John Newbigin OBE
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 in the 1990s. He was Head of Corporate Relations for Channel 4 Television (2000-2005) and executive assistant to Lord Puttnam as the Chairman of the film company Enigma Productions Ltd (1992-97). As a policy advisor to the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, Rt Hon Neil Kinnock, MP, (1986-92) he had responsibility for environmental and cultural issues, amongst others.
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. He is a member of the International Board of Advisors of Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore and an Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong.
He was a youth worker in East London for 6 years and writer-in-residence for Common Stock Theatre. He has also worked as a journalist and as an illustrator.
He was awarded an OBE for “services to creative industries and the arts” in the 2015 New Years Honours List.