Dr. Paul Thompson
On Ethical Entrepreneurship, Syria, Shakespeare… and More
Dr. Paul Thompson has been the Rector of the Royal College of Art (RCA), the number one university globally in art and design as ranked by the QS World University Rankings in 2015 and 2016, since 2009. The RCA is also the only art and design university in the UK operating exclusively at postgraduate level.
Paul’s previous career highlights include his service as Director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York (from 2001–9) and Director of the Design Museum in London (from 1993–2001). He is a Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum and is on the Ashmolean Museum Board of Visitors. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London. Paul completed a PhD at the University of East Anglia in 1987. (For further detail, please see here).
Paul is acutely aware of the place of art and design, and the responsibility of artists and designers, in facing today’s most pressing ethical challenges. Paul speaks on the relevance of the institution’s long-standing moral principles today’s challenges and to those of future generations, from Syrian refugees to Apple products. He also traverses literary examples, personal experiences, and the importance of cross-fertilisation of the arts with the sciences and social sciences.
Welcome to my conversation with renowned arts institution leader Dr. Paul Thompson.
Our gratitude to the Royal College of Art and the SCALA Group Picture Library for granting permission to use their images in this interview.