The Forum concept has been developed in cooperation with an external Strategy Group that acts as an advisory board. The Strategy Group helps to determine the Forum’s focal topics, the types of forum participants and strategy for evaluating the Forum and disseminating its findings. 

The Strategy Group consists of six members, three from UK and three from Central Asia, who are senior leaders from within their country’s creative economy sector. 

Strategy Group Members 2019:

Dr. Martin Smith, UK

Special Adviser with the Ingenious Group, Visiting Fellow in Creative Industries, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

Martin is Special Adviser at Ingenious, a British investment business specialising in the media and energy sectors and best known for its investments in UK and Studio films. He advises Ingenious on corporate PR, government relations and public affairs and speaks for the company in numerous forums nationally and internationally.

Martin works with Ingenious founder Patrick McKenna on philanthropic, arts, social investment and education projects and also runs his own consulting firm, West Bridge Consulting.  Prior to establishing West Bridge he was a partner at the Brunswick Group LLP where his clients included government agencies and private sector clients in the Russian Federation, the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, France, Germany and the USA as well as in the UK.  Before that he worked in consumer affairs and public policy roles in London and Brussels and was a TV reporter for Thames TV in the early days of Channel 4.

Martin is chairman of classical music venue St John’s Smith Square, Westminster and a former chairman of the Young Vic Theatre Company. He was a member of the Project Advisory Group for the Arts & Humanities Research Council’s Cultural Value Project, is an adviser to the National Film & Television School (NFTS), He also works with BAME creative business incubator MeWe360, which is a joint venture between Ingenious and Arts Council England (ACE).

Andrea Stark, UK

Director Employment, Skills and Culture, Islington

Stark first worked in theatre before becoming the arts chief for the City of Sunderland and later Dundee City Council, where she worked on major regeneration programmes using the creative industries to drive local economic growth. In 1999, she became Chief Executive of the Eastern Arts Board, the Arts Council England Executive Director for the East and South East, and a member of their National Executive Board. In 2012, Stark left to become Chief Executive of the new High House Production Park in Essex. There, she led the team that created a national centre of excellence for creative industries. She was chief executive of High House Production Park and has been appointed a director of the Foundation for Future London, the organisation responsible for developing the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as a new cultural and educational district.

Ksenia Yuzhaninova-Karadenizli, Kazakhstan

Executive Director of the School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Ksenia Yuzhaninova-Karadenizli joined Almaty Management University in 2014 as a Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation development. In 2019, she was appointed as Executive Director of the School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Within 5 years SEI became a pioneer in shaping an academic ecosystem for the entrepreneurial education in Kazakhstan. School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation designed and promoted the tool kit to boost entrepreneurial education among Academics and Students for the country, along with piloting the first undergraduate degree in Entrepreneurship in Kazakhstan, as well as leading the regional University-Business project " The Ecosystem of Students Entrepreneurship".

In 2018, SEI of AlmaU, together with the University of Northampton ( UK) received a grant from Creative Spark to support fashion entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan.

 Ksenia Yuzhaninova-Karadenizli is a graduate of Tel Aviv University. 

Prior to AlmaU, she had an extensive experience in both worked in Government and Consulting sector.



Daniyar Amanaliyev, Kyrgyzstan

Daniyar Amanaliyev, Founder of Ololo Art Studios and Co-working Space in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Until 2016 Daniyar and his wife, Ainura had held various senior management positions at large companies in tourism and commercial real estate sectors. They launched Ololo as a start-up in February 2016 and aspired for it to be Central Asia's number one arts academy (primarily for music, fine arts and literature).

However, in addition to its arts education remit, Ololo has grown into an event platform and a network of co-working centres. As a result, Daniyar is involved in a range of social projects which include, amongst other things, initiatives such as Musical Erkindik, a monthly festival of street musicians (x12 festivals so far) and Arts Wednesdays, free open lectures to local communities about the arts.

Timur Kamalov, Uzbekistan

Founder and Managing Director at the Intelligent Perception. 

Working in various public bodies including foreign affairs, tourism and culture with background in international relations, Timur participated as a delegate in Creative Central Asia 2017 and became member of a strategy group of the Conference since 2018. Today he dedicates his work to implementing leading educational programs aimed to developing soft skills among K-12 group.

Kate Stewart, UK

Kate Stewart is CEO of Liverpool based Social Enterprise We Make Places where she leads their creative and engagement strategies and curates the annual symposium on citizen-led interventions in the built environment The Maverick City. Her community engagement role sees her designing and running participative processes to give a voice to the unheard, using culture, conversations and design to challenge perspectives on place. Having started life as a theatre producer and director over 30 years ago, then moved into the world of architecture and interiors, Kate still works as a freelance Creative Producer, her most recent project being the Punk! exhibition at Liverpool Central Library. Over the last 30 years Kate has won various business accolades, and was recently named in the WISE100 list recognising Women in Social Enterprise. She is proud to also be one of 15 individuals selected to be part of the Creative Producers International programme which has seen her running placemaking events in Tokyo, South Africa, Stratford Upon Avon and Dublin.