My Biography


Debbi Lander, Creative Programmer, London 2012 Cultural Olympiad

Debbi Lander works as a director and programmer in the arts and cultural sector and has a background in development, research and production in the performing and digital arts. Her career history spans the arts, creative industries and cultural sector, having worked in advertising, live events and new media production, policy research and programming and as a business owner, creative producer, researcher and freelance consultant. Her work has a focus on driving innovation into the cultural mainstream through interdisciplinary practice, collaborative processes and creative concepts.

Debbi is now the Creative Programmer for London 2012 in the North West. In 2008 she conceived WE PLAY which is the North West’s unique contribution to the build up and legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, funded by Legacy Trust UK. Debbi currently oversees the development of  WE PLAY which includes  the three major programmes of Abandon Normal Devices Festival, Lakes Alive and Blaze as the WE PLAY Programme Director.

Debbi moved to the North West in 2006 to undertake the position of Interim Director of the North West Culture Observatory and to work with FACT (Foundation of Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool on the development of  Human Futures – Liverpool 08 European Capital of Culture programme.

From 1991 – 2005,  Debbi worked a co-director of shinkansen, a collaborative unit renowned internationally for its innovative and pioneering work in the performing and media arts across 1989 – 2005 and for Future Physical – a ground breaking arts and technology programme in the East of England (2002 – 2004).

Debbi has worked on a consultancy basis with Culture Northwest,  English Heritage, and Youth Music and on  commissioned public sector projects for Arts Council England/Live Art Development Agency, Dance UK and the European Commission with Brouhaha International.

She was a Visiting Lecturer for Performing Arts at Birbeck University from 1995 – 2006 and Member of the Board of Chisenhale Dance Space in East London from 1995 – 1998.

Debbi had an early career as Account Manager for Bartle Bogle Hegarty Advertising Agency in the late 80’s and was Marketing Director of Voice Over 1990, a London Wide festival co-produced by shinkansen and Speakout/Serious.

Debbi is co-author of ‘Flying Along a Curved Path’ series of writings and essay on shinkansen and author and co-editor of the Future Physical NESTA report ‘The Creative User: a New Market for Interactive Digital Art’

Debbi recently developed collaborations between Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 with cultural legacy projects in the Northwest, one of the first cultural collaborations between two Cultural Olympiads and co-authored the article ‘Vancouver 2010 meets London 2012’ for the culture@theolympics online journal.

Current work includes the development of the WE PLAY Expo – a special programme of events for the Games Time Year in the North West in 2012.


• 2012blog:

• Vancouver 2010 meets London 2012 article :

• L@te: Mud Flats Up article:

• Flying Along a Curved Path Essay:

• Creative User Report:

• Human Futures Programme:

• shinkansen Archive:

• Future Physical Programme:

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