Business Boost | 12 January 2017 - by KCOM

Can culture visionaries help shape your business strategy for 2017?

Some of the UK’s leading visionaries visit Hull to explain how culture can help business thrive

The launch of Hull 2017 may have made a spectacular splash, but giant light installations and vast wind turbine blade sculptures don’t just happen by themselves. It has taken four years of forward planning, in-depth logistics and careful organisation to pull together an eclectic programme for Hull’s reign as the UK’s City of Culture.

But with culture increasingly being recognised as a key economic driving force, a tool that can be used to drive wholescale regeneration, Hull is set to host a series of lectures revealing the strategic thinking needed to turn entertainment, fun and festivals into city-wide change.

The BP Cultural Vision Lectures will bring together leading thinkers from the worlds of culture and industry to explain how they can work together. The lectures are described as “a chance to take an intimate look at the creative journeys of some of the UK’s leading cultural visionaries.

“Listen to the challenges and the obstacles they faced and how this shaped them into the person they are today and be part of the conversation around a cultural vision for the future. Featuring varied and prominent speakers, this is a fresh space to investigate and celebrate innovation and passion. It is a collaboration between BP and the University of Hull designed to spark cultural conversation with monthly lectures throughout 2017.”

The free lectures will be held at the University of Hull’s Middleton Hall, which has recently reopened following a £9.5m revamp. They will begin on Wednesday, 18 January, with a talk by the man charged with making Hull 2017 a success, City of Culture chief executive and director Martin Green.

Green, who was previously head of ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympics, has an impressive CV which includes stints as director of events at the O2 Arena in London and as a producer on the Tour De Yorkshire’s Grand Depart in 2007.

The 2017 boss will be followed on Wednesday, 8 February, with a joint talk by award-winning playwright Richard Bean and Hull Truck artistic director Mark Babych.

Bean scored a worldwide success with his riotous comedy One Man Two Guvnors, which was a smash hit starring James Corden in the West End and on Broadway, and his new play The Hypocrite will be a major part of the UK’s City of Culture launch season at Hull Truck.

The comedy will star Game of Thrones actor Mark Addy as Sir John Hotham in what Bean describes as the “worst day of his life” as he tries to repel King Charles I from the gates of Hull in 1642.

On Wednesday, 15 February, the lecture series will continue with artist Stuart Pearson-Wright, who is the winner of the BP portrait award and widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading portrait artists. His previous subjects have included Harry Potter author JK Rowling and the actor John Hurt, whose picture was bought by the National Portrait Gallery.

Finally, on Wednesday, 15 March, Dr Angela Strank, BP’s head of technology and chief scientist, will share her vision for the future.

As part of its role as Principal Partner for City of Culture 2017, KCOM has front row tickets to give away to each of these lectures. Follow @KCOMHeyBusiness on Twitter and tweet us using #KCOMBPTickets to be in with the chance of winning one of the seven pairs.