British Council Creative Economy

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1 August 2019

Introducing the PEC’s International Council

We are collaborating with the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) on an initiative to apply international insight to the UK’s creative industries.

We have 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 act as critical friends in reviewing and providing a global perspective on the PEC’s activities.

The International Council plays a crucial role in the PEC’s ability to grow it's evidence base and 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.

We have been contributing to a global creative economy agenda for over a decade, with programmes and initiatives designed to harness the collective impact and opportunities possible through thriving creative industries.

The PEC’s International Council is key to our 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.

The International Council includes: 

Avril Joffe, Johannesburg
South Africa

Avril is an economic sociologist with experience in the field of cultural policy, culture and development and the cultural economy specializing in mapping and measurement, programme design, implementation, stakeholder relations and evaluation. She is currently Head of the Cultural Policy and Management Department at the Wits School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

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.  

Diana Marcela Rey Vásque
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 programmes 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
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.

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.

Yan Mei
Beijing, China

Yan advises major global corporations with a particular focus on public affairs, government engagement, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reputation management, as well as crisis and issues management. She provides counsel to senior management of foreign companies as they position their organisations in China and leaders of Chinese companies going global.

For more information or for any questions about our International Council, please get in touch with Georgina Innes at