ACCELERATE2016: BQ meets Jude Kelly, Southbank Centre

ACCELERATE2016: BQ meets Jude Kelly, Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre artistic director, and Liverpudlian, Jude Kelly was the creative director of this year’s International Festival for Business 2016 in Liverpool. We captured how enthusiastically she related businesses to the people who operated them, and how she tried to understand the entrepreneurial mind...

“I really believe that business about opportunities, it’s got to be opportunities for young people, outsiders, people who are diverse – not just about corporations. I want people to have the chance to figure out how to be the best they can possibly be.”

Speaking at the ACCELERATE2016 event, the finale of IFB2016, Jude was jubilant about all that the festival had achieved.

With 26,000 delegates across three weeks of activities, Jude had taken charge of curating a range of speakers and activities that would win the hearts, and the minds, of businesses from around the world.

Feedback on the festival was positive: “We’ve done something new, and scary! The whole festival took place inside this very new convention centre, and under three broad themes; filling every day with talks and debates in order for people to realise that ideas are everything, in business as in life, and you shouldn’t be afraid of being challenged.”

Jude reflected on the difference between a conference and a festival: “It’s important for people to understand that they won’t be talked ‘at’ for eight hours; a business festival is far more interactive.

“At a human level, I always thing the best thing is to meet people who can give you good ideas, or connect with on a personal level. I want people to go away feeling stronger and more secure about innovation; that they haven’t got to copy anyone else. That being who they are and doing what they do will ultimately make them successful.

“Time away is really good for all of us, and I hope they feel refreshed with new ideas.

“Entrepreneurship can be quite lonely, and it’s hard to know if you’re doing it right or doing it wrong. Being able to open up and realise you’re not alone, is important.”