The Brighton Paradox

A podcast investigation

The Brighton Paradox will be a unique six-part audio series, investigating Brighton & Hove’s creative and economic potential in uncertain times.

A legendary playground of creativity, free-thinking, innovation, big ideas, eco-activism and human compassion. People move to, or hunker down in, the city because they feel a bit special. A haven for individual creativity. For start-ups, solo artists, coaches, endless meetup groups, independent makers, retailers and tech pioneers.


...what's the problem?

So many businesses struggle to grow and many creative leaders find it hard to build a team. Resources are competitive, investment is small, and – some say – real leadership is lacking.

Despite obvious pockets of brilliance, some think Brighton’s light has dimmed in the past decade with no major new ‘wow’ moments or projects, cultural acts or landmark ideas to put the city on a much bigger stage.

Is the problem that everyone is leading, and no-one is following? If everyone has their special mission, who is in the backing band?

...and why?

One theory is that a small city of mavericks and entrepreneurs will always result in a glass ceiling until people let go of a bit of their own ambition and join up with others. Embrace true collaboration.

Another is that what is missing is some fierce and exciting competition, with high-stakes, jet-propelled projects that make a big splash and shape a new narrative that catches attention far beyond Sussex.

If so many agree that the status quo is not sustainable, how conscious is change, and what does it look like?

This project is about celebrating and amplifying Brighton’s greatest assets and ideas, whilst tracking the story of what has led to some of the current challenges… and what can be done about them.

It is for Brighton & Hove’s business, creative, education and public service communities – as well as people outside the city who have an interest in its prosperity.

Expand me for a full list of confirmed contributors so far

Bashair Ahmed (Shabaka), Naomi Alexander (Brighton People’s Theatre), Fiona Anderson (Innovate UK Edge), Ruth Anslow (HISBE), Carolynn Bain (Afrori Books), Boogaloo Stu (Dynamite Boogaloo), Jeannie Boyle (EQ Investors), Andy Budd (ex Clearleft), Rachel Carter (Future Creators), Kathy Caton (Brighton Gin), Ed Chinn (EY Initiatives), Donna Close (5G Festival/BOAT), Norman Cook (Big Beach Boutique), Katherine Courtney (ex UK Space Agency), Kelly Dibbert (FareShare), Tom Druitt (The Big Lemon), Ian Elwick (The Werks Group), Simon Fanshawe (ex Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership), Darren Fell (Crunch Accounting), Kevin Grist (SparkedEcho), Donna Holland (Rockinghorse),  Michael Kennard (Compost Club), Loubna Khamlichi (Noraay Music), Samantha Harland (ex Entrepreneurial Spark), Mat Hunter (Plus X), Barry Joinson (Talk Potential), Phil Jones (Wired Sussex), Adam Joolia (AudioActive), Jenni Lloyd (ex Brighton Digital Festival / Lighthouse), Pam Loch (Loch Associates), Caroline Lucas (MP for Brighton Pavilion), Jack Maddalena (Nuart), Rob Jones Mantle (Magpie Co-operative), Angi Mariani (Latest TV), Kevin Miller (Whitehawk FC), Adam Muirhead (Trust for Developing Communities), Kelvin Newman (Brighton SEO), Phil Nutley (Mima), Kristina Perekaite (South East Angels), Steve Rackley (Silicon Brighton), Luke Taylor (UnitedUs), Rifa Thorpe-Tracey (Spring Forward Festival), Richard Tolcher (, Ian Trevett (Rubix VT), John Varah (Same Sky), Andy Winter (BHT Sussex), Joseph Young (art of noises), Marisa Zanotti (gl-tch)

The team

The production is a collaboration between always possible and Lo Fi Arts, the acclaimed creative media partnership behind The Possibility Club, Essex 2020 and Changing The Conversation podcasts. Richard Freeman and Chris Thorpe-Tracey – two well-known Brighton ambassadors, champions and critical friends of the city will be the creative directors and principal investigators.

Our Partners

Would you like to sponsor The Brighton Paradox? Or have ideas about other ways to offer support? 

Drop us a line at

Interested in becoming a partner?

Watch our video and / or click here for more information.