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Alex Poots

Director, Manchester International Festival

Alex is the founding CEO and Artistic Director of the Manchester International Festival (MIF).

He was appointed Artistic Director in 2005, conceiving and establishing it as the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events from across the spectrum of the performing arts, visual arts and popular culture.

Highlights of the first four events include: Monkey: Journey to the West by Chen Shi-Zheng, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett; group art event Il Tempo del Postino, including work from artists Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney, Trisha Donnelly and Tino Sehgal; It Felt Like a Kiss by Punchdrunk and Adam Curtis; Zaha Hadid Architects' new space for the music of Bach; Bjork’s Biophilia live show; and Robert Wilson’s The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, featuring Willem Dafoe, Antony and Marina Abramović and Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth.

Alongside his work for MIF, Alex was appointed Artistic Director of New York’s Park Avenue Armory in 2011, commissioning and presenting ambitious new work specially conceived for this unique New York landmark. Highlights from Alex’s first two seasons (2013 and 2014) include Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Oktophonie in a new setting by Rirkrit Tiravanija, the world première of Paul McCarthy’s White Snow, the launch of a new recital room featuring artists such as Christian Gerhaher and a new staged concert by The xx.

In addition, Alex is an Artistic Advisor to the BBC, supporting new artist-led commissions and work across the corporation.

Previously Alex commissioned, curated and presented new work and special events for the Barbican, Tate, Somerset House, Channel 4 and ENO, working with artists including PJ Harvey, Anish Kapoor, Ennio Morricone, Peter Sellars, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve McQueen and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. He was an Artistic Advisor to the London 2012 Olympics.

Nick Jankel

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Michael Morris

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Adam Clarke

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Ruth Mackenzie CBE

Interim CEO / Launch Director, The Space

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Founder & Director, Secret Cinema (UK)

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DIgital Director, National Gallery

Chris Wild

Director, Retronaut

Kelly Sawdon

Chief Branding Officer, Ace Hotel

Sarah Drinkwater

Head of Campus, Google

Mike Sarna

Director, Programming & Exhibitions, Royal Museums Greenwich

Justine Roberts

Founder & CEO, Mumsnet

Fergus Linehan

Festival Director, Edinburgh International Festival

Simon Walker

Founder & CEO, Marquee TV (Netflix for arts & culture fans)

Simon Cronshaw

Co-Founder, CultureLabel.com & REMIX Summits

Peter Tullin

Co Founder, REMIX Summits & CultureLabel.com

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Co-founder, AllSaints & Co-founder, Bolongaro Trevor

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Digital platforms editor and Head of Culture, Guardian News & Media

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Chief Encouragement Officer of The House of St Barnabas

Tim Arthur

CEO, Time Out

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Director, Creative Industries Federation

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Co-Founder Makerversity, Designer, Artist

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Co-founder, The Line: East London Sculpture Walk

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Media Liaison, Burning Man Festival

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Games Editor, The Guardian

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Director, Sky Arts

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Head of PR, Sky Arts, Sky Movies, Sky 3D. Acting Head of PR, Sky Atlantic

Anthony Geffen

CEO, Atlantic Productions

Emily Smith

Director of Marketing and Business Development, Atlantic Productions

Ian Livingstone CBE

Co-founder Games Workshop and the UK Government’s Creative Industries Champion

Alex Poots

Director, Manchester International Festival

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Jessica Taylor

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John McGrath

Artistic Director & CEO, Manchester International Festival & The Factory

Jane Burton

Head of Content and Creative Director, Tate Media

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Director of Operations, Atlantic Productions

Anthony Catt

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Head of Marketing, Eventbrite

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Senior Director, YouTube EMEA

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Deputy Editor, Cities, The Guardian

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10 Second Ninja & BAFTA Breakthrough Brit

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Co-founder, Unity

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Co-founder, Something & Son

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Business Director, Airbeem

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Head of Dance Festival Division, MAMA & Company (Lovebox)

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Co-founder & Executive Producer, Grimm Productions

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Creator, Mogees

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Head of Movies Coverage / Documentary Producer, BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra

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Co-founder, Red Bull Music Academy

Justine Simons

Head of Culture, City Hall, London & Chair, World Cities Culture Forum

Helen Charman

Director of Learning and Research, Design Museum

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Multiplatform & Online Video Commissioning Editor, Channel 4