Jorge Lizalde

Culture lab is a leadership programme formed in the belief of the value of arts and culture to society. We want to harness the power of emerging cultural leaders here in Wales. By bringing together a cohort of up to twenty creative and cultural thinkers, influencers and activists, we believe Culture lab can enable a vision of leadership conceived around and embedded in a systemic understanding of the critical challenges that are confronting us now.

Culture lab will comprise of:

  • 20 participants.
  • A diverse range of individuals from agencies, arts organisations and the independent sector.
  • Seven day sessions over five months.
  • A high-level of support from facilitators equipped to mentor and support individuals as well as deliver sessions.
  • Two residential retreats plus three stand-alone days in arts venues.
  • Strong input from leading thinkers and policy makers across a range of fronts – economic, environmental, social and cultural.
  • Action learning sessions bridging the stand-alone days.
  • Participatory, challenging and transformative facilitation.

Our aim is to strengthen leadership by investing in people who will, through their thinking and practice, make a difference to the creative and cultural sector in Wales. Culture lab will develop participants’ ability to advocate for the role of the arts in the context of our economic, social and environmental well-being. We want to bring leadership in arts and culture closer to the principles of sustainable development and build resilience in the face of challenges at global, national and local scale.


Who we are

Photo Simon

Simon Harris

I write and direct, mainly for theatre. I also have a track record as a producer both within organisations and as an independent.

My passion is for designing and leading creative processes that lead to inspiring and original outcomes. I’ve done this as a theatre director working in a range of forms, but primarily within new writing and contemporary performance. I’ve also worked extensively as a producer, developing other people’s ideas and developing initiatives aimed at building the capacity of artists and networks within the performing arts. All of my work is driven by the desire to enable talent and nurture environments where individuals can fulfil their potential.

In 2005/06, I was lucky enough to be selected as the first Welsh Fellow on The Clore Leadership Programme, a development initiative to encourage leaders in culture.

I went on to form Lucid “to inspire and produce projects that are clear-sighted, revelatory and original.”  Through Lucid, I developed a contemporary version of Chekhov’s early play Platonov re-imagined as an anti-austerity parable and I am currently developing an updated version of Ibsen’s Little Eyolf with the 2015 winners of The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Award Nigel Barrett and Louise Mari of the Shunt Collective.

My other work with Lucid is focussed on projects that build capacity and support creative professionals to think boldly and work radically. Having originated a programme of exchange and mentoring with the Live Feed initiative, Lucid is currently delivering a project for Creu Cymru, brokering relationships between venues and independent artists. Also, currently, I am leading on the Wales-based independent producers network Producers’ Place.

I continue to work on innovative and significant projects as an independent producer and director.

Photo Rich

Richard Hawkins

I work at the Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC), an independent charity based in Machynlleth, which works with civil society groups across the UK and Europe to develop new strategies for a more democratic, equal and sustainable world.

When I started at PIRC we were working on changing the UK’s energy policy, advocating and campaigning for a more renewable, fair and efficient energy system. Through that work, and its many frustrations, I became interested in communication. With others in the team we began working with climate scientists, exploring how to communicate their research to best motivate action on climate change. Thanks to Tom Crompton at Common Cause, that work led quickly me into the world of framing, values and motivation, and to a key insight: that the values that underpin concern and action on a whole host of social and environmental issues are connected; not only connected, they are widely shared and can be brought to bear on the challenges we face with a little skill and ingenuity from civil society.

Therefore, over the past five years my main focus has been exploring the role of cultural values in social change and encouraging others to do the same. I’ve facilitated over 200 workshops across civil society in the UK and Europe and had the privilege to learn from thousands of people across a diversity of organisations, movements and countries.

As part of that work I helped found Campaign Lab – an annual six-month action learning programme designed to empower campaigners, activists and organisers to build a more connected, aligned and effective civil society. The Campaign Lab programme is a key inspiration for Culture lab, drawing extensively on it’s structure and philosophy and I’m extremely grateful to my Campaign Lab co-founders – Dan Vockins from the New Economics Foundation and Charlotte Millar from the Finance Innovation Lab – for all the work they’ve done on the programme and all they’ve taught me.

