Arts-Inspired Innovation – Creative Workshops for Community and Business

‘A Borough United’ community play project. Spring 2013, Jacksons Lane, London. Photo courtesy Jacksons Lane.

‘A Borough United’ community play project. Spring 2013, Jacksons Lane, London. Photo courtesy Jacksons Lane.

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As a cosmpolitan and artistic city, London inspires the search for new opportunities as a trigger for innovation. I decided to focus on creative inspiration which I then interpreted through a theoretical lense, creating new ways of working towards personal and group development, communication and interpersonal skills.

The inspiration for my research was found in the various creative events happening in London: jam sessions, theatre workshops, poetry slams, community gardening, juggling in the park… The main fuel for the research was driven by the rich interpersonal connections, ideas and experiences that were exchanged.

 

As a cosmpolitan and artistic city, London inspires the search for new opportunities as a trigger for innovation. I decided to focus on creative inspiration which I then interpreted through a theoretical lense, creating new ways of working towards personal and group development, communication and interpersonal skills.

 

“Logic is death to that part of you that is the miracle maker” – Stuart Wilde

 

When engaging with PR and marketing sectors, I was able to observe the lack of creative activities for the employees of the companies. The classical versions of both business and personal trainings offered on the market, with hundreds of e-mail proposals received by companies every day, seemed to no longer attract potential clients. There is however a potential for creative outlets in the participation of workshops and other arts-related activities. These formats offer an exciting opportunity to inject new energy that can be successfully transferred into different sectors and disciplines, offering valuable alternative for existing trainings.

 

“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.” – William Congreve

 

Field research showed that workshops within performing arts can be a successful tool in the field of social innovation if they are implemented as a holistic process as opposed to a one-time event or activity. However, one-time activity can be a spark for firms to be introduced to arts-related workshop methods. Therefore, a variety of factors such as an organizations profile, its strategy, participants background need to be taken into consideration when tailoring suitable arts-related programs. Improvisation techniques can trigger ones imagination and creativity, but also work towards the integration of the community or group of professionals.

 

“Ships in harbor are safe, but that’s not what ships are built for” (unknown)

 

With their high educational and self-development potential creative workshops as an innovative tool are not yet fully investigated in terms of their implementation within non-artistic environments. The main challenge is to build a solid, well constructed bridge between arts and business, which can be extremely beneficial for both sectors, as widely proved by the findings of Giovanni Schiuma and his ABI’s (Arts-Based Initiatives). In order to do so, both sectors need to develop trust and openness, which will let them mutually inspire each other towards the desired innovation.

 

“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it” – Albert Einstein

 

As for the nature of art, prospects of creative workshops are unlimited. Based on various forms and disciplines of art, workshops are a tool open for a constant change, improvement, tailoring and inspiration from other disciplines.

 

There is a visible gap in the business sector for presenting a variety of possibilities for creative workshops. Every form of art-related activity can be an inspiration for the workshop, therefore there is constant room for a change.

 

Meet other experts on the topic, and check out their ideas in the following video: http://bit.ly/13TNT8a

 

Interested in finding out more about building a creative economy? Be sure to attend the MA Innovation Management Grad Show June 19-23 at Central St. Martins College of Arts & Design.