Keynote Speakers




Professor Gary E. Swanson is an internationally recognized and highly acclaimed speaker, educator, photojournalist, documentary and news producer, director, editor and consultant. He has given numerous keynote speeches, served as organizer and chair at conferences, presented workshops and lectured at embassies, festivals, and universities throughout 30 countries in South America, Africa, Europe, The Middle East, Asia, Oceania, British Columbia, and the United States.

Professor Swanson is currently the International Director of Programme for Media, Film & Journalism at IAFOR in Nagoya, Japan. He is also President and CEO of Dimage Studios – a video and photography production company & art gallery in Pennsylvania, USA.  Swanson is a three-time Fulbright Scholar to Portugal and the People’s Republic of China. He covered the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain for NBC News, and in 2008 was Commentator for China Central Television International (CCTV-9) and their live coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games. Professor Swanson continued his on-air work with CCTV-4 as distinguished live guest and commentator in London the summer of 2012. From 2007-2015 Swanson was the Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence and Mildred S. Hansen Endowed Chair in Journalism at the University of Northern Colorado. He was Professor and Director of Television for nine years at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Professor Swanson has also taught at DePauw University in Indiana and at Elon University in North Carolina. He spent 23 years as an educator teaching undergraduate and graduate students at the university level. 

Prior to his work in academe, Swanson compiled a distinguished professional broadcast career spanning 13 years at NBC News – producing award-winning documentaries, prime-time news magazine stories, and covering “breaking news” in 26 states and Canada for the network – including trips and campaigns of presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

Swanson has earned more than 80 awards for broadcast excellence and photojournalism including three national EMMY’s, the duPont Columbia Award, two CINE “Golden Eagles,” 16 TELLY’s, the Monte Carlo International Award, the Hamburg International Media Festival’s Globe Award, the 2011 Communitas Outstanding Professor and Educator award, the 2012 Professor of the Year Award, and many others.

His photography has won numerous awards and his work has been displayed in art galleries worldwide and published in books and magazines including: Frommer’s Travel Guide, Travel Leisure, Photo District News (PDN), Shutterbug, and many others.

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Prof. Amanda Bright

Head of the School of Art, University of Brighton, UK.

Over the last 15 years Amanda Bright has chaired and contributed to a wide range of Academic Reviews and Validations in the UK and internationally, and having been a Subject Specialist and Institutional Auditor working with QAA for several years, in 2016 she was appointed as a Specialist Reviewer for the Hong Kong Council for the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ).
Her subject background is in metalsmithing and the applied arts, and her passion for making, for materiality and for ‘learning by doing’ sit at the heart of everything she does.
Educated at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts and the Royal College of Art, London, from where she graduated in 1987, she specialised in patination and in the material properties of metal, particularly ferrous metals. In 1988, as part of the bi-centennial celebrations in Australia, she was invited to Canberra School of Art to represent the UK in a Metalsmith’s masterclass, and ten years later, in the catalogue accompanying the major metalwork exhibition, ‘Metalmorphosis’, at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, (Nov 1998 – Feb 1999) was described as ‘one of the most original and influential metalwork artists of her generation’.
She is best known for her innovative exploration of textile techniques in metal, and her stitched and woven metal forms have been purchased for a number of national collections in the UK, including The Crafts Council; Contemporary Arts Society; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; South East Arts Craft Collection; Ulster Museum; and the Walker Art Gallery. Her interest in stitch and in metal and textiles continues.
She has led public workshops and given lectures across the UK, Europe and Australia and her work has been exhibited widely at venues including the V&A, London; the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; Galerie für Angewandte Kunst, Munich; Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, Norway and Dutch Textile Museum (DTM), Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Prior to her post at the University of Brighton she was Associate Dean of Academic Development at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.