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Two government consultations which could have a significant impact on the long-term future of the UK’s cultural and creative industries (CCIs)

Although the impact of the pandemic on the UK’s creative sector has been uneven, with some tech-intensive sub-sectors (such as SVOD – streaming video on demand) now positively booming, the aggregate effect on the ‘creative industries,’ broadly defined, has been severe if not devastating, especially for the performing arts and the live entertainment industry.  Employment in the music and theatre businesses may have contracted by more than 70% since March 2020, in spite of the positive and critical role played by the government’s £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund.

Against this background two government consultations could potentially play a significant role in influencing long term outcomes for the creative sector. The first is a review by HM Treasury of the R&D tax credit R&D Tax Reliefs: consultation – GOV.UK ( which runs until June.  The second is a consultation by the Business Department (BEIS) on ‘subsidy control’ Subsidy control consultation – Designing a new approach for the UK – Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – Citizen Space which closed on 31st March.  Both consultations raise important questions about economic intervention in the ‘creative economy’, the former focusing on innovation, research and development, the latter on state aid (‘subsidy’) and competition policy.  What is the role of the taxpayer in stimulating investment and how much support should be provided via the business tax system as distinct from direct or indirect public subsidies?

In Culture of Innovation, a ground-breaking report published by NESTA in 2010, Hasan Bakhshi and David Throsby examined the importance of ‘R&D’ in arts and cultural organisations Culture of Innovation | Nesta.  Drawing on research carried out with the National Theatre and the Tate Gallery, the authors scrutinised the role of innovation under four headings: extending audience reach; art-form development; value creation; and business models.  At that time, no arts organisation or commercial creative enterprise outside the film industry was eligible for tax relief for any business activity approximating to ‘innovation’ or ‘R&D’.  This landscape was later changed when seven new creative sector tax reliefs – for video games, animation, theatre, high-end drama and childrens’ TV, orchestras and museums and galleries – were introduced over a three-year period following the Budget of March 2012 (see Creative Industry tax reliefs for Corporation Tax – GOV.UK (  These tax credits have in each case been used to finance new work – whether in touring new shows or curating new exhibitions.  Even their one-time critics now regard them as an indispensable feature of the funding landscape.

What is significant here – this brings us to the first of the two government consultations – is that a separate regime of tax credits designed to support investment in industry-based research and development, introduced for SMEs in 2000 and extended to big companies in 2002, has been largely unavailable to the creative sector with important exceptions in the technology-intensive video games, animation and special effects (VFX) and design industries.  This is because the UK government’s eligibility rules are more restrictive than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) guidelines on which they are based.

The OECD’s Frascati Manual defines research and experimental development (R&D) as “creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of humankind, culture and society….” (emphasis added), whereas the UK government in its guidelines defines R&D for tax purposes as taking place only “when a project seeks to achieve an advance in science or technology.  The UK guidelines speak of activities “which directly contribute to achieving this advance in science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty….” (emphasis added).  They are consequently deemed to exclude the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) from eligibility except at the high-tech margins (the VFX industry is the best example).

Creative industry lobbyists have long complained about these arrangements – partly on the basis that the OECD’s Frascati guidelines are clearly intended to include culture-based activity and partly that the CCIs, no less than pharmaceuticals and life sciences companies, also engage in what is loosely called ‘R&D’.  But running this argument is far from straightforward.  Creative research and experimentation is conceptually and commercially different from science-based R&D: creative projects (like plays, films and games) are essentially one-off prototypes which, unlike drugs or electric vehicles, are not capable of being licensed for repeat or scale consumption at the end of a successful development process.  They also use different language, for example ‘workshopping’ in theatre and ‘script development’ in film and television.  Nonetheless musicals, movies and other forms of creative ‘content’ are, or so it is argued by the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) and others, just as dependent on up-front investment as any medicine or consumer durable and should not be discriminated against by a fiscal regime designed to incentivise such investment.

