Posts with tag Namac

Web, technique and alternative thinking

Two days after the visit in the Apple store in Colorado to get help with a broken computer-battery, we got an e-mail in the inbox asking if we were happy with the service we got. A link to a website was provided, which in a few seconds directed us to a fill-in form on the web, where we easily could write down our opinion and send it back. As a customer you felt they were very interested in your opinion, in our case even though we never bought anything. We got the battery for free.

When Barack Obama, the Democratic Presidential Candidate, set together his campaign organization, it’s said he wanted it to be different than traditional ones. He wanted the organization to be ”buttoned up like a business” combined with a voter-friendly grass-root attitude. A look at the website of Barack Obama shows that you can contact him, or the campaign organization, through e-mail, Facebook, Linkedin, Myspace, Flickr, BlackPlanet, Twister and other web networks. One of the factors behind the success of Obama’s campaign so far, is said to be his openness to critique and direct feedback from people on the street, from participants on convents to colleagues at his office. The tool for public use is an interactive and informative website where access to the candidate never appears to be far away. You get the feeling he is actually interested in your opinion.

Three components seem to be essential in an innovative approach, no matter if you run a cultural organisation, a business or build a campaign organization for President. Three entities that combined have the potential of creating new things: The latest in technical solutions and the World Wide Web; An open and low-hierarchical top-bottom organizational structure; and a creative working atmosphere.

At Pixar Animation Studios, the high profile technical solutions and constant pushing of new mathematical solutions for animated moves on the screen, combined with a continuously challenged creativity and open atmosphere, is said to be the key factors for success. At Namac, a small art and media organisation in San Francisco, the new website is built according to the newest ideas of interactivity. This is hoped to better involve members between meetings and to get direct feedback on their activities.

The working atmosphere and low levels between top and bottom is put forward by businesses like IDEO and Pixar Animation Studios. A working atmosphere of being casual, but deadly serious about quality and getting the work done is something many refer to as a typical Silicon Valley attitude. And you find it in many of the most innovative companies in US today. Apple started in Silicon Valley, the idea of Google was formed at Stanford University in the same area and the Design firm IDEO was founded there. It’s not suprising that Barack Obama showed such an interest in Google and in November 2007 decided to unveil his innovation agenda at one of their offices. The Campaign organization that he runs is most certainly inspired by the Silicon Valley attitude. It’s said to be open for initiatives, relatively casual, and deadly serious about quality and getting the work done on deadline.

Read about Barack Obama’s Campaign Organization in Rolling Stone, issue July 10-24, 2008.
Read about our study visits to Pixar Animation Studios, IDEO and Namac on this website.
Apple at Wikipedia and Google at Wikipedia.

12 juli, 2008

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Intersection, Ninth Street Independent Film Center and Namac

Intersection Incubator started in the 70s trying to help artists with sustainability. Today it’s more formalised and is run through the incubator. 120 projects are part of the programme, which primarily consists of fundraising, business management and promoting work. Few funders give yesenia.jpgartists direct funding, for this you need to start a non-profit organisation.

But the organisational form has laws that are difficult to overview. Most of the time an individual doesn’t have a chance to keep up with changes in regulations, which makes it difficult says Yesenia Sanchez at our meeting. Intersection is the intermediary between the artist and the funder. The solution is called Fiscal Sponsorship, which in short is taking care of the money in and out, while the artist can concentrate on being an artist. The incubator has a large network of partners that the members easily can get in touch with and use for a small fee.

It can be lawyers, bookkeeping, and marketing.Related organisations could be Fractured Atlas, Springboard for the Arts, National Network of Fiscal Sponsorship (website coming), Center for Culture Innovation and Creative Capital. At Ninth Street Independent Film Center, film festivals and organisations as The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (Namac) are gathered in one building in central San Fransisco. The kc-price.jpgfilmer.jpgsolution was to buy the building, trying to build up the advantages of sharing resources, networking and supporting each other. The independent film sector is a large sector in San Francisco, although the field is changeing, KC Price tells us.

More and more people have their own cameras and computors, the need for spaces where this can be rented or borrowed has changed. The Do t Yourself trend has changed who is producer and customer and film makers in much larger extend work on their own. What still is a need for is meeting places.Namac is one of the organisations based in this building, a non-profit organisation with around 370 members all over USA and some in Canada with the common goal to support and work with the advocacy of independent film, video, audio and digital arts. Amanada Ault and Morgan Sully meet us in their small office. The administration is just a few people, the variety of activities that they do is amanda.jpgmorgan.jpgimpressive. Main focus is events, research, capacity building (both individual and organisational) and advocacy. Members meet mainly during the every two-year conference; on-line discussions and information is the main communication tool.

They want to, as they say, put forward ”the value of the collective intelligence of the network” and are at the moment developing a new website, which will be much more user friendly and a platform to be active from. This together with a reflective part where they do articles and studies of the field and to put forward new methods, often provocative, makes them both a practioner and service organisation.

17 juni, 2008

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Lotta Lekvall
Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural Organisation in Sweden. Nätverkstan provides services …

Cultural and Social Entrepreneurship

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