Providing unparalleled access to globally successful creative entrepreneurs, artists and designers, this short course at the World's No 1 University for art and design is your gateway to build your business, markets and team.
- Early bird fee: £2,450
- ends 30 June 2023
- Regular fee: £2,950
- from 1 July 2023
- Payment deadline for all bookings: 20 August 2023
RCA Battersea Campus
Monday 9 October – Wednesday 11 October 2023
9.30am – 5pm BST daily
This new experiential short course based in London has been designed for people who work or want to work in creative businesses. The three-day course will give unique insider-access to the processes behind some of the brightest creative minds working today. They will share how they successfully initiate, drive and manage creative projects and businesses.
Confirmed guest contributors you will meet in-person on the 2023 programme include:
- Patrik Schumacher, Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects
- Trino Verkade, Director of Sarabande Foundation, set up by Alexander McQueen
- Calum Sutton, Founder of Sutton PR, the largest arts PR in Europe whose clients include Art Basel
- Hongyi Yang, Deputy Director Sotheby’s, responsible for developing global art markets for European Old Masters and other projects
- Eva Guerra, Executive Director and Head of Studio of Designit - a studio of over 700 designers
- Neil McConnon, Director of International Partnerships at the Tate
- Chelsea Chen, Co-Founder Emotech, award-winning AI entrepreneur pioneering markets in the Middle East
- Antony Gormley Studio, exclusive VIP access to the renowned artist's studio and practice.
The course has been developed by the Royal College of Art Executive Education department in collaboration with Philip Dodd and Enrica Costamagna from the award-winning agency Made in China UK.
You will be able to talk with, question and learn from globally successful creative entrepreneurs, artists and designers, alongside RCA academics and the founders of successful start-ups from the award winning incubator InnovationRCA.
This practical short course is structured around three core themes:
- Building a business
- Developing new markets
- Growing and developing a team
In an exclusive small-group setting, you will receive and reflect on new ways to re-evaluate, improve and expand your capabilities, plus address some of the daily practical issues that need to be answered for a business to grow.
Delivered at the new RCA Battersea campus in London. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, this is an anchor institution for a new creative cluster, located near Foster and Partners, Vivienne Westwood, Apple UK and the Battersea Power Station.
Applications now open – complete the online application form here.
Payment deadline for all bookings: 20 August 2023
About the course
The global creative industries have been recognised as a vital business sector, generating jobs and growth around the world.
'While the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) highlighted that the global market value of the creative industries was estimated at $1.3 trillion [USD], the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) pointed to annual growth rates of between 5 and 20% in OECD countries.
While the social and economic benefits from developing a creative economy have been noted in developed countries, the last decade has demonstrated that cities and regions in developing economies and countries in transition are rapidly overtaking this gap. For example, it has been estimated that creative industries contributed $2.25 billion [USD] in revenues, created 30 million new jobs, and employed almost 1% of the world’s active population.
The pandemic has pushed many businesses, including those within the creative industries, to operate rapidly and develop new, more resilient ways of functioning. Moreover, the way social capital is created and maintained has altered, significantly restricting the traditional forms of networking between the creative workers and the communities and making the demand for new business models.
Therefore, an important takeaway from this crisis has been the following: for businesses and organisations to survive in times of crisis, the main component of every system should be resilience and flexibility.'
From 'Leaders Can Learn Much From The Creative Industries, Says New Research'
Benjamin Laker, Forbes April 2022
Personal and organisational benefits
- World-class professional and personal development
- Business critical skills essential for the twenty-first century
- Unparalleled access to world-class business leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and designers
- Real time interaction with RCA academic faculty who teach on the postgraduate degree programmes
- Opportunity to collaborate and connect with an international network of peers
- Gain the ability and confidence to launch or grow your business
- RCA Certificate of Attendance on completion
What will you learn?
You will learn about:
- Building a business
- Developing new markets
- Growing and developing a team
How will you learn?
Guided by the RCA studio ethos “learning by doing”, each day will be an immersive experience, with in-depth discussions and interactive conversations. There will also be a mixture of studio visits, practical case studies and small group exercises to provide participants with the strategies, tools and insights to solve their most challenging problems. Class sizes are up to 25-30 participants.
Day 1: Building a business
Morning on campus at the RCA
Starting the business and building it
In conversation Patrik Schumacher, Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects.
In conversation with successful RCA Graduate Business Founders from the award winning incubator InnovationRCA.
Lunch and free time
Afternoon off-site visits in London
Hosted by Director Trino Verkade
Hosted by Calum Sutton, founder of Europe’s largest dedicated art PR company.
Day 2: Managing the growth of a team
In conversation with Eva Guerra, Executive Director and Head of Studio of Designit
Designit is a studio of over 700 designers. Eva will talk about how to build the internal coherence of a company by developing people’s talents.
Followed by a behind the scenes guided tour of the research centres, IRCA incubator, MA studios and facilities, with a stop at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design to learn from Director Rama Gheerawo about how to foster inclusion and collaboration, and the importance of diversity.
Lunch and free time
Hosted by Neil McConnon, Director of International Partnerships, Tate.
