Professor of Communications and Cultural Economy, Monash University

Justin O’Connor is Professor of Communications and Cultural Economy at Monash University. Until 2012 he was Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia and visiting Chair, Department of Humanities, Shanghai Jiaotong University. From 2006-8 he was Professor of Cultural Industries at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds, and between 1995 and 2006 he was Director of Manchester Institute for Popular Culture at Manchester Metropolitan University.

There he led a four city-university MA in Culture and Urban Regeneration. His research led to the establishment of Manchester’s Creative Industries Development Service (CIDS), the UK’s first dedicated local economic development agency for the creative industries, of which he was chair. CIDS also established a number of industry-led network organisations for SMEs in the different sub-sectors of creative industries. Justin was lead academic advisor to Manchester’s Urbis museum of the contemporary city. He also led the team which established Manchester’s first Creative Quarter.

Justin also led a partnership project between Manchester, Helsinki and St Petersburg to develop a creative industries strategy for the Russian city. His interest in the developing agenda for the creative industries outside Europe has seen him speak in China, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan. In 2006 he co-organised a conference in Shanghai on Creative Economies, Creative Cities, which came out as a book in 2009. He completed a literature review on the cultural and creative industries for the Arts Council of England and has completed a report on the relationship between art and creative industries for the Australia Council . He edited a special edition of the International Journal of Cultural Policy on ‘Creative Industries: Ten years After’ and a special issue of Culture Unbound on ‘Shanghai Moderne’. He is currently finishing a book – After the Creative Industries: New Urban Cultures.

Justin is leading an ARC linkage project, Creative Clusters, Soft Infrastructure and New Media: Developing Capacity in China and Australia, partnered with Shanghai Jiaotong university, the ‘Creative 100’ cluster (Qingdao) and Arup (Sydney). This is a systematic investigation into the evolving uses of creative clusters in China and Australia, with special reference to the role of social media and urban informatics in urban creative ecosystems. It aims to develop state of the art strategic design and policy guidelines to be used in Shanghai, Qingdao and elsewhere in China. He is also a partner on a new ARC linkage project looking at the social, cultural and economic effects of MONA on Hobart, Tasmania.

He is currently one of 20 internatiuonal experts appointed under the UNESCO/EU Technical Assistance Programme
in support of the
2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. He is working with Mauritius to develop a national cultural industries strategy and Barbados on developing a programme on cultural entrepreneurship.

He has published over 100 books, papers, chapters and reports in the field of cultural and creative industries, arts and cultural policy, urban cultures and popular music. He is currently finishing a book for Sage After Creative Industries, is working on a joint book on Cultural Economy in the New Shanghai (Routledge), and co-editing The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries.


  • 2008–present
    Professor, Queensland University of Technology
  • 2006–2008
    Professor of Cultural Industries, University of Leeds


    University of Sussex, Ph.D