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Newly elected ENCATC Board defines its functions for the next two years

The newly elected ENCATC board of directors met online on 30 November 2021. On this occasion, the newly elected Board members have defined their functions for the next two years.

Gerald Lidstone, Director of the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, representing Goldsmiths, University of London in the United Kingdom, a full member of ENCATC, has been elected as ENCATC President.

As ENCATC President, Gerald is elected with the specific mandate of:

  • To chair the meetings of the General Assembly and the Board and set out the agenda together with the Secretary General;
  • To ensure, together with the Secretary General, the representation of ENCATC at external meetings and events;
  • To contribute and supervise the activities of the Secretary General;
  • To take part in formulating and regularly reviewing the strategic aims and the business plans of the association;
  • To ensure, together with the other Board Members, that the policies and practices of the association are in keeping with its purpose;
  • To ensure, together with the other Board Members, the association’s functions within the Belgian legal framework.

Richard Maloney from New York University in the United States and Dea Vidović from the Kultura Nova Foundation in Croatia were elected as Vice-Presidents. Michal Lázňovský from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Theatre Faculty in the Czech Republic will serve as Treasurer and Elena Borin from Link Campus University – Rome in Italy as Secretary. Leticia Labaronne from ZHAW School of Management and Law Center for Arts Management in Switzerland and Violeta Simjanovska from Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki in Finland are also serving on the board.

Entrusted by the ENCATC membership, the ENCATC Board for the 2021-2023 period will be furthering the network’s efforts to advocate for excellence in cultural management and cultural policy education and research, professionalise the cultural sector to make it sustainable, and provide the academic, research and professional communities a unique platform for discussion and exchange at the European and international level.

PhD Students/Post-Docs: Call for Papers

Online Symposium on Trade Secrets for Scholars and Practitioners

Thursday 24th and Friday 25th February 2022

Objective of Symposium

This 2-day symposium intends to create a space for policymakers, academics, PhD students and practicing lawyers to listen to key-note speakers and discuss topics on cybersecurity, trade secret theft, technology, policy and innovation.

Criteria for papers

We welcome papers from PhD students or post-docs within four years of completing their PhD.

Talks and discussions will be loosely based on:

  • Law and policy surrounding trade secrets – cybersecurity, trade secret theft, innovation.
  • Economics and Management of trade secrets – innovation, policy and firm strategies.

We welcome applicants from a range of disciplines – law, policy, economics, management, sociology – to submit and present original research for 10-15 minutes based on the mentioned topics. Interdisciplinary approaches towards the topics are encouraged.

For successful submissions, we hope this symposium will help contribute to your paper’s development, provide a chance to speak to experts in the field, and receive feedback during the workshop.

Papers will be selected on originality and scholarly merit.


All submissions can be in the form of either a draft paper or extended abstract (800 words).

Submission deadline: 21st January 2022

Notification of successful submissions: 4th February 2022

To submit your abstract or paper please email a pdf file with your name, student status and contact information to Anna at

We look forward to your submission!

Curated by

Dr Nicola Searle

EPSRC Digital Economy Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Cultural & Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE), Goldsmiths, University of London.

Funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Grant EP/P005039/1.


Testimonials from students and academic staff at the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship

These are the testimonials of some of the members of staff and students of the
Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE) as a reaction to
proposed centralisation of student-facing services and threats to the jobs of
department based administrative and professional staff. Featured staff and
students would like to request that this information is treated with respect and

London, 12th November 2021


In the 20+ years I have been working on the MA ACP and other post-graduate programmes both in ICCE and TAP, having frontline departmental administrative staff has in my view been the single most important factor in ensuring students from all over the world and all different disciplines are able to properly access all aspects of their student experience.

While there may be no formal category of employment named troubleshooting, a single point of contact where the vast majority of operational bucks actually stop or are intelligently, accurately, sensitively and personally referred on – is the WD40 that enables the department to function. Instead, what Management is proposing will operate as gaffer tape – a great tool in itself, but not up to this job. Please reconsider.


The loss of the BAAM administrative team would be short-sighted and severely reduce the quality of service and care to our students. Trevor and Keara are an integral part of the BAAM team. They come with enormous department knowledge, course expertise, industry knowledge and a thorough understanding of how Goldsmiths works, in addition to a genuine care and concern for the student experience. In my early years of working as an academic at Goldsmiths, I was very dependent on them in helping me to navigate the systems, processes, and institution. I cannot imagine how the course and the department will continue to manage efficiently without their input and urge the senior management team to reconsider this restructuring.


One of the most important aspects of professional and administrative staff in ICCE is that all of them are people with experience, knowledge and expertise in the fields that we cover in our teaching, research and practice.

Keara and Trevor, as well as Mary that worked with us in the BA Arts Management until recently, are all practicing artists, directors, producers, arts managers. Some of them also have the experience of studying at Goldsmiths, which helps them understand the student experience. The level of engagement, empathy and dedication that they invest in our programme and the space we jointly create with students is immeasurable. It is very clear to everyone that is working with students on everyday basis that students experience, as well as a high level of student retention that we have as a programme, would not be possible in this way without these kinds of profiles of our administrative and professional staff and their closeness to the ground.

