Three individuals sat on a bench facing a wall full of portraits of lots of different people. Text reads Emerging Futures.

About Emerging Futures 2023: Care-Fuelled Leadership


How can you be a caring leader, for others and yourself? Join us this July as Emerging Futures returns for its third year exploring the themes around care in leadership and care towards others.

Presented by Clore Leadership in partnership with Contact, Manchester the Emerging Futures conference is a progressive space for early-career creative change-makers to connect, be inspired and create meaningful change within their work. It’s never too early to start thinking about your own leadership. If you’ve been working in the industry in theatre, dance, visual arts, heritage, libraries or any other art form, for at least one year, this is for you – join the conversation.

Confirmed contributors so far

Keynotes from:
Gaylene Gould, Multi-disciplinary Artist and Creative Director, The Space to Come
Natalie Lee – Style Me Sunday, Content Creator, Author and Podcast Host

Including speakers:

Jo Verrent, Director, Unlimited
Paul Smith, Artistic Director and CEO, Middle Child Theatre
Errol Donald, Founding Director, Mindspray
Janet Tam, Executive Director, Something to Aim For
Keisha Thompson, Artistic Director and CEO, Contact
Sarah Cartwright, Executive Coach and Trainer
Abbas Zahedi, Interdisciplinary Artist
Janice McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer, People United
Chloe Osborne, Creative Programmes Collaborator, People United
Mandy Quy-Verlander, Creative Producer, People United
Ella Otomewo, Poet and Performance Artist

Rae Goddard, Illustrator, Paraphrase Studio, will create a live graphic artwork on Care-Fuelled Leadership throughout the day.

Wellbeing in the Arts, will be available to chat about mental health and wellbeing support for the arts throughout the day.

"It was incredibly inspiring and progressive. REALLY VERY PROGRESSIVE. That was amazing for me to see and be a part of"

Emerging Futures 2020 Participant

You’ll hear from leaders, trailblazers and creative entrepreneurs who place care at the centre of their work, across a day of inspiring keynotes, panel discussions, workshops and creative activities. We’ll ask what care in leadership means, for yourself and others, and consider the role it can play in cultivating dynamic and resilient leaders.

The day will be highly participatory with plenty of opportunity for the exchange of ideas via panel discussions and Q&A, as well as space for pause and reflection during workshops and making activities. You will come away with inspirational approaches, practical tips and take aways to help you consider the impact care, in its many forms, can play in your own leadership development.

Three people posing for a photo in front of a wall, looking very happy. Person holding iPhone taking the photo on the left.


If you’ve been working in the industry in theatre, dance, visual arts, heritage, libraries or any other art form, for at least one year, this is for you – join the conversation.

We know that leadership skills can develop through different lived experiences and alternative career pathways and we welcome and are committed to reflecting, respecting and greeting a diverse group of leaders.

Learn more about Emerging Futures here.

Ticket TypeInformationCost
In Person TicketIn person attendance ticket includes a light lunch and refreshments, please let us know any access and dietary requirements at the time of booking. Contact, Manchester is a fully accessible venue£35 + VAT
Online Tickets We are keen to encourage delegates to join us in Manchester, however, we realise that it will not be possible for everyone to access the in-person event. We are consequently offering an online ticket providing access to a live stream of the keynotes during the conference day (via Zoom) and the chance to access a range of dedicated online breakout discussions.£25 + VAT
Pay it Forward Tickets - Online OnlyWe’re trying to keep the ticket cost as low as possible and are providing the option to purchase a ‘Pay it Forward’ ticket for someone wishing to attend the event online. Tickets paid forward will be offered randomly from our Pay it Forward waiting list. In the event that the ticket is not taken up your Pay it Forward payment will be refunded to you. If you would like to be put on the wait list to claim a Pay it Forward online ticket please email by the deadline of Tuesday July 4th. Tickets will be allocated by no later than Friday 7th July. Please note Pay it Forward online tickets will have limited availability, if you do not get allocated a Pay it Forward ticket you will be notified and offered the chance to purchase a full price online ticket for the event


Emerging Futures is a conference for early-career change-makers working independently or within organisations in the Arts, Culture & Creative Industries across the UK.

The conference is a chance to hear from leaders, trailblazers and activists, make connections with others and exchange ideas on what leadership is and will be for the Creative sector.

It’s never too early to start thinking about leadership – you don’t need to be managing a team to be a leader and you don’t need to be at the top of a traditional organisational hierarchy.

Dates & times