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Speakers

Shani Dhanda

Disability Inclusion & Accessibility Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Broadcaster

Recognised as the UK's most influential disabled person and the BBC's 100 Women Laureate of 2020, Dr Shani Dhanda sparks transformative change as a consultant, collaborating with businesses and brands to authentically embrace inclusion and accessibility. Her expertise in disability inclusion has had a profound global impact, collectively reaching over 1.5 million employees worldwide.

Richard Shotton

Author

Richard Shotton specialises in applying behavioural science to marketing. He has worked in marketing for 23 years and helps brands such as Google, Mondelez and BrewDog with their challenges.

He is the author of The Choice Factory, a best-selling book available in 14 languages, which explains how behavioural science can solve business challenges. His latest book, The Illusion of Choice came out in March 2023. In 2021 he became an associate of the Moller Institute, Churchill College, Cambridge University.

Clare Reddington

CEO, Watershed

Clare joined Watershed in 2004, establishing its creative technology programmes including Pervasive Media Studio. She become CEO in 2018. Clare works with industry, academic and creative partners from around the world to champion inclusion, support talent and develop new ideas. Clare is a Visiting Professor at University of the West of England. She is chair of Emma Rice's Wise Children, and a trustee of RSC and British Council.

Aled John

Director, FT Strategies

Aled has over eleven years’ experience in the media, overseeing strategy, product, new venture creation and editorial. Previously he was Head of Membership Strategy and Business Development at Condé Nast, where he launched their B2B subscription title Vogue Business.

Fran Sanderson

Director of Arts Programmes and Investments, Nesta

Alongside heading up the Arts, Culture and Creativity team, Fran also has primary responsibility for the Arts Impact Fund. Fran managed an ethical equities fund at JPMorgan for eight years following an MA in Philosophy and Maths and periodic work in charity administration and fundraising

Ruby Steel

Founder, Studio Exception

Ruby is a trailblazer in inclusive design, working as a design strategist for many years before co-founding Studio Exception. She was also a “fixer” on the BBC Two show ‘Big Life Fix’, the program that involves a team of inventors creating new and life-changing solutions for people in need. She believes that design is an emotion-led process, and brings a limitless source of empathy and passion to any task. Studio Exception are a unique collective, unified by the shared belief that there is incredible value in what excluded people have to offer to the design process.

Dominique Barron

Design Researcher, Careful Industries

Dominique Barron is a Design Researcher at Careful Industries, where their work examines the social impacts of technology. Dominique's research places particular focus on the intersections of race, gender, and class through a critical, decolonial analysis, and she is interested in topics related to policing, migration, and Black political organising across the African diaspora.

Hilary Knight

Senior Consultant, AEA Consulting

Hilary brings over 20 years of experience delivering growth and performance for creative and cultural organisations. She combines a wealth of executive-level experience in strategy and leadership with her work in digital and new technologies, audience-centric approaches. Hilary joined AEA after seven years with Tate, where she started as Head of Digital Content and later became Director of Digital. She previously held positions at Film4, Channel 4, and the BBC.

Kati Price

Head of Experience & Digital, V&A

Kati is a digital director specialising in digital transformation, engagement and brand experience. She currently oversees experience and digital at the Victoria and Albert Museum, for audiences encountering the V&A, online and in person.

Nick Sherrard

Partner, Label Ventures

Dr Francesca Sobande

Senior Lecturer in Digital Media Studies, Cardiff University

Francesca is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Media Studies at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture (Cardiff University). She is the author of Big Brands Are Watching You: Marketing Social Justice and Digital Culture (2024, University of California Press), Consuming Crisis: Commodifying Care and COVID-19 (2022, SAGE), and The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain (2020, Palgrave Macmillan).

Craig Sullivan

CEO, Optimise Or Die

Craig has been blending UX, Analytics, AB Testing and Discovery Toolkits for over 13 years, powering growth for companies like Google, Amazon, Spotify, Eurostar, Lego, John Lewis, Facebook and Red Bull. He has helped over 500 clients to unlock the latent value and growth inside their products or services. Using a mixture of Experimentation, Data, User Research and Cultural Change, he’s gained them over £5Bn in incremental revenue. Understanding digital leakage is his speciality - fixing the flows of engagement, revenue and customer delight.

Anna Rafferty

Vice President; Digital Consumer Engagement, The LEGO Group

Anna Rafferty is a Vice President at The LEGO Group, looking after engagement, fans and direct relationships. She leads global teams responsible for direct-to-consumer digital products, channels and experiences which include apps, websites, fan communities, games, social media engagement, magazines, membership programmes and events. She is the business owner for the LEGO Group’s digital child safety and wellbeing standards and represents the company as subject matter expert in forums such as the Digital Futures Commission, the OECD, the Geena David Institute and the World Economic Forum as well as with partners like Epic Games and UNICEF.

