Introduction To OUR ONLINE CONFERENCE - Our Speakers

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

The Centre for Culture, Sport and Events (CCSE), University of the West of Scotland, invites you to participate in this virtual conference, with contributions from academics, policy makers and practitioners from the UK, Europe and North America to talk about how we navigate a future for the festivals and events sector. We would like to introduce to you our speakers for the event.

This conference is broadcasted through social media  to watch it please  click the links below:

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Gayle McPherson

Professor Gayle McPherson holds a Chair in Events and Cultural Policy and is the Director of the Centre for Culture, Sport and Events at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). Her research interests revolve around the interventions of the local and national state and wider agencies in events and festivity and the social and cultural impacts of large-scale sports events on communities. She recently led, as the Principal Investigator, and completed two research projects on the Contribution of Art and Culture in Global Security and Stability and the Inclusive Cultural Heritage for Skills Development in Kenya on behalf of the British Council. She is currently Co-I on the SSHRC project Major Sport Events and Parasport Participation: Investigating Post-Event Opportunities and Experiences with colleagues in Canada and a Co-I on the HERA funded project FESTSPACE: Festivals, events and inclusive public spaces. She has a range of external roles and she acted as the Legacy and Evaluation advisor to Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture Bid team, is member of European Cultural Parliament and is an expert advisor to the OECD on their Recommendation on Global Events and Local Development. She has published widely in the events, culture, sport, festivals and events area, is a reviewer for many journals and acts as a college panel member for the AHRC.She is a REF sub-panel member of Unit 24 Sport, Exercise Science, Leisure and Tourism 2021, and is Co-Chief Editor of Frontiers in Sport and Active Living: Sport, Leisure and Tourism section.

Professor Gayle McPherson

David McGillivray

David McGillivray holds a Chair in Event and Digital Cultures at University of the West of Scotland. His main research interests focus on a critical reading of the contemporary significance of events and festivals (sporting and cultural) as markers of identity and mechanisms for the achievement of wider economic, social and cultural externalities. He also possesses research expertise and experience related to digital leisure cultures. He has published extensively in the area of critical event studies, and, increasingly in the realm of digital and social media studies. In recent years he has also sought to bring his research closer to non-academic publics, both in the research designs he has utilised (e.g. PAR) and in the dissemination of his academic outputs through public engagement and collaborative work with the beneficiaries of research. He is co-author of Event Bidding: Politics, Persuasion and Resistance (2017), Event Policy: From Theory to Strategy (2012) and Leveraging Disability Sport Events: Impacts, Promises and Possibilities (2018). He is also co-editor of Digital Leisure Cultures: Critical Perspectives (2017) and Research Themes for Events (2013). He publishes extensively in events, leisure, sport and urban outlets and has significant experience of securing research grants in these area. He is currently leading on a large HERA-funded project, FESTSPACE, focused on the relationship between festivals and events and public space in Europe.

Dr Sandro Carnicelli

Sandro is Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor and the Leader of the Marketing, Events and Tourism Unit at the University of the West of Scotland with 3 Undergraduate and 3 MSc Programmes and over 400 students. Sandro has been developing research and working in the field of Events and Tourism in Brazil, New Zealand and Scotland for 10 years. Sandro has published articles in international journals including Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Management, Leisure Studies, Annals of Leisure Research, Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, and World Leisure. He is on the Executive Board (Treasurer) of the Leisure Studies Association, and of the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO).Sandro is also a member of the ABRATUR (International Academy for the Development of Tourism Research in Brazil). Sandro is on the Editorial Board of Tourism Management Perspectives, on the International Board of the journal Annals of Leisure Research and he is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning.

Marie Christie

Joining the EventScotland management team in 2003, Marie designed and ran EventScotland’s successful National Events Programme, working with a wide range of events across the country. Marie also led the delivery of Homecoming Scotland 2009 - a year-long celebration of Scotland’s culture and heritage which influenced an additional 95,000 visitors to travel to join the celebrations generated an estimated £53.7M additional revenue for Scotland. Prior to her current post, Marie was EventScotland’s International Cultural Events Director with responsibility for leading and delivering the strategy for supporting Scotland’s major cultural events and for securing new ‘one-off’ events such as MTV Europe Music Awards and the Turner Prize. Before joining the organisation, Marie was General Manager and Producer with UZ Events, creating and delivering large scale events such as the Glasgow Art Fair, On the Streets: City of Design 1999 and Glasgow’s Hogmanay, Big in Falkirk and the celebrations to open the Scottish Parliament. Marie’s early career was in Arts Marketing, including time as the Press and Marketing Manager for Wildcat Stage Productions. Marie graduated from Glasgow University with a MA (Hons) in History of Art and from Queen Margaret University with an MBA in Cultural Management and Policy. She is co-author of the popular publication Events Management: A practical guide

Dr Bernadette Quinn

Dr Bernadette Quinn lectures in the College of Arts and Tourism at TU Dublin. She is a Human Geographer whose research interests include arts festivals and events, tourism and cultural change, tourism, heritage and memory. She teaches modules on international event management, tourism policy and planning and cultural tourism, and is Programme Chair of the MSc Event Management. Her research has been widely published in leading geography, urban, leisure and tourism journals.

Louisa Mahon

Louisa Mahon is Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, and has responsibility for corporate communications and marketing, tourism development and regional destination marketing and the council’s major events programme – which attracts 160,000 attendees each year. Her remit also includes overseeing the Capital Appeal for Paisley Museum Reimagined. Louisa lead the campaign for Paisley’s Bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and Paisley’s bid to host the Royal National Mod in 2022. Previously she held senior marketing and PR roles in local government and at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail.

