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On Saturday 4 March 2023, the inaugural Art Business Conference in the Middle East took place as a half day conference during Art Dubai.

The Art Business Conference is the leading global platform for the discussion of key issues in today’s art market. Founded in 2014, the Art Business Conferences have been hosted annually in London, New York and Shanghai. The aim of the conference is to convene art professionals, art galleries, advisors, museum directors, curators, collectors, wealth managers and family offices on topics that are most relevant to the art world in terms of running of an art collection or art business.

The theme of this conference was sustainability. As the art world rebuilds from the pandemic, the appetite for art exhibitions, travel and art collecting is greater than ever, so how can the art world become more sustainable? This conference explored the approaches and practical measures art organisations are taking to adapt to these challenges.



Executive Director of Art Dubai Benedetta Ghione
Chair of the Art Business Conference Stephanie Dieckvoss 


Culture sector strategist and Managing Director of Ure Culture Nicky Ure

The conference opened with Nicky Ure’s virtual presentation on three core pillars on environmental sustainability:

• Governance & Framework
• Developing a roadmap to sustainability for arts organisations
• Art as an agent of change


Followed by  Q+A 

Gallery Climate Coalition members Prateek Raja from Experimenter Gallery and Ciléne Andréhn from Andréhn-Schiptjenko
Director of Artangel Mariam Zulfiqar
Chief Business Development Officer of Cromwell Place Elizabeth Dellert
Moderated by Stephanie Dieckvoss

The (GCC) gallery climate coalition’s primary targets are to facilitate a reduction of the visual art sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50% by 2030 (in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global warming to below 1.5°C) and promote zero-waste practices. This panel discussion convened art professionals, including GCC members, to discuss the changes they are adopting to become more sustainable and the challenges in working towards the 2030 target. The session focused on practical aspects of running an art organisation including exhibition production, shipping, and artist commissions and was moderated by Stephanie Dieckvoss.




Cécile Lochard
This presentation focused on how and why Guerlain came to establish a sustainability plan and what are the key tenets of this? How to effect systemic and behavioral change across an international team, what are the lessons and takeaways after 10 years and are there correlations between the luxury industry and art world in achieving systemic change?


Ciléne Andréhn is, together with her associate Marina Schiptjenko, co-founder, -owner and -director of Andréhn-Schiptjenko, established in Stockholm Sweden in 1991. Having had an international outlook from the start, ahead of a more pervasive globalisation, the gallery has made an exceptional place for itself in the international context of contemporary art due to its distinct programming of continuously relevant artists. Ciléne Andréhn has served on the selection committees of some of the top art fairs, reviewing and selecting her peers. She has also been a member of the board of the Association of the Friends of Moderna Museet, Sweden’s major national museum as well as of Konsthall Marabouparken, a public contemporary art space. She also co-founded and chaired Sthlm Sthlm Sthlm, a collaborative initiative together with museums and institutions with the objective of promoting the Stockholm art scene by inviting key collectors and museum directors from abroad. She has been a frequent lecturer at the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm as well as at the Masters programme for Curatorial Studied at Stockholm University where she is also part of the advisory board. She now lives in Paris where Andréhn-Schiptjenko opened a project-space in 2019. The gallery moved to a larger Paris venue in 2022, while maintaining its position in Stockholm.

Elizabeth Dellert is the Chief Business Development Officer at Cromwell Place, London. Cromwell Place is a Membership organisation offering a first-of-its-kind exhibition and working space in central London, located in the heart of South Kensington’s museum district. Housed within five Grade II listed buildings, Cromwell Place boasts 15 unique gallery spaces, permanent and shared offices, co-working facilities, meeting rooms, art storage, a customs warehouse facility and viewing rooms; as well as an full service on site events team and elegant Club Room. As CBDO, Elizabeth’s focus is to advance the Cromwell Place mission as an international arts space where galleries, collectors, dealers, curators and arts professionals collaborate and flourish. Cromwell Place is home to some of the world’s most exciting galleries, collectors, dealers and advisors: with specialties ranging from Antiquities and Old Masters through to the 19th Century. Prior to joining Cromwell Place, Elizabeth was instrumental in launching the art, antiques and design fair Masterpiece London; ran her own art PR consultancy, piloted Frieze Masters and, most recently, was the UK Director of the Affordable Art Fairs, steering them successfully through the pandemic years and delivering growth.