We are really lucky to get the opportunity to work with amazing DBM’s and their Assistants in the central ICCE office – Angelique, Zehra, Vivien and the team around them – Nkechi and Vero. Our Institute is a complex entity and does not function as a standard academic department. This is also reflected in our student body that come with so many different needs. I simply can’t see how a centralised college administration could do all the things that this department, and especially our students need.

I honestly hope that as a college, we will become more open to hear and then come up with alternatives to this kind of restructuring, without any evidence that it can bring us and our students anything good. I hope there is still time to keep what is good and focus on the change that could actually improve our work and student experience.

Emeritus Professor

This is a testimonial based on decades of experience in academia, including leadership roles as a Deputy Dean and Dean, on the importance of having administrative and professional staff working within departments and not as a centralised service.

Working within departments, these essential members of staff are of great benefit to students as they act as the outward facing side of the department solving problems and enhancing the student experience. They play a vital role in ensuring the efficient delivery of programmes through their close liaison with teaching teams and students. They are an active point of contact with our international partners and help facilitate collaborative research with universities overseas. My experience is not limited to the UK as I have held senior executive posts elsewhere in Europe and Asia, and can assure you that I have chosen my words with care.

Student, MA Arts Administration and Cultural Policy

2020/21 was a difficult year to start an MA at Goldsmiths. Of necessity the normal delivery method for lectures moved online requiring everyone to get up to speed, at pace, with a new way of working and communicating. Regardless of the pandemic our global cohort had to be onboarded to the department, queries answered, assessments collated and results communicated to students in a timely manner. Behind the scenes, unseen by the students, the department had to be dynamic enough to respond to the ever-changing covid situation whilst still giving students a challenging and meaningful experience. The combined stress of studying in less than ideal situations, worries about physical and mental health and limited access to the library meant that unprecedented numbers of students asked for, and were granted, extensions for assessments pushing an already tight schedule to the limit. At the limit is where the administrators are found. I personally had emails from admin staff which had been written long after the ‘office’ had closed. They are the ones uploading vital assessment results to the VLE. They are the ones fielding demands both from students and the department. They are the ones smoothing the many moving parts of an academic department; the more talented they are the more invisible they become.

The lecturers for my course, Arts Administration and Cultural Policy were, without exception, brilliant. They guided us through, finding imaginative ways to deliver content and crucially, in times of great stress, responding to queries in an amazingly timely manner – often within the hour.

As I think about the potential cuts to the administrative staff at ICCE I wonder what will be lost? Will the department have the capacity to respond so robustly to the next challenge? because the only certainty is that this challenge, though extreme, won’t be the last. Will the student experience, deprived of the administrative support which makes the department run smoothly be poorer? In my opinion almost certainly. Maybe not at first, the department will flex, expectations will be lowered. My concern is for the long term, as services are gradually eroded and staff become overburdened leaving less and less time for the imaginative, innovative, creative teaching that ICCE and Goldsmiths is known for. The question is what is Goldsmiths without its distinctiveness? In the long term this is a question prospective students might well ask as they select which university to invest in.

In difficult financial times it is easy to cut what cannot immediately be seen, but without the support of staff who work unseen and often “at the limits” the integrity of the whole is lost.

Student, BA Arts Management

The admin staff for ICCE (Trevor and Keara) are diligent to supporting the needs of students. They are not only professional and prompt but take care in the important work that they do in providing students with valuable campus information, from Covid updates to extenuating circumstances to career opportunities. Alongside our lectures administrators are another source of support to helping students feel welcomed and adjust to university life, it would not be the same without them.


The administrative team in ICCE is the best of so many departments. They take students and faculty’s needs seriously. They keep everyone in line and they do it with a smile. They are able to problem solve and build better processes and systems to ensure an ease of working.

Vivien Ten Have: She is the ultimate. She handled the job of four people during an unprecedented time. Saving the department and the college money and ensuring that none of this impacted the students negatively!

Nkechi: NK came into the position with a full plate and a full heart. She has worked tirelessly to make the department run smoothly and contributed to making the lives of students better each day. Her organisation, positivity and capability has really made an impact on the way students perceive our administration. She is an excellent. And necessary part of our department!

Vero: Vero has handled the incredible workload with care and grace. She has improved on processes since the first day of her employment and does all of this a half the time people have. She is cognisant of budget and prepares exquisite internal and external materials and events.

Trevor: Trevor takes on a multitude of tasks and responsibility and handles it all exquisitely and with care. The UG students experience will be deeply impacted at the thought of his loss.

Keara: Keara has shown her ability to thrive time and time again. She manages to do intense workloads under severe time pressures and doesn’t bat an eyelid. She is integral to the team and the department.

Director MA Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy
Director MA Tourism and Cultural Policy

Goldsmiths will not be able to continue to offer students the wonderful experiences that become our alumni’s treasured memories if it is not able to retain professional colleagues working alongside academics in the departments.

Professional and support staff are the soul of the institution, the face of the departments, they do heart work and practical work, which is an essential scaffolding to sustain the work academics do by intellectually inspiring and challenging students. I hope College can keep a percentage for emotion as part of their economic and financial calculations. This is crucial to distinguish Goldsmiths from other institutions.


Since learning of the restructuring plans, I have found myself planning what life would be like if all of the things our amazing admin team do currently were moved from them onto academic staff or centrally. I principally see the impact of these through two prisms.

