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  1. 1. None of us is as smart as all of us.. Or how networking and multiple intelligences will shape our futures Or the Nail Puzzle and the learning predicament Or “Hard as nails?” Slide 1. I’d like to start with something that is distinctly non-digital. Or to put it another way differently digital. A friend of mine described what’s happening before your very eyes as “DIGITAL COGNITION” - otherwise.. “Thinking with our fingers”I. The 2. “Here we have the nail puzzle. What you have to do is to challenge: balance as many nails as you can on the head of the single nail in the block of wood. As a small team, we’ll see how they get on..”II. Sharing.. My title – “None of us is as smart as all of us..” - comes from a baseball hero, Satchell Paige, who used this as his mantra for sporting success. Asked how he was so canny in batting order, field position and training strategy.. when he could’ve taken credit, he replied most often, “None of us are as smart as all of us..” I have shamefacedly pilfered this piece of organisational genius and applied it to the last 5 teams with which I have worked. It’s like alchemy.. it works and I strongly commend it to you. On the other hand, it matches already the spirit of allegiance and collaboration that I see at play in this conference.. and I was very proud to be invited. What I have noticed is that here you are leaving your egos at the door; you are seeking ways constantly to improve what you do; and there’s an open-handed sharing that may yet see us 1
  2. 2. None of us is as smart as all of us.. through this dismal recession that threatens so much..III. Let’s 3. I believe the task of this conference as like turning the pure observe for a gold of research, knowledge and digital technology into the moment.. dazzling variety of base alloys of learning through a process of alchemy. Though perhaps that’s reverse alchemy..? I’d like to share with you some further reflections on this. In what we have before us, we have alchemy in action.. We have a learning team, busy solving a single significant problem.. or is it a series of smaller ones.. In fact it is nothing less than the paradigm of the museum- visiting group on the trail of something compelling and profound. And this activity might be seeking the solution to a lifelong quest. It might be a whimsical diversion or a casual pastime It might be a brief family exploration or a school-based intellectual curriculum. . It might just be a wet-weather time- filler. Whatever it is, though, it has the elements of a site or website visit.. and the emphasis is on enquiry. But there are constraints.. What is our intrepid team going through just now? Let’s speculate…  There’s been precious little explanation given to us  We haven’t done this sort of thing before  Certainly not in this grouping  And anyway, IS it solvable?  Or some beastly trick that the conference facilitator has dropped us in? 2
  3. 3. None of us is as smart as all of us.. Do we have to be watched like this Are we making fools of ourselves..? Why doesn’t someone help? Why doesn’t someone put us out of our misery? Are we stupid if we can’t solve it? Is it some sort of timed test and someone will tell us our IQ later? Is this idiot who’s asking all these questions going to be a smart-arse who’ll make us all feel stupid afterwards as well as during…? Why doesn’t he help, instead of talking to all these scary people..?OFFER HELP HERE IF NEED BEAnd as the conference observes our ‘team’ are you all observingwhat they bring to it… Thought Conversation Experiment Trial Error Multiple intelligences Active learning Digital cognition .. that’s thinking with our fingers you recall Psycho-motor skills Memory Encouragement 3
  4. 4. None of us is as smart as all of us.. Humour Black humour Team skills Risk-taking Listening Hint-taking Learning as individuals Learning as a group Blood Sweat Tears EXHILARATION Cognitive learning Affective learning Social skills A competitive edge A collaborative solution Agony Ecstasy Completion Experimentation Perfection Personal satisfaction Team satisfactionAnd this is just one challenge……….In this conference there will be hundreds of tips, hints,suggestions, opportunities, blue-sky thoughts and the sort ofoutlandish digital possibilities that will become the inspirational 4