This argument has failed on several occasions but is now being mobilised again prompted by the current Treasury consultation.  For the latest articulation of the case see the papers produced by the Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) here Policy-briefing_-RD-in-the-arts-humanities-and-social-sciences.pdf ( and by Prof. Andrew Chitty, the Arts & Humanities Research Council’s creative industries ‘champion’, here R&D Tax Credits – wider, bigger, better – CRAIC (

The second, altogether more abstract consultation on ‘subsidy control’ is a direct consequence of Brexit.  Withdrawal from the European Union signifies withdrawal from the EU’s competition and state-aid regime which, for reasons both of domestic policy and international trade, must now be replaced with a home-grown substitute.  This consultation deals in terms of high-level principles and is hard to pin down as regards sector-specific application or practical consequences.

The complex public-private financing ecology which sustains the CCIs in the UK has emerged from successive economic interventions over many decades, ranging from the inauguration of the BBC in 1922 through to the establishment of other public sector broadcasters (PSBs), like ITV and Channel 4 in the 1950s and 1980s, and the more recent creative sector tax credits referred to earlier. The fear is that this interlocking web is theoretically at risk from the introduction of any competition policy regime which fails to recognise the inter-dependence of these interventions, especially in the nations and regions where the role of the PSBs has been critical to sustaining the audio-visual core of creative business activity.

Why should we be concerned?  The answer is that many of these interventions, including most obviously the very existence of the BBC, is dependent on the view taken by the government of the day of what constitutes ‘market failure’; and on the critical intersection between market failure analysis, industrial policy and wider cultural policy.  This is implicitly acknowledged in question 9 of the BEIS consultation which asks whether the audio-visual sector should be included in the new subsidy control regime. (The only sensible answer on current information is “it depends”!).

Whilst there is no obvious reason to suppose that HM Treasury is about to initiate a bonfire of creative sector tax credits given their well-documented and continually trumpeted success in stimulating inward investment, a government which, to almost universal dismay, declined to negotiate continuing low-cost membership of the EU’s Creative Europe programme and has recently abandoned the industrial strategy launched in 2017 by former Secretary of State Greg Clark (see my earlier lecture here ‘Creative industries’ revisited: contestable narratives, the ‘sector deal’ and the Policy and Evidence Centre (, is bound to make us all nervous about its intentions until there is greater clarity about direction of travel.

Dr Martin Smith is a Visiting Fellow in ICCE

Rethinking Arts Management in a Pandemic

Arts management does not exist in a vacuum, and neither do arts organisations. The arts are a petri dish where culture grows and develops in response to wider social, political and economic contexts and changes in society. It is inevitable then, that much like the arts we manage, the way we teach has also changed in response to Covid-19. Some of these changes will hopefully be temporary, but others will hopefully stay. The ability to engage with professionals from around the world, and with students from every corner of the world through a computer has provided radical new ways of working, but also radical new modes of practice. Central to our model of arts management teaching is a close relationship with art, artists, and arts organisations. That has been no different this year, and in many ways has been more exciting, dynamic, and future focused than before.


Building a community 

As a team we were quick to isolate the core components of our teaching ethos – student centred design, a safe and supportive learning environment, and access to world leading thinkers. Indeed it was this ethos that helped us to shape our first approach at creating a space that could replicate our learning community in an online environment. Induction week is an exciting time for staff and students, it’s a chance to meet new people, experience new things, and get a taste for what is to come. Working with Exit Productions, a UK based theatre company, we commissioned a performance of their successful interactive, online show ‘Jury Duty’ for our new students. The show which lasted for just under two hours puts the audience in the role of Juror, together they must review the evidence, meet the defendant, and ultimately decide if they committed the crime.  This provided students with the chance to get to know each other, have fun, and to think about online performance, and the role of the audience in ‘creating’ performance. 

This same group of students were then able to reverse roles, and develop their own online performances. Working with Adam Marple, Artistic Director of The Theatre of Others, students devised a set of five performances inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The results were inspiring, and showed how arts managers can learn through the practices of the arts that they manage. You can see some examples of this work below.

