Zhang Wei

“Artists need to Express Themselves” – Interview with Photographer Zhang Wei

Benjamin Stromberg Insights 0 Comments

In one of the most popular art districts in the East of Beijing, photographer Zhang Wei invites me into his stylish studio in a dark backyard. The neighborhood seems central and lively, even though we are at least two hours from the city centre. Zhang Wei has the view of someone who has seen quite a lot of things in life. He speaks quietly and thoughtfully.

On his walls hang world famous people depicted in perfect photographs.

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Frédéric Glorieux Rue du Paradis

Art in Leadership, Politics and Startups

Johanna Darbritz News 0 Comments

What has inspired Age of Artists in the last month? Exciting, entertaining and controversial findings from the world wide web. Things that attracted our attention in March:

Charles Eisenstein, Author and Speaker received an email from a student at an elite law school about Rhinos. On his blog he quotes it in full, because in his opinion, it cuts so deep to core issues so many change agents face. He writes: “When we know what it is like to be them, we will be far more capable of disrupting the narratives that scaffold our world-destroying machine.

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Naturally gifted and continuously formed

Johanna Darbritz News 0 Comments

What has inspired Age of Artists in the last month? Exciting, entertaining and controversial findings from the world wide web. Things that attracted our attention in February:

Dustin Timbrook, artist and creative director at Red Brick Strategies spoke at the TEDxHuntsville Conference about creativity. Watch the video to hear his thoughts about why or why not our world would be better off without artists.

At the Insight in Person podcast from January, the editors from Kellogg Inside ask: Why are business leaders turning to the arts — from storytelling to jazz ensemble, Argentine tango to tap — for insights into how to do their own jobs better?  

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Bijenkorf The Hague

Touch Points: How Business and Other Disciplines can Learn from Art

Dirk Dobiéy Business, Education, Insights, Organization 0 Comments

Over the centuries many touch points between art and business or other disciplines have been described and explored to various degrees. At Age of Artists, we deal with those connections that are reported to lead to better outcomes in business and society. This is what we have found so far:

  • Representation, branding, and social responsibility
  • Work-life-balance and community building
  • Artistic intervention and Artists in Residence
  • Teaching Artists and/or Arts-Based Learning
  • Art-based principles, practices, and processes at work

Representation, branding, and social responsibility.

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Studio Leadership: Creating an Environment for Creativity

Kirsten Gay Business, Insights, Organization 1 Comment

Eric Schmidt, former CEO and now Executive Chairman at Google, once put it this way: “Let’s be clear about what we are claiming: As business becomes more dependent on knowledge to create value, work becomes more like art. In the future, managers who understand how artists work will have an advantage over those who don’t.[1] Philippe Rixhon, a leader at the junction of arts, business and technology, also comments that “many business sectors would benefit from adopting some of the theatre world’s basic creation practices related to innovation leadership.

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Giovanni di Paolo The Creation and the Expulsion from the Paradise 1445

The Purpose-Built and Value-Based Organization

Dirk Dobiéy Business, Insights, Organization 0 Comments

Looking at business and society today many ask what the score for modern organizations should look like? At Age of Artists we suggest five objectives for modern organizations that are the foundation for what we call the purpose-built and value-based organization:

  • Innovation – an organization needs to constantly innovate
  • Experience – an organization needs to target a seamless and delightful experience for all stakeholders
  • Social responsibility – an organization must contribute to a healthy society – locally and globally
  • Sustainability – an organization must attempt to secure for further generations, not destroy
  • Bottom Line – an organization must be able to sustain itself and its people

For businesses, it is obvious they must keep a sharp focus on their bottom line, as simply without that, they will not continue to exist, whereas art can exist theoretically without it.

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Jacek Irzykowski Kreola

Insights from Art on Engaging with Wicked Problems

Johann Sarmiento Business, Education, Insights 0 Comments

One way to look at our modern world is as a gigantic collection of problems. Many of these problems might be personal and very well defined (e.g. how do I get to the office on time today?) while others are much higher complexity (e.g. those associated with geopolitical or ecological issues.)  A view of the world as full of problems is not a pessimistic view in any form but, instead, one that highlights the action-oriented and dynamic nature of our natural and man-made worlds. 

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Woman Holding a Balance Johannes Vermeer

Competences for a better future

Dirk Dobiéy Education, Insights 0 Comments

By now, it is common sense that people–both young and experienced–need to be equipped differently in order to succeed in this accelerated and complex time we live in. Skills and competences such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, improvisation and cooperation become more important. Many leading thinkers promote a new approach to leadership that embraces authenticity, curiosity, invention and collaboration. Organizations–and the large ones often struggle with this–need to constantly innovate to survive and need to look for sustainable ways to execute their missions.

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Map of the World 1480
"Map of the World", German 15th Century, woodcut, 41.3 x 29.2 cm (16 1/4 x 11 1/2 in.), Rosenwald Collection, National Gallery of Art

“Design Mindfulness is everything. It’s how you live in the world.” – Interview with Tom Peters

Dirk Dobiéy Business, Insights, Organization 0 Comments

In a recent interview on leading the 21st-century organization with McKinsey Quarterly Tom Peters suggests to deal with the insane pace of change by going beyond the kinds of tasks and roles that can be automated. One of his recommendations for leading the 21st-century organization is design mindfulness:

“One way to deal with the insane pace of change is by living to get smarter and to learn new things. Another way is by going up the value-added chain beyond the kinds of tasks and roles that can be automated.

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