Hubs in London

”When you write creativity, what do you mean? Break it down. Unpack it.”

Adrian de la Court and Sian Prime, MA Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths University of London, hovers around the class, enthusiastically supporting the discussions and work that is being developed in the groups. And then the difficult questions to challenge the students to go deeper in their understanding, reveal a bit more, go to the bottom of all those words so easily used.

We, eight people from the GoDown Arts Center in Nairobi together with myself, have joined one of the classes in Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths. The task is to map each individual’s strengths and assets, and come to a conclusion of the group assets. Find the deficit. Map the geographical area you are in. What assets are there around you? What possibilities does it reveal?

The work is done with paper, colored pens, lego-pieces, straws, rubberbands – anything that can help you illustrate your ideas. Envision them. The energy in the room is on top.

Later the same day we meet John Newbigin, Chair of Creative England, and of many things from his background the Political Advisor designing the work on creative industries in UK.

A few lessons from his experience was the following:

1) It’s all about sharing, and it’s amazing what you can achieve if you are not interested in taking credit for it.

2) There are moments in leadership where new ideas are put forward that no-one knows what they will lead to. To get people on board you might have to ”bullshit” a little. Do it with brilliance. Everyone knows how it works. If you are wrong, you can work that out later.

3) Don’t underestimate the formal meetings even in an informal setting. We sometimes assume people we work with know more than they actually do. Be careful. It’s better to say things twice than not say it at all. It shows openness.

4) Chairing meetings is an important task. Create an opportunity for people to speak their mind. Listen even if you are loosing the argument. Shared knowledge gives better results.

The meeting was held at the Hub Westminister, in itself an interesting place for developing ideas around social entrepreneurship.

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4 Responses to “Hubs in London”

  1. It was so great to have you visit one of my workplaces, introduce you to a new space and to some of my colleagues after having been in the GoDown and Natverkstan. So some references and inspirations that we mentioned in our sessions: http://socialspaces.org/ for Tessy Britton’s work, http://www.culturalleadership.org.uk/publications-and-research/ for the work Hilary Carty mentioned, http://www.seriousplay.com/11375/THE%20ESSENCE http://www.creativeengland.co.uk/ and of course http://www.nesta.org.uk/areas_of_work/creative_economy/creative_enterprise_toolkit_startups

  2. and.. of course the inspiration from http://www.make-good.com/ and Catherine Greig.

  3. And another one.. I think you’ll like.. http://acivilservice.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html

    I should have done this as one comment, sorry!

    S

  4. Sian, thanks for all these wonderful links! :-)

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