(First row: L-R: Tala, Alex, George and Ines. Second row: L-R: Ida, Silvia, Adam, Emma)

Insights from the arts

This year we have worked with our brilliant network of creative professionals to bring their insights to students in new ways, but we have also used this moment to develop the ways in which we work with visiting professionals. This year we have had visiting professionals from The Design Museum, Barbican, Royal Academy, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre, British Museum, Charlotte Spencer Projects, Royal Albert Hall, Deptford X, Tramshed, Laura Callender PR, Arts Council England, Tate, Whitechapel Gallery, Migration Museum, Southbank Centre, Mall Galleries, Wigmore Hall, Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, Bush Theatre, Akram Khan.

Typically second year students undertake an in depth case study by being embedded in an arts organisations, this year we moved to online mentor sessions. These sessions provided students with the opportunity to work closely with visiting professionals, to have honest dialogue, and develop their confidence in having professional conversations. Our mentors were drawn from SPACE, Horniman Museum, Wired PR, Young Arts Fundraisers.


International perspectives

We have also had the opportunity to receive contributions that add an international perspective, for example students on the “Fundraising in the Arts Module” were able to meet with staff from The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Morgan Library in New York to gain insights into the American Model of Fundraising.

This year we launched a new optional module called ‘The State of Hip Hop’ which brought together scholars from Goldsmiths and beyond, with Faculty and students from Temple University, Philadelphia joining some of the sessions, this new virtual collaboration provided an opportunity for international perspectives on this module. A number of external academics also contributed to this module including: Dr Greg DeCuir Jr, Curator of the Black Light Retrospective, Dr Monique Charles Grime independent scholar; Dr Gabriel Dattatreyan, Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths and Dr Jaspal Singh, University of Hong Kong.

For a number of years now we have worked with LASALLE College of Arts, in Singapore. In 2019 we sent a small group of students to Singapore to work with students from LASALLE to develop a joint research project which sought to challenge ‘the status quo as the role of arts management’. Students with the support of Faculty developed a series of case studies which demonstrated innovative practice in the UK and London. This year this partnership was developed virtually, and future collaborations are planned. This partnership is funded through the Goldsmiths-LASALLE Partnership Innovation Fund (PIF)


Students in their final year

In the final year of BA Arts Management students are supported to develop their own professional and academic interests, and this year has been no different. We have been inspired by the new ways that students see the world, the solutions they offer and the practice they develop. In terms of dissertations we have students researching environmental sustainability at music festivals, the impact of Covid on music venues in London, emerging business models in the commercial art market, and the social benefits of arts facilitation on newly arrived refugees to the UK. Increasingly students are engaging with digital platforms and digital culture, with focus groups and interviews via zoom, and digital ethnography methods being used to develop new ways of thinking about how we experience culture online.

Students have also been running their own events and raised over £1000 from Kickstarter to run online projects. Identities Theatre explore the complexities of cultural identity through the medium of theatre and Express-impress have created an online arts platform to engage young people in social and political activity. One group of students has teamed up with Design students at Goldsmiths to create the online exhibition I-N-S-I-D-E  which focuses on developing creativity and having fun whilst stuck inside. These events and projects will all be delivered by the end of May.


What next?

We are excited to build on our successes this year, and to help future proof our students for this new world. In Autumn 2021 we launch a new core module ‘Digital Culture, Digital Literacies’ which will provide first year students with the opportunity to critically engage with digital technologies, and develop the skills needed to collaborate digitally with colleagues around the world. This module examines platforms, and information hierarchies from a theoretical perspective, and provides students with the skills and knowledge to not only use these technologies, but also to examine the intended and unintended consequences of creating culture online. What we have learnt this year is that teaching arts management is much like arts management itself, always shifting, always changing, exciting, challenging and dynamic. That is something that is unlikely to change, and as a team that is something we are excited about.

Dr Oonagh Murphy is a Lecturer in Arts Management.

You can find out more about BA Arts Management, academic staff in ICCE and our BA Arts Management Alumni.