Stephanie Dieckvoss is a German art historian based in London. She currently works as an independent lecturer, writer, researcher and journalist and specialises in contemporary art markets. She lectures at Central Saint Martins and Sotheby’s Institute of Art and is the London art market correspondent for the German financial newspaper Handelsblatt. She is also working on an AHRC funded PhD on alternative art fairs in the 1990s. Previously, Stephanie worked for over 15 years in commercial art galleries and art fairs across Europe and the USA and has a wealth of experience in cultural management in both the public and private sector. As an academic she was also course director of the MA Art Business at Kingston School of Art from 2017 to 2021. Stephanie holds an MA in Art History, an MBA, and a PgCert in Art and Design Education. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority in the UK and a member of PAIM, the Professional advisors to the International Art Market.

Holding a double master in Sustainable Development from PARIS-DAUPHINE University and Profit-Non-Profit Project Management from the ESSEC business school, Cécile Lochard began her career in finance within HSBC’s SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) branch, where she evolved over a period of six years. For eight years she then managed private partnerships for the WWF (The World Wildlife Fund for Nature), the world’s first environmental non-profit organization, where she created a philanthropy department and notably served as spokesperson for topics surrounding luxury and the environment. In 2011, Cécile wrote “Luxury and Sustainability: A New Alliance” (Luxe et Dévelop- pement Durable : La Nouvelle Alliance), a leading reference on the subject of luxury and social responsibility published by Éditions Eyrolles. At the same time she founded a consultancy specifically aimed at guiding luxury Houses in the creation of CSR strategies and assisting Charity Organisations and Foundations in how to create environmentally responsible programmes. She also speaks at conferences internationally and serves as an MBA Luxury Management professor specializing in “Conscious Luxury”. Cécile joined the LVMH Group in 2015 as the Director of Sustainable Development and Communications for Cha Ling, before joining the Guerlain House in 2019 as Biodiversity Programs and Sustainable Communications Manager. She became Guerlain’s Chief Sustainability Officer in September, 2020. Consistently guided by a desire to unite the worlds of luxury and sustainability, Cécile Lochard use her new role to deepen Guerlain’s House commitment to sustainability: innovating sustainably, preserving biodiversity, acting for climate and creating positive social impact.

Prateek Raja along with his partner Priyanka Raja co-founded Experimenter in 2009. Experimenter represents and manages the careers of some of the most experimental, pathbreaking contemporary artists from South Asia and the rest of the world. Since 2011 Experimenter organizes the much-acclaimed Experimenter Curators’ Hub (ECH), an annual platform for dialogue and debate between the foremost minds in contemporary art. It also runs an independent artists’ book publication Experimenter Books, and a long-term, sustainable and multifaceted learning and education program, Experimenter Learning Program Foundation. Beyond its 2 gallery spaces in Kolkata and 1 in Mumbai, all located in century old buildings, it also runs Experimenter Residency in a contemporary purpose-built space in Kolkata. In 2020 it launched the Generator Co-Operative Artist Production Fund to support artistic production for young artists. Prateek co-founded the International Galleries Alliance (IGA) in 2020, which the first collaborative global alliance between galleries built on shared values.

Nicky Ure is the managing director of UreCulture who develop and implement strategies and projects for the cultural sector in the UAE and Middle East. Nicky’s current focus of work is to support the arts and its actors to become the sustainability leaders of the future. UreCulture has been a member of the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) since 2021 and Nicky is a founding member of GCC Spain. She has also guest lectured at the Instituto de Empresa (IE) Madrid on sustainability in the arts. Nicky worked at the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi (DCT) from 2008 to 2015. She was appointed Director of Programmes Department (Culture) and worked on the development of the Cultural Authority, Saadiyat museums, Abu Dhabi Art, Manarat Al Saadiyat and other programmes. Prior to working in the culture sector, Nicky was a banking lawyer at UK law firm Simmons & Simmons. Nicky holds a MA Hons. from the University of St Andrews, a Postgraduate Diploma in Law from the University of Law, London and a certificate in Business Management Sustainability from the University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership.

Mariam Zulfiqar is the Director of Artangel. Prior to joining the team in January 2022, Mariam led the National Art Programme at Forestry England where she implemented a new strategic direction, developing partnership projects at the intersection of art, design, architecture, environment, and ecology. As Deputy Director and Chief Curator at UP Projects, Mariam curated new commissions and oversaw Constellations – an artist development programme for artists working in the public domain, and This is Public Space – a programme of digital commissions that explore the internet as a site for art. Mariam’s primary area of focus is art in the public domain and as an independent curator, she has commissioned projects for Film and Video Umbrella and Art on the Underground. In 2021, Mariam curated Bring into Being – the inaugural programme of events, activities and contemporary art at Chiswick House. The programme marked a new chapter by inviting contemporary voices in the arts and sciences to respond to the historic 18th Century site. Mariam regularly consults for various international public art programmes and has guest lectured at academic institutions in the UK and internationally. In 2013 she was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Fund. Mariam holds a BA in Design and Public Art from Chelsea College of Art and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art.