Dr. Martin Smith, London

Special Adviser, the Ingenious Group; Visiting Fellow, Goldsmiths; and chairman, St John’s Smith Square. Chairman of Conference Strategy Group.

Adviser and spokesman at Ingenious, a British investment business specialising in the media, energy and property sectors and best known for its investments in UK film and TV drama having invested more than £8 billion in creative assets since 1998. He advises Ingenious on government relations and corporate PR and speaks for the company in media industry forums on policy and investment topics. He also works with Ingenious founder Patrick McKenna on a portfolio of philanthropic, arts, social investment and education projects.

Through his own company, West Bridge Consulting, which focuses on cultural industries’ investment issues, he works in an advisory role with a small number of national and international clients.  He has worked with the British Council in a pro bono capacity for more than ten years.

Ed Parham, London

Director, Space Syntax

Ed leads Space Syntax’s Studio and DataWorks streams of activity. These responsibilities combine the strategic development of methodologies and tools to analyse city data, with their application to design and planning projects. The overarching objective behind these activities is to create better cities for people, through an understanding of the interactions between spatial networks, infrastructure systems, land uses and demographics.

In his time at Space Syntax he has delivered projects which address a wide range of urban issues including infrastructure, rapid urban growth, regeneration, resilience, and health and security. Ed is also co-chair of the ULI Urban Tech Committee.


Errol Francis, London

Director of the curatorial group PS/Y

Errol has substantial experience of community engagement around mental health with minority groups and was formerly Joint Programme Lead at the Sainsbury Centre of Mental Health. He was artistic director of the highly acclaimed ‘Anxiety Arts Festival’ London 2014, and the ‘Acting Out’ Nottingham 2015 public engagement programme. 

Errol was also made an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of West London in 2017. He is currently director of the curatorial group PS/Y, and recently completed a PhD at the Slade School of Fine Art, where his research focused on artist responses to museums. 

Gerri Morris, Manchester

Founding Director of Morris Hargreaves McIntyre

Morris Hargreaves McIntyre is a leading strategy and research consultancy working internationally across the cultural, heritage and charities sector.  She has been part of the UK cultural sector for the past 35 years leading on major audience insight projects for such institutions as Tate, National Gallery, British Museum, Art Institute Chicago to name but a few. 

Gerri has been a leading player in the development of audience focus in museums and galleries in the UK and across the world leading the way in market segmentation, audience diversity and audience development. She initiated a unique major study into the market for temporary exhibitions in 2011 which generated valuable new insights into the most important strategic market for most museums and galleries. Gerri has published and teaches widely and holds an MBA from Manchester Business School.

Hugh Philpott, London

HM Ambassador to the Republic of Tajikistan at Dushanbe

Hugh Philpott is currently HM Ambassador to the Republic of Tajikistan at Dushanbe. His most recent previous position was Charge d’Affaires a.i. to the Republic of Kazakhstan at Astana in 2014.  Since joining the FCO Hugh has worked on a broad range of policy issues including International Security, Overseas Territories and the Middle East. He has experience and expertise in; UK Overseas Territories constitutional law; multilateral treaty negotiation; and collaborative international research and innovation.  

Hugh has previously served in Oslo, Budapest, Amman, Baghdad, Washington, Muscat, Kyiv and Astana and also held the roles of Deputy Commissioner British Indian Ocean Territory and Administrator Ascension Island from London.

James Cronin, London

British Council Trustee

James Cronin is Chief Information Officer of the leading e-commerce software as a service company, Venda, which he co-founded. 

James was previously VP and Global Director of Operations and Technology for boo.com; worked as Technical Architect for BBC News Interactive and BBC New Media/BBCi; on the Policy Advisory Board of Nominet UK and a founding member of the Advisory Board of the global.ORG registry operator, PIR. He was Director of Operations & Technology at Virgin Net and worked at a group level with Virgin Management Ltd.

James co-founded e-democracy projects FaxYourMP, mySociety and TheyWorkForYou. He is the Chairman of registered charity UKCOD, as well as Chairman of the board of directors of mySociety Ltd. He volunteers for Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, is a founding director of the Open Rights Group and is an advisory board member of the NO2ID campaign.

Jill Miller OBE, Glasgow

Director of Cultural Services, Glasgow Life - Conference Strategy Group Member.

As a Director of Cultural Services Jill provides leadership for Arts & Music, Museums and Collections and leads on key initiatives such as Volunteering and Equalities. She also plays a lead role for the city’s arts sector, focusing on building partnerships and enabling artists and arts organisations to develop and realise their ambitions. She is championing in developing Glasgow’s Museums, as well as leading on Glasgow’s Concert Halls, UNESCO City of Music and events such as Celtic Connections and developments, such as the refurbishment of Glasgow’s iconic Kelvin Hall. Jill led on the enhancing Tramway’s role as a centre for contemporary art and performance, this culminated in Tramway being the first Scottish host of the Turner Prize in 2015.

Jim Buttery, London

Director, British Council Kazakhstan

Jim has been working in Kazakhstan for three years. He has previously served as Director Libya, Director Israel and Director Kenya. From 2010 to 2014 he led the British Council’s operations in the Middle East and North Africa as Regional Director of Programmes where he developed the British Council’s response to the ‘Arab Spring’.   

He joined the British Council in 1998 and has since worked in Palestine, Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, Israel, Jordan, UAE and Tunisia. During this time Jim has led several major creative sector initiatives including: ‘Interaction’, a pan-African leadership programme with the World Creative Forum; ‘Creative Collaboration’, a 17-country programme for South East Europe; and ‘Voices of the People’, an arts and social change research study in North Africa.

John Baron, MP, London

British Parliament

John Baron has been the MP for Basildon& Billericay since 2001. Having graduated from Cambridge, he attended RMA Sandhurst. He served on a number of tours in Berlin, Northern Ireland and with the United Nations in Cyprus, before finishing as the Battalion Operations Officer in Germany. 

After the Army, John entered the City and ran a broad range of portfolios for charities and private clients as a Director of Hendersons and Rothschild Asset Management. He writes a monthly column for the Investors Chronicle magazine, speaks at investment seminars, and contributes to publications on investment trusts. 

John Newbigin OBE, London

Chairman of Creative England, London Mayor’s Ambassador for Creative Industries. 

As Special Advisor to the Minister for Culture, Rt Hon Chris Smith MP, he was closely involved in developing the UK government's first policies for the creative industries.  He was Head of Corporate Relations for Channel 4 Television and executive assistant to Lord Puttnam as the Chairman of the film company Enigma Productions Ltd.  As a policy advisor to the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, Rt Hon Neil Kinnock, MP, he had responsibility for environmental and cultural issues.

He is a member of the UK government's Creative Industries Council; Chairman of the British Council's Advisory Group for Arts and Creative Economy; member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London; and of the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Knowledge Exchange Oversight Group.