Creative Performance Special Award – Winner Sara Dos Santos

Photography by Alice Underwood ©2021

Sara Dos Santos is 2020’s winner of Creative Performance Making Award. In partnership with, and supported by Santander Universities, Goldsmiths Theatre and Performance Department and The Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, this special award aims to promote work and raise the profile of black voices.

Sara is a Portuguese born, London-based choreographer, movement director, and cultural professional, known for interlacing a variation of dance styles, cultural influences and international experiences to develop work that has been described as engaging, thought-provoking and emotionally driven. Having recently completed her Masters in Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy, Sara is keen to combine newly acquired knowledge and existing skills towards the development, innovation and success of Shifting Borders.

Shifting Borders brings to light stories of Afro-Portuguese speaking communities based in London. The Creative Performance Making Award will support the development of this brand-new cross cultural and multidisciplinary short film. In partnership with local, national and international organisations and in collaboration with a multifaceted creative workforce, Sara is delighted to bring this long-term vision to life.

Previously awarded the Santander Universities Proof of concept grant (2019), Sara worked alongside Goldsmiths Alumni and Artist Producer at ArtsAdmin Ania Obolewicz to map the projects creative landscape. Today, through the support of the Creative Performance Award (2020), Sara and her team will embark on the projects final creative phase and eagerly look forward to showcasing this high-quality production to audiences nationwide.

Sara would like to thank, The Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths Theatre and Performance Department and Santander Universities fund for this shape-shifting opportunity. Additionally, a huge thank you to the British Council, Greater London Authority, Hatch Ideas and BOP Consulting for supporting the early stages of this work.

Look out for the film Premier and Q&A Autumn 2021. For more information visit

The Theory, Culture & Society special section on ‘Global Culture Revisited’ Annual Review 37(7-8), December 2020

Mike Featherstone, editor, Theory Culture & Society (TCS), Professor of Sociology in ICCE edited the special section on ‘Global Culture Revisited’.

Problematizing the Global:  Introduction to Global Culture Revisited,’ Special section on Global Culture Revisited
Mike Featherstone

This paper serves as an introduction to the special section on Global Culture Revisited which commemorates the 30th anniversary of the publication of the 1990 Global Culture special issue. It examines the development of interest in the various strands of globalization and the question of whether there can be a global culture. The paper discusses the emergence of alternative global histories and the problematization of global knowledge. It examines the view that the current Covid- 19 pandemic signals a turning point, or change of epoch, that marks the end of peak globalization (Gray, Mignolo). The paper also discusses the view that global was always a limited cartographic term which failed to adequately grasp our terrestrial location on the earth (Latour). Currently, there is considerable speculation about the emergent politics of a new world order, with civilizational states set alongside nation- states, opening up an epoch of greater pluriversality, and at the same time greater uncertainty.

Whither Globalization? An Interview with Roland Robertson,’ Special section on Global Culture Revisited, Theory, Culture & Society Annual Review, 2020 Vol. 37(7-8)

Mike Featherstone, editor, Theory Culture & Society (TCS), Professor of Sociology in ICCE invited Professor Roland Robertson to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the TCS special issue on Global Culture.

In this interview to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Theory, Culture & Society special issue on Global Culture, Roland Robertson reflects on his long involvement as one of the major theorists of globalization. He recounts how in his early years as a sociologist there was strong resistance to thinking beyond the nation- state society. He comments on the emergence of the field of transdisciplinary global studies, the concern with global culture and his own attempts to extend the concept of globalization by developing the term glocalization. He also discusses the present Covid-19 pandemic and ends with a number of reflections on global history.

Professor Roland Robertson

Roland Robertson is Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh, USA; Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Global Society, University of Aberdeen, UK; and Distinguished Guest Professor of Cultural Studies, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. His authored books include International Systems and the Modernization of Societies (1968); The Sociological Interpretation of Religion (1970); Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture (1992); and Globalization and Football (2009). He has edited a significant number of books, including European Glocalization in Global Context (2016). He is also the author of many journal articles and book chapters on social and cultural theory and glocalization/globalization.

