistic Projects Director, devising many of the Centre’s artistic policies and responsible for much of the Centre’s own originally created programming.

In 1989 he moved to Birmingham as the City Council’s first Head of Arts, creating and implementing the Council’s Arts Strategy and leading many of Birmingham’s most ambitious arts initiatives, including the city’s year-long music festival “Sounds Like Birmingham / UK City of Music 1992” and Birmingham’s 10-year festival of the 20th Century, Towards the Millennium, planned jointly with Sir Simon Rattle.

In 1999 he re-joined the BBC on secondment as Partnerships & Programme Development Manager for BBC Millennium Music Live, the most ambitious nationwide cultural project the BBC has ever staged.

In 2000 he took up his fifth newly created job in succession, leading the team responsible for The Sage Gateshead as its first General Director. Opened in December 2004, The Sage Gateshead is an inspirational new centre for musical discovery, based in an iconic Norman Foster building on a landmark Tyneside site, creating and hosting programmes of music performance, learning and participation in its own home and across all 10,000 square miles of the North of England.

Anthony Sargent

Anthony Sargent

Lupwishi Mbuyamba – Executive Director of the Observatory of Cultural Policies in Africa (OCPA)

Lupwishi Mbuyamba has been an active advocate, advisor and educator on African cultural affairs for many years. He is passionate about redressing the imbalance that see’s underprivileged countries struggling to support homegrown creative talent, leaving their cultural heritage in decline.

Currently the Executive Director of the Observatory of Cultural Policies in Africa (OCPA) he has also worked extensively with UNESCO, notably on their CICIBA project establishing an International Centre for Bantu Civilizations in Gabon. He was appointed Regional Advisor for all Africa in 1997 and from 2001 has been the UNESCO representative in
Maputo, Mozambique.

Lupwishi Mbuyamba

Lupwishi Mbuyamba

John Thackara – Programme Director Dott07

“Collaborative social innovation is the way of the future – but it needs to be organized.” John Thackara sets up projects, programmes and institutions that enable designers, together with grassroots innovators and citizens, to develop new services for daily life.

John is Programme Director of Designs of the time(Dott07). Due to launch in North East England in 2007, Dott is a ten year programme of design innovation that will take place every two years in a different region or nation across the UK.

John is also the Director of Doors of Perception, a design futures network with offices in France and India. Founded as a conference in 1993, ‘Doors’ now connects together a worldwide network of visionary designers, thinkers, and grassroots innovators. This unique community of practice is inspired by two related questions: “we know what new technology can do, but what is it for?” and,“how do we want to live?”.

John Thackara

John Thackara

Edna Dos Santos-Duisenberg – Chief, Creative Industries Programme,
UNCTAD

Edna dos Santos-Duisenberg is a development economist who started her international career at the United Nations in 1983. She joined the Minerals & Metals Branch of the Commodities Division of UNCTAD in Geneva, and for 12 years was in charge of intergovernmental action in the area of iron ore and steel-related commodities. In 1995 she joined the Cabinet of the Secretary General and was Chef de Cabinet for 10 years.

In 2005 Ms. Dos Santos became Chief, Creative Industries Programme of UNCTAD. In this capacity, has been leading UNCTAD’s policy-oriented, research and technical cooperation work on this innovative topic. She put forward a number of pro-active initiatives for promoting international and national action in the area of creative industries, hence creative economy.

She has been sensitizing governments and creative practitioners about the development dimension and the economic potential of the creative industries to diversify sources of income and increase trade gains in developing countries. She revitalized and is the Chairperson of the UN- Multi-Agency Informal Group on Creative Industries. She is building synergies among the UN system and promoting joint-projects for enhancing the creative economy in developing countries.

Edna Dos Santos-Duisenberg

Edna Dos Santos-Duisenberg

Garry Neil – Executive Director, International Network for Cultural Diversity

Garry Neil is a cultural policy consultant. After 15 years with the union representing Canadian performers, writers and broadcast journalists, Mr. Neil formed Neil Craig Associates in 1992 to provide services to firms, associations and others interested in cultural policy.

For three years, he was also Executive Director of the Association of Canadian Publishers. Mr. Neil works in Canada and internationally and is presently the Executive Director of the International Network for Cultural Diversity and Chair of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre.

Garry Neil

Garry Neil

Andrew Breslau – Executive Director of City Futures, New York

Andrew Breslau is the executive director of City Futures, home to the not for profit think tank the Center for an Urban Future. The Center was the author and publisher of Creative New York –a paradigm changing examination of the contributions of, and challenges faced by, New York City’s creative industries.

Breslau came to City Futures in January of 2006 after working the last 8 years at CNN as both a senior manager and a producer. Prior to CNN, he was the director of special projects for the Democratic National Committee and served as director of public affairs for the Manhattan Borough President’s Office from 1990 through 1995.

Before his time in government, Mr. Breslau was the founding associate director of the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).