British Council Creative Economy

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Anamaria Wills

Anamaria Wills

Policy maker

Anamaria is an award-winning practitioner with over 30 years’ experience working in the creative sector including at the National Theatre, the Old Vic and the Arts Council. She specialises in creative entrepreneurship, collaboration, innovation, organisational development, strategic planning, export and marketing.

Anamaria founded CIDA in January 2000 and has since supported the development of hundreds of UK based, highly successful creative enterprises ranging from Northern Broadsides (Independent Theatre Company)in 2000 to ADAD (the London based Association of Dancers from the African Diaspora) in 2011.

She also won the Martini TMA National Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatrical Life, for “daring artistic innovation, internationally as well as in the community and its region; for providing a dance theatre for Britain; and for setting an example in the management of theatre”

Anamaria is also the founding Chair of Skillscene, the national body for the live arts; a member of the UK Government’s Task Group for Skills and Entrepreneurship in the Creative Industries, and was on the Project Team for the Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network (CI KTN) for the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR). She is currently leading on a programme to help post doctoral researchers in the Arts and Humanities faculty at University of Leeds increase the impact of their research, and is Advisor on two other Research Council projects, at Kent and Sheffield Universities respectively.

Internationally, she is currently working with transnational partnerships aimed at strengthening creative entrepreneurship and innovation in the creative economy in Europe, and led on CIDA’s major creative sector skills’ development programme for the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, described by them as a ‘world benchmark for the creative sector’. She has worked with the British Council for more than eleven years, partnering and supporting their work with creative entrepreneurs in Colombia, India, Albania, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Most recently, she has helped to devise and deliver their Creative Enterprise programme across Sub Saharan Africa, working in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania. She was recently been invited to participate as an Expert Independent Advisor to the Federal Government of Germany on the development of their Creative Industries sector.

She is in high demand as a keynote speaker at conferences on the Creative Industries around the world including the 2009 Commonwealth Leaders’ Conference in Trinidad, who have just invited her to return in 2011 to Trinidad to help with the development of their creative sector . More recently, she has been playing to packed houses in Europe and in Africa with her public lectures on Creativity and Innovation in Business.