Mike Featherstone is a Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is founding editor of the journal Theory, Culture & Society and the Theory, Culture & Society Book Series. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Body & Society, author of Consumer Culture and Postmodernism (2nd edition 2007) and Undoing Culture: Globalization, Postmodernism and Identity (1995). He is editor of over a dozen books and author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on social and cultural theory, consumer culture, globalization, ageing and the body.

These articles are part of the Theory, Culture & Society special section on ‘Global Culture Revisited’, TCS 37 (7–8), December 2020.

Interview with Bryan S Turner: Reflections on the 25th Anniversary of Body & Society, 2020 Vol 26 (4)

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Body & Society, managing editor and a senior lecturer ICCE, Tomoko Tamari invited Professor Bryan S Turner to an interview.


Body & Society started in 1995. The journal has been continuously exploring and problematizing critical issues which have been opening up new horizons in the field of body studies. As an interdisciplinary journal, it has engaged with a wider range of innovative approaches to the body, which includes sociology, cultural studies, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, history, science and technology studies, sensory studies and media studies. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Body & Society, managing editor Tomoko Tamari invited Professor Bryan S Turner, who was one of the journal’s founders (with Mike Featherstone), to reflect on the academic and historical background of Body & Society along with his own academic trajectory over the last 40 years.

Interview with Bryan S Turner: Reflections on the 25th Anniversary of Body & Society: Free to read until 21 May, 2021

Bryan S Turner is Professor of Sociology at the Australian Catholic University (Sydney), Honorary Professor and Director of the Centre for Social Citizenship at Potsdam University, Germany, Emeritus Professor at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York and Fellow of the Edward Cadbury Centre for Religion in Public Life, University of Birmingham, England. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Classical Sociology. He was awarded a Doctor of Letters by Cambridge University in 2009 and received the Max Planck Award in social science in 2015. He recently edited the Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Theory (2018). Other publications include The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion (2010), Religion and Modern Society (CUP 2011) and The Religious and the Political (CUP 2013).

Tomoko Tamari is a senior lecturer in sociology at the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, University of London. She is managing editor of Body & Society (SAGE). She has published ‘Body Image and Prosthetic Aesthetics’ in Body & Society (2017) Vol. 23(1). She is currently working on the following areas: body image and disability; human perception and the moving image; probiotics and immunity.

Please visit Theory Culture & Society website.

The Future of Ontario Place Colloquium on 3 February 2021

Tomoko Tamari, ICCE senior lecturer, was invited by the faculty of architecture, University of Toronto for the Future of Ontario Place Colloquium on 3 February 2021. The Future of Ontario Place Project is a joint initiative between World Monuments Fund, Architectural Conservancy Ontario, and the John. H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Toronto. Their campaign is working to make the case to members of the public, government officials, and design professionals that Ontario Place is not only an international Modernist heritage site reflective of key moments in Toronto’s history, but also an asset to future generations. In February, they launched the Future of Ontario Place Colloquium—four online sessions which work towards building a conservation management plan for Ontario Place which considers its social, historical, and ecological significance as well as its immense value as a public site.

Tomoko gave a talk in the first session on Lessons from Utopian Megastructures.



