• It’s time for a systemic conversation

    In the past, organisations might have stated the conditions they are working within as external to themselves; indeed, pointed to them as reasons they might have missed targets or failed to deliver on ambitions. We would have heard, “the problem is there just aren’t talented people from x community who can play at the expert level we need” or “what you don’t understand is how hard it is to get people from x community to apply”. We might have heard, “they (someone, those other people, that other organisation) should invest more (support more, intervene earlier, do something) so that the issue is addressed, or the barriers are removed”. You might have heard yourself in those words.

    Today we are more likely to hear a systemic conversation with an awareness of the causal relationships, the involvement, the complicity even. We are more likely to see organisations choosing to frame one of their strategic goals around systemic change. From: why doesn’t someone do something? To: what could we do that would make a positive difference?

    Read more from Richard Watts in this Arts Professional article here. 

  • How do we re-imagine our relationships with our audiences and communities?

    We’re exploring how, as arts and cultural organisations we can reimagine our relationships with audiences and communities. This is the introductory panel conversation we hosted with Claire Antrobus, Rob Macpherson, David Micklem and Becca Pelly-Fry… all  contributing unique insights from their experience as leaders in the arts and cultural sectors.

    Together we’ll be exploring tools, resources, case studies and ideas to help us re-imagine our relationships with the people who are central to our organisations – our audiences and communities.

    What environment do we need to enable re-imagination? Trust, transparency, creativity… what else?
    How we do amplify the civic role of our organisations?
    How do we ensure that the work we produce and share is with the thumbprints of audiences all over it?
    What does our society want and need right now, and in our futures?
    Who do we have relationships with? Who is missing? Who are we hearing, seeing and listening to?
    Are we demonstrating our responsibility to be representative our audiences? Have we got our priorities right?
    What about digital? Who is doing it well? What can we learn from the leaders of digital engagement?

    You can watch the panel video here: https://youtu.be/VSX5XGEx594

    Resources, tools and insights to support this area of exploration will be posted on our resources page.

  • Latest insights from sector specialists exploring social justice, diversity and inclusion

    This week we are joined by Kamaljit Poonia and Charles Beckett, in conversation with Richard Watts, CEO / Founder of people make it work, and Co-Director of Change Creation.

    Kamaljit is a diversity, equality and inclusion expert with a career spanning the Cabinet Office, Southhampton University, DfID, and local authorities in Camden and Bristol. She explores how a focus on inclusion can ensure connection, relevance and resilience. Our role as cultural organisations is to ensure that a range of voices are heard, have agency and a voice in the our culture.



    Charles Beckett is an Arts Consultant with experience at ACE, European Cultural Foundation and Cultural Solidarity Fund. He discusses the Cultural Solidarity Fund and some of the themes that are emerging from his work there, and brings insights and ideas from the different civic and and funding contexts in Eastern and Southern Europe.



    Thought provoking insights as we explore the ideas of solidarity and the role of UK cultural organisations today.  All of the panels that we produce are with the support and generosity of our people make it work associates.

    You can watch the video here


  • Creating a business plan fit for our times

    During these uncertain times how do we create nimble, agile, responsive business plans? Is this an opportunity to reshape our business planning models and focus on iterative planning? What can we know or assume is likely when we are surrounded by uncertainty?

    We’ve convened a panel of sector specialists to hear their views and insights on business planning and we think it’s definitely worth a watch… and worth sharing too.

    View this panel conversation on our You Tube Channel here