Seb Chan

CEO, ACMI

Seb Chan is Director & CEO at ACMI in Melbourne. Appointed to the role in August 2022, he was previously a key part of the team behind the organisation’s $40 million renewal project, underpinned by co-design methodology, which transformed ACMI into a multi-award winning, multiplatform museum. Seb joined ACMI as Chief Experience Officer in 2015, as the senior executive responsible for the Experience & Engagement division of the museum, guiding teams responsible for visitor experience, marketing, brand & communication design, digital products, technology, and the museum’s collections, digitisation & digital preservation programs. He designed and leads ACMI's CEO Digital Mentoring Program (2021–ongoing), working with CEOs and directors across the Australian arts and cultural sector. He is currently the National President of the Australian Museums and Galleries Association.

Alex Bayley

Chief Marketing Officer, National Theatre

Alex is responsible for the National Theatre’s global audiences, brand and sales operation. He works closely with the creative core of the organisation to build and develop live and digital audiences in London, across the UK and internationally. His role encompasses sales and income; digital media and content strategy; marketing strategy (creative; campaigns, CRM); communications and advocacy.

The National Theatre has been a global market leader for digital theatre for over a decade, with its National Theatre Live cinema programme reaching 3000 venues in 65 countries around the world. In Spring 2020, in response to the Covid pandemic, it launched National Theatre at Home, a time-limited free streaming initiative in partnership with YouTube which reached a total audience of 16 million people over four months. In December 2020, this was followed by a paid subscription and rental service – the next phase of NT at Home – which is now active in 170 countries. The National Theatre Collection streams directly into education settings, with 85% of UK state secondary schools now actively using the service for free.

temi lasade-anderson

temi is an AHRC/LAHP-funded PhD candidate in the department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King’s College London, researching Black women’s digital intimacy. She is currently a Fellow at the Centre of Advanced Internet Studies. Recently, she was the inaugural research curator-in-residence at FACT. Her research interests are "the digital" and Blackness; race, gender and communication on social media, social media subcultures and diaspora, and online relationality. Her work has been published in Feminist Media Studies and the Television and New Media Journal (forthcoming). Prior to doctoral study, temi worked for various civil society organisations in the tech policy and digital rights sector, and as a digital advertising and marketing strategist..

Danny Birchall

Freelance Content Strategist

Danny Birchall is a freelance content strategist for the cultural sector, with over twenty years experience managing everything from podcasts to art commissions for museums and archives. At Wellcome Collection he ran the Stories team, commissioning and editing long-form journalism for a global audience.

Annette Mees

Artistic Director, Audience Labs

Annette Mees is an award-winning artist and theatre director known for her innovative, immersive work on the intersection of live performance and technology. She also works and publishes on the future of arts and culture.

Current projects include:

  • Impossible Theatres - a project combining collective human intelligence and AI to imagine impossible theatres in possible futures
  • Venues of the Future - a collaboration between UK, NL and Moroccan arts and digital organisations to explore the potential of both the physical and the digital space to create a more diverse and wider reaching set of programming and audiences across borders.
  • Co-curator of Liquid Becomings - an international curatorial consortium, led by espaço agora now, imagining Europe's future(s) commissioned by The European Cultural Foundation.

She works on an ongoing basis with The Southbank Centre on digital strategy and cross-disciplinary commissions. She collaborates with Arup and Therme on "Future of Culture" - gathering international thought-leaders to discuss the impact of social change, new technologies, economic shifts and climate change on the culture sector. She’s the Chair of FutureEverything and a board member of Kaleider.

Previously she was the co-artistic director of immersive theatre company Coney, Creative Fellow for WIRED and the creative director of the artistic innovation department at the Royal Opera House.

Christina Østerby

Commercial Director, Royal Opera House

After more than 20 years of experience working as an executive in Danish cultural organisations, Christina joined the Royal Opera House in London in March 2022 to help launch a transformation programme working to diversify and increase audiences, unify data, and streamline processes.

Christina is also an independent consultant through her company C the Culture and Chair of Board at Scenit a nationwide organisation with the purpose to promote sales, visibility, accessibility, and documentation of professional performing arts in Denmark through digital and partnership-based solutions.

Samantha King

Head of Programme, VIVE Arts

Samantha is the Head of Programme at VIVE Arts (HTC), a global arts programme supporting artists and cultural organisations to experiment with immersive technology.

Previous to VIVE Arts, she was Senior Producer of Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House, an innovation programme bringing together artists and next generation technology to create boundary-breaking contemporary opera and ballet experiences.

She has also held positions at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

Samantha specialises in producing multilayered, interdisciplinary experiences and exhibitions that explore creative innovation using digital tools.