The Japanese modern architectural movement, Metabolism originated in the post-war 1960s. They represented a new conceptualization of architecture and the city landscape which embraced utopian futurism. Metabolism also provided the opportunity to re-construct the national image and to establish the social role of modern architects in Japan. Their architectural conception was based on megastructures and the total city plan. The paper explores the way in which Metabolism’s techno-utopian futurism might be understood through examining their problematic architectural philosophy and the social-cultural role of architects. Introducing Kenzo Tange’s ‘The Plan for Tokyo 1960’ and Kiyonori Kikutake’s ‘Tower Shaped Community’ (1958) and ‘The Marine City” (1958), the paper points out that these projects shared the idea of ‘liberation from the land’. The Metabolists through that the increasing mobility and rapid changes of the modern city leads to weaker ties between people and the land. People could escape from the conventional hierarchy and traditional rules of local communities and could create a new community in new artificial islands. There is, however, a fundamental contradiction between their philosophical concept and the practical design of the city. Although Metabolists embraces people’s autonomy in the modern city, as Zhongjie Lin (2010) rightly points out, the mega-scale of artificial land needed to be organized and controlled by a powerful centralized system. In this context, Kenzo Tange was particularly aware of the new opportunity for architects to become powerful social engineers and so hi called himself a’ social architect’. For contemporary Japanese architects, however, they no longer longed for the centralization of the city system and megastructures. They become much more concern with inhabitants and individual units which are largely subject to vernacular human activities, especially after ‘The Great East Japan Earthquake’ and ‘Fukushima nuclear power station incident’ in 2011. Toyoo Ito, especially expressed his experience of the 2011 apocalyptic disaster made him re-consider ‘what architecture could be’ and ‘what architects could do.’  One of the responses was that Ito and his fellow architects created bases for those who lost their homes in order to recover communities and to rebuild the agriculture and fishery industries. This was a proposal for ‘Home for All’- a home for everyone. This was exactly the same idea, as Toronto Ontario Place (1971) in the ‘60s for people without summer cottages – a place for everyone, as Eberhard Zeidler said 50 years ago.

Dr. Tomoko Tamari is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship and member of the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths, University of London. She is managing editor of Body & Society (SAGE). Her long-standing research interests focus on consumer culture in Japan and Japanese new women, which will be discussed in her forthcoming book entitled, Women and Consumer Culture: the Department Store, Modernity and Everyday Life in Early Twentieth Century Japan (Routledge). She has published ‘Metabolism: Utopian Urbanism and the Japanese Modern Architecture Movement’ in Theory Culture & Society, Vol 31 (7-8); ‘The Phenomenology of Architecture: A Short Introduction to Juhani Pallasmaa” in Body & Society, Vol 23 (1); ‘Body Image and Prosthetic Aesthetics’ in Body & Society Vol 23 (2); She is currently working following areas: Body Image and Technology; Olympic Cities and Architecture; Human Perception and the Moving Image.


Windsor Hotel Mural

Mattie Loyce, Engage Program Director, is an MA Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship Alumni, we would like to share details on a wonderful  community art exhibition she organised and curated.

Tammi: Hope Quilt

Opening March 12, 2021, “Yours Truly” is the first group art exhibition by residents of the Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing (DISH) community. Organized and curated by Engage Program Director Mattie Loyce, the exhibit is an opportunity for the residents to send a message to the world about who they are – the art they make – and share a reflection of what is going on within their world, community, and experience.

Blossoming from the historic year of 2020, the exhibition focuses on themes of hope, strength, and resilience by resident artists of The LeNain, Empress and Windsor hotels. The exhibition includes artworks from more than 15 resident artists and the debut of a community Hope Quilt created by DISH staff, residents, and supporters.

Yolanda: Hope Garden

Hope Quilt
The Hope Quilt is a social artwork made by DISH residents and staff, members of the City of San Francisco’s social work teams who support DISH sites, and constructed with support of Mission Praxis. The quilt is composed of squares designed in response to the idea of what hope means to each individual artist. The Hope Quilt builds from other radical quilting traditions like the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which started in San Francisco, and Gee’s Bend Quilts from a southern African-American community. In this historic time, through the experience of pandemic and social uprisings, we felt it was important to explore this theme of hope with the frontline Tenderloin community.

John: Tear drops for Hope Quilt

The DISH team operates eight housing sites in the Tenderloin and Mission neighborhoods, providing permanent supportive housing for 570 San Franciscans with serious health issues. Over the last 8 months we have partnered with the national nonprofit EngAGE ( to provide holistic arts and wellness programming to our residents, and further transform our buildings into vibrant centers of learning, wellness and creativity.

Dates: March 12 – April 10, 2021
Location: SWIM Gallery 509 Ellis Street, San Francisco CA 94109All viewings must be scheduled by appointment at
Virtual Tour Video: Available from March 19th

We will also be producing an exhibition film available Friday March 19th which will include an exhibition tour and interviews from resident artists and staff for those that cannot attend.

