The Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow in partnership with Cultural Associates Oxford (CAO) is launching a free three-month cultural leadership programme, consisting of mentoring sessions and a one-week intensive course. The course will run between December 2021 and February 2022 as part of the international UK – Russia Creative Bridge 2021-2022 programme. 

The Cultural Leadership Programme will support 30 cultural leaders from across the sector in the Russian Federation to enhance their knowledge and skills. It will expose Russian participants to international standards of cultural leadership and strategic planning, equip participants with new skills and knowledge to analyse the context they are working in, give them high-level project management skills and tools and will generate new ideas for professional collaboration with UK colleagues in the cultural sector. 

The one-week intensive course will be delivered online in a virtual format with engaging and interactive elements using a mix of keynote speeches, panel discussions, group breakouts, workshops and learning tasks. 

Threaded throughout all sessions will be the key theme of socially responsive practice, enabling participants to reflect on sustainability and the climate emergency, diversity, equality and inclusion and what this means on both an individual and organisational level. 

As a result of the programme participants will:

  • Develop their leadership skills and understand the importance of strategic thinking and planning.
  • Understand the importance of being led by a vision and purpose that is meaningful and can be used across the organisation and staff.
  • Broaden their perspectives by learning and discussing with other colleagues from across the sector.
  • Expand their knowledge of best practice from examples and case studies provided from the UK and other countries.
  • Develop their understanding of risk, innovation and entrepreneurship and the importance of looking at risk in a healthy way.
  • Benefit from three one-to-one mentoring sessions to encourage participants to work through current and future organisational and individual challenges.  

Programme structure

- Introductory session to meet the cohort, faculty members and to understand what the programme will cover
- Three mentoring sessions, one before, one during and one after the programme
- One-week intensive course from 10 to 14 January 2022 that will cover the following essential topics:  

  • Strategic planning for organisations and the sector overall
  • Marketing and communications
  • Personal brand
  • Inclusivity, diversity, accessibility, and equality in project management
  • Risk and crisis management
  • Partnership management and fundraising
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship 
  • Brand Management

- Pre and post-reading materials
- Closing networking event with colleagues from the UK

Selection criteria

The application is open for leaders from the cultural sector and creative industries that

  • Have at least 5 years of experience in a management role.
  • Have experience of managing a team.
  • Have demonstrable leadership and communication skills.
  • Able to cascade knowledge and implement them in their organisations.
  • Can demonstrate that the programme is relevant to them.
  • Live and work in the Russian Federation.
  • Have at least an upper-intermediate level of English (speaking, listening and writing).
  • Have a specific project in development or area of knowledge that needs to be supported by the mentorship programme. 

The programme is developed for

  • Leaders and senior managers representing Russian cultural institutions.
  • Creative entrepreneurs and project leads working in the fields of visual and performing arts, film and television, literature and publishing, music, architecture, design, fashion, media and communications.
  • Advisors and managers working in the cultural sector for local / regional / national bodies.
  • The programme is accessible to any cultural leader regardless of their age, disability status, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs. The Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow and CAO will conduct the selection process in line with equality and diversity policies.

How to apply

Fill out the application form in English and submit it until 23:59 (UTC +3) on 21 November 2021.
Successful applicants will be informed by e-mail no later than 6 December 2021
Participants will be asked to join an introductory meeting on 13 December 2021 to meet the cohort and facilitators and receive their pre-reading for the course.

About the facilitators

Lucy Shaw

Lucy Shaw is the Founder and Director of Cultural Associates Oxford (CAO). She is a cultural entrepreneur, who specialises in strategic leadership, organisational change, workforce diversity, and inclusive engagement with the creative industries. In addition to leading CAO, Lucy works for the University of Oxford, where she is Programme Director for Oxford Cultural Leaders (OCL) – an international executive leadership programme for the creative and cultural sectors, which she designed and created in 2015 in partnership with colleagues from the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. The programme focuses on blending knowledge, expertise and insights from across both the corporate and creative sectors to create an immersive and life-changing experience for participants. OCL focusses on developing entrepreneurial and creative leaders and includes robust themes around governance and organisational change.  She is also part of a university research team exploring the changing expectations and demands of cultural and creative leadership and is co-author of The Museum Leaders’ Report. Lucy is passionate about good governance within the creative industries and is Chair of Neon Dance, an internationally renowned company which experiments with the intersection between digital and art and is also a trained performance coach and action learning set facilitator.

