Futures scanning | Where next for resilience?

Cultural leaders from across the UK came together last week in response to our 2018 ACE commissioned 'What is Resilience Anyway?' report.

25 January 2019

Last week, we gathered at the Birmingham Hippodrome with leading arts and cultural professionals from across the UK to discuss and develop the findings of the November 2018 report What is Resilience Anyway? Birmingham and the West Midlands were well represented, but people came from as far afield as Liverpool, Cardiff, Newcastle and Scandinavia for a conversation that was rich between leaders of cultural organisations, funders and policy makers, consultants and Sector Support Organisations.

Sophia Woodley, Design Manager at Golant Media Ventures, in her further thoughts on the report, expanded thinking on what resilience means. She considered more closely the kind of behaviours that ultimately make for a genuinely resilient organisation, concluding that there is a place for both the ant and the grasshopper in building a robust future for the arts.

The event used the insights from the report as a stepping off point for some big issue scenario planning considering the core question:

How can leaders and policymakers in the UK’s arts, culture and heritage ecosystem make it more resilient between now and 2030?

The ground people chose to explore ranged from payment models and the experience economy to climate change, the rise of extremism and the global failure of antibiotics. (I’m delighted to report that the room made a democratic decision not to discuss Brexit as an issue in and of itself – frankly there were more interesting and pressing matters to discuss.)

This structured and creative approach to scenario planning yielded not only plenty of imaginative thinking and a few laughs, but a clear demonstration that, as a sector, we have the wits to survive even the most extreme change.

Anne Torreggiani, CEO, The Audience Agency