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Conferences and workshops

Club Critical Theory: Essex Futures Conference

Club Critical Theory hosts a free two-day conference focusing on public policy areas that impact local communities

Dates: 15-16 September

Venue: Civic Centre, Southend-on-Sea, Committee Room 4a (close to Southend Victoria and Southend Central railway stations)

Club Critical Theory (CCT) is a partnership between the University of East London (UEL) and Southend-based social enterprise The Cultural Engine. Established in 2014, CCT is a public engagement programme that seeks to encourage academics to get out into community spaces to explore how radical theory can inform the imaginative life of society.

CCT's co-founders are Giles Tofield (The Cultural Engine), Dr Andrew Branch (UEL) and Dr Tony Sampson (UEL).

Keynote speakers:

Robert Hewison (cultural historian and author of Cultural Capital: The Rise and Fall of Creative Britain)

Jack Monroe (writer, journalist and activist)

Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)

The programme will also include local entrepreneurs and key policy makers. 

Day One: Thursday, 15 September

Doors open at 9.30am

Morning session: 10am – 1pm

Introduction to CCT: Tony Sampson

Creative Industries and Entrepreneurialism: Exploring the drive by local authorities and other agencies to encourage growth in ‘creative sectors’. What impact is this really having on regional economies, and is it any more than simply ‘branding’? 

Robert Hewison (cultural historian and author of The Rise and Fall of Creative Britain)

Joe Hill (Director of Focal Point Gallery)

Duncan Smith (Artistic Director of the Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art) 

Chair: Andrew Branch 

Afternoon session: 2-5pm

Food Cultures: Who is really setting the agenda in terms of policies on health and wellbeing in respect of what food we buy and consume? What can be done at a local level to improve ‘food cultures’ in the context of national policies which endorse a free market vision of society? 

Vic Borrill (Director of Brighton and Hove Food Partnership)

Jack Monroe (Writer, Journalist and Activist)

Chair: Giles Tofield

Evening drinks at the Railway Hotel

Day Two: Friday, 16 September 

Doors open at 9.30am

Morning session: 10am -1 pm

Cultural Policy, Heritage and Place-Making: What do we mean by ‘place-making’ at a local level? Who creates the stories and narratives that define how our towns and cities are to be ‘branded’? Does local cultural policy (where it still exists) have a role to play in creating really distinctive identities and differences in a globalised world economy? How is local ‘heritage’ being used to promote new narratives of towns, cities and regions? 

Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)

Scott Dolling (Head of Economy, Regeneration & Tourism, Southend Borough Council)

Robert Bean (Founder of Robert Bean Branding Co)

Chair: Giles Tofield

Closing remarks by Andrew Branch

The Essex Futures Conference is funded by the University of East London.

Thursday, 15 September 2016 9:30 to Friday, 16 September 2016 13:00

Civic Centre, Southend-on-Sea

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