Marcus O’Dair is a researcher, coach and consultant who specialises in innovation - new technologies, services and business models - in the creative economy. Marcus is currently Associate Dean of Knowledge Exchange and Reader in Innovation Management at University of the Arts London (UAL), one of the world’s leading creative universities. In this role, he has overseen collaborations with partners from Nike to the NHS and led projects worth over two million pounds.
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 and a book of the year in the Guardian, Independent, Times, Sunday Times and Evening Standard. It was also shortlisted for the Penderyn prize.
He has also 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 various edited collections. He is co-editor of Mute Records: Artists, Business, History (Bloomsbury 2019).
As a consultant, 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 also coached Director-level and C-suite leaders from a range of organisations from startups to Arts Council England and United Talent Agency.
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, interviewing the likes of Ed Sheeran and Julie Christie as well as senior leaders from major record labels and the World Economic Forum.
He also spent time as a session musician with Passenger, going on to sign to Ninja Tune as one half of Grasscut. Grasscut released four acclaimed albums and performed across Europe at venues including the Pompidou Centre and the Royal Albert Hall. Their music has been featured by Google, Mazda, Nespresso, K-Mart and HSBC, as well as on the BBC, Netflix and HBO.
Marcus has spoken at the Southbank Centre, the V&A, the Barbican and Edinburgh International Book Festival, as well as giving keynotes at Falmouth University and the University of Manchester. He has also spoken to industry audiences at locations including KPMG in London, Thompson Reuters in New York, the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto and the King Fahed Cultural Centre in Riyadh.
Marcus is a Fellow of Enterprise Educators UK and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He holds a PhD in collaborative creativity. He is a non-executive director of the Featured Artists Coalition, a non-executive director of Enterprise Educators UK, and a parent governor at Balfour Primary School.