Finally, one of my favourite things in the world is David Foster Wallace’s This Is Water.

Rosie Strang

I am a freelance project manager and producer in the arts, media and environment.

Over the last 15 years this has born an eclectic portfolio – as I have co-developed and managed a diverse range of innovative projects, networks, and events across the UK.

What drives this work is the belief that immersive experiences in the arts and outdoors has an ability to encourage powerful participation and partnerships across all sectors of society, helping to develop more sustainable communities.

Running through this are the common threads of growing and nurturing networks; creating playful and welcoming spaces for investigation, sharing, and new things to emerge; and hands on making, forestry and food.

In this past this has manifested through changing the focus of film for everyone with the Birds Eye View Film Festival, expanding the boundaries of play, reaching out into public space, new technologies, culture and media with Hide & Seek, and on volunteering field trips across the world, such as Hawaii’s finest circus and farm community at Bellyacres.

Recently in Wales its been speaking with my mouthful in to communicate the preventable scale of food wasted in the UK on tour with This is Rubbish’s theatrical Feast, co-producing new outdoor art work as Co-Director of Articulture, and supporting the innovative social forestry network Llais y Goedwig.

All this sits on the firm foundations of a continued curiousity and passion as a creative professional to keep developing and adventuring, in collaboration with others. Informally this takes place as day to day sharing, reviewing, exploring in my work, and more formally as the youngest (and most wide eyed!) participant of the Art & Business Cultural Leadership programme – ‘Impact unleashed’ in 2008.

Jorge Lizalde

I am an artist working mainly with photography and moving image, but I also create installations in physical spaces and make extensive use of web 2.0 tools – such as online libraries, blogs, social networks…

I work as a photographer and videographer at – a commercial photography and video agency based in Cardiff that I own – but I have also been involved in and collaborated on many theatre productions as a freelance creative technician. I am professionally engaged on artist forums and social projects such as ARK – a group of people responding to social community problems.

I became interested in art at early age.  My grandfather and uncle were recognized artists in Zaragoza, Spain – the city where I was born in 1978. I learned to paint and draw utilising different techniques alongside many other great artists at my grandfather’s art academy.

My recent activities have been focused on developing collaborative work with artists from different backgrounds, such as being part of NTW’s Summercamp, creating a prototype app for Nesta with Yello Brick/National Library of Wales, and, most recently, the continuation of “Cymru & I” in Japan – a project developed with dancer Yo Nakamura and part of NTW’s Waleslab.

In the future, my aim is to continue working as a Photographer/Videographer at, as well as, developing my own projects and other collaborative art projects.

Tabby Milne

I’m an independent consultant, helping organisations and individuals working mostly in arts and culture to engage with their audiences. This involves developing strategy, creating unique and engaging communications, and planning and delivering creative campaigns and marketing approaches.

Before making the move to go freelance I led on audience development marketing at Wales Millennium Centre and National Dance Company Wales and worked in PR and marketing at St David’s Hall.  Before that, I cut my teeth in marketing and communications at third sector charities Mencap, and NHS appeal Noah’s Ark Appeal.  In 2011 I took part in the first Clore Emerging Leaders course, which cemented my interest in cultural leadership and how we can initiate and shape change across the arts and cultural sector and broader society as a whole. This forms a fundamental focus of my work in engaging audiences with art and culture and all its social and community benefits.

As a result of all this, people sit at the heart of what I do, alongside a belief in the social value and power of arts and culture to improve – sometimes even transform – quality of life for individuals and communities. I’m interested in helping organisations and artists to develop that value further through new ideas and ways of working, while all the time continuing to talk to their audiences in meaningful ways. My interest is figuring out and understanding who those audiences are as people, groups and communities and then developing the best ways of reaching and talking to them about the experiences that the arts can offer.

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