Culture Hack East Ideas Lab Round-up 5: Open Forums

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The second session of the day involved facilitated discussion forums around commissioning and resources.

The commissioning forum negotiated possible solutions to problems encountered with funding and tendering by arts organisations and technologists.

The process of tendering can be frustrating for technologists, who often carry out preliminary work on bids only to find these are awarded to a different practitioner through the tendering process. One solution is to build longer term partnerships between technologists and arts organisations with funding for preliminary project research built in: a working method reflected in the Ideas Lab model.

Another issue with commissioning surrounds the uncertainty of arts funding and the fact bids take up to 2 years from application to award. This makes it difficult for digital practitioners to work with arts organisations and means technologies can be out of date by the time projects are realised.

Again, the in-process, short-term, intensive model of the Ideas Lab: particularly with funding allocated for prototype production, was considered a positive way of combatting these concerns.

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In the forum around resources, participants were asked to feed back about the sorts of resources which would be useful to them following this Ideas Lab and in future Culture Hack Events.

Attendees suggested they benefitted from practical demonstrations, workshops and case studies of successful projects – ways to practically get things done. Participants also wanted to follow up networks and contacts made through the Ideas Lab, potentially through an open forum and felt they would benefit from practical online guides presented in lay language.

This guest blog was written by Alexandra Reynolds, PhD student at Kingston University.