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Collection and Author Information

Published onNov 29, 2023
Collection and Author Information

A CIRCE report, commissioned and edited by the London Cultural Diversity Laboratory (City, University of London)

Primary Authors:

Eliza Easton, Prof. Sarita Malik, Prof. Dave O’Brien, Prof. Andy Pratt

Editorial Collective:

Dr. Toby Bennett, Dr. Jenny Mbaye, Hannah Curran-Troop, Dr. Paromita Saha, Si Long Chan, Xanthia Mavraki, Dr. Anubha Sarkar, Dr. Diana Yeh



Eliza Easton (Erskine Analysis)

Eliza Easton is a creative industries expert who has published more than thirty policy and research papers, including on arts funding in England, research and development, the UK’s export strategy, the changing skills needs of the economy, and the impact of Covid-19 on diversity in the creative industries. Before starting her own consultancy, Erskine Analysis, Eliza spent five years as Head of Policy and then Deputy Director of the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre at Nesta. Prior to this, she was part of the founding team of the Creative Industries Federation (now CreativeUK).

Sarita Malik (Brunel University, London)

Sarita Malik is Professor of Media, Culture and Communications at Brunel University London. She has published widely on the relationship between diversity frameworks and practices, cultural representation and policy, and she has particular expertise in the screen sector. Over the past decade, Sarita has been Principal Investigator on several UK Government UKRI/AHRC research grants, building partnerships between higher education, the creative industries and diverse communities. Sarita was a Member of Sub-Panel 34 (Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management) for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 exercise, and she is Expert Adviser to The Department for Culture, Media & Sport.

Dave O'Brien (University of Manchester)

Professor Dave O'Brien is a Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries at University of Manchester. He is a co-investigator at the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (AHRC PEC), and the AHRC funded Impact of Covid-19 on the Cultural Sector research project. He has published extensively on inequality in the creative economy, including his latest book Culture is Bad for You, which is co-authored by Dr Mark Taylor and Dr Orian Brook. Current research themes include a focus on inequalities in creative higher education; downward social mobility; new forms of distinction in cultural consumption; and the meaning of ‘good’ work in the cultural sector. In 2023 he is an AHRC Policy Fellow at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Andy Pratt (City, University of London)

Professor Andy Pratt is an internationally acclaimed expert on the topic of the cultural industries. He joined City University as Professor of Cultural Economy in 2013 and was appointed as UNESCO Chair in Global Creative Economy in 2022. Andy’s work has two key strands: the first focuses on the urban spatial clustering of cultural industries; the second concerns the definition and measurement of employment in the cultural, or creative, industries. He has developed definitions of the cultural sector that are used as standard measures by UNCTAD and UNESCO. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and has worked as a consultant or advisor for national and urban policy makers worldwide.

About the Cultural Diversity Laboratory

The London Cultural Diversity Laboratory is a CIRCE-funded research lab, based at City, University of London. Over the course of 2023, the team is conducting a critical inquiry into the multidimensional nature of “diversity” for the UK’s cultural and creative industries, across five inter-related themes:

  1. the range of challenges and initiatives related to demographic diversity in the cultural and creative workforce;

  2. the plurality of organisational forms, funding mechanisms, value-chain interactions;

  3. spatial dimensions of regional inequality, migration/mobility and access to housing;

  4. representational issues of visibility and reception of cultural expressions and media outputs;

  5. implications for transversal policymaking across multiple siloes of governance.

This inquiry takes the form of an extended review of literature, statistics, industry interventions and public policy action; alongside a series of pilot qualitative research projects, themed discussion events with experts and practitioners, and commissioned work. The lab’s aim is to develop a body of knowledge and a network of expertise that can inform coordinated strategic action and future research on cultural diversity at a trans-European level.

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