What impact will Brexit have on the creative industries?

Virtual reality

The creative industries, made up of things like video-gaming (yay), architecture and advertising, is the fastest growing sector of the UK economy since the 2008 crash.

UK creativity is also hugely popular overseas. As in, very, very popular. The likes of Sherlock and Downton Abbey are loved by millions in China, and Mr Bean is Mr Bean (there’s even a Mr Bean Cafe in Bangkok that I went to; good location, and, erm, full of beans).

The British are evidently very good at this sort of thing (I can’t work it  out either; the weather might have something to do with it). So what kind of an impact will Brexit have?

The Creative Industries Federation, which as the name suggests is the UK’s national organisation for creative industries, cultural education and arts,  will explore challenges and opportunities post-Brexit through a conference next year.

The “Brexit Conference. The creative industries beyond Brexit” will be held on 15 March 2018 at the National Gallery in London, with speakers to include Chris Hirst, Jamie Coleman, Joao Vasconcelos and Shona McCarthy.

Non-member tickets will cost 400 pounds + VAT and you can register through the Creative Industries Federation website (the press gets in for free).

Or you can apply for membership and get a discount by emailing rsvp@creativeindustriesfederation.com.

Master of Belt Administration? Chinese biz school offers China Ready mini MBA

Beijing at night (Chaoyang)

With consternation growing over things like Brexit and the economy, people are looking at the far reaches of the globe for opportunities, such as China.

China has been grabbing the world’s attention these past few months through its sprawling Belt and Road Initiative, record-busting Singles Day, tech giants that are now bigger than Facebook and takeover of famous football clubs, such as continental giants AC Milan Reading FC.

But while tempting to go in all guns blazing, it’s no walk in the gōngyuán – take it from me. Western methods are to be left behind in the airport lounge (and while you’re at it, you can leave behind weird old-school things like paper money too).

Go in with an air of hubris and you will probably fail miserably (you can console yourself with KTV and one of those baijiu bottles from FamilyMart).

Alternatively you can make an effort to understand the culture, language and body language – because, quite honestly, there are languages other than English in the world…right?

The people I know who are successful in their China dealings – and I mean genuinely successful rather than blah-blah-on-LinkedIn-successful – speak the language well and fit in like a Chinese glove puppet.

But for those of you in a hurry – and why not, we do live in a wickedly fast world these days – there is a new China Mini EMBA+ programme launching in March 2018.

Offered by the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB), the six-month programme will provide an insight into conducting business in China, from how to negotiate to how to build a business presence.

The programme will commence over two days in London (Module 1) with the theme of understanding China’s next move (i.e. China on the world stage).

Then the fun begins, I suppose, with five days in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen in April 2018 to master business fundamentals (Module 2).

The programme concludes over two days in Paris in June 2018 with a focus on China careers (Module 3).

And after that, who knows?

Alumni according to the website include people like Jack Ma of Alibaba, and he has done alright (though he was probably doing ok enough anyway).

Manama is the best city for expats, reveals InterNations survey

The National Theatre of Bahrain in Manama

Hollywood has had a curious love affair with the city for years. Tourists are drawn to its je ne sais quois. It’s even home to the world’s most expensive footballer.


But it’s very much a non, merci from expats, who have rated Paris the worst city worldwide for getting settled. The French capital is surprisingly third from bottom in InterNation’s Expat City Ranking 2017.

According to InterNations, more than double the global average of respondents believe it very hard to live in the City of Light without speaking the local language.

(Last time I checked the local language was the very widely spoken French, learned from an early age in many schools worldwide; some people, eh.)

Top spot this year has gone to Manama which, as the capital of Bahrain rather than the isthmus linking the two Americas, isn’t a typo.

Manama, according to the survey, is the easiest city for getting settled (92% of respondents say its easy to live there without speaking Arabic). It furthermore does well for urban work life and Bahrainis are also said to be very friendly.

The top 10 is as follows:

  1. Manama
  2. Prague
  3. Madrid
  4. Kuala Lumpur
  5. Amsterdam
  6. Barcelona
  7. Johannesburg
  8. Bangkok
  9. Basel
  10. Frankfurt

As for the opposite end of the table, Lagos came bottom, with expats reportedly being unhappy with their personal safety and the local political instability. Nigeria’s biggest city was also ranked the third most stressful city worldwide in a separate survey conducted recently by Zipjet.