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Networking Activities

Bringing artists, cultural and creative practitioners and researchers together for conversation and discussion around issues of common concern and purpose, mutual interest and opportunity lies at the very heart of TCCE’s work. It is why, we suspect, we at TCCE are often spoken of as ‘connectors’.

Through much of our work, we set out to create platforms and spaces in which diverse bodies can come together, sometimes for one-off events, sometimes with a view to establishing longer-term collaborations. Furthermore, we consistently recognise and advocate for the value in doing so.

As well as activities that we generate ourselves, we often work in collaboration with organisations and institutions, small and large and across many different fields to develop activities that seek to bring expertise together around particular themes and/or challenges.

Some examples our work in this area can be found below with yet more information available in our events archive.

TCCE’s Conferences and Symposia

TCCE’s Conferences and Symposia provide an opportunity for those in the TCCE network and individuals from the cultural and creative industries to come together to discuss key issues of mutual concern and interest.

Since 2007, when we started with The Art of Partnerships at The Unicorn Theatre we have been running conferences most years.  Our key conferences include: Culture and Consequence (2008) with King’s College London, Beyond the Academy: Research as Exhibition (2010) in collaboration with Tate Britain, Connectivity, Values and Interventions (2012) with the British Library, Making the Extraordinary (2013) with Cass Business School and Culture, Creativity and the Academy, Building a New ‘Grand Partnership’ (2014) and Culture, Creativity and the Academy: Exploring the New Normal (2015) both with Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Exit Velocity: Supercharge your academic career (2016) with the University of West London, Complex Webs: Exploring Connections Between Universities and the Arts and Creative Sectors (2016).

Our most recent symposium, Refresh, Reboot, Retool: new imaginaries for challenging times (2018) brought together academics, artists, creatives and policy-makers to create a space in which to encourage, debate, conversation, play, knowledge exchange and co-creation about some of our most important contemporary challenges including: politics, diversity, identity, place and environment.

Through our conferences, we aim to explore collaborations and partnership working in different contexts; showcasing values, benefits and examples of good practice as well as highlighting challenges and shining a spotlight on the role of policy in partnership development between research the cultural and creative sectors.

After ten exciting and productive years, first as LCACE and latterly as TCCE, we celebrated our coming of age with a conference on ‘Culture, Creativity and the Academy – Exploring the New Normal’. I was delighted that we were once again able to use the Guildhall School’s Milton Court building. For me, it’s the embodiment of partnership between higher education and the cultural and creative sectors that we aim to serve.

Professor Barry Ife,
Former Principal,
Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Other Networking Activities

Throughout the year TCCE creates a range of activities to support conversations, networking and contact-building between members and artists, creative practitioners, industry leaders, policy-makers and others.

These range from small-scale and informal ‘salons’ such as our Design Salon On Public Space Now in association with Design Exchange through to events over dinner aligned to topics of strategic importance to senior leaders within our member institutions.

In December 2015 we brought together senior leaders from the arts and sciences to explore and debate the topic of ‘Stem v Steam’. Reflections from that evening can be found in our new publication A New Steam Age.

Between March and July 2017 The Culture Capital Exchange has participated to a series of discursive roundtables involving Policy Connect, the All-Party Parliamentary Design & Innovation Group, and Council for Higher Education in Arts & Design, to discuss the way forward for creative higher education after Brexit. The manifesto Developing Creative Education After Brexit: A Plan for Economic Growth draws upon those discussions to ensure that one of the UK’s biggest exports and growing markets isn’t left out of the Brexit talks.

In January 2017 we delivered, in association with Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities, the participative workshop Appraising Contemporary Arts and Creative Research Practices on the Anthropocene and Global Environmental Change, to create an opportunity for researchers, artists, curators and creative organisations and practitioners/activists from a range of disciplines to network, discuss and reflect on work already taking place in and around GEC with a view to building a loose but engaged network of individuals with interests in and around this topic.

In october 2017 we organised the TCCE and The Design Museum Networking round-tablea research focused round-table networking event to enable TCCE member academics and professional staff to develop research relationships with the museum.

I always find TCCE events very seductive – for it seems to me that their key drive is always about relevance and connection. So much of that liminal almost mythical place between HE and industry is neither. TCCE events are focussed on the real. Not in a reductive sense, but from a place of actual necessity. Real people in real rooms discussing real ideas.

Geoffrey Colman,
Head of Acting,
Royal Central School of Speech & Drama


From the point at which the ‘Impact’ agenda started to emerge, TCCE worked with our network to provide an ongoing forum in which to explore this, at times thorny, topic.

We first tackled the subject of Impact back in 2006 when it was still a nascent area. In 2008 we commissioned further research on this topic with particular focus on the impacts of some of the projects we had seed funded at that time.

Since then we have continued to provide annual member only Chatham House style events on topics such as: Impact NarrativesThe Impact of Impact and ‘The Ref: How was it for You?’ As the relevance of the Impact agenda intensifies, we are currently developing new initiatives to support impact activities within our partner universities.

On 7th July 2016 we held a Research, Creative Practice and Impact Roundtable to re-commence our conversations about Impact in the run up to the next REF.


Cyborg Futures is happening tomorrow! We look forward to hear from our speakers @RosannaMcNamara, @GBoddington, @behindthebeats and @MarkGrayatMdx

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