The first, and most important for me, relates to the student experience. In my Chairing of Student Voice over the past few academic years, I have seen the way that ICCE seeks to positively and constructively engage with our students – listening to them and responding to their feedback. The role of the admin team in this is absolutely central. From responding quickly to student queries and making them feel valued, to the ’nuts and bolts’ of scheduling the meetings, collating the feedback in the form of SMERFs etc and disseminating them to facilitate discussion. The recent NSS scores in the UG department at ICCE – the best in Goldsmiths as I understand it – is down in no small part to the work of the admin. On a very basic and instrumental level, we would not have achieved these NSS scores if our admin team were not in place. I have absolutely no doubt about that.

The second factor relates to academic workload. The idea that the myriad of tasks undertaken by the admin team could be shared amongst academic staff and them be completed in the timely and precise fashion they currently are is simply unimaginable. Picking just one example – academic misconduct, for instance – requires immense oversight over a journey which goes through various iterations and stages, with plagiarism forms, meetings held, responses collected, and the ongoing task of monitoring future instances and connecting the dots. Again, the idea that this could be effectively done by either academic staff or by a central office looking after hundreds of students is entirely unrealistic. And this is just one example of the work they do. There are countless others. Ultimately, the loss of the admin team with mean the students will suffer. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be putting first?

Student, BA Arts Management

Being an international student, I’ve had a different education culture my whole life. And for that very reason, I struggled in my year 1. The only way I got on track was because of the support of my department. ICCE is not just a department for me but it’s a family. We’re small cohorts who are so close to each other that we always have each other’s back! Professors have always been with us through thick and thin no matter what the situation is. Getting response from department team within some hours and helping us to do everything and be everywhere at the right time. I believe no other University shows so much support for their students as much as the ICCE department from Goldsmiths does.

Senior Lecturer

With regards to the PhD programme administrative staff has been fundamental in supporting the experience of PhD students in ICCE – organising their welcome and induction activities, collecting their supervision forms and keeping student records, helping organise the research seminar series, by booking rooms, putting the programme together and inviting staff and students to attend the sessions, and also booking students upgrades/viva exams and keeping important records.

They tend to be the first point of contact for students who are experiencing any issues in London (concerning, for instance, accommodation, visas, college id card, etc.) and as such provide essential support and pastoral care to the PhD community in the Department. Losing ICCE professional and support staff will be detrimental to the student experience, not only in terms of the lack of personalised support/service provision, but also in terms of increasing the workload of academic staff, who will be under even more pressure to perform at a time when they are already overworked and exhausted.


As a part-time, associate lecturer the assistance that ICCE professional and support staff provide is crucial for my effective delivery of a quality service to students. They offer vital course expertise, familiarity with the students, and continuity of contact.

It has also been noticeable over the last couple of years the significant and growing role that they play in supporting the health and well-being of students. This is so important to the ICCE student experience, and only possible because these staff members connect on a person-centred level.

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant

Having joined ICCE during the pandemic without face-to-face contact with colleagues, our professional and support staff were vital in sharing their knowledge and experience of the department that I could not get elsewhere. This has continued into the present where effectiveness of my teaching and research practice rests upon the support and guidance of the ICCE professional and support staff. They bring highly developed knowledges of ICCE specific procedures, ICCE specific student challenges and opportunities, and ICCE specific career opportunities which are crucial to the success of the department. Such knowledge and experience is hard won and easily lost.

Student, MA Events and Experience Management

I am a master’s student who has just finished my course. Part of this achievement is because of the information on how to attend online classes, handing in assignments, and getting to know the standard procedures of the college was very well organized by the administrative staff. These employees have always attended to me promptly and have been willing to solve any problem I might be facing. Now I am part of a group that is producing an extracurricular work for Goldsmiths that will benefit everyone: the reputation of the college, the course, and the university community. This work is also possible thanks to the efforts of the administrative staff who help us with all the preparation involved in this activity. These are extremely important professionals for students and teachers. Without them, the simple desire to teach or learn can take on the unnecessary weight of poorly organized information, decentralized administration, or a bureaucratic educational experience. In an especially uncertain time, losing those who assure us the clarity of processes seems to be an intemperate and cruel attitude, which does not match the experience I have had with the support of administrative staff.

Director MA Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship

The MA Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship is a very complex programme that has seven pathways and works with and across other departments in Goldsmiths to deliver content.

We have an administrative team who know the complexity of how the programme operates and the complexity of choice for the students. The admin team have experience and knowledge of this programme and so ensure its smooth and efficient operation. This programme could not be administered or supported by a centralised team.

The ICCE Senior Administrator works above and beyond their role in not only supporting the programmes, students, and the efficient management of the department but also in supporting the academic staff within the team.

Our administrative team are the student facing support for the department and provide an invaluable and personal service. They support our students through the programmes. It is vital that student have familiar and approachable members of the admin team that they feel comfortable to request support from. Students are less likely to engage with and request support from an anonymous centralised service. The value of a dedicated departmental team is that they know all academic and support staff, they know the students, and they know each academic programme inside out.

Developing a centralised administrative team would undoubtedly de-personalise these relationships and loose the dedicated knowledge of the department.

