Chair. Lou is CEO and founder of magneticNorth, an award winning, independent digital design company in Manchester which produces innovative work for clients including the BBC, Google and the City of Manchester. Lou is a board member of the Greater Manchester LEP and of CityCo and she chairs the marketing group for Manchester City of Science 2016.
Formerly chief executive of the Design Council, John is now design director of the British Design Fund and business director at Denomination Design. His experience of managing industry leading companies such as Enterprise IG (not The Brand Union), Fitch and Holmes & Marchant enables him to support the development of Design Manchester with wisdom and great insight.
Jon is the head of Digital Economy at the Knowledge Transfer Network, which he joined after senior roles at Nesta, the BBC and Channel 4. While at Nesta, Jon commissioned Here and Now, the UK’s first landscape review of hyper local media, and established the Creative Business Mentor Network and the Digital R&D Fund. Within Manchester, John has supported the establishment of Hyper Island among other initiatives.
Sarah is Principal Policy Officer and formerly the Cultural Economy Team Leader at Manchester City Council. A 3D Design graduate from Manchester School of Art, she previously worked as Development Director of Design Initiative for four years, providing direct advisory support and information services for designers and design businesses in the North West.
Joe is Head of Design and Associate Dean at Manchester School of Art and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Joe sees his role as that of a pedagogic designer, having arrived in education circuitously after gaining a first-class degree in painting, drawing and print-making followed by a ‘portfolio career’ in related fields of the arts before focusing on graphic design and educational publishing.
An artist and curator who works with cultural organisations on programme development, Simon has facilitated labs with over 400 artists nationally and internationally. Simon advises arts organisations to connect organisational development through to practical management and programme delivery. As associate curator of METAL, Simon commissioned Malcolm Garrett to create the identity of NetPark, the world’s first digital art park.