Friday 12 March 2021 -
18:00 to 19:30

The UK-Russia Creative Bridge Forum featured an online panel discussion with cultural and creative entrepreneurs about the future of the creative economy after the pandemic.

Five experienced panelists from Russia and the UK shared their experience of current trends, and focused on potential sustainable business models, and the development of the “creative capital” of cities in the post-covid era.

Creative business coach Ellen O’Hara talked about creative entrepreneurship and her experience working with startups. Representing Edinburgh and Scotland around the world, Jim Galloway shared his expertise in city development through the creative economy and city-to-city and region-to-region collaborations. Nikita Tokarev, Head of MARCH Architecture School, talked about the experience of keeping the school running and creative students motivated during lockdown.  Alexey Onatsko from Miles & Yards shared his experience of creating the Sevkabel Port, a new cultural cluster in the heart of St. Petersburg, and work trends during the pandemic. Natalia Fishman-Bekmambetova, Assistant to the President of the Republic of Tatarstan, shared her insights on her team’s approaches in the city of Kazan to modernise and make it an attractive creative city for young people.  

The discussion was moderated by Ekaterina Cherkes-Zade, director of Universal University, the only Russian educational institution that offers English-taught internationally recognised degree programmes in creative industries, which unites nine specialized creative schools.

About the speakers

Ekaterina Cherkes-zade is a director of Universal University and the British Higher School of Art & Design. Katerina graduated from the Moscow State University of the Printing Arts with a degree in journalism and publishing, completed the International Visitor Leadership Programme at Graduate School USA. Previously, she worked on various media and publishing projects; since 2009 she has been dealing with modern education in the creative industries. 

Ellen O'Hara is a creative business coach, facilitator and strategist with a background in cultural and social entrepreneurship. She has designed and delivered enterprise and business development programmes for Nesta, Arts Council England, Innovate UK, British Council and Creative United. Ellen delivers coaching, consultancy and training in emergent strategy, enterprise, business model innovation, income diversification and access to alternative finance.  Ellen previously held roles at School for Startups, award-winning craft incubator Cockpit Arts, the Prince's Trust and Arts Council England. She is a published researcher, SFEDI accredited coach, holds a degree in Economics & Econometrics from the University of Birmingham and a postgraduate diploma in Administrative Management. Ellen is the current chair of the board of regional theatre company Little Earthquake. She works internationally and is based in the Derbyshire Dales, UK.

Jim Galloway is Founding Director of Edinburgh Global Limited. Representing Edinburgh and Scotland around the world, Jim has a unique insight into successful strategies to make international connections. Jim has worked internationally in Economic Development for over 30 years. Prior to establishing Edinburgh Global Limited, Jim was Head of Enterprise and Innovation for the City of Edinburgh Council Economic Development Service where he led strategy development and delivery of business support services, innovation, and employment programmes. Jim established Edinburgh Global Limited in 2019. With the full endorsement of the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, he plans to continue to promote and take forward the city’s international ambitions by providing key services to international delegations visiting Edinburgh and Scotland. Edinburgh Global Limited also organises and leads international trade missions and delegations from Edinburgh, Scotland and the UK to markets around the world.

Nikita Tokarev is an architect, Head of MARCH Architecture School, tutor of the module Professional Practice, member of the board of Moscow Union of Architects. Nikita Tokarev graduated from the Moscow Architectural Institute, the Experimental Design Studio under the guidance of Valentin Rannev and Eugene Asse in 1994. In 1997 he completed an internship at the Institute of Housing and Urban Development in Rotterdam. In 1994-2000 he worked as an architect at the Ostozhenka architectural bureau, then co-founded and worked at the architectural bureau PANACOM. Nikita Tokarev taught at the Moscow Architectural Institute, Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, and the Moscow branch of the International Academy of Architecture. He is an expert of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the author of publications, a laureate of Moscow and Russian architectural competitions and festivals.

Alexey Onatsko is an urbanist-practitioner, partner and director for development at Miles & Yards, curator of Sevkabel Port. Previously he was involved in the creation of various DIY projects including Taiga, Hello Hostel, Park Vzmorie, Mast Club, as well as exhibition and musical events. In Moscow, he worked with the design factory Flacon, was creative director and producer of the Ship “Valery Bryusov”, and took part in the transformation of Khlebozavod №9. In addition to organising large-scale media performances, Alexey delivers consultancy on the development practices of modern cities and creative industries. In 2017, he developed a concept and began the construction of Sevkabel Port.

Natalia Fishman-Bekmambetova is Assistant to the President of the Republic of Tatarstan. In her role, she is involved in the creation of comfortable public spaces, parks, and embankments throughout the Republic. Previously, she was part of the team at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design that created the concept for the Gorky Park. Natalia served as an advisor to the Head of the Moscow Department of Culture Sergey Kapkov. She was involved in transformations in the management of libraries, museum reforms, and in the development of new approaches to the arrangement of public events. Natalia is the Head of the Eurasian branch of World Urban Parks and Member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.