  5. 5. None of us is as smart as all of us.. commonplace of tomorrow. Another challenge is to have the head-space and the openness to spot which of these will be truly transformational. But against the huge strides in medicine, engineering and other sciences, does it all matter – or are we a bunch of well-meaning, heritage-mangling geeks? Does it all matter? And to whom?IV. Does it Now THERE is a question. Immediately we are focusing on the matter at all? audience. And there is no better place to focus. The most successful museums in the world have twigged to the vital truth that “Museums are not for things, they are for people”. And those that have really twigged in this way have worked on the Alchemy of learning, the transmuting of stuff into personal and social values. 4. Yes it does matter.. Throughout my 22 years as a museum Director or CEO, one of my favourite American cultural leaders, Derek Bok, the one- time President of Harvard University, offered this thought to all governments of all countries for all time.. “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance..” I bring this to mind because we are in a new world of austerity, ravaged pension-plans, curtailed core funding, collapsed charities and the Big Society where self-justification is no longer 5
  6. 6. None of us is as smart as all of us.. an intellectual pursuit but an anxious glance over the shoulder. Did you know there’s a Big Society version of Cluedo just come out.. It doesn’t have a Library in it! Everyone here understands that today’s young are tomorrow’s undergraduates, teachers, lawyers, craftsmen, detectives, parents,.. And you probably get that it really matters that the young can think for themselves, feel at home with learning, feel at ease with their heritage and in their own skin.. The role that conferences like this can play is immense and pivotal and enduring Let’s try a little audience participation..5.  Hands up all those of you that can remember your first English lesson?  Alright … now your first visit to a museum?  Ok… now your first visit to a Planetarium? See what’s going on? Our cultural attraction contribution to all our visitors is, without a shadow of a doubt, life-long, pivotal and enduring.6. It helps if museums can get it right .. god knows as visitor attractions grow, they learn how they can get it wrong… The trainers call them OTSUs – Opportunities to Screw Up – OTSUs.. and if we’re on the ball and look after our visitors, our teachers, our learners, our families, our on-line silver surfers, our digital offer even, we’ll avoid screwing up.. and will provide the opportunities for half a dozen different learning outcomes, 6
  7. 7. None of us is as smart as all of us.. multiple intelligences, personal growth, thoughtful parenting, emancipation, careers, enthusiasm, enlightened leadership and a world where nobody hesitates in taking a risk at learning… because it’s fun, touching, moving and inspiring..V. Making a 7. This sort of education is what my organisation stands for. I am stand Chairman of GEM - the Group for Education in Museums - and we hold the following ten truths to be self evident…See how many relate to what you do: 1. Our heritage is not about things it is about people 2. Everyone has a right to know about and be at ease with heritage 3. Heritage embraces the past and present of all cultures 4. Heritage is essential as the cradle of everyone’s tomorrow 5. Heritage encompasses all literature, science, technology, environments and arts 8. 6. The multiple narratives of heritage deserve respect 7. Learning is an entitled journey; not a destination 8. Heritage learning is an entitlement for everyone regardless of age, creed, gender, ethnicity or orientation 9. The development of heritage learning skills and techniques must be a perpetual excellence. 10. Learning is not simply a justification for cultural spending, it is THE justification for cultural spending. How did you do. 10 out of 10, I’d hope.. So what do we know about learning? Well, for one thing, it’s notVI. What we linear. We don’t learn in straight lines. Almost all of us are know about mental butterflies in a tropical garden of fabulous colours and learning? exquisite senses. We alight and taste the learning nectar as we choose, with whatever takes our fancy and create our own meaning from it. 7
  8. 8. None of us is as smart as all of us.. Learning itself is built up in layers and our mental processes hold learning memory not in neat rows of bytes as a computer might, but as an amalgam of stimuli, reflections, inventions and imaginations. A dozen people will recall a particular incident in a dozen different ways. As the police… Memory is as much a matter of the imagination as it is the drilling down through our layers of experience, sometimes to strike rich seams of understanding and feelings. And this is where the new, adventurous high frontier of the digital adventure will prove vital.9. However, learning through digital media is not necessarily an easy path. It’s not rocket science.. but then neither is rocket science. Richard Feynman one of the world’s greatest scientists, romantics and teachers famously said, "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you dont understand quantum mechanics". The digital offer can be a bit like that.. I’m reliably informed. The digital realm gives us the opportunity as individuals or as a learning team (We used to call these families) of interpretation, examination, re-interpretation, re-examination, performance, broadcasting, cinematography, exhibitions, new galleries, audio-guides, hands-on experiences even… And in the middle of all this, it is our duty to be constantly vigilant for new opportunities for learning, understanding afresh what it is we offer to others, fully cognisant of the ways in which our many audiences hear, listen, look, play, interact, 8
