Picture taken from newspaper page, Sächsische Zeitung, Tuesday January 6, 2015, page 5

“What turned us into humans was the invention of art.” 2014: The birth of Age of Artists

Dirk Dobiéy Business, Education, Interview, News, Organization 0 Comments

When opening our local newspaper yesterday I was positively surprised to read the sub headline of an article announcing a new German volume of National Geographic about how thinking came into the world. The headline said: “What we are today we do not owe to handaxe or fire: What really turned us into thinking humans was the invention of art.” After reading the full article which was mainly about early mankind and cave painting I started to reflect on our first year with Age of Artists.

Close to 30 interviews. Four conference speeches and two publications. The launch of our community, brand and website. We’ve come a long way last year from a group of people that realized that a major transformation was underway in the business world. Suddenly individuals with an artistic or design background or an affinity for the arts were able to deal differently and often better with the demands of our fast-paced, complex world. They managed to successfully and sustainably address significant challenges within and beyond their initially defined areas of responsibility and past boundaries set by process, structure and performance indicators.

As soon as we observed a potential pattern forming, we investigated the topic further, realizing a subject of such magnitude requires a broad range of perspectives, insights, experiences and ideas if done right. As a first step, we created a network of people we knew had a personal interest in researching the subject further in a collaborative fashion. Our community is now composed of individuals from France, Germany and the United States.

Next, we responded to a call for papers from ENCATC (European Network on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy Education) on the subject of “Rethinking education: Investing in skills for better economic and social outcomes.” Mostly based on a SAP case study and secondary research we soon realized a more structured approach was required to truly falsify or verify our assumptions. We took the decision to reach out to artists and leading thinkers to engage with them on a personal level and thus learn about our topic. So far we spoke to 19 artists from genres such as music (classical and modern), visual arts (painting and photography), poetry, dance, theatre, opera and movie. We spoke to 8 experts in education, art history, art, design, sociology and other fields of expertise. Some of the interviews have been transcribed and published to our site: Aris Kalaizis, Stephen Swartz, Anthony Lowe, Daniel Prandl, Miha Pogacnik. Others will follow as soon as the transcription work progresses.

In parallel we presented at conferences such as Intersection 2014, Art of Management and Organization, Tekom Annual Conference and Knowtech. We also worked on a paper published last autumn representing our then latest findings and current thinking. From a management and operations perspective some highlights include the invention and launch of the Age of Artists Brand and the launch of our new web presence. The birth of Age of Artists was about a lot of listening, reading and reflecting and we are still at the beginning of our journey. We look for more interested and interesting people to engage with in a fruitful dialogue to evolve our hypothesis. “Come play with us” continues to be invitation call to the world.

Source: Sächsische Zeitung, Tuesday January 6, 2015, page 5

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