The British Council and Hivos for the past one year have been developing a new learning programme for leaders and conveyors of the creative hubs that serve communities in the fields of creative, digital and social innovation. Creative hubs are physical or virtual spaces for creative and social entrepreneurs to connect and support one another while developing their ideas and businesses in a nurturing environment.
The programme has been designed through research and workshops to help hub leaders gain new skills and insights to help them shape and grow their hub offers. This programme; Creative Hubs Academy brings hub leaders together and enables them to exchange ideas, share their experiences and learn from each other.
The program provides a structured and supportive learning environment that focuses on three essential skills development areas that are identified through research with creative hubs as keys to success for hub leaders. These are:
Strong leadership is central to sustaining any kind of successful hub, and great hub leaders create opportunities, mobilise resources, and demonstrate value to their teams and audience.
Examples of this might be uniting a creative community, increasing the diversity of their hub’s users, or bringing new skills into their team.
Managing a hub involves testing ideas and systematically improving them. It’s also critical to closely link planning and delivery with vision and strategy. Great hub leaders are flexible, resourceful and opportunistic, and possess tenacity and dedication.
Examples of this might include brokering new collaborations, developing new offers for their hub, or pooling resources.
Hub leaders connect creative practice with business and audiences. Great hub leaders engage diverse stakeholders, generate multiple incomes from varied sources, and seize opportunities.
Examples of this might include conducting research to understand their community needs or curating content to increase the visibility of their work.
The Creative Hubs Academy program consists of three parts:
1. three-day workshop;
2. learning in action back at their hubs;
3. and a two-day coaching retreat – all led by an experienced creative professional and learning facilitator.
Part 1: Capacity building workshop
The three-day immersive workshop will cover a series of learning modules and the participants will be given plenty of time to ask questions and practice new techniques. Throughout, there are presentations, networking with more experienced hub leaders, and opportunities for participants to receive constructive input from experts and their peers on the challenges they face.
Day 1 focuses on the participants’ mission: why they do what they do, the challenges they’re trying to tackle and what change they’re trying to create.
Day 2 introduces ways that participants can improve the impact of their hub for different audiences and users. It also addresses the issues and challenges that are core to the hub’s mission.
Day 3 covers the completed work together. The final sessions will revolve around the new or refreshed business plans developed during the workshop, and participants finish confidently about their action plans for the future and their learning objectives for the next six months to get there.
Part 2: Learning in action
After the workshop, participants return to their hubs and begin putting their plans into action. Participants will continue their learning by reconnecting online and engaging in events and opportunities as identified in their action plans.
Part 3: Coaching retreat
Three to six months after the capacity building workshop, participants come back together. Participants revisit some of the key insights from the capacity building workshop, review the action plans that were taken back to the hubs, and receive feedback.
By the end, they’ll have a clearer understanding of what effective actions and behaviors look like in realizing plans, as part of continuous development.
The Academy started its first full program with 25 hub leaders in Indonesia in June. Brazil, East Africa and Southern Africa will follow later in 2019. With our partners, we plan to test different co-facilitation models at the workshops and retreats throughout the year, involving UK and local facilitators, hub leaders and delivery partners who can contribute to the learning program and build a legacy for the future.
Download the new Creative Hubs Academy leaflet
The Creative Hubs Academy leaflet explains the program in more depth.