2014 resolutions & predictions
The New Year is a great time to think creatively about the coming year and try new things.
What do you think 2014 has in store? What are you planning to do differently?
FutureNOW strategist Marianne Doczi offers some predictions. Share yours in the comment box below.
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1. Farewell Big C Culture and Big A Arts
Big C & Big A continue to be challenged by the democratisation of the means of production, distribution and recognition through social media. Arts and culture organisations will succeed when they ramp up their engagement with what was once the audience (passive recipients of C&A) as people (audiences) interact at all stages of the creative cycle: ideas, market research, early investment, critiquing, publicising, distribution.
Reframing the relationship with 'audiences' is about more than becoming digitally savvy. It is about genuinely opening up dialogue and being part of multi-logues so that contributions and feedback are gathered into future decisions.
Cultural organisations that reframe the power relationship with their audiences/markets will be more successful than those who retain the 20th century business model of us vs them.
2. Of course I can do it!
The continuing democratisation of the means of creative production (courtesy of low priced digital technologies, software and distribution platforms) is resulting in millions of us 'doing it for ourselves' and sharing: Peer2Peer rocks!
Rather than seeing the dr@mateur (digitally revved up amateur) as competition, smart companies and practitioners see them as potential allies: people you can sell expertise and access to: people you can share ideas with. They are consciously creating communities of interest that are egalitarian while offering singular expertise as the magnet for paying offerings.
3. Go where the money is! Where the problems need solving!
Instead of thinking 'what can you do for us' regarding funding and audience building, think 'what can we do for you?' What public policy or social issues/problems can art and culture contribute to solving? For example, both public and private funding is around for activities that increase health and wellbeing; address crime; reduce environmental damage; promote longevity.
So identify arts and culture initiatives and practices that could create better solution than the 'same old, same old', and build alliances and collaborations with agencies that work in public policy realms. While arts and culture served as means of escapism for the masses in the financial crisis of the '30s, here in the 'teens of the '20s, arts and culture are well placed to be contributors to health and wellbeing for individuals and communities.
Start talking to politicians, officials, planners, engineers, medical people about how what you do fits in with their objectives and goals. Use research and neuroscience to validate the value of your offerings.
4. Business as unusual
Increasingly traditional management tools and theories are inadequate to help business and organisations strengthen their resilience, competitiveness and innovation. Arts and culture can be used to great effect in enabling organisations to be more creative, innovative and resilient in their thinking and practices: enabling organisations to gain increased contributions from their employees. There will be opportunities for creative arts professionals to build collaborations with business and management schools and practitioners. 2014 will see smart cultural entrepreneurs and practitioners reframing themselves as the business consultants of the 21st century.
5. Changemakers and challengers: artists Act Up!
Arts and culture have vibrant histories of having been the way that many people have expressed their dissatisfaction with the status quo/s or had their consciousness raised about serious issues. Whether through satire or song, dance or drama, film or fun, cultural activists have provided insights that enabled millions of people to be part of change making movements - across political, economic, environmental and religious boundaries.
While, thanks to social media and the phenomenon of 'going viral', activism is coming from 'everyone and everywhere' there are leadership vacuums. Disillusionment with traditional leaders is overt, expressed in surveys and low voter turnout.
The next few years could see more Big A and Big C figures willing to speak out and express in pungent and uplifting ways, the mood for change in social, commercial and environmental behaviours that is our zeitgeist.
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