Marcus O’Dair is a writer, consultant and executive coach with a background in the music and media industries.
Marcus is the author of Distributed Creativity: How Blockchain Will Transform the Creative Economy (Palgrave 2018), written as researcher in residence at Digital Catapult. His previous book, Different Every Time: the Authorised Biography of Robert Wyatt (Serpent’s Tail 2014), was a book of the week on BBC Radio 4. It was also shortlisted for the Penderyn prize.
Marcus has delivered projects for the British Council, Music Managers Forum, IE Music, Linux Foundation, European Jazz Network, Domino Records, Serious, Somethin' Else, University of Brighton, Red Bull Music Academy and Blockchain Research Institute. He has delivered training to music industry figures in Jordan, creative hub leaders in Ghana and cultural leaders from Mexico. The entrepreneurship e-learning platform he developed for Microsoft is now used in eight countries across Africa. He has coached leaders and managers from organisations including Arts Council England and United Talent Agency.
Marcus is currently Associate Dean of Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise at University of the Arts London (UAL), one of the world’s leading creative universities. He has been UAL lead on projects worth over a million pounds and overseen collaborations with partners from Nike and Netflix to the NHS. He is also a non-executive director of both the Featured Artists Coalition and Enterprise Educators UK.
He previously spent time as a session musician with Passenger, going on to sign to Ninja Tune and release four acclaimed albums as one half of Grasscut. He has performed across Europe at venues including the Pompidou Centre and the Royal Albert Hall.
Marcus has written for the Guardian, Times, Financial Times, Independent and Irish Times, and appeared on Radio 1, Radio 3, BBC 6 Music, the World Service and CNN. As well as giving keynotes at Falmouth University and the University of Manchester, he has spoken at the Southbank Centre, the V&A, the Barbican and Edinburgh International Book Festival. He has also spoken to industry audiences at locations including KPMG in London, Thompson Reuters in New York and the King Fahed Cultural Centre in Riyadh.
He is co-editor of Mute Records: Artists, Business, History (Bloomsbury 2019). He has published in peer-reviewed academic journals including Popular Communication, Strategic Change, Popular Music, IASPM@Journal, Life Writing, Journal of Risk Finance and International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and in edited collections including Jazz and Totalitarianism (Routledge 2017), Punk Pedagogies (Routledge 2018), Business Transformation Through Blockchain (Palgrave 2019), Life Writing and Celebrity (Routledge 2019), The Canterbury Sound in Popular Music (Emerald 2021), Music by Numbers (Intellect 2021) and Pataphysics Unrolled (Penn State University Press 2022).
Marcus is a Fellow of Enterprise Educators UK and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He holds a PhD in collaborative creativity and is currently studying for an MBA.