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Creative Ecologies

The Creative Ecologies Pathfinder is a new programme of research and experimentation for Bristol+Bath Creative R+D. Across 2021 and 2022, we’ll be exploring creativity as a networked, connected practice, not something that happens in isolation in studios, offices, or labs.

We think that approaches to the world rooted in creativity and culture are vital for the production of better futures. This work happens not just in businesses or workplaces, but across a network of people and places.

During this pathfinder, we’ll be working with experts from across our region and the world to explore how we can make these networks more resilient, dynamic and inclusive, ensuring they are future-proofed to withstand systematic shocks, and can respond to the pressing emergencies of our time.

Together, we’ll be exploring a range of questions: what can we learn from how creative economies are designed in other parts of the world? How can the models we use to build our businesses or the way we run our cities be developed to make them more sustainable, inclusive, and progressive? How can we ensure that people - not technology - are put at the heart of a better future?

We believe that thinking ecologically about creativity is a key to answering these questions. This involves understanding all the different parts that make creative work possible. These include the companies, people, institutions, places, resources, communications infrastructures, producers, audiences and stakeholders that allow things to happen, as well as the ideas, knowledges, cultures, and languages that are part of that network.

Our creative ecology spreads far beyond industrial sectors and fixed geographies, to encompass whole communities that stretch all over the world. We want to explore how to make this ecology healthy, equitable, and strong, and show how creative and cultural value is everywhere, and vital to our futures.

Hopeful Futures Network 

We will draw together experts from across Bristol, Bath, and the world to explore sustainable growth, inclusion, climate emergencies, and responsible innovation through seminars and development labs. We’ll be speaking to activists, artists, technologies, social enterprises, civic bodies, academics and more. We’ll also be launching New Scholars, a one-year fellowship scheme for PhD students and academics early in their career to develop collaborative approaches to their research, and explore the themes at the heart of Bristol+Bath Creative R+D.

Trailblazer Scheme

Closer to home we will be trialing new ways to promote, support, and resource a dynamic, creative future in our local economy. We’ll be launching surgeries with our delivery team to host conversations with creative communities in Bristol and Bath. We will seek out ideas that relate to creative technology and offer advice on inclusion, business and production, broker connections to universities, and use small injections of money to unlock opportunity. We'll be shaping our work up over the next few months, and all future opportunities will be announced here, in our newsletter and on Twitter. If you’d like to be involved in this Pathfinder, have insights to share about our core questions, or are a part of our community looking for more support via a surgery, we’d love to hear from you. Stay tuned to this page for more details of how to contact us regarding these surgeries in the coming few weeks.

New Scholars

A fellowship scheme for PhD students and Early Career Researchers exploring themes of creativity, innovation, inclusion or collaboration. Are you interested in thinking critically about how we understand creative economies, and conduct research with partners outside academia? Do you want to expand your own independent research skills and become part of a dynamic community of academics, thinkers, and creative professionals? ‘New Scholars’ is designed to support researchers early in their academic journey to make a step change in their research towards collaboration, interdisciplinarity, and socially engaged practice in and around the field of creativity, technology, and innovation We are seeking 16 PhD students/Early Career Researchers to become part of a cohort, taking part in a 12 month programme of workshops, skills development, critical exploration, funded research and collaboration. Fellows will benefit from a year of support to help them boost their research ambitions, gain insight into collaborative work, and develop funded research with access to academics and creatives in the sector. Also, there will be the opportunity to co-produce the content of the scheme, and seek mutual support from a network of peers who together make up the New Scholar cohort. Details of how to apply to this scheme will be coming shortly.