Throughout the Culture Collective’s first eighteen months, we plan to hold a series of Open Space events, facilitated by our friends at Improbable. These events are designed to build connections across the network, find areas of common interest, and act as a means to share insight and challenges.
Open Space events do not have a set agenda. On the day, participants self-organise to create their own agenda, allowing a dynamic and immediate response to the issues at hand. Any participant can timetable a topic (or “call a session”) on something that they want to work on and nothing is out of bounds. Once all the topics are timetabled, participants move into smaller, flexible breakout groups and get to work on the things that they feel most passionate about.
Our first Open Space event was held in July 2021, and centred around an exploration of how we turn a series of projects into a collective, or a network, asking:
“How can we work together to make our Culture Collective more than the sum of its parts?”
Our Open Space events are illustrated by artist Blanche Ellis (an audio description of the illustration is also available). The illustration is shared here to offer an insight into the interest and priorities of the network, and to act as an open invitation for those exploring areas of common interest. Key themes that emerged include:
- A recognition of the different contexts we’re working in, and an openness to finding connections – and complexities or contradictions – in our experiences.
- Unpacking notions of ‘community’; exploring how we all sit in multiple communities, and play different roles in each of them.
- A curiosity about what our projects might have in common, and languages, toolkits and approaches that we might share.
- A long-term commitment to this work, taking our time to build relationships, move one step at a time, reflecting, refining, and reconsidering as we go.
- A commitment to look after one another as we go.