I started a busy week by giving a lecture to London College of Communication MA Service Design students. I was struck by how receptive and interested the students were in using artistic concepts in their presentation, communication and development of work. The lecture also provided the motivation (and hard deadline) to create a new presentation of my work, exploring the role that art can play in policy-making with some recent examples including from a project on the Manual for Streets.
The lecture also provided an excellent basis for the following day’s interview for the Clore Leadership Programme. Having developed a presentation, I then produced an updated mind map of my latest thoughts, ideas, experiences and interests. Whilst the creation of this mind map was an enormously useful reflective exercise, using it in in the pressurised context of an interview was an experiment. It went well - whether I secure the a place on the programme or not, I’ve benefited from this process - and I will use the method again.
I met the mixed media artist Surya de Wit at Yonder to discuss selecting and installing her work at the E17 Art Trail show. Then, after useful catch-ups with policy teams on projects (systems mapping for the Industrial Strategy and user centred research for data science tools to improve the policy consultation process), the end of the week saw a couple of big events in the South West.
The South West
First, Andrea Siodmok and I ran a workshop in Exeter on the Local Industrial Strategy for the Heart of the South West region. Using a range of devices (evidence cards, newspaper headlines from the future, filmed pitches) we helped people identify a vision for the region which, pleasingly, revolved around clean growth.
We then met with Cornwall Council to present ideas for synthesising and representing citizen feedback for the future of Cornwall. I described the process we used in the Future of the Forest? - turning research, trend analysis and local history into speculative visions for Waltham Forest I look forward to exploring and adapting the technique for Cornwall. We capped a stimulating couple of days with a visit to Falmouth University, meeting Vice Chancellor Anne Carlisle OBE and her fascinating team. I think it is safe to say both Andrea and I were highly impressed by the Falmouth operation, especially their Launchpad which saw groups of creatives, entrepreneurs, and tech students combine to solve important societal questions.