About

Anthony McCann, Ph.D.

Anthony McCann is a creative and versatile polymath. As a keynote speaker, after-dinner speaker, consultant, coach, trainer, and facilitator, he inspires people to reimagine and redesign their relationships, working environments, and communities through a better understanding of proximity, power, and possibility in their lives.

His work is based on 20 years of original research and teaching across the humanities and social sciences, and also of practitioner experience in leadership, community development, and performing arts.

Anthony has  18 years of interdisciplinary experience as a lecturer in third-level education across the humanities and social sciences, at the University of California (Ethnomusicology, Critical-Cultural Legal Studies), the University of Sheffield (Ethnomusicology), Sheffield Hallam University (Media Studies, Cultural Policy and Management, Visual Culture), the University of Ulster (Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies, Contemporary Folk Culture, Anthropology of Music, Irish Studies, Music Business, Cultural Theory, Spanish, Design), the University of Limerick (Ethnomusicology, Irish Language), Queen’s University Belfast (Architecture, Educational Leadership), and Loughborough University (Peacebuilding/ International Relations).

His awards include a Fulbright award, a Government of Ireland Scholarship, the Charles Seeger Prize for Ethnomusicology, and two Unltd social innovation awards. He currently holds the position of Visiting Senior Research Fellow with the England Centre for Practice Development at the University of Canterbury Christ Church.  He has previously held positions as a Visiting Fellow with the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education, an Associate both of the Center for Emergent Diplomacy in Santa Fe and of the Institute for Inter-Cultural Practice in San Francisco, as a Fellow of the RSA, and as a Research Associate of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

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Why a Hummingbird?

Hummingbirds are among the smallest birds on the planet. They are also the most mobile and adaptable birds on the planet, being able to fly incredibly fast, forwards, backwards, or upside down on account of their incredibly high wing speeds (50-200 times per second). They are also able to hover in the air, conveying a stillness even while they are operating at lighting fast speeds – they have the highest metabolism of any animal. As symbols, hummingbirds have been prized for their vigour and energy, and work-rate. Their sharp beaks can be seen both as weapons and as vital pollinators.

Hummingbird is a small project, but I like to think that it’s mobile, adaptable, and about hard work. It also aspires to a stillness and sense of presence even while are operating at lightning speeds. I bring a sharp, incisive critique to the work, but would hope that any critical evaluations act as pollinating catalysts for human flourishing. I like to turn things on their head, to see things from a different perspective, and while I love moving forward at a rate of knots, I am not averse to travelling backwards, respectful of the past and the legacies of thinking, feeling, and doing that have been left for us to follow.  


If you have any questions that you’d like to ask, please get in touch.

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Putting Second Nature First