Lyon Light Festival Forum – Speakers

Opening Session

Victoire Goust, Deputy Mayor, Tourism and Events, City of Lyon (France)

Meri Lumela, LUCI President, City of Jyväskylä (Finland)

Meri is the chair of the Jyväskylä City Board, the chairman of the Central Finland’s Green Party and a board member in the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. She is employed as the principal at Halssila’s primary school in Jyväskylä.

Barbara Kreissler, Director, B2G Professional Lighting, Global Public & Government Affairs, Signify

Barbara is Director of professional lighting in the global Public and Government Affairs department at Signify, formerly Philips Lighting. She is responsible for global strategic outreach and stakeholder management of public-private partnerships with a focus on energy, climate change and smart city programs. As such she enables and facilitates the transition of cities, states and regions to energy-efficient, sustainable LED lighting solutions and IOT-enabled lighting systems and services.

Barbara started her professional career as project manager at Deloitte in Brussels, Belgium. She holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Tufts University in the United States. She also worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in Vienna, Austria.

The evolution of creative lighting to reimagine cities

Sylvain Godinot, Deputy Mayor, Ecological Transition and Heritage, City of Lyon (France)

Sylvain oversees the ecological transition policy for the City of Lyon, particularly on climate and energy (local climate, air, and energy action plans). He is also in charge of the heritage portfolio (land and buildings), which includes cultural heritage and public lighting. He is also a councilor for the 1st district of Lyon in charge of sports and a metropolitan councilor of the Greater Lyon.

Jess Scully, Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney, co-Chair of the Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory Panel (Australia)

Jess uses creativity to engage people in the future economy and with urban life in the 21st century, working towards a sustainable and inclusive world. In 2019 she was elected as Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney and has been a councillor since 2016.
Previously, Jess founded Vivid Ideas, Australia’s largest creative industries event; supported emerging talent through projects such as the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards; sparked new thinking through TEDxSydney and transformed public space as a public art curator. She has also worked as a policy advisor, radio host and magazine editor. Her first book, Glimpses of Utopia, was published by Pantera Press in August 2020.

Sarah Gaventa, Director, Illuminated River Foundation (UK)

Sarah is the Director of the Illuminated River Project which is leading a public art project to illuminate 15 of London’s bridges between Albert and Tower Bridge. She is a public space and public art expert and curator, and was previously Director of Public Space at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. In 2016, she curated the exhibition Out There: Our Post-War Public Art at Somerset House for Historic England. Sarah has been an Associate at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and has a degree in Art History and a MA from the Royal College of Art/V&A. She is an honorary Fellow of the Landscape Institute for her outstanding contribution to landscape.

The transformation of light festivals to adapt to the new normal

Julien Pavillard, Director of the Fête des Lumières, City of Lyon (France)

Julien has been the Director for Events and Animation as well as the general coordinator of the Lyon Fête des Lumières since January 2020. He previously created and managed the Congo Bleu agency which has carried out numerous lighting projects and invented several light festivals (in Switzerland, Russia, Asia, North America and the Middle East). With his team, and alongside Annie Mesplède and Jean-François Zurawik, he also relaunched the Fête des Lumières between 2005 and 2009 to expand the festival into what it has now become.

Romain Tamayo, Project Officer for the Fête des Lumières, City of Lyon (France)

Romain has always been passionate about art and has been working in and around the cultural sector for more than a decade now. He started out in music, founding as a student an organization to promote electronic music and artists in France and Europe. After living in Berlin for a year, his interest for light art grew as he started to work for the Fête des Lumières in Lyon. In the past, Romain has overseen the development of the festival in the city’s districts. Since 2019, Romain was promoted to project officer, in charge of the main creative projects, sponsorship and procurement.

