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Speakers at Interpreting History

Our speakers on the day are experts in their own right in various aspects of heritage and historical interpretation for attractions, destinations and events.  Our speakers include:  

David Eng   

David is Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at the Tenement Museum in New York’s Lower East Side, where he is responsible for all communications, marketing, brand management, media and public relations. He was Marketing and Development Director for New York’s Chinatown post 9/11 and has directed national and international publicity and public relations for The Joffrey Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera. He also helped to create the landmark ‘I Love New York’ advertising campaign.  


Dr Jonathan Foyle   

Jonathan is TV presenter, author, journalist and historian and has held many senior posts including Chief Executive of the Worlds Monument Fund Britain and Curator of Historic Buildings at Historic Royal Palaces. He is now a consultant on the analysis, interpretation and presentation of historic buildings and associated artifacts and curated the content of England Originals for England’s Historic Cities. Jonathan will open and close the conference and facilitate the day.  


Dr James Kennell  

James is an academic, researcher and consultant and leads the BA(Hons) Tourism Management degree at the University of Greenwich. His areas of research are cultural and heritage tourism and dark tourism as well as tourism policy and governance. He has published a study on the role of dark tourism and their relationship with commemorative events and is currently leading research into the views of heritage professionals on the future development of dark tourism in World Heritage Sites.  


Dr Nick Lambert  

Nick is a specialist in the application of technology in contemporary art and visual culture. He writes on the history of computer art, the evolution of interfaces and display technologies has developed art works for immersive environments and exhibited in London and New York. He works with the VASARI Research Centre in digital media, Ravensbourne on augmented reality in museums, the Lumen Prize for digital art and is chair of the Computer Arts Society. 

Ben Moore

Ben has 12 years’ experience working in the fast-paced digital marketing sector and has worked on large, successful projects for global clients including Michael Kors, Peroni, Red Bull, NOW TV (Sky), Royal Caribbean and Visit London. He is an integrated thinker, and draws on his practical experience across most digital strands – from design and development to marketing and strategy – to lead the creative direction at his agency, Hex Digital, the full service digital agency based in Farringdon, London.


Professor Deborah Ryan  

Deborah is a thought leader in innovative community engagement techniques and co-author of the Millennial Plan: A Vision for Charlotte. By Millennials. For Millennials and the Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums, now in its eighth printing, a #1 best seller on Amazon and a selected text for courses at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Brown, and the University of Delaware. She served as Senior Edward I. Koch Fellow with the Historic House Trust of New York City, and her work has won numerous design awards including the Individual Achievement Award from the Museum Association of New York. 


Melanie Sensicle  

Melanie is a consultant, tourism professional and destination management and marketing specialist. She has worked at senior level in UK tourism for over 20 years holding a range of positions including Chief Executive of Visit County Durham, Associate Director at Marketing Lancashire, member of Durham’s World Heritage Site Committee and Trustee at Audience Development agency Audiences North East. She is chair of England’s Historic Cities and directs their England Originals project.  


Mike Smith  

Mike is a Senior Lecturer in Animation at Ravensbourne University London. He has had a prestigious career in the animation industry, starting on the animated feature film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and going on to work for companies such as Walt Disney, on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, Warner’s, on “Space Jam” and on “Jack and the Beanstalk” and for Jim Henson. As animation course leader at Ravensbourne Mike has used his extensive experience to get the course accredited by Skillset in 2007 it is now recognised as one of the top, professionally relevant animation courses in the UK.” He is collaborating with Nick Lambert on the forthcoming exhibition on Leonardo di Vinci and Perpetual Motion for Museo Galileo in Florence. 


Kathryn Thompson  

Kathryn took up the role of Chief Executive of National Museums Northern Ireland in 2016. She leads an organisation which looks after over 1.4 million objects and operates four museums: the Ulster Museum in Belfast, The Ulster Fold Museum, the Ulster Transport Museum at Cultra and the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh. In 2017 the Game of Thrones Tapestry went on display and has since been seen by over 150,000 people. As well as celebrating the HBO series the tapestry the tapestry tells the story of Northern Ireland’s rich heritage and local traditions of textile manufacture and embroidery.  

Alasdair Willett

Alasdair is managing director of History Mystery, a company founded to create escape games with a difference; to provide a thrilling hour of entertainment whilst introducing new audiences to historic buildings and subjects. Their team of heritage experts and game designers find heritage locations, research their history, then devise enthralling game-play to tell their stories. Every game is a unique experience, historically accurate, lovingly hand-crafted, and chock full of fiendish puzzles that interpret heritage in a new way that brings fresh audiences and additional income to heritage sites.