The AmbITion programme
AmbITion is a programme for change in the arts, heritage and cultural sector – helping organisations become digitally fitter so they can adapt to the social, cultural, and economic changes of the technology revolution. Business sustainability in the 21st century will demand digital fitness! AmbITion has been working in England and Scotland since 2007.
Digital technology is transforming the relationship between artist and audience, arts organisations and places, art and the creative economy. As digital technologies and art forms converge, so do the assumptions about who is an artist, what is a digital business. In the past, it was assumed that the arts were purely a research and development function of the creative economy, or an enhancement element to places where creative economies flourished. Now, the arts are beginning to be recognised for their full economic and social potential. They are:
• equal partners in the creation of aesthetic quality and tastes;
• trusted channels the general public like;
• incubators for and homes of creative talent; and
• they leverage mass participation and dialogue.
AmbITion England champion, Bill Thompson suggested that organisations most likely to thrive in the 21st century were those that were moving from a position of ‘assimilation’ (where the digital is assimilated into existing modes of thinking) to ‘adaptation’ (where existing thinking is changed to accommodate the new possibilities and potential of the digital).
Why the need for AmbITion?
It is critical that the cultural sector not only keeps up with digital developments – such as those adopted by the wider creative industries – but that it successfully develops its own, suitable to its content, audiences and aspirations! We have found specifically that small to medium sized creative organisations are most likely to benefit from digital developments but are limited in their capacity to embrace change. Put simply, their current knowledge base, limited staffing capacity and scale means that many cannot sustain new digital developments alone.
AmbITion believes that digital development is a key driver to sustaining resilient 21st century arts organisations.
AmbITion is also encouraging the emergence of a digital content ecology, where the best content is created by the arts/culture sector collaborating with the digital/media industries. This demands that arts organisations adapt rather than assimilate, and it means that different types of collaboration have to be encouraged to ensure innovation.
Our experience shows us that creative sector organisations and individuals also need to adapt to the opportunities presented by the now embedded philosophies of openness and sharing. Understanding and capitalizing the sharing of processes and of data require that organisations are “innovation ready”.
The AmbITion model has developed solutions for all areas described by providing a programme that enables wider access to a specialist knowledge base (technologists, digital media professionals and innovators); supports skills, capacity and capability development; providing learning resources and knowledge sharing tools; and through partnership, facilitates content production collaborations and innovation.
AmbITion’s vision is to generate a critical mass of creative and cultural organisations that proactively consider digital development as key to business, operational, and artistic growth and sustainability.
Specifically, AmbITion prepares later adopters for artistic, organisational and business model change – using digital developments to support resilient strategy creation; digital content creation; collaborative relationships with media, broadcast and technology companies; and innovation readiness.
Catalysing a mindset-change
AmbITion is impacting the cultural sector by catalysing a mindset-change and developing digital leaders.
We have developed a methodology which sits at the heart of AmbITion programmes, that supports arts organisations through a managed process of organisational change to enable them to use digital technology in an effective and integrated way (across artistic, organizational and business practices) – for better 21st century sustainability.
Digitally Disseminating lessons learnt
AmbITion increases legacy by archiving digital development lessons learnt, video on demand of past events, cultural sector case studies and toolkits for self guided learning online.
We facilitate an online network of cultural sector professionals discussing digital development.
You can find out about in-person learning, networking opportunities in the events section of this website – even if you aren’t local to them you can participate online. AmbITion events are webcast to expand their reach and impact.
Watch an overview describing the opportunities AmbITion Scotland will provide for 2012-3 (and an explanation of how AmbITion is part of Creative Scotland‘s Digital Initiative, a part of their Cultural Economy Programme).
Did you know?
AmbITion started life in England as a pilot programme for the arts and cultural sector in the North West and East regions. Read more…