About…

Post-Covid, it looks like we might get a once in a lifetime chance to get the transition to the “new normal” right, an ever-decreasing window of opportunity, but something it’s not going to be rocket science to get right – IF there is enough political will and direct action from those of us who CAN.

Colin Hicks is an inveterate internationalist, but a butterfly all the same. He’s enjoyed an amazing career of differences – which means he receives invitations all the time to get involved in a wide variety of essential and contemporary fields of interest. He lives in the UK and has a decent network of contacts across Western Europe and North America.

Currently he finds himself involved in many things:

* providing servant leadership or cultural brokerage; guidance on international cultural relations; assistance to senior staff and board chairs in the not-for-profit sector the better to unlock your best ideas – all through conference facilitation, teaching or workshop sessions

* saving the high street, using the heritage dividend, greening our spaces with guerrilla and community gardening, developing STEAM and digital solutions, seeking out sustainable travel options, celebrating cooking and food.

…Professionally: Since 1990 Colin has had the privilege to be involved in new market opportunities in retail, artist mobility, landscape architecture and garden design, community engagement, international cultural relations, socially sustainable festivals, publishing, television, dramaturgy, world music, cultural giving and philanthropy, women in technology, visual arts, the migrant voice, the absent voice, digital opportunity, tangible IPRs, cultural tourism, and cross-cultural production.

…As –  

A Cultural Broker – Across the entire 1990-2020 period Colin dealt primarily in personal and organisational development, leadership, creative enterprise, the benefits of joined-up government and responsible not-for-profit governance. 

A Thought Leader – Starting around 2005 he began providing focussed conversation, aggregated ideas, global networking and good governance to cultural workers and their organisations, including others from related sectors.

An Expert Facilitator – Since 2010 he has been in demand as a truly disinterested listener (which does not mean that he is UNinterested!), because he’s had his career, built his reputation and created a network. So your ideas will be safe with him. Many people look on him like a favourite relative to whom you can reveal the things you can’t really tell your mum.

An Extreme Volunteer – At the end of 2019, Colin emerged from a 6-year period of close involvement in the SME (small business) world and local community politics, dealing convincingly with issues of representation, transparency, communication, leadership and vision in that interesting interface between the private and public sectors in a small rural town (29,000 souls).

A Public Speaker – Colin is also used a lot for lecturing, public speaking, facilitation, workshops and for his expertise as coach, mentor and (increasingly in those difficult times) as a mediator.

A Teacher – His teaching work in the university sector considers business awareness, cultural diplomacy and critical thinking in the workplace.

…Services: More complete information on Colin’s lifetime of work and responsibilities may be found on his Linkedin page. You can also find on there what other people have thought of his many inputs.

…This Website: Contains Colin’s Blog where he has endeavoured to put some order into his own thoughts. The themes are wide-ranging and record the span of his knowledge and experience in order to share these ideas, best practice and opinion.

When there isn’t a clear theme, various outputs are grouped in topics, concepts such as Unlocking Ideas, the Skills of The Creative Entrepreneur or The Cultural Diplomat, or just plain Networking tools. Do give some feedback below, as Colin recognises that some of this remains ever incomplete.

Thank you.

The Archaeology of this Generalist

The power of integrated, joined-up thinking is recognized and new generalists are required, able to grasp specialist knowledge as well as able to range across disciplines

Charles Landry

I am not a very focussed person and it takes me a lot of effort to structure anything. I also just can’t hack doing proper research.
Undismayed, not to say brazen, I have converted this evident intellectual laziness, if not inability, into a positive by making a virtue out of not being expert.

All of which makes me a proud generalist. Continue reading

Tapas Goyescas


This poem is part of a series I wrote while on a break on the Costa del SolThe tapas bar in question was in Benalmadena Puerto but has now closed: 

The chalked sign reads Comida casera
Home cooking – except, disappointed,
One Spanish customer has angrily obliterated
That choice word casera.

Steel trays, neat and stainless,
Top the bar in a cool cabinet
Parading their wares like babies in an incubator
Podgy meatballs dripping in oil,
Melting chicken, wasted peppers.

Diners greedily eye the offerings
Ordering with a stab of the finger
Return to a stool to sit out the time
Until a waitress brings the slaughter.

Sharp eyes, pleased, rove over the carnage
The uneven teeth and fuller lips
Closing round the succulent mortals
Squeezing dry the flowing juices
All washed down with a beer or rioja.

Till replete, the eye now duller
The fat mouth red as blood from the sauces
Overweight hands wipe evidence inaccurately
Leaving tell-tale stains to adorn the napkins.

The odd burp, a furtive toothpick
And off into the night we stutter
Growling softly.