Deputy Director ICCE

There are countless operational positive examples that could be given, and also an overarching set of values that having localised professional support gives to the student and staff experience. Without a full outline of all the touchpoints of student and staff experience showing how there are local/departmental weaknesses and that a more centralised support structure could bring efficiencies, savings and a more coherent experience for students it is difficult to have confidence in the decisions. This is a time of huge change, externally and students and staff are returning to campus with a lot of questions and fears, I believe that it is only by having people who are known, accessible and with clear industry and subject knowledge that some of this is going to be overcome.

Two examples come to my mind, on the MA CCE we attract a number of students who have not had a first degree but great experiential learning – these students usually excel and gain a Distinction and, in this example, move on to a PhD as well as an investable business. However, this student nearly dropped out on their first welcome week – in the evening after the departmental induction, she disappeared to the loo, our PG Coordinator noticed their absence, and found them preparing to leave and to leave the programme as they did not have confidence in their abilities, they found campus intimidating, were worried about expressing their concerns to an academic and the SU offer focused more on younger people. Our Coordinator talked with them, reassured them and encouraged them to talk with me as programme coordinator. Without this the student has told me they would have left.

A more personal example, I have poor mental health and the administrative team have worked with me to ensure that meetings that I chair in the department are timed around my health needs, and they recognise an agreed signal from me when I need their support or time. This has led to me being able to not take time off sick. I cannot see how in the new system either would be successfully accommodated.

Student, MA Events and Experience Management

The admin staff has always been very supportive and has done a great job in the department. We have been offered the possibility to develop extracurricular activities on campus and that would not have been possible without the ICCE admin staff, as they have supported us in every step we have taken, they know who we have to contact every time we need to take a further step and they have guided us through those admin processes that we lack knowledge of. I cannot imagine the department working without them as they are a key piece to make things run smoothly.

Associate Lecturer

I’d like to add my support for the wonderful administrators at ICCE. As an associate lecturer teaching on one module a year for the past four years, I would have been completely lost without the support of Vivien and the others I have been helped by throughout, including the current team of Nk and Vero. They have all been constantly available, cheerful, responsive and helpful; not once has anyone expressed irritated at a simplistic question or annoying request, and they have been patient, efficient, attentive to detail and extremely kind. They are also full of humour and positively revel in a successful solution of a problem, whether for staff or students.

I deputised for the Programme Manager while she was on maternity leave last year and I could not have done this without the support of Vivien, Zehra and others, of course academic colleagues were also helpful but the day-to-day panics were brilliantly managed by the unflappable admin team. Vivien also came to general student online sessions where she gave wise advice on managing mental health problems, and I know comforted and counselled many distressed students with an ideal combination of sympathy and clear methods for improving their situation.

During the pandemic the administrators worked even harder than usual and were determined to resolve any additional problems swiftly. The fact that we were able to continue delivering the programme and cope with the extra stresses, which affected every part of teaching and learning, was down to their immensely hard work. They know the system inside-out and can move quickly to resolve any hitches.

To consider redundancies in this department is both unfair and unproductive. Using a central admin system will take longer to resolve specific departmental problems as those being asked will not immediately know the answers. Having a friendly and skilled person to go to is vital, especially for overseas students feeling unsure or alone, and both fulltime staff, visiting staff like me, and students year after year, appreciate this extremely highly. The student-facing, friendly and supportive reputation of Goldsmiths as well as its academic reputation, is at stake; teaching staff cannot function without this excellent administrative support. Don’t destroy this by a cruel action which will be perceived as heartless, and which will worsen everybody’s circumstances.


Teaching at Goldsmiths since 2016, with experience across BA, MA, and PhD programmes gives me evidence to conclude that replacement of our departmental office with central services will cause significant damage to student learning, and to research quality and output.

Professional services staff are vital components of the university and should be valued and supported accordingly. They deliver quick access to deeply detailed, programme and module specific information via their embedded knowledge and provide highly visible, stable accessibility. This resource is extremely unlikely to be replicable in a centralised model. Central systems such as wellbeing / student support services, IT, and timetabling are clearly already overburdened, often to the point of failure, meaning that regularly departmental offices take over many tasks already. Referrals to increasingly anonymous systems at crucial pinch points such as submission deadlines could have drastic consequences for individual students. Departmental staff have proven crucial in identifying student problems, often when the students have been unable to articulate the issue themselves, but through continued and expert connection with the student base and their consequent ability to see patterns, ICCE departmental office staff have been able to help avoid catastrophic outcomes for students.

It is important to emphasise it is the combination of speed, and of access to highly specialised knowledge and support that helps enable student safety, satisfaction, and for instance BA Art Management’s extremely successful NSS scores. Loss of this resource will have negative impacts on student mental health, decreased satisfaction with degree programmes, and thus undermine the College’s business model.

There are also knock-on impacts of reduced professional services staff provision that will further undermine College operations. Increased workloads for academic staff, already operating over capacity before the pandemic, and now approaching 18 months of working in an emergency state, will have serious negative implications both for teaching provision and for research. Both will again weaken the College’s business model through reduced recruitment, funding, and further worsening reputational damage.

Short term cost-cutting in this way undermines Goldsmiths’ chances of long-term survival. Destabilising student experience and continued weakening of research capacity do not serve College strategic aims.