She has worked with a range of artists, designers, technologists and creatives, and with partners across sectors in the UK and internationally including Google Creative Lab, UKRI, the Smithsonian, Musee d’Orsay, National Gallery, and Art Basel.

She is particularly interested in new forms of cultural infrastructure, the transformative potential of technology on artistic practice, and how interdisciplinary collaborations and creative R&D can offer new possibilities for artists, audiences, and the future of culture.

Eva Liparova

Freelance Product Strategist

Eva Liparova a freelance product lead and digital strategist specialising in the needs of the cultural sector. With over 15 years' experience, she has helped museums, theatres and opera houses define, develop and deliver effective digital solutions.

Eva trained as a director at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and worked as a theatre producer for many years, before becoming a product manager in various startups in London, Berlin and the US. This has given her a unique perspective, and in her work she combines her deep knowledge of the cultural sector, with helping cultural organisations become more iterative, user-centric and agile, in how they approach delivering digital products.

From shaping and delivering websites with complex integrations, online collections, touchscreens, VR experiences, through to advising C-level teams on product strategy, digital skills and internal processes.

Eva is a seasoned digital transformation specialist. Clients include the V&A, Opera North, Royal Opera House, Shakespeare's Globe, and with Substrakt – the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Malmö Opera and the Bridge Theatre amongst others.

Derek Richards

Head of Broadcast and Digital, The Roundhouse

Derek Richards is currently Head of Broadcast and Digital at the Roundhouse in London, an arts venue renowned for its commitment to creative learning for young people. Parallel to his role at Roundhouse, Derek is an active digital design and production lecturer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

In the 1990s, Derek co-founded Artec, the UK’s first media lab focused on digital creativity, and led the "Digital Slam" in 1995—a notable teleconferencing event linking in real time collaborative live performances between New York and London. With Hyperjam, founded in 1997, he produced events that facilitated real-time artistic collaborations across international venues.

As a visual artist, Derek has exhibited his digital and interactive media work globally, receiving 11 awards in recognition of his contributions to the field. His expertise extends to theatre and dance, where he has provided creative technology solutions and digital video design for companies such as Rambert, the National Theatre, and Dance Project in Seoul, South Korea, among others. Derek is also known for mentoring emerging digital storytellers in both the UK and Australia.

Derek was the judge for the Content category of the Arts Council’s Digital Culture Awards in 2022 and 2023.

Katy Ashton

Director, People’s History Museum

Katy has worked in the museum sector for over 20 years with roles in national, local authority and independent museums, working with military, social history, industrial and transport collections.

Prior to joining the People’s History Museum (PHM) in 2010, Katy’s work was focused on learning, social justice and citizenship within museums and she led the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law (NCCL) in Nottingham.

Katy has a strong background in learning and audience engagement which underpins a passion for museums to be relevant to contemporary issues and events, resonant with people’s lives - empowering them to get actively involved in their own history, heritage and communities.

Katy has a History Degree from the University of York, an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester, and she is a Fellow of the Museums Association (FMA). Katy is a Trustee for Queer Britain and Manchester Craft and Design Centre, Secretary and Board Member for Worklab (the International Association of Labour History Museums), and a member of the Steering Group for the Women Leaders Network in Museums.

Chris Sullivan

Freelance content producer and strategist

Chris Sullivan is a freelance content producer and strategist. A founding member of the digital programme at M+ in Hong Kong, he contributed to shaping the museum’s digital storytelling arm, establishing its platforms and defining its identity and strategies in the lead-up to its official opening. While at M+, he ran M+ Magazine, commissioned writing, oversaw video production, developed artist commissions, managed social media content, and established a culture of instilling digital accessibility into the museum’s storytelling DNA.

David Cotton

Web Editor and Developer, Henry Moore Foundation

David works as Web Editor and Developer at the Henry Moore Foundation, an arts charity supporting innovative sculpture projects worldwide. As well as being responsible for overseeing the daily management and ongoing development of the Foundation’s website, he has extensive experience of managing digital projects, from launching websites to implementing CRM systems and grant-giving platforms. His work overhauling the Henry Moore Foundation's website and digital systems was shortlisted for the Digital Culture Network's Digital Transformation award in 2023.

Lindsey Cook

Director of Communications, Marketing & External Relations, Garsington Opera

Lindsey has worked in arts marketing for over two decades, working across a variety of art forms for venues, festivals, and funding bodies. She currently leads on communications, marketing and external relations for Garsington Opera, recently delivering a new website.

Prior to that, Lindsey led the marketing and communications for Birmingham 2022 Festival, the six-month cultural festival accompanying the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games which reached an audience of 2.4m people from diverse backgrounds. She has worked for Arts Council England on data and evaluation, and spent a large proportion of her career at Midlands Arts Centre, starting teaching youth theatre, and finishing as the Director of Marketing and Communications across a mix of contemporary arts and commercial activities.