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Introducing Our New Strategic Partnerships Manager

We are so excited to welcome on board the newest member of team Generator - Ste Dunn!

Our membership network Generator Union has a new face at the helm as we welcome Ste Dunn to the team, replacing Emma Whitenstall as Generator’s Strategic Partnerships Manager, tasked with taking Generator Union and its members to the next level.

Ste brings to the Generator team a wide range of experiences and skills, with over 20 years of successful programme delivery across finance, utilities, retail and more recently in events, festivals and live productions. In addition to Ste’s roles as Director of LGBTQIA+ charity, Northern Pride, he is also one of the founding members of Newcastle Creates, the cultural compact for the city, and sits on advisory groups for a north east contemporary dance company and akt, a national young persons homeless charity.

You can catch Ste at our next Breakfast Networking event on Wednesday 15th February at KOMODO Digital or all over socials, shouting about all the amazing things members like you are doing!

Here’s a little bit about what Ste has planned for GU in 2023:

What are you most excited about being at the helm of Generator Union? 

I’m really looking forward to getting out into the community across the region, meeting our wonderful existing members and bringing onboard some new ones too. I’m really keen to hear how GU can support them overcome day to day challenges or improve the way in which they navigate our sector. It’s an amazing opportunity to really shout about our region, bridge gaps and provide access to the incredible talent we have here in the region.

What do you think is the greatest opportunity for the sector in the North East? 

I believe that the recently announced devolution deal could become a real enabler for growth in the creative and culture sector in the coming years. We have a rich history of cultural events, venues, places and people, with investment and decisions being made locally, this can only grow and I’m hoping GU will be in a position to support the new North East Combined Authority when it’s formed in 2024 to unlock these opportunities, skills and experiences as well as attracting investment into our sector.

What is the best thing about the region’s creative and cultural sector? 

After the past few years, I’d say its resilience and its passion. It’s inspiring to see so many individuals, small businesses and start ups delivering some fantastic pieces of work, against the backdrop of a sector still picking itself up from cuts in public funding, post pandemic challenges, and an ever widening North South divide. The North East has so much to offer and I can’t wait to support the membership to get their products and services recognised regionally and nationally.

Do you have a Top Tip For Networking?

I always like to think that the measure of how good you are at networking, is how well you can surround yourself with people that are willing want to help you to become the best at what you do. And the best way to achieve this is to always think, how you can I help others, who can I connect them with, who is best to collaborate with them. Be prepared to ask someone “What keeps you busy?” to learn what their job is, or what their interests are. You can then follow this with asking “what are the challenges you’re facing right now?”. By learning how we can support people within our sector is how we’ll create one of collaboration with peer to peer support. You may be a sole trader, or freelance creative, but it doesn’t mean you have to fly solo!

Why should someone become a member of GU?

I’ve attended a few GU events and they’re the perfect space to connect, learn and share. Whether you’re looking to network, learn fascinating insights from our masterclasses or just attend a one of a kind event you can’t find anywhere else in the North, we’ve got it all… through our GU programme there is the opportunity to meet and potentially end up working with people and business from across the entire sector, without the usual barriers to collaboration. I can guarantee, it’ll be alternative, it’ll be engaging and it’ll be inspiring.

We can’t wait to see our network grow with Ste and you, our members, over 2023!

You can get in touch with Ste at to find out how you can make the most of your network, or come along to our next Breakfast Networking event on the 15th Feb at KOMODO Digital!

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