ICCE professional service staff do an incredible job in extremely challenging circumstances, reduction and removal of their roles and resources harms the College as a whole.

Student, MA Arts Administration and Cultural Policy

I have read about the restructuring and was not sure how that would translate in our department and course. We had already been struggling with the limited administration to cover all the support needed for the students across the department which actually needed us as reps to jump in (happily) to support. I can not begin to imagine the department having to do this with any less admin support and I can not fathom how that would translate on the scale of student experience.

Those are times of great change and the model by which the department and students engage and work together on shaping the academic experience is constantly shifting and a big part of this should be on Goldsmiths to shape up the student experience and provided service. A factor that loss of department administration is certainly going to negatively impact. In fact, and from my experience as student rep of MA Arts Administration and Cultural Policy for 2020/21, I am very grateful for the administration team at ICCE (Vivien, Zehra and Nkechi) for I saw how they struggled over the past year to stay on the top of the jobs and provide us with the basic services and support we needed throughout the year and how overwhelming that already was and thus am quite shocked to see the decision to cut down department administration at this critical point.

Director, MA Events and Experience Management

The administrative staff have played an essential role in the smooth running of the MA Events and Experience Management as it is a complex programme with numerous contributions from ALs as well as guest speakers from the cultural and creative industries, ranging from National Gallery to Time Out. Organising site visits, workshops and talks by professional guest speakers, volunteering and interning opportunities etc is a time-consuming process that requires attention to details. We would not have been able to offer the wide range of opportunities to connect with the industry without the help of our excellent admin staff.

The administrative staff provides a sense of continuity for students. They are often the first point of contact both for current students and alumni. Vivien Ten Have especially has played a key role in retaining students. With her training in mental health, she has dealt with many cases where students have considered or been on the verge of quitting the programme, as she has come up with tailored solutions and study plans, as well as providing mental health support, which has made it possible for the students to continue study and successfully graduate. I would approximate that there have been at least two cases each year, often more, where Vivien’s expertise and dedication has been fundamental for retention of students on the MA EEM.

Vivien, Nk and Vero are essential for ICCE and the expertise they provide is invaluable for both students and staff.

Student, MA Arts Administration and Cultural Policy

I wanted to write in support of our programme administrative team at ICCE, and also to thank on record and acknowledge the incredibly hard work of Vivien Ten Have, Nk Ike and Zehra Arabadji.

Nk was very instrumental in getting difficulties with my re-enrolment sorted this 2021/22 year, engaging several different departments to do so. She ensured that I was added to the page in the meantime so as not to limit my access to important course messages at the start of the year. She has made sure that I am enrolled on the correct modules this year. Vivien kept myself and student rep colleagues fully informed of marking processes for coursework, including any necessary changes influenced by EC extensions. She ensured I had swift access to the page for module I audited last year (Contemporary Issues in Cultural Policy). She made sure I had contact with the correct link administrator into the music department for music pathway modules.

Vivien kept details of our 2020/21 timetable regularly up to date, communicating all Zoom links and any necessary changes on the rare occasion they were needed. She Helped me out in a difficult financial circumstance (my bank account was compromised via my PayPal account at the time) with being able to attend anyway an important course day event at Trinity Buoy – and also to meet several of my peers finally in person in June 2020. I can’t understate how valuable this was, in both senses, having been stuck in front of a Zoom screen in my flat outside of London for the majority of that academic year – thank you!

Zehra kept myself and student rep colleagues fully informed of ICCE student meetings at Deptford Town Hall – great and friendly support.

All three have been heavily involved in one degree or another in ensuring that our coursework marks are input, verified at exam board and our awards generated – all aware of extenuating circumstances arising from the pandemic. They have kept us up to date on of important placement opportunities, employment opportunities, useful webinars and have processed our extenuating circumstances claims during the COVID pandemic with efficiency and empathy in an incredibly challenging time.

In general, I feel that all three ladies have been instrumental in our course delivery being as thorough, efficient and engaging as it has been, certainly in 2020-21 which as we all know happened in incredibly unique and challenging circumstances. This undoubtedly would have caused very unchartered and new work territory for anyone to adapt to quickly, and also the need to move course resources online with limited notice. I write this being aware of the role directly as a former programme administrator for a university course, and that these necessary adaptations to work practice would only be one component of a role that normally has regularly vast, varied responsibilities anyway that require efficiency – which I feel that all three ladies have delivered pretty consistently. Their contributions are critical to the department, and especially so should we end up in our lifetimes again in unusual study circumstances influenced by national public health emergencies.

Rod Fisher is the 2021 ENCATC Fellowship Award Laureate

rod fisher

We are so very proud to announce that Rod Fisher, Associate Lecturer of the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths is the 2021 ENCATC Fellowship Award Laureate on 21 September 2021.

The research, publishing and teaching of Rod have deeply influenced the field of cultural management and policy and been recognised by this award. This is the only international public recognition and award for developing and maintaining an innovative yet consistent approach and commitment to positive change and remarkable and visionary leadership, creativity, and results in education, research, policy, and advocacy in the cultural management and policy fields.

A huge congratulations, Rod! Thank you for being a continuous source of inspiration to us all.

