Shain Shapiro | CEO & Founder, Sound Diplomacy


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Dr Shain Shapiro is founder and CEO of Sound Diplomacy, bridging the gap between music and the world of policy and urban planning.

Sound Diplomacy is the leader of the Music Cities movement, which sees culture built into the urban environment through an integrated music policy.

Music is a universal language. While we all have individual tastes and preferences, it's an experience common to everyone. It can aid with early development, rehabilitation and healthy ageing. It's personal benefits are therefore indisputable.

A well curated and executed music policy can help attract & retain capital and talent, help build the nigh-time economy and improve tourism. Shain argues that Music Cities need more than just a a policy though; they need someone to promote the cause within the local authority to ensure that it is being thought about & that policy is being enacted. The efficacy of this can be seen in London; Shain believes that the decline of 35-40% of music venues in the capital over the past decade has been halted, (at least in part) due to the appointment of the Mayor's night-czar, Amy Lamé. For developers, music is yet another piece in the puzzle of creating a sense of place that will make the development more deliverable and therefore valuable. For build-to-rent's model, music's role in community building should definitely be considered further.

It's important to remember that music (like all arts and cultures) requires a full ecosystem to flourish. Headline acts come from grass-root venue beginnings and those venues need to be encouraged and cultivated. Shain believes that venues with capacity of less than 500 will need to look to multi-use in order to be sustainable as business models. The plurality of buildings could emerge as community centres, tech incubators, yoga studios or many uses. Tech solutions, such as Vanessa Butz's District, could really help with this mixed usage of buildings.

If you're interested in learning more about the role of music in the built environment, please visit Sound Diplomacy or explore Music UK's website.

Shain's favourite buildings are the Grand Place in Brussels and Alexandra Palace.

Kerb is Shain's favourite innovation within the built environment and whatt he aspires to emulate in a music context.

34 episodes