British Journalist & ‘Place Specialist’ Samantha North to deliver Keynote Address at Brand Jamaica Symposium 2015

Istanbul-based Journalist and Place Specialist, Samantha North, will be the keynote speaker at the first-ever Brand Jamaica Symposium to be held at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus (Multi-Purpose Room, Main Library) in Kingston, July 16-17, 2015.

The conference, entitled ‘Re-Imagine Jamaica: Unlimited Possibilities’, and staged by The Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, a nation brand think tank founded by Jamaican scholar and journalist, Dr. Hume Johnson, alongside the Centre for Leadership and Governance, UWI, will bring together key professionals and practitioners in business, tourism, creative industries, sports, science and technology, media communication, marketing, politics, and academia to discuss key issues, trends, challenges and practices that are shaping Jamaica’s public international image, as well as share experiences, perspectives, and the latest developments in the national drive to promote and protect Brand Jamaica.

Ms. North will deliver her keynote on Day 1 of the conference, Thursday July 16 at The Undercroft, UWI Mona campus, beginning at 7pm-9pm. This event will be chaired by Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission, Cordel Green. The public is invited.

Ms. North says her keynote address will introduce the concept of nation branding and explain why a strong brand is so vital for countries to achieve success. Ms. North will present lessons learned from a range of international examples, and discuss how these can be leveraged to strengthen and promote Jamaica’s nation brand.
In 2012, Ms. North founded PlacesBrands, a media outlet designed to analyse the latest trends and developments in place branding. PlacesBrands quickly became an influential voice in the field of nation and place brands and enjoys a committed international audience.

Ms. North is involved in a range of international place-related projects for countries as diverse as China, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Jordan, and Turkey. Her clients have included the Qatar Olympic Committee, Ernst & Young, the City of Antwerp, Connect Limburg, and UP There Everywhere.

“I’m thrilled to have this great opportunity to visit Jamaica and join the important conversation about its brand. Jamaica already has a uniquely powerful national image. The summit will explore ways to strengthen and harness that image to serve Jamaican society more effectively,” said Ms. North.

“We’ll examine a range of global examples, aiming to learn from one another while taking the Brand Jamaica conversation in dynamic new directions. In doing so, we will also discuss new ideas for strategically boosting the city brand of Kingston.”

A graduate in sociology from of the University of Exeter, UK, Samantha also holds a Masters degree in business and economics from Belgium’s Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel. Samantha’s writing has been published in Al Jazeera UK, the Daily Telegraph, City Metric, New Internationalist, and Time Out.

She also contributes a regular column on nation branding for London-based print publication Transform Magazine. In addition, Ms. North’s expertise is sought after and represented at City Nation Place, UK – a new forum for those involved in establishing brand strategies for their cities, nation and regions.

Her first book, Wish You Were Here Too: A Revolution for People and Places, co-authored with fellow place brand specialist Julian Stubbs, is forthcoming in late 2015.

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