Read more about Rod’s career and achievements:

National Enterprise Educators Award Update

We are so very pleased to announce that Siân Prime, Deputy Director of the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths and Academic Lead: Enterprise, received both the NEEA People’s Choice Award and the Inclusive Enterprise Education Award at the National Enterprise Educators Award ceremony on Thursday 9 September.

Sarah Cox has written about Siân’s fantastic achievements here.

A huge congratulations, Siân!

National Enterprise Educators Award

We are proud to announce that Siân Prime, ICCE Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, and Goldsmiths Academic Lead for Enterprise, has been shortlisted for the People’s Choice Award at this year’s National Enterprise Educators Award (NEEA).

Voting is open until the 9 of September, 9am, and the entries (including Siân’s!) can be viewed here.

“Culture 2022: what should we expect?” Dr Martin Smith, ICCE

An ICCE/Goldsmiths colloquy, supported by the Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) and the Creative Industries Federation (CIF), June 9 2021, with Prof. Pierluigi Sacco, Prof. Geoff Crossick and Dame Vikki Heywood

This two-hour online event, chaired by Caroline Norbury, CEO of the UK’s Creative Industries Federation and founding CEO of Creative England, was designed to promote discussion of the future of culture and the wider creative sector in a post-pandemic world. It comprised three opening statements from senior commentators – two academics and one practitioner – followed by a wide-ranging exchange between the presenters and members of an online audience of more than 100 attendees. The purpose of this blog is to provide a written summary of the three opening contributions.

Prof. Pierluigi Sacco, professor of cultural economics at Milan’s IULM University and Director of the OECD’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities in Venice, opened by observing that we still have a very poor understanding of the role that culture plays for human beings, suggesting that the most concrete way to address the question of the future of culture and creative production is to highlight the potential of “a different way of looking at the work of culture in a post pandemic society and also possibly in the post pandemic economy”.

Prof. Sacco bemoaned the fact that culture, notwithstanding its very long history, is still widely viewed as an elite activity related to leisure rather than a question of fundamental human needs, arguing by reference to epigenetics and neuroscience that herein lies most of the problem.

It is essential to understand certain key issues of social cognition, he argued, including the capacity to understand how other people think and react, and their intentions and beliefs in certain situations. As illustrations of a broader understanding of cultural meaning he gave the examples of fiction, which he suggested “in one sense provides us with a laboratory to experiment with human feelings and expectations”, and music, which during lockdown had played a key role in regulating emotions and moods.

Prof. Sacco referred to longitudinal studies showing that a lifetime’s systematic cultural participation yielded an expectation of some two and half years of extra life, suggesting that this is really to do with our capacity to cope with the facts of human existence, facts “that cannot be substituted by other factors or other resources”. “So culture is literally making us live longer”, he suggested.  Why then, he asked, is there still a widespread conviction that culture is peripheral to the real issues of human need?

There are signs of positive change, he reflected, in part related to the experience of the pandemic. There was an increasing awareness of the particular capacity of culture to connect in unexpected and unexplored ways to basic human abilities and survival issues.

However, these issues had not yet been properly framed within a cultural context. Nonetheless we can now begin to think in a different way of culture as a resource to tackle major societal challenges.  We now have a clearer understanding of what active cultural participation in the creation of meaning signifies, how this relates to a sense of self-worth and what it has to do with addressing the wider challenges of society.

Prof. Sacco gave several examples of the relevance of this human-centred approach to the development of public policy. One was the migration crisis.  Here he noted that there are many types of cultural experience that can create bridges “from the point of view of empathisation and the dismantling of barriers – those cognitive and emotional barriers that render cultural otherness threatening to us”.

He cited other examples relating to the climate crisis, social inequality and ageing, deducing that the challenge for the future is to imagine a policy agenda for culture and creative production related explicitly to social impact. “I am not saying by this that we should disregard the economic impact of culture, but I am saying that by focusing exclusively on the economic impact dimension we are missing one basic part (of the problem)”.

The two dimensions of social and economic impact were in any event inter-connected, he argued. On the politics of ageing, for example, a culturally driven programme of active ageing could be immensely impactful from an economic standpoint, not because it would generate revenues but because it would help mitigate the enormous financial cost of social neglect and absence of change. “We need a new logic to intervene” Prof. Sacco argued, “and this new logic really has to do with how culture affects our own dispositions, attitudes and behaviours.”

Prof. Sacco concluded that this was “an incredibly exciting new field”. “The really interesting and intriguing thing is that having a social impact is not just a necessity to be sustainable financially but is becoming an aesthetic necessity, a poetic necessity.” The next objective therefore is “to break new ground rather than aspire simply to bounce back (after the pandemic) to the old familiar ground”.

Prof. Geoff Crossick, formerly chief executive of the Arts & Humanities Research Board and Warden of Goldsmiths, and now Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study in the University of London, began his remarks by saying that he wanted to make two introductory observations about ‘Culture 2022’ from his vantage point as a historian. The first was that in the past, people had always thought during major crises that the world would never be the same again.

In fact, he suggested, this is very rarely the case. “The changes that stick are usually accelerations of trends that were visible long before the crisis.” In this context that meant talking about culture in relation to digital engagement, inequalities of access and the ‘precarity’ of practitioners, amongst other issues.

