Michael Jacobsen

Founder and Executive Chairman | The Centre For Future Europe

Michael Jacobsen


Australian born Michael Jacobsen has been an international leader in some of the most prominent companies in the entertainment, leisure and media business for over two decades.

His company (now exited) developed, owned or operated (for city-halls or governments), a significant portfolio of iconic entertainment, leisure and congress venues across the Asia-Pacific region and advised Cities and Governments in the USA and Europe on many iconic leisure projects. All of these venues rank in the top ten of their genres worldwide.

Over the past two decades, Michael’s venues have collectively contributed over US$50bn to the cities and societies in which they operate; created over 150,000 jobs; received visitation of over 75 million people over 60,000 events; and been responsible for the transformation of precincts and districts as evidenced by public statements and reports by City Mayors, State Ministers and National Prime Ministers.

As an adjunct to the venue company, Michael was a partner in a major Asia-Pacific production company responsible for the promotion of a multitude of major concerts including Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen and Sir Elton John in addition to special events under Australian Government commission.

In 2004, Michael’s company acquired the global IP rights to the movie Dirty Dancing, which he and his team turned into a musical and international live entertainment empire and produced in multiple cities across the world.
Dirty Dancing is now recognised as one of the most successful live entertainment brands ever with a lifetime gross to date of over $US2bn.

Michael’s recent career has pivoted to focus working with other authoritative stakeholders in supporting economic, social and cultural development of cities, nations and precincts.

Michael operates his family office Jacobsen Office, and is the principal of his own NGO, The Centre for Future Europe (CFE)-Czech Republic non-profit/USA 501c3. CFE works with key stakeholders on the development of innovation and culture in Central and Eastern Europe (often referred to as Emerging Europe) to promote cultural, social and economic exchange between Emerging Europe and other nations.

Since 2011, He has advised numerous governments on matters pertaining to creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, impact and circular economy. He is recognised as an international authority on Central and Eastern Europe.
Michael was a Special Advisor to the former State Secretary of Finance and later Minister of Economy in the Slovak Republic. Michael continued this relationship when the Minister served as Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in 2016-2020.

CFE is a core consortium partner of the European Union’s (EIT) ‘KIC Number 9’, which is designed to transform Europe’s cultural and creative industries by increasing their sustainable innovation capacity.

He has mentored in London at Techstars, Level39 and The Accelerator Academy; is a Board advisor to Luxembourg-based sustainability impact fund and sat on the Advisory Board of University of Technology Sydney’s Entrepreneurial Leaders Advisory Board (ELAB), which was a component of the Business Faculty.

Michael is a proficient published author of two books and contributor to a third.
He is an accomplished media presenter, having hosted programs on News Corporation Australia’s Your Money and Sky News Networks.

Michael speaks internationally on entertainment/leisure/media/TMT/Web3 and and additionally often on the the topic of Emerging Europe and its place in the world.

Michael was awarded the National Honour by the Slovak Republic in 2018 and has also been inducted into the Lifetime Hall of Fame by the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

The commonality between all elements of Michael’s career and his broader life mission is that they all deliver social & economic development and embody a drive to maximise transformative value for a community- be they an audience, a city, a nation or the planet.


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