Lyndsey Jackson

Lyndsey Jackson is a senior arts administrator and live event producer, currently the Deputy Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world, and the greatest platform for artists and creatives to develop and showcase their talents on an international stage. Lyndsey supports the Chief Executive, the Board of Trustees, the senior leadership team and Fringe Society staff to deliver the Society’s vision, aims and objectives through motivational leadership and clear strategic direction, leading on business continuity, governance and strategic planning, digital innovation and commercialisation, and the development of education outreach programmes that support the place of the festival in its host city. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest annual ticketed event in the world; with over 3m tickets issued for over 3,500 shows from over 60 countries in 300 venues across the city. Alongside the Fringe, Lyndsey is also a Non-Executive Director of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.

Dr Laura Misener

Dr. Laura Misener is an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology at Western University (London, Ontario, Canada). Her research focuses on how sport and events can be use as instruments of social change, with an emphasis how sport for persons with a disability can positively impact community accessibility and social inclusion. She is a co-author of the book Leveraging Disability Sport Events with Dr. McPherson and Dr. McGillivray.

David Grevemberg

David Grevemberg CBE is Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the organisation responsible for the Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and numerous other initiatives. He provides inspirational leadership of the CGF and ensures the development and delivery of strategic and operational plans consistent with the CGF vision, the CGF’s strategic plan (Transformation 2022) and the CGF Constitution and policies.

David joined the CGF from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games where he was Chief Executive of the Organising Committee and oversaw the hugely successful multi-sport event for Scotland. He was previously the Executive Director of Sport and International Federation Relations at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) headquartered in Bonn, Germany. A former competitive wrestler, during his career he has also served as a coach, athlete agent, team administrator, consultant and Board member.

Prof Martin Müller

Martin Müller is Swiss National Science Foundation Professor in the Department of Geography and Sustainability at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a human geographer with a focus on cities and regions, working on the planning and outcomes of mega-events such as the Olympic Games, the Football World Cup and the Expos. In his current project together with colleagues, he is drawing up a database on the size, narratives and outcomes of mega-events since 1960. His most influential publications include ‘The Mega-Event Syndrome’ (Journal of the American Planning Association) and ‘What Makes an Event a Mega-Event?’ (Leisure Studies). Find his website at

Dr Alba Colombo

Alba is a senior lecturer and researcher at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and has more than a decade of experience in events research and education. She holds a PhD in social science. Her main research areas are sociology of culture, cultural industries and events. Alba’s research has been focused on the analysis of festivals and events as contemporary social and cultural expressions observing issues such as the transformative social capacity of festivals, events understood as acts of implementation of public policies, or the evolution of events in the framework of uncertain times. Currently this has been focussed on two different fields; observing contemporary events participation (as cultural activities) on the frame of traditional and popular culture in Spain; but also analysing event and festival impacts, from intangible cultural and social ones to rethinking processes and methodologies to evaluate those effects. Currently she is the academic director of the Cultural Management and Events Management programs at the UOC and a member of the recognised research group Identicat.

Leonie Bell

Leonie Bell as Strategic Lead, Cultural Regeneration, leads on Paisley’s plans, kick-started by the UK City of Culture bid, to put culture at the fore of the town’s regeneration to transform the town culturally, socially and economically. During the Covid-19 crisis, Leonie is leading on Renfrewshires Council’s approach to volunteering to support wider humanitarian efforts. Leonie was previously Head of Culture Strategy at the Scottish Government and Director of Arts at Creative Scotland. Prior to this, she led Scotland’s cultural approach to London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 and was Programme Director of The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design & the City.

Dr Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith is a Reader and Director of the PhD Programme in the School of Architecture and Cities at the University of Westminster. He read Geography at the University of Cambridge before completing a PhD funded by both Universities in Sheffield. He currently teaches on the University of Westminster’s Event Design and Management MA degree, via his involvement in the Global Festivals and Events; and Event Strategy modules. His research focuses on city events and urban tourism and he has written extensively about the relationship between events and urbanism. Andrew has written two books on this theme: Events and Urban Regeneration (Routledge, 2012) and Events in the City (Routledge, 2016). His latest work focuses on the use of London’s public parks for events and he is a Principal Investigator on the HERA funded #Festspace project.

Dr Tim Gale

Tim joined Bournemouth University in June 2015 as Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management, having moved from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) where he was the academic lead for the University’s tourism and events degree programmes. He completed a PhD at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), successfully defending his thesis on the decline and restructuring of British seaside resorts in 2002. His research interests have since expanded to include new leisure and tourism spaces, places and experiences (specifically urban beaches and virtual worlds, immersive events and urban arts trails), and facility and service design in tourism and hospitality. These interests are underpinned by ideas associated with the ‘new mobilities paradigm’ and critical realism as a philosophy of/ for the social sciences. He has written a number of refereed journal articles, book chapters and other works, from positioning papers and literature reviews to multi-method empirical studies incorporating questionnaire surveys and interviews, document analyses and visual methods, and has co-edited three books to date. Tim’s involvement with the design, data capture and analysis for surveys of visitors to Bristol Urban Beach (for Bristol City Council) and the 2010 Isle of Man TT Races (for the Isle of Man Government), and a survey of heritage rail organisations in the UK on the early and anticipated impacts of Covid-19 on their operations (for the Heritage Railway Association) illustrates the potential in much of his work for industry engagement and impact.

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