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What could the future look like if creativity were at the heart of it?

What are the biggest challenges the creative economy is facing? From Brexit to diversity, and technology to heritage, we want to invite you to imagine a future where academics, practitioners, funders and policymakers work together to transform the creative economy.

On 26 March 2019 M Shed, Bristol will become the host of Nesta’s first Creative Economy symposium - we want to use the inaugural event to bring together practitioners, researchers, creators, funders and policymakers from across the UK to unite, think differently, to explore a more creative future for the economy.

Using our work in arts, culture and the creative industries across research, policy, programmes and investments, we’ve identified four strands that we’re inviting you to explore with us throughout the day: Skills and education; Diversity and inclusion; Innovation and the future of creative industries; and Sustainability and creativity.

We’re looking into the future of work for Skills and education, asking what this means for creativity, technology and the fourth industrial revolution. Will all skills be valued equal by employers? Who will be the next generation of creatives? Will creative work be resistant to automation? Have your say on how can we find and equip the right people with the skills for the future and examine how culture has changed since art and design schools were first created. We will be asking how future methods in creative education might be designed and implemented to ensure the creative workforce is appropriately skilled.

The last decade has seen increasing attention paid to Diversity and inclusion in society. There is will to address inequities in many parts of the arts and creative industries but change is frustratingly slow. For example, Nesta’s work looking at the gender imbalance in UK film casts showed that since the end of the Second World War there have been no sustained gains in the percentage of cast members in UK films who are women. Instead, this percentage has fluctuated between 25% and 36%, and in 2017 sat at 30%. We want to investigate how the lack of diversity is holding back the creative industries and stunting leadership, inviting you to bring and share your own experiences to help us understand how we can change things for the better. How do we achieve a wider reach across the UK and beyond our usual networks, and where should we be taking greater risks?

With major galleries and museums now using virtual experiences, architects and fabricators expanding their practice dramatically through the advent of 3D printing, films using ever better visual effects and festivals making full use of immersive technologies, the opportunities of technology for the sector seem limitless. Through our Innovation and the future of creative industries strand we will talk to leading creative innovators, hear about the potential for new forms of narrative storytelling, and also give you the opportunity to try out some of these technologies and take part in innovative experiences.

For many organisations there is a constant battle between Sustainability and creativity when thinking about opening up new revenue streams. Should you sacrifice your mission or vision to secure a sustainable future? Do you have to? We’ll be talking about the future of creative industries and retaining the UK’s reputation in a post-Brexit Britain. We believe that arts and cultural organisations have a huge benefit to the lives of individuals, communities and society through their work and that those with the right business model have the potential to use repayable finance to become more resilient. Arts & Culture Finance will be introducing our investment work within arts, culture and heritage, turning the tables and giving you the opportunity to be the investment committee.

The event will also see us partnering with experts from across the sector and working with a number of the UK’s leading organisations to display new exhibitions and projects commissioned by Nesta - look out for announcements to follow.

What could the future look like if creativity were at the heart of it? What are the biggest challenges we are facing? From Brexit to diversity, and technology to heritage, we want to invite you to imagine a future where academics, policymakers and practitioners work together to transform the creative economy.

Join us to start thinking about what happens next and how you can be at the forefront of change.

Author

Rachael Bull

Rachael Bull

Rachael Bull

Programme Manager

Rachael is a Programme Manager for Arts & Culture Programmes and Investments, in Nesta’s Creative Economy strand.

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Eliza Easton

Eliza Easton

Eliza Easton

Head of Policy Unit, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC)

Eliza works with economists and data scientists to analyse and develop policies for the creative economy, and then with policy-makers to see them enacted.

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