Visit to Tate Modern for an in conversation with Neil about how the Tate strikes international partnerships and how he orchestrates his team to work most efficiently with partners from across the world.
Antony Gormley Studio
Hosted by Antony Gormley studio.
Staff from the studio will provide exclusive access to better understand how a team is built, to manage and develop projects across the world.
Day 3: Developing new markets
Morning off-site visits in London
Hosted by Hongyi Yang, Deputy Director Sotheby’s
Hongyi is responsible for developing global art markets for European Old Masters and other projects.
Hosted by Chelsea Chen, Co-Founder, award-winning Emotech
Chelsea is an award-winning entrepreneur who has developed new markets in the Middle East for the AI company Emotech.
Lunch and free time
Afternoon on campus at the RCA
RCA Design Thinking workshop based on our flagship Executive Level Masterclass.
Design Thinking is a powerful tool for improving decision making by reframing innovation challenges in a people-centred way. All organisations – big or small, public or private, new or old – can benefit from design thinking. Business is full of problems and challenges, design thinking provides a different set of lenses to look at these problems. You will be introduced to design thinking tools and models by leading RCA academic experts and have the opportunity to work in groups on a challenge brief related to developing new markets.
Conclusion and summing up by Philip Dodd from Made in China UK and the Royal College of Art.
Certificates of attendance and celebration drinks reception.
Course guest contributors
Patrik Schumacher, Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects.
Trino Verkade, CEO, Sarabande Foundation. Photo credit Sølve Sundsbø.
Calum Sutton, Group CEO and founder of SUTTON PR, the largest arts PR in Europe whose clients include Art Basel.
Sutton PR, located at Somerset House London below
Hongyi Yang, Deputy Director Sotheby’s, responsible for developing global art markets for European Old Masters and other projects.
Eva Guerra, Executive Director and Head of Studio of Designit - a studio of over 700 designers.
Tate Modern, London
Neil McConnon, Director of International Partnerships at the Tate.
Chelsea Chen, Co-Founder Emotech Ltd, award-winning AI entrepreneur pioneering markets in the Middle East.
Antony Gormley Studio. Photo Credit: Gautier Deblonde.
InnovationRCA, the Royal College of Art’s centre for entrepreneurship and commercialisation, helping staff, students and alumni transform compelling ideas into successful businesses.
Disclaimer: The list of contributors is subject to change depending on availability.
On campus in London
Experience the new Executive Education spaces, opened in 2022 and designed by Herzog & de Meuron with 360 degree views of London. The course will include a behind the scenes guided tour of the research centres, IRCA incubator, MA studios and facilities.
7th Floor Executive Education Suite
RCA Rausing Research & Innovation Building
15 Parkgate Road
London SW11 4NL
This course takes place during an incredibly exciting time in the cultural calendar: positioned just after London Fashion Week and London Design Week and in the days before the opening of Frieze London and Frieze Masters, when the city is full of collectors and entrepreneurs from across the world.
A “what’s on” itinerary of galleries and exhibitions will be shared with participants to see in practice how successful enterprises stage themselves to the world. The city itself, with all its events and festivals, will allow participants to experience informally what the course provides.
RCA Battersea campus
View from the terrace of the Executive Education events space, RCA Battersea campus
Albert Bridge London, View from Terrace RCA Battersea Campus
RCA Executive Education will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation in the period up to the course dates.
Our planning incorporates the latest Government guidance as well as consideration of how best to ensure a safe and inclusive learning space for participants and staff team.
Our participants health, wellbeing and quality of experience while attending our on-campus courses is paramount to us.
Full details of the Covid safe guidelines in place for the course will be provided to you in advance of your start date with your welcome information.
Disclaimer: Change to online delivery
It may be necessary due to Covid-19 restrictions to change the mode of delivery to live online.
We will endeavour to notify all participants in advance of any changes, no later than two weeks before the course start date.
Terms & conditions apply.
Who should apply
- Entrepreneurs at start-up stage of business
- Established SME professionals
- Senior managers in creative organisations and businesses
- Creative professionals who want to advance their career
- Recently graduated creative professionals who need to orientate themselves about how to develop businesses
- Freelance creatives (industrial designers, graphic designers, photographers, and interaction designers) seeking to develop and/or consolidate their professional practice.
- Have a successful application
- Have an undergraduate degree or above
- Be 21 years or over.
English Language Requirement
Course participants should be proficient in spoken English and feel comfortable participating in group discussions in English.
Applications now open – complete the online application form here.
The online form requires you to:
- Submit a 200-word statement explaining relevant professional and/or academic experience and outlining your interest in the course.
- Submit your CV
- Confirm you meet the admission criteria
- Please name the CV file before uploading using the following naming convention: Full Name_CV_2023 RCA Application
- Once you submit your application you will not be able to make changes.
- Only applications submitted via the online form will be accepted.
- Applications that are not complete or exceed the maximum file size will not be considered.
- If your application is accepted you will be emailed with a booking link.
- A deadline for accepting and paying for your place will be provided in the email.
- The place will be held until this deadline, if you do not make payment by this date then your place will be released and offered to another participant.
