Introducing the PEC’s International Council

20 May 2019


Professor Hasan Bakhshi MBE, 

Professor Hasan Bakhshi MBE


Hasan is Professor of Economics of the Creative In...

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Stephen Stenning

Stephen Stenning

Head of Arts and Society at British Council

We’re delighted to announce that the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) and the British Council are collaborating on an exciting initiative to apply international learnings to the UK’s creative industries, and to strengthen creative economy research and policy globally.

The British Council has convened an International Council on behalf of the PEC, to bring together leading policy and creative economy practitioners from across the world. The group will share international creative economy policy intelligence and research opportunities, and will act as critical friends in reviewing and providing an international perspective on the PEC’s activities.

The PEC’s International Council will be a central component of the PEC’s ability to grow the evidence base needed to develop effective policies for the UK's creative industries. As increasing numbers of governments across the world adopt active policies to support the creative economy in their countries, the International Council will play an important role in helping the PEC learn from that international experience to understand what is best for policy in the UK. The group will provide a unique range of insights drawn from their experiences in their own countries, and will connect the PEC with others to help to fill further gaps in research and evidence.

The British Council, the UK’s cultural relations organisation, has been contributing to a global creative economy agenda for many years, with programmes and initiatives designed to harness the collective impact and opportunities possible through thriving creative industries. The PEC’s International Council therefore represents an important milestone in the British Council’s distinctive cultural relations approach to knowledge sharing and strengthening networks. It creates an important global forum not only for the PEC and the UK’s creative industries, but for the sharing of best practice and insight globally.

International Council May 2019 1
The International Council is made up of:
  • Avril Joffe, Johannesburg, South Africa - Head of the Cultural Policy and Management Department at the Wits School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Avril is an economic sociologist with experience in the field of cultural policy, culture and development and the cultural economy specialising in mapping and measurement, programme design, implementation, stakeholder relations and evaluation.
  • Bernd Fesel, Cologne Area, Germany - Since 2009, Bernd has served as Senior Advisor at the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010, and since 2011 at the European centre for creative economy (ecce) in Dortmund. In 2011, he was elected chairman of the European Creative Business Network (ECBN) foundation in Rotterdam.  
  • Chenlin Zhao, based in Shanghai, China - Chenlin is the Assistant President of SMG Performing Arts Group (SMG Live), a leading company in culture industry in China. In the last eight years, she has been working as a marketing expert and producer in theatres in China on over 40 different projects including many international projects.
  • Daniar Amanaliev, Kyrgyzstan - Daniar is the Co-founder and CEO of ololo coworking spaces in Kyrgyzstan. He started his career in tourism and became Managing Director for Kyrgyzstan's biggest travel agency and tour operator, Kyrgyz Concept. After 12 years, Daniar left to cofound an art studio. Starting with $150 initial capital, ololo has evolved into the biggest chain of coworking spaces in Central Asia, and is now a home for more than 150 creative businesses.
  • Diana Marcela Rey Vásque, based in Montreal, Canada - Diana dedicates her efforts to demonstrate the social and economic contribution of cultural expressions in people's lives. Over the past 15 years, she has coordinated several non-profit and cooperation programs for the Latin American countries, established bridges between the public and private cultural sector, and shared her knowledge about the creative ecosystem as a university professor.
  • Edna dos Santos-Duisenberg, based in Geneva, Switzerland - Edna is an economist who developed her international career of nearly 30 years as high-level officer at the United Nations in Geneva until retirement in June 2012. Her research and policy-oriented analysis about the creative economy and its development dimension became a world reference.
  • George Gachara, Nairobi, Kenya - George is an entrepreneur, arts manager, and the managing partner at HEVA Fund LLP. George is leading an exploration of the creative industries in East Africa, and is providing leadership in creating long-term economic and cultural value in the sector.
  • Jairaj Mashru, Mumbai, India - Jairaj is an Innovation Executive at in India. As part of the Ignite team, he empowers organisations to be more human-centric through digitally enabled experiences for their customers, employees and partners.
  • Laura Callanan, New York City, United States - the founding partner of Upstart Co-Lab which is disrupting how creativity is funded by connecting impact investing to the creative economy.
  • Leandro Valiati, Brazil, South America - Leandro is an Economist and Professor of Creative Industries and Economy of Culture at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). He is a Visiting Professor at Queen Mary University of London, UK,  University Paris 13 (Labex/ICCA - Sorbonne – France) and University of Valencia, Spain. Leandro is also an Advisor in Cultural and Creative Industries for Brazil’s Ministry of Culture, Argentina’s Ministry of Culture, UNESCO and OEI.
  • Marcel Kraus, Prague, Czech Republic - Marcel is a R&I programme designer and manager at the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic. His work focuses on innovative potential of social sciences, humanities and arts and on gender equality and diversity in research and innovation.
  • Omar Nagati, Cairo, Egypt - Omar is a practicing architect and urban planner, and the Co-Founder of CLUSTER, an urban design and research platform in downtown Cairo.
  • Tita Larasati, West Java, Indonesia - Tita is a product designer, and a lecturer and researcher at Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia. In 2015, she co-founded the Indonesia Creative Cities Network (ICCN) that connects creative communities and initiatives in more than 200 cities all over Indonesia; she is now serving as ICCN Deputy for International Relations.

To find out more about the members of the PEC's International Council, please visit our People page.