Collaborate to Innovate!
... this programme ran between June and November 2011.
Our aim was to build a vibrant network connecting social entrepreneurs and artists skilled in the qualities needed to develop and sustain cross sector collaboration. Our aspiration was that organisations would as a result, be more robust, able to deploy the expertise residing within the network to support innovation in product and service design, and better able to survive and thrive in challenging times.
The programme was informed by extensive research into the characteristics of resilient organisations and horizon scanning for emerging opportunities in the creative sector. The research led us to conclude that resilient businesses are those that can innovate and that innovation comes about through collaboration across boundaries leading to new and often bigger ideas, new markets and new customers.
Culture Works co-Directors Jane Shaw and Judy Seymour, working in collaboration with the Interaction Institute for Social Change, SROI experts Lodestar and colleagues within the arts, creative industries and social enterprise communities facilitated an intensive programme to enable participants to Collaborate to Innovate. You can download the programme details here and....here
The artists cohort represented a broad range of practice including glass, textiles, publishing, curatorial, festival and events, music, jewellery, film and visual arts, and included those working on a purely commercial basis and others working across the private, social enterprise and public sectors.
The social enterprise cohort included a rural Development Trust, a Citizen’s Advice Bureau, a community IT company, and a women’s global entrepreneur network – most were established organisations and looking for opportunities to diversify.
The final evaluation by an independent consultant evidenced that nine new collaborative business ventures were being taken forward. As a result of participating in the programme 92% of respondents felt they were more able and more likely to collaborate, all respondents believed their communication, financial, analytical, design and management skills had been enhanced, 73% of respondents felt their business would be more financially resilient.
• ‘Special thanks for those who organised and presented this programme…well-structured and managed’
• ‘A fantastic offer. Very good course and information. The facilitators are excellent and really care about our needs’
• ‘Thank you so much for the support. I really feel this course is very beneficial and at just the right time’.
• ‘I am a stronger business person as a result of being part of Collaborate to Innovate. Each time I have presented my new business idea it has been refined – the group have offered creative criticism which I feel is invaluable allowing me to better understand the challenges that will face my new business’.
• ‘A deep felt appreciation of being able to participate and learn from the tutors/facilitators and fellow participants’
• ‘The programme is having a huge impact on my professional creative practice, I have renewed vigour and determination...’
Images courtesy of A Set of Drawers made at the workshop on finance and business models.