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Innovation in the arts
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Innovation in the arts


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For many years, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) has led the world in developing rigorous innovation frameworks for policy, programs and evaluation of arts and …

For many years, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) has led the world in developing rigorous innovation frameworks for policy, programs and evaluation of arts and cultural activity. As Director, Creative Industries, in NESTA’s Policy and Research Unit, Hasan Bakhshi has been instrumental in much of this work, which he has also extended in his role as Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. In this address, Hasan will review NESTA’s strategies, and policy and program ‘experiments’ and initiatives, which have sought to embed innovation thinking into arts and culture policy and practice.

Hasan Bakhshi is Director, Creative Industries in NESTA’s Policy & Research Unit and Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology.

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  • LSO performing at the Barbican
  • Background picture is Gemma Brockis and Silvia Mercuriali - ‘Still Night’ Still-night, based on Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities is a forty-minute theatre piece that takes as its protagonist the City in which it is being performed. One of the exciting sides to Still-night is that it spills out of the theatre, drawing a line between watching theatrical performance and watching the outside world – which is not only about seeing the streets as a set, but about becoming an audience to the fabric of modern life. As on-line activity becomes more and more a part of this fabric, it seems increasingly appropriate to Gemma and Silvia, that their work should find some way to spill into the virtual world. Since Still-night has the real world around it as its central interest, it feels like the perfect project through which to develop an on-line presence. Gemma and Silvia said; We anticipate that this presence will be a significant part of the audiences’ experience of the project as a whole and be, in some senses, a show in itself with its own audience. Their involvement will, we imagine, be an integrated part of the show’s development, not just in its early stages but throughout its life, as well as helping us to shape our creative process. A key part of the project will be the sourcing of local stories, images, myths and maps, and then feeding these into the fiction of the piece. As part of the Scratch process, they will be creating a blog which will constantly be up-dated with pictures and story, from the city in which they are working. The first of these will be Lisbon, then London, and this will grow as they perform in more cities. They will mix their findings with comments from the online audience who are viewing and interacting with the blog, and all this will work together to create and develop the piece.
  • Image is of Public house debate, 1945. An American soldier is amongst the audience listening to the second speaker of the evening, Miss Crooks (not pictured), on the topic of 'America and Britain'. The original caption states that "the few Americans present were unusually tongue-tied, had nothing to say to frank discussion of their qualities".
  • Luke Murphy in Sleep No More
  • Transcript

    • 1. Innovation in the arts Hasan Bakhshi,Director, Creative Industries, NESTA
    • 2. “creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.”
    • 3. “Your company or organisation can only claim for R&D relief if an R&D project seeks to achieve an advance in overall knowledge or capability in a field of science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty… Science does not include work in the arts, humanities and social sciences (including economics).”
    • 4. “Those who fund the arts and those in receipt of funding have a duty to continuously encourage innovation”“The boards of cultural organisations, and I include museums and galleries in my understanding of this, are – or should be – the guardians of innovation and risk-taking”
    • 5. Four dimensions of innovation Innovation in artform developmentInnovation in audience reach Innovation in value creation Innovation in business model
    • 6. ? Cannibalisation ion art D evaluation of form? pt INACTIO Disru N? EXPERIMENTA TION Digital Model being rolled out for the NT LIVE FINDINGS No evidence& cultural sector wider arts of cannibalisation Leading cultural CHANGE Pilot through our High satisfaction amongst digital institution Uncertainty DIGITAL R&Daudiences Rigorous evaluation of digital live Opportunit broadcasts: knowledge New including ticket salesEstablished business model ies FUND relevant for NT and and audience experience Challenge others s
    • 7. Site Galleryworking withLighthouse, ResearchSpike Island partnersand Caperare embeddingdigital technologistinto their organisations