Miki Lentin

Miki Lentin is a strategic creative consultant with over twenty years of experience across the public and private sectors. With a background in communications, Miki now works with a variety of cultural and creative clients on audience development, community engagement, strategic planning, communications and branding.  He led CAO’s team on the development of the British Council’s Creative Economy Guide, working closely with the UK Creative Economy Team as well as British Council colleagues around the world. He also manages CAO’s cultural development programme for Buckinghamshire Culture, a programme to support the development of cultural leadership which has taken place online during the pandemic. Until recently he was Head of Corporate Affairs at the UK’s national library, the British Library, with responsibility for communications, marketing, video and broadcast, digital content and brand. Miki has a keen interest in the role cultural organisations have as neighbours within their cities and communities. This led to his creation of London’s leading innovation district, the ‘Knowledge Quarter’. He is a faculty member of Oxford Cultural Leaders, a mentor to cultural and creative organisations where he leads peer networking programmes through action learning sets, and volunteers for the Refugee Council and the refugee charity Breaking Barriers.

Dr Pegram Harrison

Dr Pegram Harrison is a Senior Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Pegram’s research and teaching concerns entrepreneurship and leadership particularly in cultural contexts. He advises business on development and strategy from large-sale multi-nationals to SME’s, and his current research is focused on exploring new business models for the cultural and creative industries, with a focus on the regenerative economic potential of CCIs. Pegram teaches entrepreneurship, leadership, strategy and heritage management to executives and Diploma students, as well as on the MBA and undergraduate programmes. He also conducts research at the intersection of business and social issues, and on projects relating to business education, particularly for women entrepreneurs in Muslim communities. He has worked as a strategy consultant around the world for both public and private sector organisations, as well as for governments in both developed and developing countries and is a founder member of the Pan European Entrepreneurship Research Group, an association of researchers based at Paris-Dauphine University who work on European entrepreneurship and higher education.

Dr Maurice Davies

Dr Maurice Davies is a cultural consultant who leads, supports and develops museums, arts and heritage organisations, and the people who work for them to increase their effectiveness. He is a skilled and engaging facilitator and mentor. Maurice has board-member and advisory-committee experience for dozens of organisations in the museum and cultural sector. As well as his extensive consultancy, advisory and research work he has been Head of Collections at the Royal Academy of Arts, Deputy Director of the Museums Association, Editor of the Museums Journal and a curator at Manchester Art Gallery and Tate. He is a senior research fellow in the Business School at King’s College London. Maurice also sits on the National Trust’s Collections and Interpretation Advisory Group and their Inclusive Histories Working Group and until recently was a member of the board of the Happy Museum Project.

Caitlin Griffiths

Caitlin Griffiths is a cultural consultant who has worked in the sector for over 20 years, developing a specialist expertise in designing and delivering mentoring programmes. As a consultant for the last 11 years Caitlin has worked for a number of key sector agencies including Arts Council England, the National Heritage Lottery Fund, the Museums Association and the Art Fund. Much of Caitlin’s work has been in the area of leadership development and supporting individuals and organisations through change. She also has a strong interest in workforce development and has been involved in a number of sector wide research projects into this area which have shaped sector policy. She is passionate about supporting the development of those working in creative and cultural sectors. She is a mentor herself and has recently developed and managed a peer mentoring programme for audience engagement practitioners.

Dr Helen Wilkinson

Dr Helen Wilkinson works as a cultural consultant alongside her role as Business Transformation Director for the Council for British Archaeology, where she is leading a change programme to increase the organisation’s relevance and resilience, including digital transformation. She was previously Assistant Director of the Association of Independent Museums, delivering a major programme of support for small and medium-sized heritage organisations. She has particular experience of supporting organisations with governance issues and with practical training, including supporting organisations to pivot to digital delivery during the pandemic.  With 25 years’ experience in the cultural sector, Helen has delivered consultancy projects focusing on policy development, professional development and organisational change for organisations ranging from small, local organisations to national UK bodies. 


The Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow 

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We are on the ground in six continents and over 100 countries, bringing international opportunity to life, every day. In Russia, we operate through the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow. 

Cultural Associates Oxford

Cultural Associates Oxford (CAO) is a unique take on management consultancy. We create bespoke teams of experts based on our client’s specific needs, drawing on years of experience from across the cultural, creative, business, and higher education sectors. Our Associates include cultural professionals, artists, designers, academics, researchers and business consultants who have been working together for many years to deliver transformational programmes with impact. Through our professional practice, experience and research we know that museums, heritage, the arts and creative industries have a central role in society, and we are committed to supporting a thriving and buoyant cultural sector which makes a difference to people’s lives across the globe. 

UK – Russia Creative Bridge programme 2021–2022

UK – Russia Creative Bridge 2021–2022 is a professional development programme that aims to connect cultural professionals and artists in Russia and the UK and create new opportunities for both individuals and cultural institutions that desire to work with the UK arts sector.

UK – Russia Creative Bridge 2021–2022 is delivered by the British Council. The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We are on the ground in six continents and over 100 countries, bringing international opportunity to life, every day. In Russia, we operate through the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow.