Watershed

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Disruption and curiosity: #outofthecloset unconference

Yesterday at C&binet a new event emerged in the programme, one that had not been scheduled. Spread via twitter the #outofthecloset unconference was conceived as a place to share thoughts on the stuff not being covered in the main sessions.

Kicked off by Kathryn Corrick, the group of 20 or so of us started by sharing the questions we would like to see an aired at future C&binet events:

  • How do we facilitate interdisciplinary innovation?
  • Should C&binet be an open forum?
  • What are the key priorities for small businesses?
  • How can we properly understand and develop cross-platform content?
  • How can the non-digital creative industries learn from the digital ones?
  • Where is the international agenda?
  • How can we encourage and facilitate collaboration?

 

After taking a vote on the most pressing issues, our group (made up of Enhanced Editions, Nomos Media, Ogilvy Innovation, JustB Productions, Wired UK, Six to Start, Seeper, Simon Games, British Council, Kinura and iShed) took on the collaboration question. 

My notes (un-attributed and un-editorialised to reflect the discussion as far as possible):

University is broken. Education is way behind industry. Our education system needs to change - places like RCA, ITP, University of South California are brilliant at fostering creative entrepreneurialism by getting artists, writers, programmers etc to work together on one project. We need to teach teamwork and interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial skills through an embedded cross-cutting logic.

There is a need for more computer scientists coming into the creative industries in order to create innovative products, but this often causes a disjunct in language and understanding.

We need a new generation of producers with more diverse skills and an overview of the industry - 'super-producers'

We need to support the brokers, the people who bring together the creatives with businesses, brands, finance etc. At present there is no core support for this kind of role, though there is general acknowledgment it has financial, cultural and social impact. We need to invest time in our own businesses to make connections.

Collaboration isn't just about money its about making things happen and learning from each other. We need to support companies to commercialise their creativity but also to share their stories to enable others: in a demand-led company - how do you develop your own IP?

Public funders are not prepared to push the boundaries in their remit. They don't like to take risks. We shouldn't be ashamed or critical of public funding, but we must attempt to understand their agendas and give them confidence in our value through case studies with real financial impact attached.

We need to showcase the results of innovative collaborations in the press to raise profile with consumers, policy makers and people working in the industry.

We need a single constructive concrete proposal that we can get behind. Is this around education? A single institution or a wider educational logic?

We need to get behind (and feed into) the work being done by the Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network.

We discussed creating a social network that can continue to develop the discussion but agreed that this already to some extents exists through events like bTween. However unless we programme ongoing and linked conversations, people will not stay involved. Evan Grant of Seeper agreed to take all of our details and keep us in touch, so I look forward to continuing the conversation.

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