Here are some of the beautiful pieces of art made by residents of the Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing (DISH) community:

Derek moulding, and finished Chess Pieces

Maurice Painting, and Marco’s Colored Windows

Synapse Festival, March 2021

March is a time of growth and new beginnings. Synapse Festival is our programme of events to help students and staff to develop, deliver and share exciting new projects. Over four Wednesdays in March 2021, we ran six talks, one film screening and 16 one-to-one mentoring sessions.

SYNAPSE is a programme run by the Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE). We give students across Goldsmiths the tools to apply entrepreneurial thinking to their degree courses, think about their wider future, and consider the impact they would like to make in the world.

How to change the world – Corrina Antrobus
12.30-1.30pm Wednesday 3 March

So you want to change the world? In a time of inequality, environment crisis and political instability, many of us want to help make the world a better place. But how to do it?

In this talk Corinna Antrobus, founder of the Bechdel Test Fest, describes how she discovered her own way to tackle gender inequality in the arts, using her skills and experience as a writer and comms professional. She will also give you some tools to find your own path to changing the world and connecting with like-minded people.

Corrina is the founder of Bechdel Test Fest, London’s ongoing feminist film festival. She writes for Empire magazine and is Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch film presenter. As part of BBC’s Black History Season, Corrina wrote and voiced an Inside Cinema documentary on filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time). She was communications manager for Picturehouse Cinemas, and is now Arts & Culture Communications Officer for Hackney, delivering Hackney Carnival and The Windrush Generations Festival.

Social media strategy (that works!) – Chasity Johnson
12.30-1.30pm Wednesday 10 March

Knowing how to get the most from social media can be the difference in making your project a success. But an effective strategy is about more than being active on social media platforms – it begins long before you ever publish your first post. In this workshop, social media strategist Chasity Johnson will show you how to create a social media strategy that works.

Chasity Johnson is an Emmy-award winning social media and content strategist with more than 10 years of industry experience. She has worked with the likes of the Chicago Tribune and NBC5 Chicago and the U.S. Army National Guard. Chasity currently works as a senior strategist at M&C Saatchi London, and is an associate lecturer at Goldsmiths’ Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship.

Write a winning project proposal – Phoenix Fry
5.00-6.00pm Wednesday 10 March

So you want to convince others to support your project? Writing a funding application or project proposal is all about connecting with the person reading it. In this practical workshop based on the Arts Council’s application criteria, Phoenix Fry will guide you through six steps to communicating your vision and building trust.

Phoenix Fry is a lecturer at Goldsmiths, British Council and University of the Arts London. He runs his own creative practice as an events producer, film curator and trainer, and has worked with the BFI, Film Africa, Barbican, London Design Festival, Lewisham Arts, Stephen Lawrence Centre and Deptford X Arts Festival. He loves writing project proposals.

Crowdfund your project through Kickstarter – Heather Swift Hunt
12.30-1.30pm Wednesday 17 March

Do you have a bright idea for a creative project? Join Heather Swift Hunt, Kickstarter’s Director of Design and Technology, to discover how Kickstarter can help you connect with an audience, grow a community of supporters around your practice, and gather the resources to bring your creative ideas to life. We’ll show examples, share tools and tips to get your project started, and answer your questions about Kickstarter and crowdfunding.

Heather Swift Hunt is Kickstarter’s Director of Design & Technology. She works closely with designers and makers of all kinds using Kickstarter to bring new products to life. Based in London, she has a particular focus on growing Kickstarter’s international communities in both Europe and Asia. Before that, she worked in the field of creative technology for over a decade, as a curator and cultural producer – most recently as Executive Director of Rhizome at the New Museum, New York.

Watch party: Supermen of Malegaon
ICCE Film Club watch party on Zoom
6pm-7.30pm Wednesday 17 March

How do you make things happen when you’re low on resources? For all aspiring entrepreneurs and creatives, here’s an irresistible documentary following a team of super-low-budget film makers in small town India.

Living 300km from Mumbai, the people of Malegaon work long hours and find delight in the fantasy and joy of Hindi and Hollywood films. But cinema isn’t just escaping reality – for some locals it’s the chance to re-interpret reality itself, remaking hits from around the world.

