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SXSW 2019


Date/Time: Tuesday 12th March - 5.00pm  

Location: Hilton Hotel, Salon J

Panelists: Francis Runacres (ACE), Sarah Ells (RSC), Dan Tucker (Sheffield DocFest), Naho Matsuda (Every Thing Every Time/Artist)

Failure is an inevitable part of innovation culture, to be valued for the lessons it brings rather than seen as an effort (and resources) wasted. But if investors decide to "play it safe", can creatives and the organisations they work with continue to take risks and work towards uncertain outcomes?

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Sarah Ellis is an award winning producer currently working as Director of Digital Development for the Royal Shakespeare Company to explore new artistic initiatives and partnerships. In 2017, she became a fellow of the University of Worcester for her work in the arts and technology. In 2016 she was awarded The Hospital Club and Creatives Industries award for cross industry collaboration for her work on The Tempest in collaboration with Intel and in association with The Imaginarium Studios. In 2013 she was listed in the top 100 most influential people working in Gaming and Technology by The Hospital Club and Guardian Culture Professionals. In partnership with Google’s Creative Lab, she recently produced Midsummer Night’s Dreaming which won two Lovie Awards for Innovation and Experimentation. In 2012, she produced myShakespeare an online artistic commissioning platform for the World Shakespeare Festival. In 2011, she was the producer of the RSC’s new work Adelaide Road, which mixed live performance with an app and website map. As a theatre and spoken word producer, she has worked with the Old Vic Tunnels, Battersea Arts Centre, Birmingham REP, Contact, Freeword, Improbable, Southbank Centre, Soho Theatre, and Shunt. She has been Head of Creative Programmes at the Albany Theatre and Programme Manager for Apples & Snakes, England’s leading performance poetry organisation. She is a regular speaker and commentator on digital arts practice

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Naho is a German-Japanese designer and artist based in London. Her practice

investigates the social and cultural issues surrounding emerging technology trends

through a range of design outputs, processes and methodologies. With a particular focus

on new narratives of technology and networked processes of production, her

transdisciplinary approach uses a diverse set of mediums including interactive objects,

writing, performance and installation.


“In EVERY THING EVERY TIME I turn data streams into poems. The work interrogates

where data comes from, who owns it and how it’s used. SXSW is the work’s first

international showcase, so I’m very excited to see the stories generated from Austin’s


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Dan is an award winning digital director and VR producer with over 20 years of experience working with broadcasters, digital agencies, startups and international artists. Passionate about interaction and story, Dan is experienced in production for television, VR, games, web, mobile, apps, campaigns and digital strategy and has lead large productions and facilitated powerful partnerships.


His experience spans the production of TV projects like Charlie Brooker’s How Videogames changed the World to digital projects like the interactive episode of BBC Three’s Our World War and the VR documentary Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel. As the current Curator of Alternate Realities for Sheffield International Documentary festival, Dan has programmed and showcased award winning VR and Interactive works for the Guardian, Greenpeace, BBC and National Film Board of Canada.

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Francis is responsible for the Arts Council’s third strategic goal: ensuring the arts, museums and libraries are resilient and environmentally sustainable. Working with cultural organisations in becoming more resilient and more adept at addressing the business challenges posed by the digital economy, through the use of new technology and different business models across all aspects of their operations.


Prior to joining the Arts Council, Francis worked for 17 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Francis is a trustee of the Tudor Trust, one of the leading private grant making charities in England.

Francis joined the Arts Council in 2000.

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