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Building a Globally Successful Creative Business 2023, photo by Ezzidin Alwan
Next course starts 18 September 2024

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.

Key details

Fees

  • Early bird fee: £2,450
  • until 10 June 2024
  • Regular fee: £2,950
  • from 11 June 2024

Location

  • RCA Battersea Campus

    Wednesday 18 September – Friday 20 September 2024

    9.30am – 5pm BST daily

    Apply now

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 today's brightest creative minds. They will share how they successfully initiate, drive and manage creative projects and businesses.

Guest contributors for the 2024 programme are:

Patrik Schumacher, Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects

Eva Guerra, former Executive Director and Head of Studio of Designit

Jay Osgerby, Co-founder of Universal Design Studio

Rosey Blackmore, Brand Licensing and Merchandise Director, Tate

Neil McConnon, Director of International Partnerships, Tate

Anthony Rowe, Founder of arts/design collective Squidsoup

Sam Bompas, Co-founder of creative studio Bompas & Parr

Chelsea Chen, Co-Founder Emotech, award-winning AI entrepreneur pioneering markets in the Middle East

Daljit Singh, Co-founder & Chief Design & Brand Officer of ANNA Money, a bank for small entrepreneurs.

Disclaimer: The list of contributors is subject to change depending on availability.

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), Ltd.

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.

Apply now

About the course

The global creative industries have been recognised as a vital business sector, generating jobs and growth worldwide.

'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 of 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, how 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

  • 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

You will learn about:

  • Building a business
  • Developing new markets
  • Growing and developing a team

Guided by the RCA studio ethos of “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.

The 2024 programme includes:

Day 1: Starting & building a business

In conversation with Patrik Schumacher, Principal of 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

Visit to Somerset House, home to over 400 creative businesses. In conversation with CEO Jonathan Reekie. Visits to a small number of the creative business studios in Somerset House.

Visit to Universal Design Studio. In conversation with co-founder Jay Osgerby.

Day 2: Managing the growth of a team

In conversation with Eva Guerra, Executive Director and Head of Studio of Designit, 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

Afternoon off-site visits in London

Visit to Tate Modern. In conversation with Rosey Blackmore, Brand Licensing and Merchandise Director and Neil McConnell, Director of International Relationships.

Visit to arts/design collective Squidsoup. In conversation with founder Anthony Rowe.

Day 3: Developing new markets

Morning off-site visits in London

Visit to creative studio Bompas & Parr. In conversation with co-founder Sam Bompas

Back to the RCA campus

In conversation with Chelsea Chen, Co-Founder of the award-winning company Emotech.

In conversation with Daljit Singh, Co-founder, Chief Design and Brand Officer of Anna Money, a bank for small entrepreneurs.

Lunch and free time

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.

Disclaimer: The programme and list of contributors is subject to change depending on availability.

Guest contributors for the 2024 programme include:

Patrik Schumacher, Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects.

Jonathan Reekie, CEO of Somerset House

Jay Osgerby, Co-founder of Universal Design Studio

Eva Guerra, Executive Director and Head of Studio of Designit - a studio of over 700 designers.

Neil McConnon, Director of International Partnerships, Tate

Neil McConnon, Director, International Partnerships, Tate.

Rosey Blackmore, Brand Licensing and Merchandise Director, Tate

Anthony Rowe, Founder of arts/design collective Squidsoup

Sam Bompas, Co-founder of creative studio Bompas & Parr

Chelsea Chen, Co-Founder Emotech Ltd, award-winning AI entrepreneur pioneering markets in the Middle East.

Chelsea Chen, Co-founder of Emotech Ltd.

Daljit Singh, Co-founder & Chief Design & Brand Officer of ANNA Money, a bank for small entrepreneurs

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.

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.

Location

7th Floor Executive Education Suite
RCA Rausing Research & Innovation Building
15 Parkgate Road
Battersea
London SW11 4NL

Autumn 2024

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

RCA Battersea campus

View from the terrace of the Executive Education events space, RCA Battersea campus

View 7th Floor Terrace, Rausing Building Battersea

Albert Bridge London, View from Terrace RCA Battersea Campus

Albert Bridge London, View from Terrace RCA Battersea Campus

Covid-19

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.

  • 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.

Participants must:

  • 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 are now open - Complete the application form

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

Application notes

  • Please name the CV file before uploading using the following naming convention: Full Name_CV_2024 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 2024

  • Participants are advised to apply early to avoid disappointment as places are strictly limited.
  • First round of applications will be assessed from mid January 2024.

Applications will be assessed by the RCA course team and Philip Dodd of Made in China (UK) every 2 weeks from mid January 2024 until September 2024 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.

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.

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:

RCA Executive Education

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.

Find out more here about InnovationRCA.

Philip Dodd portrait, Made in China UK Ltd

Philip Dodd

Course Convenor

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

Enrica Costamagna

Course Convenor

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.

Gallery

Contact us

Get in touch with Jo Chounta if you'd like to find out more about this or any of our other short courses.

Email us at
[email protected]
Short Courses team photo 2023