Secondly, referencing John Graunt’s pioneering mid-seventeenth century work on mortality records, Prof. Crossick said that pandemics are only over “when the deaths due to it are something society has decided that it can accept”.  Epidemics “do not end neatly. There is not a moment when one can announce that the pandemic is over.” This meant that it was premature to talk about ‘Culture 2022’. He therefore proposed to look beyond 2022 to the longer term implications for culture and cultural practice in three areas: the digital experience and cultural consumption; cultural production, freelancers and the innovation system; and thinking about cultural value in the broadest sense.

On the digital experience, Prof. Crossick warned against adopting too simplistic a narrative of the ‘shift to digital’ by neglecting the fact that so much culture was experienced at home before Covid.  As far as the specific issue of digital engagement was concerned, he noted that if the increase (in engagement) is with those already engaged rather than with new audiences, something less is happening than we had expected.  UK Audience Agency Cultural Participation Monitor evidence suggested there had been little change in the percentage of people engaging digitally compared with the period before the pandemic.

What had changed is that those who had engaged before were now doing so more. Similarly, on the subject of co-production – making music, film, animation, games and other digital content with others online, a distinguishing mark of a trend that Prof. Sacco had characterised in recent years as ‘Culture 3.0’ – it did not seem that the number of people doing this had increased during the pandemic.  “The overall picture for the UK isn’t one of a major shift with respect to digital engagement, which is not what we are telling ourselves”, Prof. Crossick observed.

Turning to his second point, Prof. Crossick said that the place of freelancers in the cultural innovation system is a fundamental long term issue, whilst noting that there was a need to distinguish between the self-employed who produce and sell for the market, craft makers, visual artists and others, and freelancers who habitually work on projects on a contract by contract basis. He observed that freelancers in the project model play a particularly important role because they enable businesses and cultural organisations to shift risk and costs off their own hands between projects. This is what lay behind freelancer ‘precarity’ in the wider creative sector.

Noting that it was the younger, newer entrants into the cultural labour market who appeared to have been hardest hit by the pandemic, Prof. Crossick suggested that we are losing a pipeline of talent. “I want to highlight that particular dimension of the crisis for freelancers”, he added, “and it may become a crisis for creativity and innovation in the creative and culture sectors”, characterised as they are by a “complex ecology with project based production systems, outsourcing, collaborative networks (and) portfolio working…” The dislocation of the freelancer economy was therefore “a real threat not just to freelancers but for the success of the creative and cultural industries”.

Prof. Crossick’s third point linked back both to Prof. Sacco’s opening remarks on being ambitious and with it to the wider dimensions of value highlighted in his project report on cultural value for the AHRC (Crossick and Kaszynska), published in 2016.  He lamented that so many of these broader cultural agendas, for example on regeneration, ‘place-making’ and community, and on health and well-being, had been seriously disrupted by the pandemic. “The danger”, he said, “is that the cultural sector responds by focusing (too) narrowly, not least in order make a case to funders and governments…

We must be more, not less ambitious, as we emerge from the pandemic. Discussion and strategies for culture must emphasise its social and community potential in a way that I think we are losing…”  We should focus more, he continued, “not on big cultural institutions and urban regeneration, because the business model behind that, requiring tourism and visitor footfall, might be broken for a long time.” Instead, the focus should be on “the contribution of arts assets of all kinds in improving life in poorer communities, which can be considerable, as we’ve seen from local initiatives during the pandemic and has been evidenced by research in the US.”

Prof. Crossick concluded that the big danger was that from early in the pandemic the cultural sector had focused on digital experiences and online substitution, proclaiming that this activity at home shows why arts and culture matter and proclaiming its positive impacts on health and wellbeing. This narrative was already visible before the pandemic – making the health and wellbeing of individuals the key benefit rather than the wider social benefits that have been disrupted over the last year or so. “My worry is that we will carry on talking like that in 2022 and 2023 and beyond. As (the pandemic) slowly lifts, we must enlarge our vision and see the value of culture in a much broader perspective, including one that builds on the communal and civic solidarities that we have all experienced over the last year”.

Dame Vikki Heywood is one of the most widely experienced cultural practitioners in the UK having led both the Royal Court Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She previously chaired the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value, the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and the 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions. She now chairs the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and Festival UK 2022 as well as being a board member of the National Theatre.

Vikki began her remarks with a reflection on the importance of deep memory and shared experience.You know we love to go into dark spaces, or we did before the pandemic, and all sit together and have a collective experience, one that lasts a long time so we all feel like we have been through something. This makes us feel better.” It is about a sense “that we were there….that this place is ours. That it was special. That this is something that we have done together, and this is the something that unites us very powerfully…” This possibility disappeared overnight when the pandemic hit.  Its absence has caused us to think more deeply about what is really important and what we have been missing.

One side effect of this loss of connection had been that “suddenly the gap between the professional and the amateur disappeared overnight”: it now seemed irrelevant and unimportant. This in turn had fostered a moment in which a more democratic approach to creative production was in the air, harking back to the work of the Warwick Commission (2015), which had talked in terms of an ‘eco-system’ and reflected a conviction that everything creators do is part of an interdependent wider world.

Vikki continued by stating that in a more democratic world, cultural producers “must engage their audiences in the creation not just the observation of the work they were doing”, noting that this was, amongst other examples, the entire principle behind the creation of the National Theatre of Wales. She highlighted the success of “We’re here because we are here”, a UK-wide piece of public theatre involving 28 theatre companies, commissioned from Jeremy Deller as part of the 14-18 NOW programme of public art.

