Launch of Occasional Paper #5


Design, creative practice and innovation

The application of artistic, cultural and creative practice is having a major impact on all sectors: defence, mining, manufacturing, transport, retailing, wholesaling, health, community services, and government.

The capacity to innovate through architecture and design are primary sources of competitive advantage in the global economy. Countries throughout the world are developing design-led innovation policies.

Does Australia need a National Council for Design and Creative Practice?

What responsibilities should such a Council have? Should they include formulating a national design policy, directing programs of support for Australian business, and providing Australia with authoritative design knowledge?

CHASS is launching a new policy paper to explore these issues, at The Boathouse by the Lake restaurant in Canberra.

The launch of Between a hard rock and a soft space will be followed by a 90-minute seminar with speakers including John Newbigin and author John H. Howard.

John Newbigin is from the UK, where he was centrally involved in the development of the Labour government’s policies for the creative industries and the establishment of NESTA (the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts). He served as Special Advisor to Chris Smith, the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport for 3 years, and earlier worked as policy adviser for Neil Kinnock, Leader of the Labour Party.

The event runs from 9.30 am to noon on Wednesday 9 July. Light refreshments will be served.

RSVP to Gemma Black – gemma.black@chass.org.au – at CHASS

John Newbigin

John Newbigin is a free-lance consultant and cultural entrepreneur. His portfolio ranges from Channel 4 Television and DCMS (the Dept for Culture Media and Sport) to the UK Film Council, Arts Council England and environmental projects in the UK and Bangladesh. From 2000 until 2005 he was Head of Corporate Relations for Channel 4 Television which describes itself as “the UK’s biggest investor in independent creative businesses”. From 1997 until 2000 he was Special Advisor to the Rt Hon Chris Smith, MP, the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport where he was centrally involved in the development of the new government’s definition of, and policies for the creative industries and the establishment of NESTA (the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts). Prior to that, he worked as executive assistant to Lord Puttnam, then the Chairman of the film company, Enigma Productions Ltd. From 1986 until 1992 John worked as a policy advisor and speech writer to the Rt Hon Neil Kinnock, MP, Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, with responsibility in the Leader of the Opposition’s office for environmental policy, local government issues and cultural policy. He was Director of the London Youth Festival for International Youth Year in 1985. Before that he worked variously as a youth worker in Brixton and Brick Lane, and as a journalist, writer, cartoonist and manager of a training workshop specialising in furniture making.

He is Chairman of Culture 24 (previously the 24 Hour Museum), and a Board member of Becta, the government agency primarily responsible for developing online content and services for education in the UK. He is a Trustee of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, and a Board member of Theatre Royal Stratford East, the Whitechapel-based Keen Students School and the Birmingham-based film project First Light Movies Ltd. which has enabled young people to make 1000 short digital films in the last seven years. He is also a Board member of CIDA, (the Creative Industries Development Agency) which provides training, mentoring and business support for young creative entrepreneurs in east London and across the city, a Trustee of Channel 4’s Big Art Project, a member of the Advisory Board of the John Smith Trust and a member of the Advisory Board of British Telecom’s heritage collection ‘Connected Earth’. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of East London with a remit to study cultural aspects of the 2012 Olympics, including the opportunities for creative businesses in east London.

June, 2008

For more information, please contact:
Gemma Black
Membership Liaison Manager
Council of the Humanties, Arts and Social Sciences
Phone: +61 2 6201 5996
gemma.black@chass.org.au