Kaat Heirbrant, Advisor to the Deputy Mayor for Culture, Tourism and Events; Organiser of the Ghent Light Festival, City of Ghent (Belgium)

After a degree in arts and communication, Kaat started out in European policy and for an arts institute. In 2007, she began to work at the department of city promotion for the city of Ghent, focussing on cultural events, tourism and city marketing. She organised the first light festival in Ghent, in 2011: A festival that was conceived to emphasise the architectural lighting masterplan and build bridges between artists, cultural and educational institutions and public space. Attendance at Ghent Light festival has been increased every year; it now hosts 40 artists at every edition and over 800,000 visitors – in a city of 250,000 inhabitants. Meanwhile, Kaat also has a background in cultural policy in Ghent, specifically in cultural events and art in the public space. Today, she works mainly as event coördinator and light festival organiser.

Elisa Hillgen, City of Light Coordinator, City of Jyväskylä (Finland)

Elisa is a Lighting Designer and City of Light Coordinator for the City of Jyväskylä, in central Finland. She has previously worked in the field of building and interior design and has ten years of experience in different fields of lighting. Her job as a lighting coordinator is to handle dark time cityscape by organizing design projects and maintenance for urban lighting in Jyväskylä.

Ronald Ramakers, Director, GLOW Eindhoven (The Netherlands)

Ronald started experimenting with light at a very young age, by building light installations in and around his family house. His professional interest in the subject took hold at 18, when he started working for a theater lighting designer in the Hague. After graduating as a theatre director, he worked in the Netherlands and Germany – notably interning with Thomas Langhoff at the Deutsche Theater (East Berlin) in 1990.
Two years after designing the interactive light artwork Trust the Cloud, Ronald became the Director of the GLOW Light Festival in 2016. He developed partnerships abroad for the festival, notably with the Qinhuai Lantern Festival in Nianjing (China).

Creative Lighting Pecha Kucha Sessions

Sesssion A

Rik van Stiphout, Programme Advisor Light & Culture, City of Eindhoven / GLOW (The Netherlands)

Rik was co-initiator of the Eindhoven GLOW light festival in 2006. In 2008, he achieved a breakthrough in the usual public lighting approach by engaging Philips Design to set a strategic direction for an innovation in public lighting and to develop a set of “experience scenarios”: examples of how people in the future would experience the public lighting as they go about their daily lives. This resulted in the iF-winning (2010, category ‘Advanced Studies’) ‘Creating a Public Lighting Experience’ vision. Rik still works for the City of Eindhoven as a strategic thinker.


Castor Bours, Studio Toer (The Netherlands)
Wouter Widdershoven, Studio Toer (The Netherlands)

All Toer’s creations begin with the freedom of play. Castor and Wouter co-founded Studio Toer in 2011, a multidisciplinary design studio. With a strong exploratory and experimental approach, they push both the technical and aesthetic limits of design across a wide range of applied arts. From light installations and objects to interactive experiences and innovative products. Toer has received worldwide attention for projects such as Cumulus, an autonomous parasol that inflates into a cloud-like shape with solar energy, Fiet, a kinetic light sculpture that reacts to changes in its environment, and Shaped by Time, a clock that forms itself over time.

Evelyn Figueroa, Municipal Tourism Secretary, Taxco de Alarcón (Mexico)

Evelyn was born in Taxco de Alarcón, and is a graduate of the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Organizational Psychology. She now leads the Taxco Secretariat for Municipal Tourism, supporting the economic and social development of the city. Located in central Mexico, Taxco has been a LUCI member city for almost 10 years.

Craig Morrison, Festival Director, CMD (UK)

Craig is a Creative Director and Festival Director. He works internationally curating and exhibiting high quality artworks in the public realm. His practice transforms the public space into temporary galleries for light-based work. He is a board member of the International Light Festival Organisation (ILO) where he is developing the working group for Sustainability and Impact.

María Isabel Zuluaga Gomez, Architect & Lighting Designer, Medellín/EPM (Colombia)

María has been an architect and a lighting designer for ten years at the Medellín Public Companies (EPM), and will represent the wonderful team of Medellín Christmas Lighting. She has fallen with this project, that has been going on for 53 years! The ideas for the 2020 edition came from the particular international context, with the idea of ​​visiting all of Colombia staying at home, in Medellín!

