Bonnie Greer OBE joins panel for ABCD Igniter events series

The prolific playwright, author, broadcaster and arts champion Bonnie Greer OBE will be joining the panel for Does Brighton Dare…? on 2nd February, 12.30pm

Book free tickets >>Does Brighton Dare…?

What is the appetite for creative risk in a region like Greater Brighton?

Provocative ‘lightning talks’ from high profile figures in the creative industries.

Positive debate and discussion about Greater Brighton as an incubator for creativity and innovation and the ‘superfusion’ model of art and tech.

Is the current investment of time, money, training, and will, ambitious enough?

The full-line up below:

Richard Freeman (Chair) – CEO, always possible

Bonnie Greer OBE – Playwright / broadcaster / critic / arts leader

An advocate of free speech and higher education regardless of individual gender and cultural background, Bonnie Greer is passionate about both the arts and science and is determined to see that the voices of women and minorities are heard in both realms. As a speaker she truly inspires both individuals and groups to achieve their best and encourages creativity, freedom of expression and mutual respect.

Bonnie is a multi award-winning writer and broadcaster, Deputy Chair of the British Museum and former Chancellor of Kingston University. As well as a columnist for The Guardian and The Observer, Bonnie has appeared as a panelist and guest on a number of television and radio shows, including the BBCs Newsnight Review.

Alex Barker – CEO/Captain, Be More Pirate

Alex Barker leads Be More Pirate; a book turned consultancy and social movement which supports people to challenge the status quo in their life and work. She is a coach, facilitator and speaker, the author of How To Be More Pirate, and producer/host of the Be More Pirate podcast. Alex is based in London, and was previously a communications manager at The Royal Society of Arts.

Should Brighton #BeMorePirate?

Alex will test us on going to the edges of our map to cultivate the courage and curiosity that’s needed to navigate uncertainty, and pioneer ground-breaking new ideas. It’s time to break some rules.

Emily Berwyn – Executive Director, Meanwhile Space

Emily, originally from Brighton, founded Meanwhile Space in 2009, a pioneering social enterprise creating vibrant communities by bringing temporarily redundant space into productive use. The company delivers projects in a dedicated and considerate way to achieve maximum employment and placemaking benefits for the areas.

Brighton & Hove is clearly a highly creative city, with culture and tourism at the heart of the economy.   The city’s reputation as a creative innovator has long formed part of its identity and appeal.

BUT the rapidly rising costs of living and working in the city risk pushing out the creative people on whom this reputation is built. If more is not done to increase access to space for the creative industries then the city will begin to lose its unique energy and character and culture and tourism will decline.

Emily thinks that now is the time to be proactive in unlocking spaces for creativity to flourish and grow now, rather than waiting until the creative industries have moved out.

Helen Jewell – Programmer & Producer, The Old Market

The Old Market is a unique independent arts venue in Brighton, founded by the creators of the global percussive phenomenon STOMP.

Helen is responsible for the festival-like programme at TOM, the cornerstone of their identity, showcasing over 200 different events every year from live music, film, boundary breaking theatre, dance, cabaret, comedy, literature and workshops. They support, nurture, and enable growth to emerging talent, supporting the future of the arts through their Gig for a Gig scheme.

Helen will offer a venue’s perspective on the effects of the pandemic, how they negotiated the constant changes and restrictions and how important venues are to the creative nature of the city… bringing people together and reminding us of our essential shared humanity.


The ABCD Plan for Cultural Recovery in Greater Brighton runs until the end of 2022 and has so far raised over £350k for the cultural sector in the city. The Plan is overseen by an independent group of people formed of a Governance Group and a series of Working Groups. Its aim is to create paid work and professional opportunities for creative workers in the city, developing a more inclusive cultural offer and encouraging partnership work to strengthen the creative sector in the long term. Partners include Brighton & Hove City Council, Arts Council England, Brilliant Brighton Business Improvement District, the Pebble Trust and many funded arts organisations in the city.

If you work in the creative industries and want to find out more and get involved visit

The ABCD Igniter Events series, organised by always possible and funded by the Government’s Welcome Back Fund, is an opportunity for you to be heard, to learn, to challenge and be inspired – empowered by Brighton’s radical heart.


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