Universities: enablers of the creative economy?

Monday 01 June 2015 -
13:30 to 14:45
Session 2.7. Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London.

The creative industries are renowned across the globe as a major catalyst of leading edge innovation, driving growth and investment. The commercial benefits are clear: the UK's creative sector was worth £79.6 billion pounds in 2013, accounting for 5% of the UK economy and securing 1.7 million jobs. But to what extent does this impact upon connecting people and ideas across national borders and cultures? How can collective energy and expertise generate a creative force leading to innovation?

Where are the new opportunities for multilateral collaboration, as teams increasingly seek to address wider sets of challenges related to knowledge economies? The continuing success of the creative economy relies on constructing the conditions and infrastructure which harness the creative and imaginative thinking of individuals at the centre of the industry - nurturing human creativity by enabling them to think afresh, refashion and re-imagine new solutions and approaches which produce social, environmental and economic benefit and dividends.

It may be argued that the generation and cultivation of new ideas and thinking lies at the heart of a university's core activity. But do universities really offer the opportunity and critical mass to blend knowledge and experience with contemporary research in order to test, inspire and think anew?  As 'anchor institutions', are they enablers of the creative economy in their own right, providing thought-leadership, stimulating new connections and collaborations? Universities can be hubs of talent and creative thinking, usually well-connected with business, institutions and organisations central to achieving the prosperity, success and well-being of their region, but does this mean they are a primary catalyst for unlocking 'capacity' and connecting 'talent' with opportunities for creative enterprise and regional development? 

Informed by broad perceptions, different viewpoints and traditions, can universities offer a microcosm of a global community from which new perspectives, mutual learning and novel thinking can grow? Our four distinguished education leaders will argue these issues, giving you the chance to decide if universities really are fulfilling the role of enabler. 

Nigel Carrington
Vice-Chancellor, University of the Arts London, UK

Nigel Carrington became Vice-Chancellor of University of the Arts London in 2008, following a career in law and business. Prior to this role he was an international lawyer with Baker & McKenzie, where he was also Managing Partner of the firm's London office and Chairman of its European region, and Managing Director and Deputy Chairman of McLaren Group. Since 2005, he has held a number of non-executive roles in the charitable and public sectors. Session 2.7

Nigel Carrington

Professor David Coslett
Interim Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer , Plymouth University, UK

David was appointed Interim Vice-Chancellor on 1 January. From 2012 he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor and from 2007 he was Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Head of the School of Art & Performance at Exeter College of Art and Design. David's main responsibilities include Student Experience and External Relations. As Vice-Chair of the Plymouth Culture Board, he is also engaged with the wider culture agenda of the city of Plymouth and region. Session 2.7

Professor David Coslett

Professor Christina Slade
Vice-Chancellor, Bath Spa University, UK

Prof. Slade commenced her role as Vice-Chancellor of Bath Spa University in January 2012. Bringing with her a wealth of experience from her former roles as Dean of the Schools of Arts and of Social Sciences at City University London, Dean of Humanities at Macquarie University and Professor of Media Theory at the University of Utrecht, Professor Slade is leading the university through a world-class campus development project, of internationalisation and of public private partnerships. Session 2.7

Professor Christina Slade

Professor Andrew Wathey
Vice-Chancellor, University of Northumbria, UK

Professor Andrew Wathey has been Vice-Chancellor of Northumbria University since September 2008. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, of the Society of Antiquaries, and of the Royal Society of the Arts, and was a Vice-President of the Royal Musical Association from 2001 to 2009. Session 2.7