Featuring scores of actors dressed in full military uniform, this project had taken place on 1st July 2016 to commemorate the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the bloodiest day in British military history. The impact of the project had been huge, Dame Vikki noted. In a subsequent YouGov poll 63% of the adult population of the UK (some 30 million people) said that they had connected with it, with two million seeing events first-hand and 30 million participating online. People still came up to her to talk about it, she said.

As chair of the governors of a drama school which had moved online within four weeks, creating and delivering degrees, Vikki believed it unlikely that we would go back entirely to old ways, observing that we were recasting the student learning experience, especially for those who might not have been able to participate before.

Similarly, enforced changes in cultural practice at the National Theatre were likely to be permanent. “If we make a production now what is embedded from the start is a conversation about how it will then go on to other platforms….I don’t think we now think as creatives of making one thing for one place in one sort of space.” Thinking about how work is created has “shot forward about 50 years” as a result of the pandemic, she said.

Thinking about the next calendar year and beyond, Vikki stressed that it would be important for creative people and organisations to find ways of helping the country to “reflect, to mourn and to memorialise, and generally to talk about what happened during the pandemic, because we haven’t been able to come together and do that properly yet, and we need to.” She reminded the audience that 2022 would be a big year for other reasons.

There would be the Commonwealth Games, around which a large cultural festival was being planned. There would also be the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 2022 would also be a year of major anniversaries in the broadcasting industry, with celebrations marking the centenary of the BBC and fifty years of S4C and Channel 4.  We should also remind ourselves that Coventry’s year as the designated City of Culture had just begun in the most difficult of circumstances. So 2022 would be a year of pivotal moments.

This naturally led to Festival UK 2022, which Vikki chairs. This large-scale undertaking was definitely not going to be on a certain day, in a certain place and on a single platform, she said. Although detailed planning and development involving ten creative teams, selected after an exhaustive competitive process, was still under way, the brief was clear: to reach the entire population of the UK, that is 66 million people, and beyond to wider international audiences.

This was being achieved by establishing new forms of partnership and collaboration with teams working across the conventional disciplines of maths, science, technology, engineering and the arts.  Artists, scientists and technicians were being challenged to think about how most effectively to create mass participatory cultural projects “that celebrate the creativity within us all”.

Vikki concluded by expressing a hope and a conviction for 2022.  The hope was that there would be “a really coherent conversation about teaching the creative skills that we need in the UK for our creative economy to continue to thrive.” The conviction was that there would be a lot more participatory events across a wide range of creative sectors. Returning to her first point, she stressed that “community spirit and identity….is absolutely what happens when you get a group of people together and say this space is yours.”

Following these introductory provocations, Caroline Norbury led a discussion between the speakers and members of the online audience.

Breathing Brick: A new artwork commissioned by SELF

Small white particles slowly descend against a black background. Some land on an invisible form, revealing its gently changing silhouette. Others continue to fall.

Small white particles slowly descend against a black background. Some land on an invisible form, revealing its gently changing silhouette. Others continue to fall.

As part of the Sustainable Enterprise London Festival SELFestival, we commissioned Ian Gouldstone to make a new art work that was a response to some of his experience of the last 12 months. The resulting work is viewable here if you click to the YouTube site.


Please spend time viewing it. We are amazed and so pleased  at how this work adds so much to our themes of optimism, inclusivity and diversity.


Value, Values and Shared Difference

Day two of our SELFestival had Professor Cregan-Reid sharing how we have shaped our environment and it in turn has shaped us, why we should think more carefully about the chair.. and how we can look for the right time to engage with sculptural texts.

Susan Aktemel introduced us to the socially led letting agency she founded, Homes for Good, and how it has scaled over the last year, and why her values of kindness and empathy have built a secure and confident social enterprise that is providing high quality homes for people renting in Glasgow.

Day 3 starts with perspectives from Teesa Bahana is the director of 32° East Ugandan Arts Trust and Rasheeda Nalumoso, Programme Manager, Arts  British Council: East Africa Arts. They will talk about how the pandemic has impacted the creative economy in Uganda, and more broadly, but also the need for investment in the art and imagination in the country. Tickets available here for the 10am session on 15th July

In the afternoon Dr Marcin Poprawski will introduce us to his research. Culture, organisation and sustainability management are at the heart of Marcin’s research. In this session he will reflect on his latest research in to Festivals and Values (Axio-normative dimensions of music festivals). Book here for the 2pm session.

Day 1 to Day 2 of Sustainable Enterprise London Festival

The SELFestival started with strong provocations to deeply consider what equity, inclusion, sustainability and decolonisation means and a clear reminder of the human-centric position we bring to this.

Tomorrow we have Professor Vybarr Cregan-Reid who will be reflecting with us on how running made him feel more human, how we have designed our spaces to make us less creative and physically adept and we’ll be reconsidering how we live.

Join us 10am, Wednesday 14th July:

In the afternoon inspiring Susan Aktemel will be talking about how she has created and led an award winning social enterprise that creates secure, quality homes for tenants. So needed as without feeling safe and having a strong space at home, how can we be resilient?

Join us 2pm, Wednesday 14th July: