A pioneering Audience Development initiative from Goldsmiths University, Deusto University, Erasmus+ and The Audience Agency. The Connect Knowledge Alliance is funded by the EU to set training standards across Europe.

This is a fantastic opportunity to take part in a free professional development programme co-created with some of Europe’s leading audience development thinkers and practitioners. It takes a very experiential approach to learning for those of us who prefer to learn-by-doing and introduces some of the best new ideas from the wider creative industries to help us evolve our engagement practice. Help us to shape this programme for the wider sector next year.

The Audience Agency CEO, Anne Torreggiani

What is Connect?

Design Thinking for Audience Development is an Erasmus + project funded by The EU, co-developed in a European partnership led by Deusto University, Bilbao. It introduces innovative ideas in management practice as well as setting standards in audience development training in this initial pilot year. The training programme has two main strands:

  • Professional development and mentoring for cultural professional participants

  • Training and internship for post-graduate students paired with one of the cultural professionals

The programme explores the emergence of audience development as a distinctive practice, introducing a range of tools and techniques, including human centred design approaches, that help organisations to put audiences at the centres of their plans. Participants will also be supported to develop their own action research project, reinforcing their learning by putting ideas into practice.

The programme has been co-designed by the partnership and will be delivered and tested in five countries, including England. It is based on an internationally developed programme that combines

‘knowledge that is up to date and rooted in the real world and practice that is informed by theory and the wider world.’

Connecting Audiences

How will I benefit?

Participants will gain:

  • New strategy skills
  • Advanced audience development know-how
  • Confidence in agile development of ideas and action research
  • The chance to “learn by doing”
  • Leadership skills
  • A new network
  • A ‘Certificate of Attendance’ accreditation from Goldsmith’s

Programme features include:

  • 7 taught day-long modules, all at Goldmsith college in South London
  • Light touch one-to-one tutoring
  • A dedicated mentor, matched to each participant’s interests
  • Support developing an in-organisation action research experiment supporting their organisation’s aims
  • An internship opportunity
  • International symposium for some participants

Participants’ training will be co-led by The Audience Agency consultants and Goldsmiths University ICCE lecturers. Each professional - student pair will also be guided through the programme by a personally assigned mentor – an experienced expert from the cultural sector, selected to complement the participants’ interests.

What are the practicalities?

Connect is inviting 12 culture professionals and 12 post-graduate students to participate, free of charge. The culture professionals will be working in UK cultural organisations with a relatively senior role, responsibility for any aspect of audience development and at least three years of previous experience. The students will be selected from relevant Goldsmiths post-graduate courses and participation will constitute the internship element of their degree. Core course and application aspects include:

  • Taught modules all take place at Goldmsith's college in South London
  • The programme runs from November 2018 – May 2019
  • 12 practitioner and 12 student places are available via simple selection process
  • Practitioners need to host a student internship and carry out an action research project with their intern
  • Practitioners should be culture professionals in a senior role and have the full support of their Senior Management Team to participate

How do I apply?

If you are a UK based arts and culture professional and are interested in the Design Thinking for Audience Development Training Programme, please take a look at the FAQs below to understand the commitments of the programme before registering your interest. The deadline for applications is 15 October 2018.


Register your interest

Note. In the event of the programme being over-subscribed, those thought to be most appropriate for and committed to the programme will be selected to take part.

Image credit: http://connectingaudiences.eu/