CONNECT! Creative Europe Desk UK Forum on the Value of Networks

12 Sep 2018, 9:30AM - 6:00PM
Barbican, London
Booking details:
Free, add to the waitlist via eventbrite

Frobisher Auditorium 1, Silk St , London, E1 6LA

In a fragmented creative sector, taking part in a network means connecting. Networks serve to incubate ideas, enable exchange, and inject strength.

Networks are also the lifeblood of Creative Europe, which supports them informally and formally through its funding opportunities.

CONNECT! – a Creative Europe Desk UK Forum on the Value of Networks – examines why participating in networks is so vital, how to make the most of them, and what the sector could stand to lose by going alone.

Join speakers from across the creative, cultural and audioviusal sectors in the UK and beyond to ask:

  • How can UK professionals benefit from taking part in networks?
  • Can networks be a force for social change?
  • How can we fully harness this strength in numbers?
  • What are the pitfalls of networks?
  • What do we stand to lose if Brexit leads to diminished support – and a weakened appetite – for this kind of collaboration? 

CONNECT! follows on from COLLABORATE! 2017: a booked-out conference, which featured a stunning keynote from Ruth Mackenzie and lively debates with 25 influential speakers. Get a recap and access the talks on our YouTube channel.


Further details and speakers to be announced. Timings subject to alteration.

9:30 – 10:00 REGISTRATION

10:00 – 10:15 WELCOME: Kate Arthurs, Director, Arts, British Council

10:15 – 10:25 WELCOME: Jack Powell, Senior Policy Analyst, BFI

10:25 – 10:40 Agnieszka Moody, Director, Creative Europe Desk UK

10:40 – 11:20 KEYNOTE: Dawn Walton, Founder/Artistic Director, Eclipse Theatre

11:20 – 11:50 COFFEE BREAK

11.50 - 12:00 Louise Jeffreys, Artistic Director, Barbican

12:00 – 12:10 Victoria MacCallum, Deputy Director, Head of International Policy for Creative Industries, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

12:10 – 1:00 PANEL DISCUSSION: The power of the collective voice

Confirmed speakers:

  • Nan van Houte, Secretary General, IETM
  • Vanessa Reed, Chief Executive, PRS for Music Foundation 
  • Deborah Williams, Executive Director, Creative Diversity Network
  • Beadie Finzi, Doc Society (moderator)

1:00 – 2:00 LUNCH


You will be invited to select two of the following breakouts when processing your order. All the breakouts will run twice with an 'A' slot and a 'B' slot to choose from.

Breakout 1: How do you put a network together? 

Where do you start when setting up a network? This session is a chance to get practical. Hear from networks old and new about their experiences of starting a network from scratch. What do they wish they had known right at the beginning? 

Confirmed speakers: 

  • John Peto, Head of Education, The Nerve Centre 
  • Neil Butler, IN SITU Network
  • Tania Santos, European Creative Hubs Network 
  • Amy Firth, Head of Marketing - Membership, AMA - Arts Marketing Association (moderator)

Breakout 2:  How does a network help you do it better? 

Find out about networks as a solution to a fragmented, diverse sector made of small operators that are more vulnerable alone. Consider how cross-border collaboration and funding boosts networks and debate how these could be affected by the potential Brexit outcomes. 

Confirmed speakers:

  • David Drake, Director, Ffotogallery Wales
  • Damien McGlynn, Communications & Partnerships Director, Voluntary Arts
  • Paul Pacifico, CEO, Association of Independent Music
  • Claire McColgan, Director, Culture Liverpool (moderator)

Breakout 3: Staying relevant: the dos and don’ts of networks 

While there’s strength in numbers, there can be a dark side too, with the potential for networks to slip into groupthink and an ‘in-club' approach all too present. How can we avoid these pitfalls? How do we keep networks relevant and adaptive to change? This session faces up to the challenges involved in ensuring that networks stay meaningful, inclusive and true to purpose, and explores case studies of networks that employ innovative approaches in doing just that.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, Literature Across Frontiers
  • Anjali Ramachandran, Co-founder, Ada's List
  • Andy Glynne, EDN - European Documentary Network / Mosaic Films
  • Clymene Christoforou, D6: Culture in Transit (moderator)


Put everything you've learned about the power of networks into practice. Join us overlooking the Barbican conservatory – a 'hidden tropical Oasis in the heart of the city' – for a short final speech plus drinks and nibbles. 

You can join the debate by asking questions on Twitter: #networks18

Look back at our CONNECT! Forum on the Value of Networks with our blog post and YouTube playlist of videos from the day.