San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
For the last four years the Arts & Humanities Research Council has invested in four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy, established to build partnerships between academic researchers and the creative economy. REACT is proud to host the first of four national events that will showcase the AHRC Hubs findings.
The UK economy is built on a foundation of microbusinesses. Supporting less than 10 employees, they account for 96% of all businesses in the UK. These microbusinesses are also the backbone of the creative economy - one of the UK’s largest growth sectors. This sector is largely made up by dynamic and innovative small start ups. They play an important role in identifying new ideas to commercialise and create jobs. With the right support, microbusinesses can capitalise on their position to fulfil both their ambitions and potential for growth. Yet investment in this sector is geared towards small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and away from the fledgling entrepreneurs in the microbusiness sector. It is here – in the biggest part of the economy – where we see the least development support, but it is here that the AHRC’s four hubs have had some of their greatest impact.
Small is Beautiful? is a day dedicated to the joy of the microbusiness. The four AHRC Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy will present findings that show how university research can make an impact on small creative businesses. We will also be running workshops led by Gill Wildman of Upstarter for new start ups and micros, to support them to become sustainable. The day will be the first of the AHRC’s four conferences to share the findings from the Creative Economy Hubs knowledge exchange programme. All welcome. Free.
10.30 - 11.00 Arrivals & Registration
Join us in the Kitchen for tea and coffee before the Talks.
11.00 – 12.00 The Landscape for the Creative Start-up
This session will deliver a range of provocations responding to a series of questions. What is the climate for the creative business start up? What are the big issues that impact on new creative businesses? There is a perception that investment programmes are only interested in you when you have already become an SME – is this true? How can we celebrate the micro business? Why is the idea of lifestyle business regarded as such a criticism? What roles do Universities have in working with microbusinesses?
- Andy Pratt Professor of Cultural Economy at City University London
- Ian Hargeaves Professor of Digital Economy at Cardiff University
- Gill Wildman co-Director of Upstarter, an incubation programme for microbusinesses
- Alex Fleetwood director of Sensible Object, now launching Fabulous Beasts from the REACT Play Sandbox
12.00 – 1.00 Nurturing New Businesses – Hub Research Findings
In this session the AHRC Creative Economy Hubs will unveil for the first time their findings on how Universities can best work with small businesses in the creative economy.
- Michael Marra is the Deputy Director of Design in Action, the Dundee-based hub that works with design methods to support business innovation in Scotland.
- Jeremy Myerson is a Co-Researcher at the Creative Exchange Hub, a collaboration between Lancaster & Newcastle Universities with the Royal College of Art. Jeremy is the Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design at Royal College of Art and the first Chair of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design.
- Jon Dovey is Professor of Screen Media at the University of the West of England and Director of REACT, the Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and Exeter Hub.
- Andy Pratt is Professor of Cultural Economy at City University London and a senior researcher on Creative Works London, the London based Hub.
12.00 – 1.00 Microbusiness Survival Pack: a workshop with Upstarter
A participatory session that shares your learning on how to survive as a microbusiness, what’s good about having a ‘lifestyle’ business and how to make it sustainable in the longer term. The workshop will develop its own micro business survival pack by sharing tips and expertise. If you are a newly fledged creative business, or have wisdom to share, this session is for you.
Upstarter provides business development support for social and creative microbusinesses.
1.00 – 2.00 Lunch
2.00- 3.00 Creative Business + Research: Entrepreneurial Stories
In this session we will hear from SME and microbusiness, discussing the impact the hubs have had on their business, and how research has contributed to the development of their businesses.
- Nadia-Anne Ricketts, Beatwoven - Award winning, avant-garde textiles label BeatWoven® pioneers globally in pattern exploration with its couture fabrics for the prestige interior design market. It uses its skilfully coded audio technology as an instrument to translate and reveal the geometric patterns created by the beats and sounds in music. BeatWoven is one of the businesses supported by a research collaboration with Creative Works London
- Jason Morinikeji, Urban Farming Company - The Urban Farming Co. has developed a small, integrated hydroponic growing platform, the TableFarm, which is able to cultivate fresh vegetables, plants and herbs inside the home. Using wi-fi technology, the TableFarm can respond to plant needs, by adjusting the local environment. TableFarm has been developed with support from Design in Action.
- Chloe Meineck, Trove – Recognised as one of the Design Council’s ‘One to Watch’ this year, Chloe is a social designer and was Designer in Residence at the Design Museum in 2013. She worked with REACT to produce ‘Trove’, a product to enable children to attach an audio story to a precious object, and then trigger the story when the object is played with. The project is a collaboration with Dr. Debbie Watson from University of Bristol, who specialises in childhood identities, working particularly with children in care and adopted children.
- Lee Omar, Red Ninja - Red Ninja are a Liverpool based design-led technology company who collaborated with Creative Exchange to develop an Open Planning app. Responding to the challenge of transparency and public engagement in planning processes, Red Ninja worked with PhD students and researchers from Liverpool University to develop tools that use narrative and visualisation to involve publics in planning processes.
2.00- 3.00 To Scale or Not to Scale? – Workshop with Upstarter
A participatory session that explores the why, when, and how of scaling your business. How do you make the decision to grow? What’s the right time to grow? What mistakes do we need to avoid? The workshop will have businesses that have grown successfully and those that haven’t. You will finish up with a road map tailored for your own ambitions.
3.00 – 4.00 Micro Mesh
An interactive session in which we draw together key learning to build more productive relationships between University research and the creative economy.
4.00 Guided Tours of Rooms installations; Reception & Drinks.
Join us for a drinks reception and guided tours of the Rooms installations, a chance for you to experience the collaborations that REACT has supported in the last three years. You can view the full programme of events at theroomsfestival.com.
What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?
- BY TRAIN The Rooms is little more than a 10 minute walk from Bristol Temple Meads Train Station, which has regular trains to London and Cardiff.
- BY CAR There is lots of City Centre Parking Nearby, check out Parkopedia for options.
Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?
- If you've any questions about the Rooms, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
When & Where
REACT & AHRC
REACT is a collaboration between the University of the West of England, Watershed, and the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter, and is one of Four UK Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) supports world-class research that furthers our understanding of human culture & creativity.
The Rooms is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.