Jess Scully

Writer | Speaker | Curator | MC

Jess Scully is a dynamic speaker, known for her energy and intelligence. An author, curator and community representative, she uses creativity to support and inspire everyone to get involved in shaping a sustainable and inclusive future.

As Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney from 2019 to 2022 and as a Councillor at the City of Sydney since 2016, Jess champions a more innovative and creative way of building cities and shaping a positive future. She advocates for new models to address the housing crisis and support a more inclusive economy, embedding culture in everyday life and reviving Sydney's nightlife. Jess seeks to open up politics to younger and more diverse people, to expand who plays a role in shaping the life of the city.

Jess was the founding director of Vivid Ideas, Australia’s largest creative industries event; and has worked as a policy advisor, a public art curator, cultural strategist, radio host and magazine editor.

Her first book, Glimpses of Utopia: Real Ideas for a Fairer World, was published by Pantera Press in August 2020. Glimpses of Utopia explores projects from around the world empowering people and communities to build a future we can be excited about: from participatory democracy to power bottom-up decision making, to for-purpose finance drawn from ancient traditions, structures for fairness in land use and collaborative city-making, and much more. Glimpses of Utopia was shortlisted in the Australian Book Industry Awards in 2021.

Jess is passionate about promoting and incubating solutions for climate action, the creative economy and social justice in Sydney and cities around the world.

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