Leading Edge - Fireside Chat series 2022

Leading Edge - Fireside Chat series 2022

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Leading Edge - Fireside Chat Series 2022

About this event

Date: Mondays - 28 March, 25 April, 23 May

Time: 13:00-14:00 GMT

Location: Online event via Zoom


Join us for our Leading Edge Fireside Chat series 2022, an opportunity to dig a little deeper into the challenges, innovations and insights underpinning the leadership careers of our guest speakers. Hosted by Ciara Eastell OBE, we meet with leaders, who have a story to tell, advice to share and a lesson we can all learn from.

  • 25 April - Andrew Miller MBE, Disability advocate, broadcaster and cultural consultant


Monday 28 March - 13:00-14:00

A fireside chat with Melanie Keen

Join Melanie Keen, Director of the Wellcome Collection, a free museum and library in London which aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health, as she talks about her career in the arts and cultural sector. Hear Melanie talk with our host Ciara Eastell OBE about how her leadership style has developed over the past 10 years in the face of an ever changing external environment.

Melanie Keen is Director of Wellcome Collection, a free museum and library in London which aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health. Prior to joining in October 2019, she was Director and Chief Curator at Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), where she was instrumental in the revitalisation of Iniva’s mission and vision by making the library collection its creative hub. Melanie sits on a number of boards and advisory committees including the Freelands Foundation Diversity Action Group, Government Art Collection and the Board of Visitors of Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. She was on the selection committee for the British Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019 and one of the judges for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020.

She has worked extensively in building greater awareness of the practice of artists of African and Asian descent in Britain. Her curatorial practice has focused on creative collaboration, community engagement and experimentation. As a regular contributor at conferences and seminars, most recently as a keynote speaker at the Museums Association Conference 2020, Melanie is enthusiastic about the potential to forge an alliance of museums and cultural institutions committed to social justice.

Monday 25 April - 13:00-14:00

A fireside chat with Andrew Miller MBE

Join Andrew Miller MBE, disability advocate, broadcaster and cultural consultant, as he shares his story of transforming perceptions and raising the profile of disability throughout his 30 year career. Hear Andrew talk with our host Ciara Eastell OBE about his mission to democratise our creative industries by championing inclusion and representation.

Transforming perceptions and raising the profile of disability throughout his 30 year career, Andrew's mission has been to democratise our creative industries by championing inclusion and representation. He is recognised as one of the most influential disability advocates in the UK with extensive experience of the arts, film and broadcast sectors.

Starting out in broadcasting in the 1980s, Andrew belongs to the first generation of disabled presenters of British television and he went on to produce and direct tv arts documentaries. Subsequently moving into arts administration he became the first wheelchair user to run a major UK arts venue at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff. As a cultural consultant his clients have included the University of Oxford Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities, the British Council, Graeae Theatre Company and Coventry City of Culture Trust.

Andrew is a National Council member of Arts Council England, a Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a trustee of BAFTA and his previous non-executive roles include The Arts Council of Wales, Welsh National Opera and UK Digital arts agency The Space. He is Chair of the BFI Disability Screen Advisory Group and in 2020 he co-founded the UK Disability Arts Alliance, #WeShallNotBeRemoved and devised the Seven Principles for an inclusive cultural recovery.

Between 2018-21 Andrew was also the UK Government’s first Disability Champion for Arts & Culture, establishing the role as a powerful campaigning platform for greater inclusion across the arts, museums and film. His pioneering career has been recognised by the National Diversity Awards, The Shaw Trust’s Disability Power 100 list, The Stage 100 and the 2021 New Year Honours.

Monday 23 May - 13:00-14:00

A fireside chat with Dr. Fiona McNae

Join Dr. Fiona McNae, Managing Partner, InSites Consulting, as she shares her leadership journey as an entrepreneur, scientist and expert in helping brands and organisation solve the toughest questions through thoughtful, provocative conversations. Hear Fiona talk with our host Ciara Eastell OBE about how her leadership interests have evolved over the years, spanning science, semiotics, the arts and entrepreneurship.

Fiona read Biochemistry at the University Surrey and enjoyed it so much she completed a PhD in Molecular Toxicology. She then joined Unilever and worked for several years in R&D, engaging with the i.p, portfolio and developing new women’s health products. Seeking a broader commercial challenge, she joined the WPP Marketing agency, Added Value (now Kantar) and was appointed Director of Brand Strategy focusing on insight methodology innovation. During this time she also completed an MBA at Henley Management College.

Fiona subsequently left Added Value and partnered with Malcolm Evans in founding Space Doctors. She has led the growing Space Doctors team for 20 years developing a two person specialist semiotics business into a thought-leading international brand consultancy specialising in using cultural and semiotic insight to create meaningful futures for brands and organisations. In 2021 Space Doctors joined forces with InSites Consulting, a global agency focusing on creating the sustainable brands of the future. Fiona is now a Managing Partner of InSites Consulting, responsible for leading the global Brand Transformation division. Fiona brings a synthesis of scientific, commercial and creative skill to her team’s work with international client teams to solve challenging business issues and to make brands more effective, imaginative and impactful. In her spare time, Fiona sings with Brighton Festival Chorus and Youth Choir and acts as a Trustee to both. She is mum to 2 grown up children, 5 grown-up step children and a not very grown-up dog called Bob.


Please register using the ‘register’ link on this page.

To attend the full series, please select ‘All sessions’ when registering, otherwise individually select your chosen sessions when registering to attend particular events within this series.

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