Sesssion B

Isabelle Corten, Urban Lighting Designer, Radiance35 (Belgium)

Light and the city are central to the preoccupations of Isabelle Corten. Light cannot be confined within the overly restrictive constraints of a sometimes narcissistic exercise in style. Rather, it is an issue of social cohesion. Isabelle Corten does not, therefore, limit herself simply to designing the lighting or illumination for a site. She adds that extra something that is the hallmark of a resolutely political approach. As architect and town planner, specialising in public spaces and lighting, she has worked on the redevelopment of public spaces in Belgium and abroad. She founded her own practice, Radiance35 in 2001, a lighting agency of +/-10 people.
Isabelle Corten is the President of Lighting Designer without borders (cLSF), co-founder of SLM (Social Light Movement) and a member of LUCI.

Isabelle Corten

Nowshad (Shad) Ali, Director, Eclat Lighting Initiative, Saskatoon (Canada)

Nowshad is the President and CEO of On Purpose Leadership Inc., a company whose mission is to help people, communities and organizations in the effective pursuit and attainment of purpose without compromise of core values.
One of Shad’s core beliefs is that true growth and development comes from an intense understanding of self and commitment to support and develop the capacity of others to realize their dreams and their potential.

Matthieu Graffin, Lighting Projects Manager, Citeos Ile de France Grands Projets (France)

Matthieu oversees Architectural Lighting activities in the Paris area for Citeos, the VINCI Energies Brand specialised in lighting and urban equipment in France. Matthieu leads Architectural Lighting Projects for public organizations (City of Paris, Centre des Monuments Nationaux…) and private agencies (Château de Versailles Spectacles, e.g.). A graduate in Civil Engineering from the Ecole National des Ponts et Chaussées, Matthieu has worked for over 10 years on complex building projects.

Kate Harvey, Senior Producer, Artichoke (UK)

Kate is a producer of theatre and arts events, specialising in outdoor and site-specific work. She is Senior Producer for Artichoke, working alongside the company’s founding director, Helen Marriage, to create large scale productions and temporary installations in the public realm. Kate is lead producer on the Lumiere festivals bringing light art to Lumiere audiences in Durham, London and Derry-Londonderry. Kate produced London 1666, a collaboration between Artichoke, US artist David Best and young Londoners to build a 120m sculpture of London which was floated on the river Thames and ceremonially burned to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London.

Sesssion C

Nathalie Tilmant, B2C Events Supervisor, (Belgium)

Nathalie was born in Brussels and has been living in (and still discovering) this beautiful city for 33 years. She has been working in event management for 12 years and for for 8 years. Her involvement in the creative-lighting field is recent but she is growing more passionate about it every day. She is constantly discovering new ways to shed a unique light on the city she adores. Since 2019, she is the general coordinator for Bright Brussels, and hopes to continue to develop the event for many years to come.

BIBI, Artist, BIBI (France)

BIBI is a self-taught artist who has built his work upon personal experiences and the discovery of Nouveaux Réalistes. The alchemy that informs paleontology, underwater hunting and orthopedics all led him to question man’s relationship with nature and with himself. His work is therefore centered around several major themes: hell, the ark, hunting and the Bibigloo… His approach also questions our perception of public space. His installations, whether durable or ephemeral, most often showcase a magical bestiary that highlights the convergence of plastic objects and animal forms. They have now been exposed all around the world, but BIBI has retained a playful and, above all, ironic approach to his work.

Filip Avramchev, Producer, Skopje Light Art District, City of Skopje (North Macedonia)

Filip is the producer of Skopje Light Art District, a light festival organized by the City of Skopje. He is also the director of the Universal Hall, a venue in Skopje and a home for promotion of the national Macedonian culture, art and music.