Paul Richter

  • Lecturer, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle University
  • ‘Virtual Createathon’ facilitator

Brief outline of your research interests/interest in the work of Creative Spark

My research interests centre on the language and practice of innovation and entrepreneurship in multiple organisational settings. In recent years, I have researched these issues in a range of sectoral and geographical contexts, including the creative economies of Azerbaijan and East Africa.


Why you think Creative Spark is important?

Creative Spark represents a stimulating setting to exchange experiences of entrepreneurial education, especially in creative sectors, and to deepen inter-sectoral relationships and cross-cultural understandings between the countries involved.  


What you’ve done in the Creative Spark project so far?

In May 2019, I participated in a Study Tour for representatives of our three partner universities in Azerbaijan and the Center for Economic Reforms Analysis and Communication (CAERC). A team of us from Newcastle University Business School shared experiences of designing enterprise and entrepreneurship curricula and attended various events with our guests related to innovation/entrepreneurship activity in Newcastle. It was a great way to begin building bridges with our project partners.

Later that year, I was privileged to be part of a small team from the UK that visited Baku, where we were hosted by CEARC. During our visit, we facilitated a ‘Createathon', which saw some local businesses team up with around 20 students to explore how the businesses could innovate. We were treated with unlimited generosity and warmth by everyone we met in Baku. It was a great opportunity to understand more about Azerbaijan’s history and culture.

In April 2021, I joined Fiona and Wendy in delivering our first ever ‘Virtual Createathon’ involving postgraduate students and graduates from all over the world including Azerbaijan. The students/graduates did a brilliant job of providing energy and ideas to eight businesses based in the North East of England’s creative and cultural sectors. We are aiming to do more of these activities soon.


What you’re interested in seeing happen in the Creative Spark project in the future?

I am committed to supporting the latest phase of the project as it moves to having a greater online presence. I trust that the partnership will continue to deepen and I am hopeful that I will be able to return to Azerbaijan in the near future to continue exploring the development of entrepreneurship education within the social, political, and economic climate of Azerbaijan and the UK.