British Council Creative Economy

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Jonathan May

Jonathan May

Senior Programme Manager

Focus: Digital | Interactive
Regions: Americas | South Asia

Jonathan creates digitally focused arts programmes in South Asia and the Americas, exploring how digital culture influences and inspires artistic, cross-disciplinary practice and transforms social and participatory engagement.

After spending over a decade creating cultural activities and events, spanning theatre, installation, and digital contexts, with the likes of the British Museum, LIFT, Tate Modern, and the Whitechapel Gallery, Jonathan is increasingly inspired by how to apply digital creativity to diverse contexts.

Elsewhere, he is a Trustee of the Live Art Development Agency, sits on the Digital Board of LIFT, curates and presents the radio show ‘International Airspace’, runs workshops on gender equality for young men with The Great Initiative, and founded Parallel Crossings, When he has a spare second, Jonathan also enjoys reading, cycling, and petting other people’s dogs.  

What has been your favourite Creative Economy project and why?

As an arts programmer, I've been hugely proud of our AltCity programme. These are two-week residencies where we commission international collaborations where artists explore cities across the Americas to create magnificent interactive installations that have gone on to tour to IDFA in Amsterdam, SXSW in Austin, MUTEK in Montreal and Mexico City, and in Hull for the City of Culture programme”. Read more here

Lynsey Smith

Lynsey Smith

Programme Manager

Focus: Creative Hubs
Regions: Sub-Saharan Africa | EU Europe

Lynsey leads on our Creative Hubs work globally and has also developed more than 40 international projects in over 20 countries, in order to help build sustainable creative communities.

Previously, Lynsey was Co-founder and Director of Creative Edinburgh, a creative hub for the creative, cultural and tech sectors of Edinburgh. Lynsey was also Partner of Smith & Matheson, a partnership of creative producers delivering projects, festivals and research.  Previous to this, Lynsey ran Starter for 6, an enterprise training programme for Nesta; and Creative Entrepreneurs Club (another hub) at The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture.

When she is not driving forward the creative hubs mission, or creating new programmes, Lynsey loves to engross herself in books, animals and getting lost!

What does Creative Economy mean to you?

“Creative Economy means building, supporting and profiling the incredible creative, cultural and tech geniuses (practitioners and businesses) that make up our global creative economy. They are the change makers, the fearless, the nimble and the next inspiration. They inspire me every day.”

Genevieve Pace

Genevieve Pace

Programme Manager

Focus: Enterprise
Regions: Wider Europe | Middle East North Africa

Genevieve is responsible for leading the development of programmes in MENA and Wider Europe, as well as advising on global projects requiring expertise in creative enterprise.

Genevieve’s academic background is in International Relations and Psychology, which she studied at the University of Pretoria. She since went on to work in a range of organisations in the creative and cultural sectors, and has been involved in managing a start-up and running her own craft business in South Africa.

In her previous position at Creative United, Genevieve developed and managed projects aimed at providing free business support for creative and cultural enterprises, and gained in-depth knowledge of the business development needs and challenges faced by creative entrepreneurs and enterprises.

Outside of work she’s on an advisory committee for a research project being conducted by King’s College, London, Understanding and supporting creative economies in Africa, and she’s a business mentor for TERN, The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network, which supports refugees who want to start a business in the UK.

Giulia Crossley

Giulia Crossley

Communications and Marketing Manager

Focus: Marketing | Brand
Region: Global 

Giulia manages the communications for both the Creative Economy and Cultural Skills teams, developing strategy and implementing the day-to-day running of all marketing activity. She leads on programme communications, website and digital offers, including brand. 

Giulia has a strong track record in marketing, with a career spanning 10 years, covering a variety of organisations including cultural sustainability consultancy Julie’s Bicycle, cultural foundation Calvert 22 and international visual arts organisation INIVA. As a freelancer Giulia has consulted with a range of organisations crossing visual art, theatre and design, environment, and digital tech. Giulia has a BA in Social Philosophy, Applied Ethics, Religious Studies and Theology and is trained in copywriting, PR, social media marketing and analytics. She is an Arts Marketing Association mentor and British Council brand champion.

Giulia is Creative Economy communications lead on DICE, a two year programme set up to tackle entrenched issues of unemployment and unequal economic growth in five emerging economies and the UK.

When she is not managing the communication and digital demands of the team, Giulia blogs and podcasts on culture and feminism. She is a Samaritans volunteer, rookie home renovator and passionately believes everything can be improved with the addition of colour and sparkle.

What has been your favourite Creative Economy project and why?

Tough choice but Hello Shenzhen brings together some incredible themes. Connecting UK and China maker cultures together – giving talented creators the opportunity to experiment and spark ideas off each other was particularly special. The diverse range of outputs and legacy was also mind blowing – from modular 3D printed wheelchair design to a mini panda that teaches kids to code…what’s not to love? 

Emma Boulton

Emma Boulton

Team Assistant

Focus: Digital | Interactive 

Emma provides project and operational support across the team and regional support for Wider Europe. 

Previously working as the administrator for ‘somewhereto_’ with Livity, and as an account executive for a PR and sponsorship agency with an arts focus. Emma not only has skills in aspects of supporting cultural programmes but also a keen interest in the intersections of art and technology.

Emma graduated university with a BA in Fine Art, and an MA in Media and Communications, and when she has spare time, Emma loves gaming, indoor climbing, and making intricate geometric dot illustrations as a way of keeping a small artistic practise going. 

What has been your favourite Creative Economy project and why?

Alt.City. It is a project that pulls together a variety of disciplines and practises to produce work that speaks to the city it is in. It sits at the centre of an intersection of digital and traditional practises. It resonates with my own interests as well as creating an opportunity to expose practitioners to news ways of working and viewers experiencing work.” 

Rebecca Shoesmith

Rebecca Shoesmith

Senior Programme Manager (ON MATERNITY LEAVE)

Focus: Enterprise | Policy
Region: East Asia

Beccy is responsible for managing the team, budgets, and leading major partnerships such as Nesta, as well as advising on Creative Economy work in East Asia.

She has a specific interest in supporting the development of creative and social businesses and the ecosystem that supports them, from hubs to policy level, and what can be learned from different approaches internationally.

Beccy holds a degree in Business Management from King’s College London, and worked at Lloyds Banking Group, Equtiable Life, and Halifax Bank of Scotland before deciding that she wanted a career change, and saw her chance to make a positive influence on the world in the creative sector. Beccy has worked in several departments in the British Council, including Arts, Science and Education. Her experience and skillset has seen Beccy has lead on major programmes connecting makers in the UK and China, the global Young Creative Enterpreneur awards, and is currently developing a regional hubs support programme across East Asia.

Beccy is Creative Economy lead on DICE, a two year programme set up to tackle entrenched issues of unemployment and unequal economic growth in five emerging economies and the UK.

Married name Habib, Beccy is passionate about rabbits, and feels like a part of her heart will always remain in Asia.

What does ‘Creative Economy’ mean to you?

“Creative economy is so much more than economics or job creation. Of course those are important but the true value lies in the ‘plus’ – driving forward innovation, social cohesion, sparking new ideas and helping us live together better. Value is created when you embrace and connect diversity of thought and experience and see the magic that creates.”