Application deadlines 2023
- Participants are advised to apply early to avoid disappointment as places are strictly limited.
- We will open applications in May 2023.
- First round of applications will be assessed from May2023.
Applications will be assessed by the RCA course team and Philip Dodd of Made in China (UK) every 2 weeks from May 2023 until September 2023 or until the course is fully booked.
Shortlisted participants will be given a brief telephone interview by Philip Dodd. We will inform all applicants by email after they submit an application about whether or not they have been successful. Unfortunately we do not provide further feedback information.
If the course is fully booked and your application is successful we will add your name to a waiting list.
How will I know that my place is confirmed?
The offer of a place will only be secured and confirmed when the RCA receives 100 per cent of the course fee payment. Places are secured on a first-come basis on receipt of appropriate payment.
How can I pay for the course?
The course needs to be paid in full by one instalment and via the online payment system using a debit or credit card. Once you are offered a place on the course you will receive a secure online booking link. Please complete the registration and booking process to make the booking. Please ensure that you are using the most up to date version of your internet browser. We regret that it is not possible to pay the course fee by instalments. We can provide a proof of receipt if required after payment. The payment deadline for all bookings is 20 August 2023.
About Made in China UK Ltd
Made in China (UK) Ltd is an award-winning creative business agency, founded in 2004. It works in the field of culture and education between China and Europe. It has been first in the class – staging the first museum tour of a major Western artist across five museums in China; working with a major Chinese developer to bring the V&A Museum to China and founding the Global Private Museum Summit which brought together private museums from all over the world. It has developed and run professional experience courses for the advertising giant Ogilvy as well as with the V&A. Some of its projects can be found on the website: www.madeinchinauk.com.
About RCA Executive Education
RCA Executive Education delivers senior-level custom executive education programmes for business, government, the public sector and universities globally.
Each custom programme is delivered by a leading RCA faculty member whose subject-matter expertise aligns with your specific learning objectives and strategic goals.
We can leverage world-class design research expertise and teaching from the Schools of Architecture, Arts & Humanities, Design and Communication.
Our award winning research centres and incubators include the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Material Science Research Centre, the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre and InnovationRCA.
Our graduates lead and influence many of the world’s global businesses, including including Apple, Bentley, Burberry, IDEO, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Porsche and Samsung.
Learn more about our projects on our website.
Or, contact us to discuss developing a custom programme:
- Peter Christian, Head of Executive Education
- Hattie Allen, Executive Education Manager
InnovationRCA is the Royal College of Art’s centre for entrepreneurship and commercialisation, helping staff, students and alumni transform compelling ideas into successful businesses.
InnovationRCA has been assessed by McKinsey & Co as a “world-class spinout incubator and an inspirational organisation acting as a significant driver of entrepreneurial growth, delivering impressive results” (McKinsey Internal Review for the RCA, 2017). In July 2019, InnovationRCA won the ‘Accelerator of the Year 2019’ award given by the UK Business Angels Association, in recognition of the programme’s excellence and InnovationRCA’s outstanding incubation track record.
“Post-Covid, creative businesses need to rebuild, reimagine themselves and find new global markets. This new short course is an unmissable three days to meet, talk and learn from those who have built businesses and institutions, knitted together a tight and effective team and found markets from Europe, the Middle-East and China.”
“Outstanding. It's really a wonderful trip indeed! And thank you very much for madeinchinauk's extraordinary organisation of this trip. I have learnt a lot from these successful people.”
“Perfect. The course was full of inspiration and helped me establish networks.”
“The experience was better than I imagined. Outstanding!”
Philip Dodd is the Chairman of the award-winning creative enterprise Made in China (UK) Ltd; and an award-winning BBC broadcaster, author and curator. He has been called a ‘visionary Briton’ by the Australian media for his work between Europe and China and was named one of 50 Design Gurus by Design Magazine. He has written speeches for Ministers and Prime Ministers, executive-produced films with artists such as Damien Hirst and Steve McQueen and has been advisor to major companies in China developing cultural quarters. His company brokered the deal that led to the V&A setting up an outpost in Shenzhen. He has written and edited numerous books on art, film and literature and is one of the curators of this year’s Chengdu Biennale. His company Made in China was given a prestigious Hurun Report Award in 2019 for its work between China and the UK. He has lectured at New York’s Columbia University, UK’s Cambridge University and Beijing’s Renmin University.
Enrica Costamagna is co-director of the award-winning agency Made in China (UK) Ltd, speaks five languages including fluent Mandarin, has worked in galleries in Berlin and London – and has curated and been an assistant curator on numerous museum exhibitions. She has project managed cross-cultural business ventures – and has exhibited her own artwork in major exhibitions in Shanghai and Guangzhou. She has published essays on design in ‘Zhuangshi’, Qinghua University’s Chinese Journal of Design and has worked as a translator on several BBC documentaries. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Dr Nadia Danhash
Director, InnovationRCA and AngelClubRCA
Nadia is an investor and business developer who has spent over ten years at the RCA developing enterprise and entrepreneurship programmes and supporting graduate entrepreneurs.View full profile
Get in touch with Jo Chounta if you'd like to find out more about this or any of our other short courses.