  9. 9. None of us is as smart as all of us.. understand, engage, and internalise. To dart back briefly to our Planetarium experiences.. The reason that THEY rated well amongst us today is not because we’re all budding astronomers, not because we are perpetually hungry for the statistics and quanta of the astral presentation.. I doubt we could any of us remember much of the data from our visit.. No, what Planetaria, museums, aquaria and even literary personality museums impart LONG-TERM is the fun, the joy, the exhilaration of learning and experiencing.. referred to in the business as the Affective Domain. We love art, history and 19th century culture because of how we FEEL about it.. not just because it exists or because we can endlessly quote its vital statistics at each other.VII. The But how our audience actually receives it will matter the most. Philosopher’s That’s where our real alchemy skills will be called into question. Stones And we’ll have to brief our design and display wizards with the very best of Philosopher’s Stones to do the business. How will we do this? By developing the interpersonal skills of listening, noticing, sharing, guiding, suppressing the ownership gene in favour of the survival instinct.. In short by making this conference the most important day of your life to date. After all, everything you have ever been, thought, believed and strived for has brought you here, today, now. We will screw up if we fail to gather the benefit of what is before us. We will screw up if we fail to understand the media that we wield – whether a gallery exhibit, a display, an interactive opportunity, a family space or an on-line learning gallery. And we will screw up even more if we fail to focus on, take account of, and prioritise the user experience. 9
  10. 10. None of us is as smart as all of us..VIII. The human Homo Sapiens does not always learn quite so effectively on constraint his or her hind legs. He or she may do better in the quiet of the home or library than on a wet afternoon visiting a museum gallery – the predicament of tens of thousands of our visitors. Further, the internet and broadcasting are the now the advertisers’ favourite arena of persuasion.. and the new smart phone app is becoming the major learning opportunity for many in the digital age. More soberingly, the rate of change in computer gaming and information delivery means that gallery computers will always struggle to keep up. An example of this can be found in several museums I’ve visited recently where information display screens have been damaged by members of the public who poked them expecting them to be touch-screens. What this means is that you may well conclude that the capturing of ideas and enthusiasms could be more appropriate in a non-gallery setting – whether in the classroom, on line, as an app.. or something else. Nevertheless, we will always need the benefit of your wisdoms in the translation of ideas and enthusiasms regardless of where this happens.IX. Big Ideas 10. Many organisations work better when they can resolve what their Big Idea is. This is an internal understanding of purpose and strategic design for all effort and collaboration – as described by Robert Jones in his book titled unsurprisingly “THE Big Idea”. So for example:  BBC = Authoritative  IKEA = Democratising design 10
  11. 11. None of us is as smart as all of us..  Apple = Utility GEM is now positioning itself to be “the Voice for Heritage Learning” – at least in how it operates and develops its funding streams. Maybe the MCG might choose one day to resolve a Big Idea for itself. Who knows.. It’s certainly served the BBC and Apple very well.X. Standing Ladies and gentlemen, to conclude.. on the shoulders of You are a highly specialised group of enthusiasts and giants professionals. You are unique in the world and truly have the power to transform the future of museums, arts and heritage learning anywhere in the world. This keynote is a challenge quite familiar to you, I am sure.. 11. Focus on how your audiences live, learn and love your subjects, remember that it’s how we’re affected by things that speeds our learning, acknowledge that the alchemy of innovation is founded on the pure gold of intellectual generosity and don’t forget to develop those Big Ideas along the way. 12. This way we stand on the shoulders of the giants that went before us and we can truly acknowledge that “None of us is as smart as all of us..” 13. Thank you.Nick Winterbotham, July 2012 11