Festivals, Cultural and City Events

8. How can Universities help cities adapt and reset civic life post Covid-19? How do the arts and humanities play into University of Edinburgh’s 2030 Strategy?

Video: Edinburgh Culture Conversations Week 8
Recording of Edinburgh Culture Conversations Week 8

Culture and Place

The University of Edinburgh was set up as a civic university in 1583. As such our history has always been intertwined with place. The new 2030 Strategy commits to sustaining a deep allegiance and commitment to the interests of the city and region in which we are based, alongside our national and international efforts, ensuring relevance to all.


Jarmo Eskelinen

Jarmo Eskelinen is a smart city and open data expert with a background in architecture, digital media and urban events. He is the Executive Director of the Data Driven Innovation programme at the University of Edinburgh. The 15-year, £660m initiative spans across ten industry domains from creative industries and healthcare to fintech and robotics, building five new innovation hubs connected to supercomputing infrastructure.

Paul Lawrence

Paul Lawrence spent over a decade working in the cultural sector in NE England, before moving into wider economic development and urban/regional policy. Paul then worked in planning and regeneration in Stockport in Greater Manchester, before moving to the new role of Executive Director of Place for City of Edinburgh Council in 2015. 

Dr Bridget McConnell CBE

Dr Bridget McConnell CBE is CEO of Glasgow Life and was instrumental in bringing the 2014 Commonwealth Games to Glasgow. Other career highlights include the refurbishment of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum; the opening of the Riverside Museum; the opening of the Emirates Arena; the refurbishment of the Kelvin Hall and the ongoing Burrell Renaissance project.

Professor Dorothy Miell OBE (CPsychol FBPS FRSE)

Professor Dorothy Miell is Vice Principal and Head of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  Her background is as a Social Psychologist. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; on the Board of Directors of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Scottish Opera and was awarded an OBE in 2019 for services to higher education and psychology.

Beatrice Pembroke

Beatrice is Executive Director of Culture, Kings College London. Until recently she was director of the Global Cultural Districts Network, a federation of major cultural organisations committed to improving urban life. Prior to that she was Director of Creative Economy at the British Council, developing partnerships across the cultural sector and beyond in over 30 countries. She is co-founder of the Long Time Project and Tech for Good Global, a trustee of Auto Italia and is on the Ashoka Ventures Board.

Imam Razawi

Imam Razawi is a British-born Shia Muslim leader. Imam Razawi is Director-General of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society, Visiting Scholar at the University of Strathclyde, Associate & Research Director at the Weatherhead Center at Harvard University, an Executive Member of the ECRL, an Advisor on the Multi-Faith Advisory Council at United Nations.


8. How can Universities help cities adapt and reset civic life post Covid-19? How do the arts and humanities play into University of Edinburgh’s 2030 Strategy?

Eighth in the series of talks to take place on Monday 31st August at 6pm. Produced by the University of Edinburgh's Festivals, Culture and City Events Team and hosted by Director, Janet Archer. Recording available here now