In this short and lively documentary, we meet the team making their own version of Superman. Creating special effects with just a green bedsheet and a wheelbarrow, the team’s passion, determination and ingenuity will inspire you to apply the ‘just do it’ spirit to your own dreams.

Telling Stories: An Entrepreneurial Guide to StorytellingAshley Evenson
12.30-1.30pm Wednesday 24 March

Getting our story right can be complicated or confusing. When we are asked about what we do, or what we are trying to achieve, often we get tongue-tied and become our own worst enemy. In this fast-paced session, expert storyteller Ashley Evenson reveals tips, tricks and exercises to help craft stories of upcoming projects, ideas, businesses – or even the story of ourselves. So the next time you need to craft a pitch, introduce yourself at a networking event or launch your product, you will have the tools to craft a story that means something to you, your team, and most importantly your audience.

Ashley Evenson founded Oval Productions in 2016 as a means to create more connection through communities. After a twenty-year career writing and producing live events in the theatre industry, Ashley looked to find different uses of storytelling to build confidence and self-esteem within her clients. She has worked with universities, social enterprises, youth centres and community groups to unveil the beauty and confidence in each individual.

Business Idea Bingo
A fast paced game of bingo to demystify business idea jargon Siân Prime
6:00 – 7:00pm Wednesday 24 March

Corners, rows or full house? Siân Prime hosts a fast paced game (or I can slow it down) while we sense-check the business idea jargon – and BINGO you’re off, with all you need for your idea to take flight! A prize or three may be made for the first people to complete their cards. No prior bingo experience is required, nor a dabber.

Siân Prime is deputy director of Goldsmiths’ Institute of Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship, and academic lead for Enterprise. She has over 20 years’ experience working with social, cultural and creative organisations. She has worked as an advisor to the UK’s Innovation Exchange & the Innovation Unit, and the British Council’s Creative Economy Unit. Prior to this, she was a dance manager and expert advisor to the Arts Council in England and Scotland. But before all of that, she was a bingo caller for Butlins, Bognor Regis.

SYNAPSE Festival is organised by Phoenix Fry and Adrian De La Court. They run SYNAPSE, a programme of workshops and business development support for students across Goldsmiths to explore entrepreneurial tools, think about their wider future, and consider the impact they would like to make in the world.

Research on Trade Secrets

Hacking password illustration by Santeri Viinamäki, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Each year criminals steal an estimated £280 billion of secret information. These crimes are hidden, with the perpetrators potentially thousands of miles away. Where does this crime happen? The cyber world.

Firms find their confidential business information such as prototype designs, strategic bid information and customer lists are vulnerable to theft by cyber criminals. These business assets are collectively known as trade secrets, as they derive their value from their secrecy.

When this theft is done to benefit foreign countries, it is known as economic espionage. Relevant examples of attempted trade secret theft via cybercrime are the numerous reportings of state funded cyber-hackers trying to steal secret information related to Covid-19 vaccine research

In general, concerned governments and companies are effecting important changes to combat this problem. Yet, despite the huge economic impact of these thefts, very little is known about them, and the link between cyber security and trade secrets has been given little attention both in practice and research.

Our colleague Dr Nicola Searle is seeking to address this lack of knowledge by investigating data on the theft of trade secrets to understand their economic impact. Funded by the UK Research and Innovation’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (EPSRC) it is hoped this research will benefit businesses, policy makers, researchers and the public, whilst importantly encouraging innovation.

Currently, Nicola and colleagues are collecting and analysing a mixture of unique empirical data ranging from semi-structured interviews to litigation data such as US indictments for criminal offences related to trade secret theft.   One data source of interest is gathering up-to date information on how companies use and share trade secrets within collaborative work environments. If you are interested in participating in the survey, please click here:

Anna Stewart, ICCE Research Assistant

Research is supported by the Engineering & Physical Science Research Council
( EPSRC ) Grant EP/P005039/1 , Economic Espionage and Cybercrime:
Evidence and Strategy.